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Home/Articole/PROFETISM/Apocaliptice/Profețiile lui Daniel/The Daily Sacrifice (hattåmîḏ)

The Daily Sacrifice (hattåmîḏ)

As it is known, William Miller and the Millerites identified “the daily [sacrifice]” of Daniel 8:11-13; 11:31; 12:11 to the ancient paganism, replaced by the medioeval Antichrist abomination. He reached such original conclusion by insisting that the word “sacrifice” is “inserted” by translators, and thus the expression “the daily” has no connection to the sanctuary service. He felt especially illuminated by the apparent parallel between the removal of “the daily”, announced by Daniel, and the removal of the pagan Rome, announced by Paul (2Th 2:7-8), preceding the setting up of the “desolating iniquity / abomination” or “the mistery of iniquity”. The 1843 prophetic chart omitted however this interpretation, since other Millerites, especially Charles Fitch did not agree with it.[1]

Between the 16thto 10th centuries, Protestant scholars had promoted a spiritual understanding of the “daily sacrifice”. Some held that it symbolized the true Gospel,[2] but most of them pointed out to the true Christian worship.[3] I did not find information about Charles Fitch’s interpretation of the “daily”, but he certainly did not agree with Miller at this point. In February 1846, O. R. L. Crosier identified “the daily” with the daily service pertaining to the altar of sacrifices and to the Holy Place, and he wrote that “The daily service described was a sort of continual intercession.”[4] But in March 1847 he clearly applied “the daily” to “the true doctrine of the cross”:[5]

The whole force of Br. J. Litch’s exposition of Dan 11:31, on the taking away of the Daily, supports the idea that it [=“the daily”] was a Christian institution. . . The suppression in the church of the doctrine that Christ “WAS CRUCIFIED FOR US.” This was the Daily Sacrifice they took away”. [6]

For a short time, Uriah Smith expounded Crosier’s position (RH, March 28, 1854), but he turned back to Miller’s view in 1864.[7] Even before Smith, Joseph Bates was the first to promote Miller’s view in 1846.[8] Thus the view of “the daily” as “paganism” survived among SDA. Smith’s book became the greatest apocalyptic exegetical commentary and apologetic tool that influenced our Church, until the turn of the century. John Andrews (1853) and James White (1870) would follow him. Meantime, in 1850-1851, a visionary testimony of E G White had introduced a problematic statement regarding “the daily”.[9] This statement had to play an important role later in the historical controversy on the “daily” that would last about 40 years (1898-1939) – incredibly long for such small point.[10]

The controversy was introduced by 1898, with L. R. Conradi’s promotion of the “new view” (that “the daily” equalled the true sanctuary service). Conradi has got it through personal study, following Protestant commentaries, not being aware that a similar spiritual identification had been made long ago by Crosier. Eventually, the “new view” prevailed among us, and today it is our standard position on this topic. For example, Angel Rodriguez writes of “the ‘daily’ (tå·mîd), i.e. Christ’s mediation in the heavenly sanctuary.”[11] Likewise  Gerhard Pfandl understands “the daily” to be “Christ’s intercessory ministry”.[12]

According to Roy Gane, the “daily” symbol “qualifies a cluster of regular worship activities performed for God by his people at the Israelite sanctuary”, including weekly renewal of the “bread of the Presence”, daily maintenance of the lampstand, continual mediation by the high priest, the daily burnt offering, daily burning of incense, continual maintenance of fire on the outer altar, and the high priest’s regular grain offering.[13] In addition to referring tamid to the high-priestly ministry, Pröbstle also builds a case to support “the daily” as worship.[14] Alberto Timm is of the same opinion,[15] while Heidi Heiks equates “the daily” with Christ’s ministry in the first appartment of the heavenly sanctuary.[16]

These spiritual interpretations are obviously superior to the old Adventist view that “the daily” was a symbol of paganism. However, there are minor problems with the new view, and it has to be further refined:

  • The spiritual interpretation of the “daily” is not the same for all expositors of Danniel. It has a few versions that should be critically discussed before deciding the best choice. The Gospel of the Cross, the true Christian worship, or Christ’s intercession, while close related, they are not one and the same.[17]
  • In the Adventist tradition, the specific Hebrew noun הַתָּמִיד hattåmîḏ was not analyzed as a beheaded technical expression, as in the Jewish use, but it is taken as a general term representing any or all items that the Law prescribes to be “continual” (תָּמִיד tåmîḏ, with adjectival or adverbial function).
  • The Adventist analysis referred above still depends on the Millerite claim, repeated by E G White, that the word “sacrifice” was added by translators, as a human, uninspired solution.[18]
  • Our persistent avoiding of the translation “continual burnt offering” or “continual sacrifice” springs from the concern (or prejudice) that the notion of sacrifice would lead us to accept the literal, judaizing view, pointing to the earthly temple, profaned by Antiochus and supposedly to be rebuilt and profaned again by a future Antichrist.

We have already shown that a double application of the symbol “little horn” is probably the most acceptable interpretation, hermeneutically, historically and apologetically. The “daily sacrifice”, in this case, may have both literal and spiritual meaning. We can all agree with this, since in Matthew 24, installing of the desolating abomination in the year 70 AC, implying that the tåmîḏ, whatever it meant, was also removed long before the Papacy make its way.

We all decidedly reject any dispensational and futuristic view of “the daily sacrifice”. But the classic Millerite objection, that translators supplied the word “sacrifice” is not the true solution. Any translator needs often to supply words that have no precise corresponding equivalent in the text, because a good translation is not literal-mechanical, seeking formal correspondence, but it is dynamic, satisfying the meaning intended by the author.

The Millerite apologetes had been overcritical at this point. They just fought as they could against a contemporary view that tended to destroy their Christian hope.  And E G White’s reference to the insertion of the word “sacrifice” is simply a Millerite borrowing, not a divine, visionary instruction. Actually E G White would later decline any role of arbitrating in the controversy. She would deny having any light on the issue, and she asked church leaders not to use her writings to settle the debate. [19]

The Hebrew noun הַתָּמִיד hat·tå∙mîd “the […] of regularity” is not an intentional left open expression “in order to comprehend all the perpetual services at the sanctuary.”[20] Such syntactic interpretation would be difficult to explain. For similar purposes, the Hebrew of Daniel uses a plural noun. For example, where Torah required the priests to be clothed with various items of linen (בַּד badd), Daniel and Ezekiel refer to the totality of these garments and ornaments by the plural הַבַּדִּים hab·badd·îm.[21] If we choose a more limited interpretation – “the daily”, as Christ’s ministry in the Holy Place, or the true worship of His people at the Sanctuary – we cannot justify anyway the elliptical construction הַתָּמִיד hat·tå·mîd “the [?] of regularity”.

Such elliptical constructions are best to be explained within a technical jargon, naturally developed in any spoken language. And this is not the only case where Daniel shows such vernacular trend.[22] Since Mishnaic Hebrew continues the spoken Hebrew of Biblical times, we should not be surprised that the noun תָּמִיד tå·mîd “the burnt offering service of regularity” is used in Mishna as the title of a whole treatise dealing with the regular burnt-oferring, of morning and evening, with its related ceremonies.[23] Occasional sacrifices or specific festive sacrifices and a lot of ceremonies do not belong to the tåmîḏ. Only very usual expressions tend to become elliptic, in any language,[24] and Biblical Hebrew indicates that the most frequent use of hat·tå·mîd was in the expression עֹלַת־הַתָּמִיד  ‘ōlaṯ-hat·tå·mîḏ “the regular/daily burnt offering”(×20).[25] It was the most frequent ceremony at the sanctuary, each morning and evening, every day, even in Sabbaths and feasts, even in the Day of Atonement. It was never ceasing. While Ezekiel (46:15), Ezra (3:5) and Nehemiah (10:34) use the literary, complet expression עֹלַת־הַתָּמִיד  ‘ōlaṯ-hat·tå·mîḏ, according to the Torah, Daniel prefers the beheaded, colloquial formהַתָּמִיד  hat·tå·mîḏ.[26]

There was no other sacrifice to emphasize so high the Gospel of universal grace, but the ·mîd holocaust. I have no personal opposition to the other interpretations of hat··mîd as continual worship or ministry. These solutions fit the literary and logical context better than any reference to paganism, and they can be harmonized, as a general reference to the sanctuary cultus.

My reason to prefer the burnt-offering interpretation is basically linguistic. We have a good evidence that Hebrew used hat··mîd in an elliptical manner (see Mishnah), but we have no evidence of using hat··mîd as a technical way or code to denote the general aspects of cult, as ministry or worship. Hat··mîd has nothing to do directly with our sacrifices; it is Christ’s unique sacrifice.[27] My view does not exclude any reference to ministration or worship, since the permanent ministration of the priests focused on the daily burnt offering, and the whole worship, even in diaspora, was directed to Jerusalem, at the hours where the burnt offering lamb was sacrificed (cf. 1K 18.36; Da 9:21; AA 3:1). Actually, this view is not new at all.[28]


[1] 6BIO 247

[2] L. E. Froom (Historical Setting and Background of the Term “Daily”, September 1, 1940; published on GCO May 12, 2005 as ORCD, on www.greatcontroversy.org/gco/orc/fro-daily.php), refers Alphonsus Conradus (Commentary on the Revelation, Basle, 1550, p. 451) and Nikolaus Armsdorf (Five Prominent Signs of the Coming of the Judgment Day, Jena, 1554 unpaged) to have held that the “daily sacrifice” in Daniel symbolized the Gospel, and its preaching.

[3] Cf. L E Froom (Historical Setting…), the following scholars held that the “daily sacrifice” in Daniel symbolized the true Christian worship expressed in praise, prayers etc.:  Thomas Parker, (Visions a Prophecies of Daniel Expounded, London, 1646, pp. 45,133),  John W. Fletcher, (“A Letter Upon the Prophecies,”  in Posthumous Pieces, 1755, 3rd ed. London, 1800, p. 372), Hans Wood, (Revelation of St. John, London, 1787, p. 476), Archibald Mason, (Two Essays on Daniel’s Prophetic Number of 2300 Days, Newburg. 1820, pp. 1-6). Samuel Nuñez (The Vision of Daniel 8, AUSDDS, Andrews University Press, 1989:101, 232) adds to this category, other scholars of 18th-19th centuries: Théodore Crinsoz, Henry Kett, George Stanley Faber, James Clarke, James H. Frere, William Girdlestone, John Bayford, John Fry, Thomas Scott, Robert Reid, F. A. Cox, Matthew Habershon and David Campbell.

[4] O R L Crozier, “The Law of Moses”, in The Day-Star Extra, Feb 7, 1846.

[5] Day-Dawn 2:2, Mar. 19, 1847.

[6] O R L Crozier,  The Day-Dawn, vol. 2, # 1; March 19, 1847.

[7] Uriah Smith, in Review and Herald 24:180, Nov. 1, 1864; Thoughts on the Book of Daniel (1873 ed.,p. 163). http://adventistlegacy.com/moore/daily/sda-encyclopedia.htm.

[8] Joseph Bates, The Opening Heavens, p. 31.

[9] “Then I saw in relation to the ‘Daily,’ 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 since 1844, in the confusion, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. I have also seen that time had not been a test since 1844, and that time will never again be a test.” (Early Writings, p 74).

[10] It was felt by some that the authority of the “old view” would be related to the authority and honor of the Spirit of Prophecy. Actually, the only problem was that we had not yet, at that time, and probably we still do not have a clear and realistic theology of inspiration that would make sufficient room for some innocent mistakes of the inspired authors as human beings. Denis Kaiser’s thesis and Heidi Heiks’ study deal at large with these issues. See Denis Kaiser (The History Of The Adventist Interpretation Of The “Daily” In The Book Of Daniel From 1831 To 2008, MA thesis, Andrews University, July 2009). “Stan Hickerson, pastor of the Stevensville Adventist Church and presenter at last year’s symposium, asserted that Kaiser is too humble in acknowledging the consequences of his study. Hickerson suggested that this ‘daily’ conflict set the table for a dinner of conflict between sola scriptura and Ellen White that has never ceased to give indigestion.” (2010 Ellen White Symposium: “Ellen White And The ‘Daily’ Conflict”, April 05, 2010, on the website Memory, Meaning & Faith, SDA Theological Seminary, AU). See also Heidi Heiks’ study, The “Daily” – Source Book, TEACH Services, 2008; a good study, especially fit to adress the modern SDA revivers of the ghost view “daily” paganism.

[11] Angel Manuel Rodriguez, “The Abomination That Causes Desolation”, BRI


[12] Gerhard Pfandl, “The Time Prophecies in Dan 12”, p. 3, published on the BRI website.

[13] Roy E. Gane, “Christ at His Sanctuary; Toward Adventist-Evangelical Dialogue”, Paper presented at dialogue with World Evangelical Alliance, Andrews University, August 6, 2007, p. 8, published on the BRI website.

[14] One of Pröbstle’s argument (op. cit. p. 231) is the presence of Aramaic expression בִּתְדִירָא bi·ṯəḏîrå’ in Da 6:17, 21. While this is ingenious, and it is legitimate to seek for solutions in the Aramaic of Daniel, I am not satisfied with this argument, since בִּתְדִירָא bi·ṯəḏîrå’ “in the circling” = regularly is an adverbial phrase (preposition + noun), where the noun תָּדִיר  tåḏîr (regularity) is indeed synonymous to the Hebrew תָּמִיד tåmîḏ. The only corresponding use of Aramaic adverbial expression בִּתְדִירָא bi·ṯəḏîrå’ is the adverbial use of the Hebrew noun תָּמִיד tåmîḏ. Compare, for example, the two forms in Hab 1:17, according to MT and Targum (“unceasingly empties his net [or draws his sword]”). While in Daniel 6 the adverbial phrase is used for Daniel’s regular prayer, its intrinsic meaning has nothing to do with worship. Various actions may be described as regular (e. g. eating at the royal table 2S 9:7, 10, 13; 2K  25:29-30; passing regularly by some place 2K 4:9; my sorrow is continually before me Ps 38:18; my sin is always before me  Ps 51:5; continually tremble Pr 28:14; Is 51:13; to provoke God continually Is 65:3; grief and wounds continually Jr 6:7; 52:33-34; continual ruine Ez 38:8; drink continually God‘s wrath Ob 1:16; the wickedness passed continually Na 3:19).

[15] Alberto R. Timm, “The 1,290 and 1,335 Days of Daniel 12”, June 5, 2002, published on the BRI website.

[16] Heidi Heiks, The “Daily”– Source Book, Brushton, NY, TEACH Services, 2008: 29, 68.

[17] It is not necessary to comment on the recent identification of the “daily” with the Sabbath (cf. F. S. Fowler Jr. (“THE DAILY” – HA TAMID, Prophecy Research Initiative © 2008-2010

www.endtimeissues.com ). Such theories are rightly refuted (Alberto Timm, “The 1,290 and 1,335 Days of Daniel 12”, Adventist Pastor Online, 2009 www.adventistpastoronline.com/index.php/the-1290-and-1335-days-of-daniel-12; It is incredible that Samuel Nuñez took this excentric way (see Gerhard Pfandl, “Further on the Time Prophecies of Daniel 12”, Reflections –The BRI Newsletter, July 2011: 12-15).

[18]  Cf. Signs of the Times, May 24, 1843, p. 95, col. 2; Idem., June 21, 1843, p. 126, col. 2; Idem., p. 136, col. 1; Ellen G. White, Present Truth, Nov. 1850, p. 87, col. 1;

[19] A. G. Daniells, Letter, dated “Los Angeles, Sept. 25, 1931,” in E. G. White Publications file. www.greatcontroversy.org/gco/orc/fro-daily.php Further, she has shown that the divine inspiration of the prophets has nothing to do with their mode of thought, language, rhetoric and logic. These are specificly human (1SM 21). Thus, Daniel choice of the noun הַתָּמִיד hat·tå·mîd, instead of the full expression עֹלַת־הַתָּמִיד ‘ōlaṯ-hat·tåmîḏ, as well as the translators’ and interpreters’ solutions on this issue, including Ellen White’s Millerite opinion (“I saw in relation to the ‘daily’, that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom”) are all of them human. Cf. Ellen G. White, Present Truth, Nov. 1850, p. 87, col. 1; EW 74.

[20] Cf. D Kaiser (op cit. 139), who expresses here the majority view in the SDA theology.

[21] Cf. Ex 28:42; Lv 6:3; 16:4, 23, 32; Ez 9:3, 11; 10:2, 6; 7; Da 10:5; 12:6, 7.

[22] In 8:9, Daniel uses the noun הַצֶּבִי ha·ṣébî, that is translated “the Land of Beauty” or similar forms, as its complete use elsewhere suggests (אֶרֶץ־הַצְּבִי Da 11:16, 41). The elliptic expression חֲמוּדוֹת ḥămūḏôṯ “preciousness” in 9:23 is also to be understood in a single way, as Da 10:11.19 suggests:אִישׁ־חֲמֻדוֹת  ’îš ḥămūḏôṯ “man of preciousness” (precious man). Similarly, חָזוּת ḥåzûṯ “conspicuousness” in Da 8:8 stands forקֶרֶן חָזוּת  qéren ḥåzûṯ “horn of conspicuousness” of Da 8:5. Other examples in Hebrew: קֶרֶן הַיּוֹבֵל  / שׁוֹפְרוֹת יוֹבְלִים  (Jos 6:4,5,6,8,13) “ram’s horn(s)”  > הַיּוֹבֵל  “the […] horn” (as musical instrument, Ex 19:13). But the same shortened form sometimes stands forשְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל  “the year of blowing horn” (Lv 25:13, 28, 40, 50, 52, 54; 27:17-18, 23-24) > הַיּוֹבֵל “the horn’s […]” (Lv 25:10-12etc; Jos 6:4-6 etc; Jr 17:8) = the jubilee (especially in Qumran Hebrew). Similarly כָּרַת in 1S 20:16 stands forכָּרַת בְּרִית  (×97, e.g. Gn 9:11 to Zc 11:10).

[23] See W. Bacher & J. Z. Lauterbach, “Tamid”, in JewishEncyclopedia.com. “Treatise in the Mishnah and the Babylonian Gemara; devoted chiefly to the regulations regarding the morning and evening burnt offerings (comp. Ex. xxix. 38-42; Num. xxviii. 3-8), but dealing also with other ceremonies in the ritual of the Temple…” The other ceremonies described in the Tamid treatise are only those in close connection to the morning and evening burnt offering, to be performed at the altar and in the Holy place: grain offering, wine libation, censing, tending the lampstand, ash cleaning, sounding the shofar etc.

[24] Notice examples in English and other languages (the dates represent the first written attestation, cf. Douglas Harper & Dan McCormack, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001, www.etymonline.com): steam engine (1815) > engine (1929); capital city > capital (1660s); Bermuda shorts (1953) > bermuda; sauce hollandaise (Fr.) > hollandaise (Eng. 1841); Alzheimer’s desease  (1912) > Alzheimer’s (1954); Caesarian section (1615) > caesarian (1923); Canary bird (1570s) > canary (1650s); camera obscura (1730) > camera (18th cent.).  In Latin: malum persicum “Persian apple” > persicum “peach” (12th cent.); panis bis coctus > biscoctum (>>biscuit, Fr., Eng. etc.). In Spanish, plata d’argento > plata “money”.  The trend to shorten the speech does not limits itself to the beheading of the expressions, but some expressions are further abbreviated in the spoken language:  public house (1768) > pub (1859); moving picture (1896) > movie (1912); capital letters (14th cent.) > capitals  > caps; metropolitan bishop  > metropolitan (15th  cent.( etc.

[25] Ex 29:42; Nu 28:6, 10, 15, 23-24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 38; Ezra 3:5; Ne 10:34; Ez 46:15.

[26] Cf. Bruce Waltke and M. O’Connor (An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns: Winona Lake, Indiana 1990: 103), “beheading is common in English—we say ‘California’ for ‘the state of California,’ ‘Mexico’ for ‘the United States of Mexico.’…. The omission of the noun in the construct (the beheading) is common in Arabic.” The definite elliptic (beheaded) expressionהַתָּמִיד  hat·tå·mîḏ; though exclusively present in Daniel and late Hebrew writings, is also shown by Martin to be part of a normal linguistic process found already in the oldest Hebrew books as in practically all languages. (W J Martin, “The Hebrew of Daniel,” in D J Wiseman etc., Notes on Some Problems in the Book of Daniel, The Tyndale Press: London, 1965, pp. 28-30).

[27] Some refer Ps 141:2, to argue in behalf of the worship theme. However, here the prayer of the worshipper is only compared to the frankincense. The Book of Revelation (5:8; 8:3-4) shows that the only hope of our prayers is the frankincense of Christ’s merits. “The incense represents the merits and intercession of Christ, His perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to His people and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God. By blood and by incense God was to be approached—symbols pointing to the great Mediator through whom alone mercy and salvation can be granted to the repentant soul. As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court.” (Ellen White, in 7A SDABC 482).

[28] See F C Cook (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary, 6:344). “‘The daily’—this phrase is best limited to the usually accepted sense of the morning and the evening offering, though some prefer a more general sense as an expression of everything connected with the worship of the sanctuary” WV 510.3.



2 Comentarii

  1. D.israel 03/06/2017 at 18:07 - Reply

    Ar fi posibilă explicația respectivă şi în română?

    • Florin Lăiu 04/06/2017 at 12:11 - Reply

      Nu am exact același articol în română, dar am o expunere destul de detaliată, nu neapărat completă în română, într-un capitol din paginile 53-56 a cărții mele electronice ”Rubine din ceasuri târzii”. Însă acest capitol este scris pentru adventiști și se referă la o dispută istorică. Va trebui să căutați acolo doar elementele lingvistice, dincolo de dispute.

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