The 2300-day Prophecy: Building on Assumptions

By Ernesto Gil

The SDA church teaches that the "2300 evenings and mornings" prophecy of Daniel 8:14 was fulfilled on October 22, 1844. The church teaches that it was William Miller who, while led by the Holy Spirit, discovered that the starting point of the "2300 evenings and mornings" prophecy was the same as the "70 weeks" prophecy of Daniel 9. While there is scant Biblical evidence showing the two prophecies have a common starting point, the purpose of this article is not to question the linkage between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9, but to question the starting and ending points of the "2300 evenings and mornings" prophecy with the assumption that both prophecies begin at the same time.

When did the prophecy start?

According to Daniel 9, the "70 weeks" prophecy was to start with the "going forth" of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem.  According to the SDA interpretation, this occurred on the seventh year of Artaxerxes' reign.

When was Artaxerxes' 7th year? To answer this we must first determine when Artaxerxes reigned. In order to do this, we must turn to Claudius Ptolemy, a first century Astrologer/Astronomer and Mathematician who among his writings, created a list of kings (which has been questioned by some scholars). According to Ptolemy's king list Artaxerxes reigned from 464 BC, thus placing his 7th year on 457 BC.

Many scholars believe that Xerxes died on the fifth month of 465 BC. They base their belief on the writings of a Babylonian cuneiform tablet stating that Xerxes was murdered on the fifth month of a year with two eclipses. According to scholars, the year with two eclipses has been verified to be 465 BC. It is also said that Artaxerxes did not start his first official year until March-April of 464 BC.

It is not the intention of this article to prove or disprove these dates for there are many disagreements among scholars themselves on this subject. It is simply worth noting that the pioneer Adventists do not provide one shred of evidence to the accuracy of Ptolemy's canon (unless one wants to assume that the pioneers were experts in Astronomy). For the sake of argument, we will also assume that Ptolemy's canon is correct and will place Artaxerxes' first year in 464 BC.

In the Review and Herald of January 17, 1856, we read:

"For example: The 70 weeks and 2300 days date from the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus. The commencement of his reign was B. C. 464. This is demonstrated by the agreement of above twenty eclipses that have been repeatedly calculated, and have been found to fall in the time specified. Before it can be shown that his reign is wrongly fixed, it must first be shown that those eclipses have been wrongly calculated. This no one has or ever will venture to do; consequently the commencement of his reign cannot be removed from that point." R&H Vol. VII., Jan. 17, 1856, No. 16, "The Times of the Gentiles"

SDA prophetic scholar Uriah Smith writes:

"After a reign of seven years, Cyrus left the kingdom to his son Cambyses, who reigned seven years and five months, to B.C. 522. Eight monarchs, whose reigns varied from seven months to 46 years each, took the throne in order till the year B.C. 336, as follows:
  1. Smerdis the Magian, seven months, in the year B.C. 522;
  2. Darius Hystaspes, from B.C. 521 to 486;
  3. Xerxes from B.C. 485 to 465;
  4. Artaxerxes Longimanus, from B.C. 464 TO 424;
  5. Darius Nothus, from B.C. 423 to 405;
  6. Artaxerxes Mnemon, from B.C. 404 to 359;
  7. Ochus, from B.C. 358 to 338;
  8. Arses, from B.C. 337 to 336"
Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith

Note that Ptolemy's cannon states when the commencement of Artaxerxes' reign was and not when Artaxerxes' seventh year was. In other words, the date which is supposed to be proven by over "twenty eclipses" is 464 BC and not 457 BC. Why is this important? Because Miller was not particularly known for his math skills. Miller believed that the 2300 years started on Artaxerxes' 7th year, so in order to find out when Artaxerxes' 7th year was, he subtracted 7 from 464 BC (Artaxerxes' first official year) resulting in 457 BC. After that, all he had to do was to subtract 457 BC from 2300 to come up with 1843. He then concluded that Jesus was returning in the Jewish year 1843, which started on March/April 1843 and ended on March/April 1844.

For those who have not noticed, both calculations are wrong:

  1. Subtracting 7 from 464 to determine Artaxerxes' 7th year is not the right method. If we use Miller's method then finding out Artaxerxes' second year should work as well, right?
    464 - 2 = 462. In actuality, Artaxerxes' second year started in 463 BC, not in 462 BC. Therefore, Artaxerxes' seventh year actually began in 458 BC, not 457 BC.

  2. Miller also subtracted 457 from 2300 to arrive at 1843. This happens to be okay because there is no year zero (After the year 1 BC comes the year 1 AD). Miller believed that Jesus was going to return at the end of the Jewish year 1843 or Mar/April 1844.

So now, assuming Artaxerxes began his reign in 464 BC, let us calculate the dates:

1st year March-April 464 - 463
2nd year 463 - 462
3rd year 462 - 461
4th year 461 - 460
5th year 460 - 459
6th year 459 - 458
7th year March-April 458 - 457

Ezra 7:8 says:

"And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him."

If the first month of Artaxerxes' 7th year is March-April 458 BC, and this is the starting point of the 2300 years, then the end of the 2300 years would have been on Feb./March 1843, twelve months before Miller's original Mar/April 1844 prediction! Of course, Miller's first prediction (end of Jewish year 1843 or March 1844) failed and the Millerites suffered the first disappointment (a term not generally used by SDA's. They usually only refer to the great disappointment that occurred on October 22, 1844.)

How did the SDA pioneers pick October 22, 1844?

There are three ways the SDA pioneers calculated the October 22, 1844 date.

I) George Storrs. (Original way)

"`Behold, the Bridegroom cometh' this year; `go ye out to meet Him.' We have done with the nominal churches and the world, except so far as this cry may affect them. Our work is now to wake up the `virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom.' Where are we now? `If the vision tarry, wait for it.' Is not that our answer since last March or April? - Yes. What happened while the bridegroom tarried? - The virgins all slumbered and slept, did they not? Christ's words have not failed; and `the Scriptures can not be broken,' and it is of no use for us to pretend that we have been awake; we have been slumbering, not on the fact of Christ's coming, but on the time. We came into the tarrying time; we did not know `how long' it would tarry, and on that point we have slumbered. Some of us have said in our sleep, `Don't fix another time;' so we slept. Now the trouble is to wake us up. Lord, help, for vain is the help of man. Speak Thyself, Lord. O that the `Father' may now `make known' the time! "How long is the tarrying time? - Half a year. How do you know? - Because our Lord says, `At midnight,' while the bridegroom tarried. The vision was for `twenty-three hundred evening-mornings,' or days. An `evening,' or night, is half of one of those prophetic days, and is therefore six months. That is the whole length of the tarrying time. The present strong cry of time commenced about the middle of July, and has spread with great rapidity and power." The Tarrying Night

In the same article in the Midnight Cry, we read:

"But how came we into this tarrying night? - Because we commenced the vision [of the 2,300 days] in the spring, instead of the fall, 457 B. C., we fell short of reaching the destined port six months and a few days over. It threw us into the tarrying night six months." Storr's Six Sermons

Here we can see how the pioneers "borrowed" excerpts from other visions (Habakkuk: "If the vision tarry, wait for it"), and how they assumed that the Ten Virgins waited from noon to midnight, thus making the waiting time exactly half a day or six months to justify their unscriptural notion that they could figure out the exact date of Jesus' return.

II) Samuel Snow.

Samuel Snow showed greater proof by introducing the Karaite Jew's way of reckoning the New Year:

"Samuel S. Snow had arrived on the camp ground. Hardly had he dismounted from his panting horse than word got around that here was a man with a message. Snow strode to the platform and expounded his view, based on the reckoning of the Karaite Jews, that the 2300 day-years of Daniel 8:14 would actually end on October 22, 1844. The camp meeting was electrified." Paul A. Gordon & James R. Nix, for the Ellen G. White Estate, in The Footsteps of the Pioneers

Mr. Snow learned about a Jewish sect (KARAITES or CARAITES) who believes that the Jews keep the feasts on the wrong days. The Karaites believe that the new method of calculating the feasts is not Scriptural for it is calculated in advance instead of doing it by the old way of New Moon sighting (every month) and checking the barley crops (for the new year). Mr. Snow believed in the way the Karaites figured out the New Year and in Aug 1844, he figured out that the 10th day of the 7th month of the year 1844 was going to be October 22nd.

"The Millerite Adventists had at first expected the Lord to come sometime in the Jewish year which ended in the spring, March 21, 1844, but even before that date had arrived there were suggestions that time might linger a little longer. As early as February, 1844, Samuel S. Snow had urged the autumn of 1844 as the time of Christ's coming, but it was not until the Exeter camp meeting, August 12-17, that the October 22 date took hold." Paul A. Gordon & James R. Nix, for the Ellen G. White Estate

The question is, how did Mr. Snow know when the NEW MOON of October was going to become visible in Israel? What Mr. Snow did, was exactly what the Karaites believed the Jews were doing wrong. Mr. Snow did not use the KARAITE New moon/Barley "sighting" (in Israel) method. As far as we know, Mr. Snow did not check the Barley crops in Israel in order to determine when the New Year started. He obviously did not wait until the sighting of the new moon in October since he determined the date in advance (August 1844).

Mr. Snow calculated the Astronomical new moon (conjunction) but did not take into consideration that this new moon cannot be seen! The first visual moon after the conjunction can be seen 15 to 48 hours after the Astronomical new moon. This means that the first day of the 7th month, assuming it was on October (more on that in a moment) could have been 15 to 48 hours after October 11th1 (conjunction for October, 1844).

I have been exchanging E-mails with a Karaite Jew and this is what he said:

"Hebrew dates begin the evening before. So if October 14th is the beginning of the month, the new moon was seen the prior evening (on October 13th). Whether the moon was actually sighted on the evening BEFORE October 14th is unknown. However, given the astronomical data it can be said with 100% certainty that the new moon would not have been visible the evening BEFORE October 13th whereas the evening BEFORE October 14th it would have been clearly visible (barring poor weather conditions)."

The Pioneer's wrote:

"From a full and careful review and examination of the question, we are still convinced that the true Jewish seventh month could only synchronize with our October, - commencing with the first appearance of the new moon on the 13th of that month, and ending with the appearance of the new moon on the 11th of November." R&H Vol. X., Sep. 3, 1857. - No. 18 The Time in our Year of the True Seventh Month

What does all this mean? There is no way that the 10th day of the 7th month (assuming it was October) could have fallen on October 22nd due to the fact that the first appearance of the new moon could not have been visible the evening before October 13th. The best SDAs can ever hope for, is that the first visible new moon (In Israel) was on October 13th thus making the 14th the 1st day of the 7th month and the 23rd (October 22nd sunset to October 23rd at sunset) the 10th. SDAs have argued that since we are dealing with Israel’s time, then October 22nd at sunset to October 23rd at sunset translates to October 22nd 10:00AM to October 23rd 10:00AM Boston time. This argument hold very little weight because Karaite Jews throughout the world DO NOT observe the seventh day and all the other Jewish feasts at the same time they are observed in Israel. Furthermore, it is evident the pioneers had a different understanding2:

"With bated breath the Adventists, no less than fifty thousand and probably nearer one hundred thousand scattered largely across the northeastern portion of North America, arose to greet the eventful day, Tuesday, October 22, 1844. Some sought vantage points where they could peer into the clear heavens, hoping to catch a first glimpse of the coming of their returning Lord. When would Jesus come? The morning hours slowly passed and noon came, then midafternoon; finally darkness settled upon the earth. But it was still October 22, and it would be till midnight. At last that hour came, but Jesus did not come. The disappointment was almost beyond description. In later years some wrote of the experience. Hiram Edson gave a vivid account of how they looked for the coming of the Lord "until the clock tolled twelve at midnight. Then our disappointment became a certainty." Of his experience in the depths of sorrow he wrote: Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept and wept, till the day dawn." (Ellen G. White: The Early Years Vol. 1, page 53)

According to the words of Hiram Edson, they became disappointed at midnight (Boston time) but in reality, all the rituals, including the entering of the Most Holy Place, were not performed until the last 12 hours of the day (sunrise to sunset). In other words, following the pioneers thinking (they waited the whole 24 hours) the disappointment should have occurred sometime after 10:00 AM on October 23rd thus the proper term should be “the October 23rd disappointment” and the doctrine should teach that October 23rd marked the end of the 2300 evenings and mornings.

According to SDA historian J.N. Loughborough:

"The tenth day of the seventh month, Jewish time (Oct. 22, 1844), at last came. ... The hours passed slowly by, and when at last the sun sank below the western horizon, the Jewish tenth day of the seventh month was ended. The shades of night once more spread their gloomy pall over the world; but with that darkness came a pang of sadness to the hearts of the advent believers..." Great Second Advent Movement, p. 183

Here it seems that either Mr. Loughborough’s3 “sunset to sunset” notion affected his description of what took place on that day, or the pioneers had different views on how the 22nd of October should be reckoned. Nevertheless, we can see that they were also mistaken for the 10th day of the 7th Jewish month would have ended “when at last the sun sank below the western horizon” on the 23rd of October.

From this statement we can clearly see that the Adventists were generally not aware that, assuming that the 7th Jewish month was on our October, the 10th day was the 23rd (22nd sunset to 23rd sunset) and not the 22nd.4

If this is not enough proof that the Pioneers were mistaken, every Jewish calendar calculates Yom Kippur for the year 1844 on September and not on October. I have found no proof that on 1844 the Karaites would have celebrated Yom Kippur on October.5 As a matter of fact, I asked a member of the Karaite Jews and this is what he stated:

"That Yom Kippur 1844 was celebrated by the Karaites in September and not October is confirmed by a Karaite Tomb Stone inscription cited by Abraham Firkowitz in his book "Avnei Zicharon" (lit. 'Stones of Remembrance'. published Vilna 1872). It should be noted that while claims have been made that Firkowitz altered some of the inscriptions cited in his book, all of these dubious accusations are in regards to Tomb Stones from the early centuries of the Common Era and there can be no doubt as to the authenticity of the later Tomb Stones, especially those from the 19th century.  On p.242 Firkowitz quotes from a Karaite Tomb Stone from the "New Cemetery" in Gozlow that reads:
"And Yosef Shlomoh died at seventy five years of age.  And all Israel mourned him and cried for him 'Woe master and woe his glory'. And they buried him in great honor on the 12th day of the month Tevet in the year 605 of the sixth millennium since creation according to our counting, and according to the counting of Rome, the tenth of the month December in their year 1844 here in Gozlow, or Yeupetoria, on the Crimean Peninsula in the reign of the master the great and mighty Czar, King of Russia and the other lands, that is, the Emperor his majesty Nicolai the first Pavelovitz in the twentieth year of his reign, and in the sixty-first year of this Crimean Peninsula being under the rule of the Kings of Russia since the days of the Czarina Catherine the Second who conquered it from the hand of the Tartaric king and Shekhan Gari Khan who was king of Crimea at that time."

As can be seen the Karaite date 12 Tevet corresponds to December 10, 1844. Bearing in mind that the Russian Empire used the Julian calendar, December 10 of the Julian year must be understood to refer to December 22 in the Gregorian year (i.e. the system used universally today).  If 12 Tevet was equivalent to December 22, 1844 (Gregorian) then Tevet would have begun on December 10 (Gregorian).  Bearing in mind that Tevet is the tenth Hebrew month and Tishrei (in which Yom Kippur falls out) is the seventh Hebrew month it becomes clear that Yom Kippur 1844 must have been celebrated in late September and not late October.

There is one more interesting fact about Snow's theory that contradicts another SDA fact...

The date of Jesus' death

Pioneers adopted Snow's idea that the Jewish calendar always started on the New Year in April. (Snow's interpretation of the Karaite reckoning is not really accurate because Karaite Jews used the Moon/barley sighting method which did not necessarily mean every new year started on April.)

"According to the Karaite Jews, the true year cannot commence until the appearance of the new moon in April. They are strict observers of the Mosaic law." R&H Vol. X., Sept. 3, 1857, - No. 18. The Time in our Year of the True Seventh Month

Uriah Smith wrote:

"In the consulate of Tiberius Caesar Aug. v. and AElius Sejanus (U.C. 784, A.D. 31), our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, on the 8th of the Calends of April (25th of March)." Daniel and the Revelation, Seventy Weeks

If, according to Snow's misconception of the Karaite Jews' view, the true year cannot commence until the appearance of the new moon in April, then why does Uriah Smith say that Jesus died on the 25th of March? If we were to apply the same "SDA/Karaite logic", then SDAs would have to accept the "SDA/Karaite fact" that the first month of 31 AD started on April 10th, thus placing Jesus crucifixion on Sunday the 24th of April (assuming that March 25th was a Friday)!

What happened to Mr. Samuel S. Snow? What happened to the person who was responsible for finding all this new light? What happened to the man who had all the answers as to why Jesus failed to return as Miller had predicted at the end of the Jewish year of 1843?

"For a brief time after the disappointment, Snow questioned as to whether a mistake had been made in the prophetic reckoning of the year, and searched for another time or event. He rejected the message Hiram Edson had received, that the date had indeed been correct, and that Jesus had then entered the most holy place and had a work to do before He would return to the earth. He continued searching for a definite time for Christ's return. He preached it would be October 22, of 1845, 1846, or 1847...

"In May, 1845, Snow fancied himself to be Elijah, the prophet. In a chapter entitled A Proclamation, from a book he wrote, he declared about himself,

"'By the special favor of God, through Jesus Christ. . . , I have been called and commissioned to go before the face of the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way for His descent from heaven. . . as His Prime Minister, I demand of all Kings, Presidents, Magistrates, and Rulers, civil or ecclesiastical, a full surrender of all power and authority, into my hands, on behalf of King Jesus the Coming One. . . . WAR, FAMINE, PESTILENCE, and DESTRUCTION. . .shall go forth among the nations more and more, till the earth be utterly desolate. Then shall ye know that a prophet hath been among you.'
"His followers began publishing The True Day Star, Dec. 29, 1845, proclaiming that Jesus was King and Snow, his messenger, Elijah. Snow also refused to endorse the movement which was growing under the leadership of James and Ellen White. Denouncing a woman in the pulpit, he said, 'Let your woman [sic] keep silent in the congregation. . . . I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over man, but to be in silence.' Neither did he accept the additional light, such as the seventh-day Sabbath and the sleeping state of the dead.

"He preached his last sermon, Sunday, July 13, 1870, at the Mount Zion Church. He died at the age of 84, according to his funeral service. Snow's thinking had become twisted, and he continued believing himself to be Elijah until the day he died. From Samuel Snow's life we can understand that God may use a man to present actual truth, but that fact will in no wise preserve him from undue exaltation nor from erring from the path of truth."
(Lest We Forget Volumes 1 - 4 (1991 - 1994) A Quarterly Adventist Pioneer Library Periodical, LWF Volume 3, Second Quarter, 1993 Number 2 Adventist Pioneer Library, "Samuel S. Snow 1806 - 1870 Modern Elijah?")


"The days were to date from the beginning of the work of restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25;) but Ezra and his company did not arrive at Jerusalem till the fifth month (Ezra 7:8;) and certainly they could not have employed less than two months in locating themselves, and getting ready to build, which would carry the date into the seventh month." Uriah Smith: 1832 - 1903, Parable of the Ten Virgins

This is what they are basing their belief on: Assumptions! They distorted and added to the truth to prove that they were right! This is what happens when people disregard Jesus' words that no one will know when His return will be. Adventists should have trusted Jesus' words rather than Miller, Snow, Uriah Smith, and Ellen White. There is not one shred of Biblical evidence stating that the 2300 evenings and mornings prophecy ended on October 22, 1844. The only "evidence" SDA's supply is the writings of Ptolemy, the assumptions of Samuel Snow (a false prophet) and the unscriptural assumption that the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was on the 7th month of Artaxerxes' seventh year.

See also

External links


1. There has been some discussion on internet forums as to when the seventh month of 1844 actually began. While this web page originally indicated the conjunction occurred on Oct. 13, further research has proven it happened on Oct. 11. It is of interest to note that even SDAs such as Uriah Smith miscalculated the date:

“As those days ended in 1844, it was only necessary to find the tenth day of the seventh month, Jewish time, of that year; and as the year began with the first new moon after the vernal equinox, the seventh month began on October 12, and the tenth day of that month fell on October 22.” Looking unto Jesus, p. 215

2. I want to point out that if any believe I “distorted the facts” regarding the time zone, then they have no other choice but to also believe that the following statements are “distortion of the facts”:

“The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October…” TGC p. 399

“A careful study of types and antitypes led to the observation that the crucifixion of Christ took place on the very day in the yearly round of ceremonies given to Israel when the Passover lamb was slain. Would not the cleansing of the sanctuary typified in the Day of Atonement--falling on the tenth day of the seventh month--likewise take place on the very day in the year celebrated in the type? (see GC, p. 399). This, according to the true Mosaic reckoning of time, would be October 22. Early in August, 1844, at a camp meeting at Exeter, New Hampshire, this view was introduced and it was accepted as the date for the fulfillment of the prophecy of the 2300 days. The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 took on particular significance--the tarrying of the bridegroom, the waiting and slumbering of those who awaited the marriage, the cry at midnight, the shutting of the door, et cetera. The message that Christ was coming on October 22 came to be known as the "midnight cry." Ellen G. White: The Early Years, Vol. 1, p.50

“As the five women were praying that December morning in South Portland, one question was uppermost in their minds: Was the experience through which they had just passed in 1844 one in which God led? Was prophecy fulfilled on October 22, or was their experience a delusion without sound scriptural support and without the leadings of the Spirit of God? In their hearts they cried out, "Why, oh, why were we disappointed? The vision answered the first question. God had led them in their past experience. The Midnight Cry was in the providence of God.” Ibid., p. 59

“At the next meeting held in her parents' home she recounted in careful detail what had been shown to her in the vision. What a relief this brought to the Adventists in Portland! They knew Ellen; they knew her family. They had heard that a vision had been given to her, and when they heard it from her own lips they accepted what she told them as a message from God. It met a need in their experience. According to James White there were about sixty belonging to the Advent band in Portland who accepted the vision and through it regained their confidence in the fulfillment of prophecy concerning October 22, 1844” Ibid., p. 62

“To understand better what was happening, we should review a bit. The Adventists in their experience of expectation in 1844 had absolute confidence that Jesus would come on October 22. They allowed not one doubting thought. No mental reservation allowed for the question "What if Jesus does not come?" So certain were they that crops of hay, grain, and potatoes were left unharvested in the fields. There was a certainty that all things earthly would end sometime on Tuesday, October 22” Ibid., p. 67

3. That Mr. Loughborough was an authority on this subject can be shown from the preface to his book:

"THERE are already many useful books in the hands of the people, and my apology for adding another to the list, is that in these pages I state many things concerning Adventists, and especially Seventh-day Adventists, which have not heretofore been brought in this form before the people. Besides this, many who espoused the cause in later years, and who have not witnessed the things mentioned, have earnestly requested a narration of these facts and experiences from those earlier in the work. Having been familiar with the advent movement in 1843 and 1844, and having, since Jan. 2, 1849, proclaimed the doctrine, first as an Adventist, and since 1852 as a Seventh-day Adventist, I esteem it a pleasure to "speak the things I have seen and heard… In addition to my own observations, I have also presented the testimony of other eyewitnesses respecting their experiences. Such facts should have more weight with the candid reader than random statements made by those who have never been present on such occasions."

It is also worth noting that Mr. Loughborough’s book was endorsed by the church's prophet:

“Pioneer History to Be Kept Before the People.--The record of the experience through which the people of God passed in the early history of our work must be republished. Many of those who have since come into the truth are ignorant of the way in which the Lord wrought. The experience of William Miller and his associates, of Captain Joseph Bates, and of other pioneers in the Advent message should be kept before our people. Elder Loughborough's book should receive attention. Our leading men should see what can be done for the circulation of this book” The Publishing Ministry, page 30 [* REFERENCE IS HERE MADE TO THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS, PUBLISHED IN 1892 BY J.N. LOUGHBOROUGH (REVISED IN 1905 AS THE GREAT SECOND ADVENT MOVEMENT ).]

4. With a spirit of fairness, it appears not all of the Adventists held to the Oct. 22 date. The following appeared in the Oct. 19, 1844, issue of The Midnight Cry:

"TIME AT JERUSALEM. - If that is to be the standard, we may not see the tenth day till Oct. 23d, for the new moon was not till the morning of Oct. 12th at Jerusalem, and if it did not appear till the evening of the 13th, then the first day of the tenth month might, even, be as late as the 14th, and the tenth day might therefore be on the 24th. Let us, therefore, not cast away our confidence, if the Lord should not come on the 23d of this month. But let none presume upon the continuance of time beyond the 22d." The Midnight Cry, October 19, 1844, page 132.

These statements (which are not official SDA statements) reinforce my argument: Even if the SDA church makes an enormous amount of assumptions ranging from the alleged connection between the 70 ‘sevens’ and the 2300 evening and mornings prophecy, to the meaning of its fulfillment, there is no valid reason why they should preach that October 22nd, 1844 marks the end of the 2300 evenings and mornings. At best, they should state that October 23rd, 1844 (Jewish time) marks the end of the 2300 evenings and mornings.

5. The following E-mail from pastor Sydney Cleveland further emphasizes the validity of the September date:

I am well aware of the attempts of ultra-conservative SDAs trying to figure out a way to salvage Ellen White's October 22, 1844 debacle. I am also well aware that a very great portion of both SDA scholars, educated lay people and leaders have already come out -- and continue to come out -- with statements to the effect that Ellen G. White was simply wrong. Hence, those in Seventh-day Adventism who try to prove Ellen White correct in her teaching on October 22, 1844 are not only going against the historical facts, against the Biblical facts, against ancient and modern Jewish scholarship -- but also against their own Seventh-day Adventist church!

Much of what is being tossed about by the ultra-conservatives in Adventism is designed to draw one into a wild goose chase. It is beyond question that long before 1844, Rabbinical Jews had already decided upon a lunar calendar for universally determining the time for the barley to reach the stage of Abib. The reason for this is obvious -- it provided the entire Jewish world with a consistent, predictable time for celebrating the Day of Atonement. It is also beyond question the Karaite Jews used a very slight variation in their calculations and therefore arrived at a date that either coincided with that of the Rabbinical Jews, or only missed their date by a couple of days. I repeat, this was all in place long before Ellen White began to anticipate Jesus would come on October 22, 1844 -- and long before she wrote anything on the subject. This Rabbinical calendar is what Ellen White referred to when she made her published statements. And remember, EGW NEVER referred to a Karaite calendar -- she always made her statements on the basis of the Mosaic/Rabbinical calendar.

Therefore, let's go back to the original statements from the pen of the false prophet, Ellen G. White. She wrote: "Under the MOSAIC SYSTEM the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month. .. The tenth day of the seventh month the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the 22nd of October .." -- The Great Controversy, pp. 400, 457.

Now, don't miss this. EGW approved the October 22, 1844 date on the basis of the Mosaic/Rabbinical system. She did not approve it on the basis of any Babylonian calendar, nor on the basis of any Karaite calculations. She based it on the calculations of the Rabbinical Jews in harmony with the Mosaic laws. And these Rabbinical calculations are the ones which, in 1844, identified the Jewish Day of Atonement (10th of Tishri) as September 23. This fact is attested to by the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jewish Calendars, the Jewish Encyclopedia, every reputable Jewish scholar -- and even the entire Karaite system of scholars. Ellen White was simply wrong in looking for the Day of Atonement on October 22.

It is only Seventh-day Adventism's last-ditch effort to divert us from EGW's obvious error that asks us to look for the barley Abib. But again, that is a diversion from EGW's own statement. It is a smoke-screen designed to hide and/or confuse the facts which EGW herself wrote down on paper and published around the world. She chose October 22 on the basis of S. S. Snow's claim to have received that date "from the Father" in vision. Thus we have a false prophet being lied to by another false prophet to produce a false doctrine!

That brings us to the so-called "Karaite" calendar. Once again, let us remember the EGW never sanctioned any Karaite date. It was S. S. Snow who brought forth the so-called "Karaite Calendar" deception in order to justify his claim to being an inspired prophet of God (i.e. the "Elijah" who was to come). Ellen White agreed to his deception and sanctioned HIS date of October 22.

One last thing we must remember. What Ellen White wrote in the Great Controversy was the full "official" explanation and "official" endorsement of Snow's lies. But, the facts are very clear, that at the time, Ellen White and her husband continued to hope against hope that Jesus would come soon on October 22, 1844 -- then in 1845, 1846, 1847 and so on. So the facts are, that, at the time, Ellen White herself was neither inspired nor even sure herself when the actual Day of Atonement was (and therefore, by extension, when Jesus would return). In other words, her anticipation was merely that of trying to force a myth to become reality. It did not work.

However, three decades after the debacle, after a "face-saving" spin had been put on the entire lying affair, Ellen White confidently wrote: "of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844." -- Great Controversy, page 401. In this Ellen White blatantly lied! Thus the so-called "Great Disappointment" is truly the "Great Lie!"
(E-mail from Sydney Cleveland to Azenilto Brito, July 16, 2001)

Category: 1844 Movement
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