The Book of Daniel: Unsealed . . . and Sealed Again

Recently, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in reviewing a new book on Daniel. The title of the book was intriguing: Daniel Unsealed: An explanation of the Chrono-Specific Prophecies in the Book of Daniel, Chapters 7-12 as Understood by Daniel (ISBN 13 978-0-9816912-0-6). So, I decided I would review the book in my blog.

I read the book and was very intrigued by the first chapter which, as it turned out, was the key to unlocking the prophecies of Daniel and understanding the remainder of the book. I wrote a post on Chapter 1. My post, “The Book of Daniel and the Restoration of the Sanctuary,” was published on June 7, the same day the people of Israel in 1967 celebrated the transfer of the Temple Mount to Israeli control.

Before I review the book, let me emphasize two things that I did not like in this book. First, the book is anonymous. Nowhere in the book is the name of the author mentioned. Here is an author who desires to reveal the secrets of the book of Daniel and yet chooses to keep his name secret. The decision to omit the name of the author will diminish the influence of the book.

Second, the book does not include a place of publication. It is evident that the book was self-published. The book was published by The Prophecy Society, but the book does not reveal where the society is located. To libraries and people who are interested in the complete bibliographical information of the book, the lack of a place of publication is disappointing. This also diminishes the value of the book. I hope these deficiencies will be corrected in future editions of the book.

Notwithstanding these two deficiencies, one typo, a heavy reliance on the King James Version, and a presence of Strongnosticism, Daniel Unsealed is a remarkable book. The book is remarkable because the author has developed a system that explains all the chrono-specific prophecies in the book of Daniel.

As I mentioned in my first post on the book, the author believes that the key to unlocking the secrets of Daniel is the proper understanding of the prophecy in Daniel 8:1-27, especially the prophecy in Daniel 8:13-14.

According to the author, the expression “two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings” in 8:14 should not be understood as 2300 days nor as 1150 evenings and mornings. Rather, the “evening-morning” of Daniel 8:14 should be identified with the Passover, an “evening-morning” event (Exodus 12: 6-10, 14).

Thus, counting 2300 Passover celebrations after the Battle of Granicus in 334 B.C. mentioned in Daniel 8:6, the 2300th Passover culminates with the transfer of the Temple Mount to Israeli control in 1967, what Daniel called “the restoration of the sanctuary to its rightful state” (Daniel 8:14).

Next, the author tackles the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11 and the 1335 days of Daniel 12:12. According to the author, there are three keys that unlock the meaning of these two dates. The first key is to discover the starting point for counting these days. Since the capture of the Temple Mount in 1967 marks the end of Daniel’s prophecy, the author concludes that the starting point for counting these days is 1967 and that the days should be counted in reverse to reveal the meaning of the prophecy.

The second key is the meaning of the word “day.” Since the expression “evening-morning” in 8:14 was a reference to the Passover, the author believes that the meaning of the word “day” in Daniel 12:11-12 is a reference to the Day of Atonement. The third key is how to count the days mentioned in verses 11 and 12. His conclusion is that there are not two separate time periods but one day period of 1290 days and an extension of 45 days.

Thus, counting 45 Days of Atonement from 1967, the 45th Day of Atonement comes to 1922, the year the League of Nations ratified the Palestine Mandate, an act that established a national home for Israel. Then counting 1290 Days of Atonement from 1922, the 1290th Day of Atonement comes to 632 A.D., the year Mohammed died.

Next, the author deals with the expression “a time, two times, and half a time” in Daniel 12:7. According to the author, the expression refers to the gap between the time Antiochus IV desecrated the temple in 167 B.C. and the death of Mohammed in 632 A.D., a period of 798 years. Thus, “a time” is 228 years. This number is crucial for the interpretation of Chapter 7.

Chapter 7:25 speaks of “a time, two times, and half a time.” This period begins in 161 B.C. and ends in 637 A.D. The first date, 161 B.C., was the year of the Battle of Nicanor when the Maccabeans scored a victory against the Seleucids. The second date, 637 A.D., was the year when the last Passover occurred before Caliph Omar captured the Temple Mount.

The reference to “a season and a time” in Daniel 7:12 begins with the first Passover celebrated in the rededicated Temple in 162 B.C. and ends in 66 A.D., the start of the Jewish-Roman war and the events that led to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.

I do not have the time nor the space to describe how the author interprets the events in Daniel 10:1-11:45. I am more interested in the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in Daniel 9:1-27.

According to the writer, there are several things that must be considered in interpreting Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. First, “the decree to restore Jerusalem” mentioned in 9:25 refers to Julius Caesar’s decree allowing Hyrcanus II to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Second, the mention of “weeks” in v. 25 does not refer to “weeks of years,” that is, 490 years. The word “weeks” refers to the “Festival of Weeks,” or Pentecost. Thus, the sixty-nine weeks of v. 25 refers to sixty-nine Pentecosts. This period begins in 44 B.C. with Julius Caesar’s decree and ends in 27 A.D. with the death of Christ.

The system developed by the author explains every chrono-specific prophecy in the book of Daniel. Time and space do not allow me to explain in detail his interpretation of the Seventy Weeks nor of the events of the last week that culminated with the death and resurrection of Christ.

The book concludes with several supplementary materials to aid the study of the book of Daniel and other issues related to chronology. The writer provides a study of the Hebrew calendar, several tables listing sabbatical years and Jubilee years, a chronology of the reign of Hezekiah (since there is a reference to a Passover and a Jubilee year in his reign), and a chronology of Ezekiel’s prophecies.

The author has developed a system that he has applied throughout the book of Daniel to explain all the prophecies in the book that contain references to dates, what he calls, “chrono-specific prophecies.” One important question must be asked about this book: Did the author of Daniel Unsealed explain and clarify the chrono-specific prophecies of Daniel?

After the author applied his system to the book of Daniel, it becomes very clear that he accomplished the goals he set for his book: to explain all the chrono-specific prophecies of the book. Can you, the reader of the book, accept his conclusions? Yes, you can, provided,

1. Provided that you accept the conclusion that the expression “evening-morning” is a reference to the Passover.

2. Provided that the 1290 days and the 1345 days are counted backwards from 1967 and not forward as it is done by most scholars.

3. Provided that “a time” is interpreted to be 228 years.

4. Provided that the mention of “weeks” is a reference to the Feast of Tabernacles.

5. Provided that the “decree” of Daniel 9:27 is a reference to Julius Caesar’s decree.

6. Provided that the date of the Exodus is 1441 B.C.

7. Provided that Hezekiah became king in 729 B.C.

8. Provided that the book of Daniel was written in the 6th century B.C.

The system that explains the chrono-specific prophecies in Daniel is based on too many presuppositions that are difficult to accept. Some of the presuppositions of the author could be possible, others are not.

I doubt that Daniel was worried about the death of Mohammed, Muslim history, or the decree of Julius Caesar. There is no archaeological evidence that the Exodus occurred in 1441 B.C. and a 729 B.C. date for Hezekiah is almost impossible.

When I began reading the book, I followed the argument of the writer and unsealed the book of Daniel to seek to understand the hidden meanings behind Daniel’s visions and his chrono-specific oracles.

After I finished reading the book and after I evaluated the author’s argument, I decided to seal the book again (Daniel 8:26) and concluded with Daniel himself that the vision “was beyond understanding” (Daniel 8:27).

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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9 Responses to The Book of Daniel: Unsealed . . . and Sealed Again

  1. Daniel says:

    >As the author of Daniel Unsealed, I want to thank you for your review. As a biblical scholar of another age said: "The prophecies concerning Israel are the key to all the rest. True principles of interpretation, in regard to them, will aid us in disentangling and illustrating all prophecy together. False principles as to them [that is Israel] will most thoroughly perplex and overcloud the whole Word of God” … Horatius Bonar (Prophetic Landmarks, 1847). Unfortunately, you seem to have mised the way all of the chrono-specific Danielic prophecies revolve around Israel and the Jerusalem/Temple Mount area, and that is where you missed the subtleties of the interpretations given in the book. Perhaps you were simply too busy during this time of year to dig deeply into the details. However, in view of the course of biblical scholarship in the past hundred years, a less-than-favorable review from a modern scholar is to be expected. Thus, I am not discouraged by your opinions. Fortunately, other respected scholars from a more traditional background are finding much to like about the book. If anyone else reading this response wants to examine the Introduction and Chapter One from the book and decide for yourself, you can do so by going to http://www.prophecysociety.org where pdf excerpts are posted online. And, even though I reject your analysis of my book as you reject my interpretations of Daniel, my appreciation and respect for your work in the Lord are reiterated. God bless.

  2. Daniel says:

    >Also, one correction to your analysis above. The Seventy Weeks (Pentecosts) begin after the decree of Julius Caesar to Hyrcanus II (ethnarch/high priest or in othyer words, annointed/prince) in 44 B.C. The first seven weeks runs from 43 B.C. to 37 B.C., which coincides with the seven-year Sabbatical cycle. The 62 weeks then runs from 37 B.C., the year Herod began to reign as King of the Jews in Jerusalem, to 26 C.E., when the ministry of John the Baptist began. The final year of the 70 weeks closes with the baptism of Jesus in 27 C.E., not with his death as you state above. This is an important distinction. The public ministry of Jesus is from 27 A.D. to 30 A.D. according to my book. There are other errors in your analysis, but that one is a major misrepresentation of what I have presented.

  3. >Daniel,Thank you for your comment and for the opportunity to review your book.I did not fail to notice that Daniel's prophecies are related to the Temple and most scholars know that the writer of Daniel was concerned about the situation of the temple in the days of Antiochus.You have a remarkable book, as I mentioned in my review. However, the problem I have with your book is that it is based on so many presuppositions that if one is not true, then the whole argument fails.The reference to Mohammed and Muslim history is very doubtful. Your date for Hezekiah is almost historically impossible.Although you have a unique approach to your interpretation of Daniel, you propose too many changes that are based on presuppositions. I thank you for the opportunity to review your book. I am sorry that my review did not affirm your interpretation of the book of Daniel.Claude Mariottini

  4. Daniel says:

    >Well, one thing you do admit. My book explains all of the Danielic prophecies in a cogent system, the interpretations match the Biblical chronological specifications exactly, and the interpretations match the historical record exactly. I'm content to leave it there.PS–The KJV was used as the primary version mainly because it is almost imnpossible to get permission to use major portions from any of the newer versions.

  5. Matthew says:

    >Well, as I read the review, I was first open to the idea, but as Prof. Mariottini pointed out, some assumptions are far from being obvious truths.But it's not like nothing could possibly outweigh this. The best way to verify a system would be something interesting that is predicted by this system of interpretation that might happen in the near future. You can always commit the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy, prediction in advance is always better.

  6. Daniel says:

    >No, I did not have to look into the future to see any of the historical events used in the interpretations set forth in Daniel Unsealed, so I cannot do that now. After all, this isn't a "Hal Lindsey"-type book. It is a serious attempt to explain the chronology contained in the Book of Daniel. I simply matched prophecies with historical events, and did so more accurately and completely than has been offered to date by anyone else, in or out of biblical scholarship. I'll try to put a point-by-point answer to the objections raised by Dr. Mariottini on my website, then post the URL here if the host will allow that.

  7. >Matthew,As I mentioned to the writer of the book, some of his assumptions cannot be accepted as historical realities because they are just assumptions.The writer of the book may not like my review because he is so sold out to his views that he cannot see that what he takes to be a fact is just an assumption.Take for instance the "decree" of Daniel 9:25. To say that it refers to Julius Caesar's decree is just an assumption. There is no basis in history for this interpretation.Claude Mariottini

  8. Daniel says:

    >On the contrary, Dr. Mariottini, there is very good evidence for the decree by Julius Caesar. It is recorded in Josephus, Antiquities 14.10.5, as one of the decrees involving the Jews which was made by Caesar just before his death in 44 B.C.E., and confirmed by the Roman Senate shortly thereafter. The decree gave Hyrcanus II, who was the high priest/ethnarch of the Jews (making him an anointed one/prince as described in Daniel 9:25), permission to rebuild the wall and moat destroyed by Pompey in 63 B.C.E., when he captured Jerusalem. Everything fits, including the chronology,as I explain in the book.

  9. >NOTE:Comment on this post is closed.

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