The Desolation of the Sanctuary in Daniel 9

(Daniel 8:11-14; 9:1-27)

In Daniel 8, an angel explained that God’s sanctuary would be desolate for 2,300 days.1Dan 8:14 The apostle John called this sanctuary New Jerusalem2Rev 3:12; 21:2 —it was the spiritual city of the saints.

In Daniel 9, the desolation of New Jerusalem was explained by the desolation of Jerusalem. Daniel confessed the sins of Israel:

Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving-kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments … we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled…. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws … Cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.3Dan 9:4-17

After Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel told him that 70 sevens were decreed for Israel to put an end to its transgressions, to make amends for its iniquities, to anoint the most Holy, and to end its sacrifice and offerings.4Dan 9:27

The angel said that the people of the Prince to come would destroy the city and the sanctuary.5Dan 9:26 This was the desolation prophesied in Chapter 8. Satan would desolate the Sanctuary of God when he exalted himself as high as Christ, as high as the Captain of the Armies.6Dan 8:11

The angel said, “At the Holy Place shall be the one who makes desolate.”7Dan 9:27 Jesus quoted this verse of Daniel when He said, “When you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let those in Judea flee to the mountains.”8Mat 24:15-16 The power of Satan would stand in the holy place—the place that should have been occupied by God.

Finally, the angel concluded, “Desolations are determined until the end of the war, until the consummation is poured out on the desolator.”9Dan 9:27 These desolations are to continue until the sanctuary is fully cleansed, when the power of Satan, which John called “the beast,” is cast into the fire,10Rev 19:20 which, we shall discover, is after 2,300 years, not 2,300 days.