Is the text saying from the sacrifice ending until the abomination of desolation is 1,290 days or after both events simultaneous happen there will be 1,290 days?

ISV Dan 12:11 There will be 1,290 days from the time the daily ritual is rescinded and the destructive desolation established.

KJV Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

A)Sacrifice and offering cease - 1,290 days occur - Then the abomination of desolation occurs B)Sacrifice and offering cease, the abomination of desolation occurs, then 1,290 days pass

Since I know nothing of Hebrew grammar could it be explained in terms that are definitive one way or another? Grammatical explanations to prove A, B, or ambiguity are expected in the answer.


The Idea in Brief

The two events occur at the same time. That is, before the end of the 1,290 day period, the sacrifices will end AND the abomination of desolation would occur.


Diacritical marks of accents (or cantillation) within the Masoretic Text provide one guide for understanding the logic of the verse. The 19th Century Hebraist, Dr. William Wickes, described the function of the dichotomy of Hebrew verse in both the prose and the poetry books of the Hebrew Bible. That is, the Masoretes codified this system into Hebrew Scripture, which captured logical structure. Wickes' research helped to understand the logical dichotomy and structure of Hebrew Scripture. For example, the following is the verse in question parsed according to the logical structure of the diacritical marks of accents (or cantillation).

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NOTE: The "B" phrases modify the respective "A" phrases.

Thus the Tifha "A" phrase and set up (וְלָתֵ֖ת) is modified by the Tifha "B" phrase the abomination of desolation (שִׁקּ֣וּץ שֹׁמֵ֑ם).

These words together (Zaqef Qaton "B"), in turn, modify the phrase of words preceding (Zaqef Qaton "A"): from the time the regular sacrifice is abolished(וּמֵעֵת֙ הוּסַ֣ר הַתָּמִ֔יד).

In summary, the "B" modifies the "A." The Pashta "B" modifies the Pashta "A," and the Zaqef Qaton "B" modifies the Zaqef Qaton "A," and so forth. The intensity of the accent marks (their so-called disjunctive gravity) places emphasis on particular words or phrases. For example, the four-degree difference between the Tifha and the Athnah (captured in the diagram by the group of words earmarked as Zaqef Qaton "B") are more acute than the same four-degree difference between the Pashta and the Zaqef Qaton (captured in the diagram by the group of words earmarked as Zaqef Qaton "A"). In other words, the abomination of desolation is the more horrible complement to the ceasing of the sacrifices.


The verse is split in half by the Athnah accent. So the second half of the verse (Athnah "B") modifies the first half of the verse (Athnah "A"). In other words, the 1,290 day period (Athnah "B") includes the end of sacrifices and the abomination of desolation (Athnah "A").


Gesenius, Friedrich W. (1910). Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. (E. Kautzsch & S. A. E. Cowley, Eds.) (2d English ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 59-60.

Wickes, William (1887). Two Treatises on the Accentuation of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, passim.

  • Wow! Amazing technical response that's a lot to take in. I would prefer an extended lower level summary because I don't think I followed most of it. :-) You are saying that both events occur then 1,290 days pass until a next event (not in this scope)? Or at least that's what I thought you were saying but then your summary confused me when you say "the elapse of 1,290 days encompasses the events described in Athnah "A" " making me thing you mean both of these events are concurrent over the span of 1,290 days. Could you clarify that for me? – Micah Gafford Mar 15 '17 at 3:46
  • @MicahGafford - I made the edits per your request. Also, please see the significance of the silence in heaven of Rev 8:1, which appears to stem from the abomination of desolation. – Joseph Mar 15 '17 at 23:52

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