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ISV Dan 12:11 There will be 1,290 days from the time the daily ritual is rescinded and the destructive desolation established.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

  • We know that the ending of the daily sacrifice started in A.D 31/33 at Jesus crucifixion. The 1290 years (a day for each year - see Ezekiel 4:6) part of the prophecy starts after this point. – Adam May 29 at 6:20
  • aLSO, note daniel 12:9“Go on your way, Daniel,” he replied, “for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end". The angel also specifies that Daniel will arise from the grave at the time of the end...vs 13But as for you, go on your way until the end. You will rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” – Adam May 29 at 7:44

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).

enter image description here

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

I had the same question you presented here, Micah. I agree with Joseph on almost every count. The same methodologies apply, and he is correct, I believe, when he uses the chart to analyze it.

I don't necessarily think you can draw conclusions as dogmatic as he does with this transformational grammar tree diagram, though, for one. Having the Hebrew words on the same level does give more credence to the claim that they're related, however.

Secondly, a massive compilation of scholarly information in a newer source called Delimitation Criticism: A New Tool in Biblical Scholarship by Marjo Christina Annette Korpel and Josef M. Oesch indicates that the Tifha doesn't have dividing power in the final syntactical half of a verse (Hebrew verses commonly have halves, quarters, etc.) because it's related to the Silluq at the end. "A Masoretic verse, but also a poetic verse is generally terminated by the silluq (with soph pasuq). The final colon of the verse which is terminated by this silluq is subdivided by the distinctive tifha, as in Lamentations 2:4b. This tifha does not have a separating value on its own, nor in combination with a preceding distinctive of a higher grade, because it is always related to the following silluq." (page 91 of that book) The same seems to apply with the Tifha before the Athnach because it follows an almost identical relationship as the Tifha before the Silluq (also cf. e.g. Ezekiel 13:23 in e.g. the NKJV; a restrictive relative clause is present there instead of an inherently disjunctive nonrestrictive relative clause, indicated by the absence of a comma before the "nor," with an identical format before the final colon preceding the Athnach as here).

When you take this into account, the revised chart seems to imply that it's actually slightly more believable that the abomination of desolation will be set up at the 1,290 days after the daily sacrifices are taken away.

If I'm incorrect on any of these counts, I trust that Joseph will correct me. Even though I know some things, I'm not a scholar.

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. – agarza May 29 at 12:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.