Daniel 8:11-13: The Daily Sacrifice
Posted on 10 May 2012 01:58 PM
What is the daily sacrifice from Daniel 8, and what does it mean for us today?

Here's what Daniel 8:11-13 says:

Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

This is a big subject. A lot can be said about it, and whole books have been written arguing different points of belief. But let's keep it simple and to the point. I will tell you what our pioneers believed it to be, with Ellen White’s endorsement and what many commonly believe and teach and preach today and where it comes from.

There was a time when we were nearly all united on this point. Our early Pioneers nearly all agreed that “the daily” referred to paganism. This is true of William Miller, Joseph Bates, Uriah Smith, O.A. Johnson, Steven Haskell, James White, Hiram Edison, J.N. Loughborough, J.N. Andrews, and Ellen G. white, to mention a few. They understood “the daily” to refer to paganism. They perceived that paganism was a hindrance to the setting up of the Papacy (the transgression of desolation). They also agreed that the word “sacrifice" does not belong there and that it was put there by the translators. It is a supplied word and is in italics in the KJV Bible.

Here are thoughts from the pioneers on this issue:

Ellen White
Then I saw in relation to the 'daily' (Daniel 8:12) that the word 'sacrifice' was supplied by man's wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the 'daily,' but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed (Early Writings, 74-75).

William Miller
I read on, and could find no other case in which it [the daily] was found but in Daniel. I then [by the aid of a concordance] took those word which stood in connection with it, 'take away;' he shall take away the daily; 'from the time that the daily shall be taken away' I read on and thought I would find no light on the text. Finally I came to 2Thessalonians 2:7-8, 'For the mystery of iniquity does already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked be revealed.' And when I had come to that text, O how clear and glorious the truth appeared. There it is! That is the daily! Well, now, what does Paul mean by 'he who now letteth' or hindereth? By 'the man of sin,' and 'the wicked,' Popery is meant. Well what is it that hinders Popery from being revealed? Why it is Paganism. Well, then, 'the daily' must mean paganism (Review and Herald, January, 1858).

Josiah Litch
The daily sacrifice is the present reading of the text; but no such thing as sacrifice is found in the original. This is acknowledged on all hands. It is a gloss or construction put upon it by the translators. The true reading is, 'the daily and the transgression of desolation;' daily and transgression being connected together by 'and;' the daily and the transgression of desolation. They are two desolating powers which were to desolate the Sanctuary and the host (Review and Herald, January, 1858).

Uriah Smith
[The word sacrifice] should be 'desolation.' The expression denotes a desolating power, of which the abomination of desolation is but the counterpart, and to which it succeeds in point of time. It seems clear therefore that the 'daily' desolation was paganism, and the 'abomination of desolation' is the Papacy…In the ninth chapter, Daniel speaks of desolations and abominations in the plural. More than one abomination, therefore, treads down the church; that is, as far as the church is concerned, both paganism and the Papacy are abominations. But as distinguished from each other, the language is restricted. One is the 'daily' desolation, and the other is pre-eminently the transgression or 'abomination' of desolation. "How was the 'daily', or paganism, taken away?

…The conversion of Clovis [A.D. 496] is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the French monarch the titles 'Most Christian Majesty' and 'Eldest Son of the Church.' Between that time and A.D. 508, [the other horns of Europe] were brought into subjection.

From…A.D. 508, the Papacy was triumphant so far as paganism was concerned…When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity as exhibited in the Roman Catholic Church was, and is, only paganism baptized (Daniel and the Revelation, 270-272).

Several books by Lewis Were refute Smith's application from the Scriptures and from the historical controversy. During World War I and II, Adventists evangelists would apply Smith's application and draw people into Adventism based upon the approaching crises. Once the war ended, those who joined Adventism found that the logic that was employed to draw them into Adventism was false as the Armaggedon claim never works out, those people and more beyond would flee Adventism.

James White's main accusation against Smith was that he was using current events to establish prophetic truth, as opposed to using prophetic analysis to identify current events. We now have documented history that the fruits of Smith's application has been nothing but detrimental to Adventism.

I trust this point is clear. The early pioneer view of “the daily" was that it was paganism. Nineteenth-century Adventists were virtually unanimous in this view.

But since the early 1900's, Conradi's "new view" has captured nearly all Seventh-day Adventists:


a. "The Daily" is the ministry of the antitypical High Priest that was "taken away" by the Papacy. This view is identical to the Antiochus Epiphanes view in principle: so that it sees an antitypical fulfillment in the Papacy, whereas Antiochus constitutes the typical fulfillment.

b. Thus, it is impossible to exclude Antiochus consistently; he has to be considered the "primary" fulfillment the Holy Spirit intended. Reason and logic make it easy to see him as the exclusive application. This is John F. Walvoord's strong contention.

c. The Conradi view becomes captive to the Seventh-day Adventist type/antitype principle.

d. Seen in this light, present antiSanctuary agitation becomes the natural outgrowth of the "new view" adopted 75 years ago. It justifies, in principle, antiAdventism from Miller's 1844 era. If the Papacy truly "took away" Christ's high priestly ministry, Antiochus must be the first or primary application of the prophecy. This was Desmond Ford's position clearly, even boldly, stated in his master's thesis at Andrews University before the beginning of his meteoric Seventh-day Adventist career.

W.H. Olson argues forcefully that the new view logically requires repudiation of Ellen White for it dissolves the 1844 position: "The whole 1844 structure falls hopelessly apart." There is no support for the "new view" in Ellen White's writings; her only statement supports the pioneer view. She repeatedly deplores the agitation of the "new view." Her advice is to study the Bible as honest Christians.

Ellen White recognized that one view is true, the other is false. She called it "the true meaning of 'the daily.” Therefore, this argument is not meaningless or trivial.

The "new view" is what created needless, unfortunate controversy that never existed prior to Conradi's view. Tension is inevitable because the two views are diametrically opposite:

• Pioneers see "the daily" as the work of Satan, the evil of paganism exalted and absorbed into something worse—papalism. 
• The "new view" sees "the daily" as the work of Christ; His High Priestly ministry successfully removed by Satan. No two views of anything could be further apart.

A superficial reading of Daniel 8:11-13 appears to lean to the "new view," largely due to prejudice created by pro-Antiochus translators. However, careful regard for Hebrew ha tamid in 11:31 and 12:11, 12 raises insurmountable problems with that view.

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Comments (3)
Ben Astatkie
01 November 2012 02:47 PM
At one point a little later in the discussions, Elder Daniells, accompanied by W. C. White and C. C. Crisler, eager to get from Ellen White herself just what the meaning was of her Early Writings statement, went to her and laid the matter before her. Daniells took with him Early Writings and the 1843 chart. He sat down close to Ellen White and plied her with questions. His report of this interview was confirmed by W. C. White: – {6BIO 256.2}
I first read to Sister White the statement given above in Early Writings. Then I placed before her our prophetic chart used by our ministers in expounding the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. I called her attention to the picture of the sanctuary and also to the 2300-year period as they appeared on the chart. – {6BIO 256.3}
I then asked if she could recall what was shown her regarding this subject. – {6BIO 256.4}
As I recall her answer, she began by telling how some of the leaders who had been in the 1844 movement endeavored to find new dates for the termination of the 2300-year period. This endeavor was to fix new dates for the coming of the Lord. This was causing confusion among those who had been in the Advent Movement. – {6BIO 256.5}
In this confusion the Lord revealed to her, she said, that the view that had been held and presented regarding the dates was correct, and that there must never be another time set, nor another time message. – {6BIO 256.6}
I then asked her to tell what had been revealed to her about the rest of the “daily”—the Prince, the host, the taking away of the “daily,” and the casting down of the sanctuary. – {6BIO 256.7}
She replied that these features were not placed before her in vision as the time part was. She would not be led out to make an explanation of those points of the prophecy. – {6BIO 256.8}
The interview made a deep impression upon my mind. Without hesitation she talked freely, clearly, and at length about the 2300-year period, but regarding the other part of the prophecy she was silent. – {6BIO 257.1}
dumba Mubarak
17 March 2013 02:41 PM
thanks for the article.
i would like to extend my esteemed appreciation for your well balanced article.
However putting my view here, allow me to say, am for the miller view point *paganism)
I strongly put it thereof after alot of research i have done on my own that elleng.gwhite was right and if the church, seventhday adventist. ch, continues with this so called new view, which was even a pre-miller view, then ellen.g.white should be regarded as a false prophet end of story
Alex Ortega
16 June 2013 05:58 PM
This statement is confusing to me: "We now have documented history that the fruits of Smith's application has been nothing but detrimental to Adventism."
What documented history? What has been the detrimental result? It seems to me that the absence of any comment on either point makes your article end up with no clear position. Please enlighten me as to your position: EGW and the pioneers or the "new View."
Thank you, ao
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