The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2


CHAPTER FIVE: Cusa Applies Prophetic Time Measurement to 2300 Days

I. Climaxes Application of the Year-Day Principle

As traced in Volume I, the time prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse were recognized as slowly but inexorably fulfilling. This was gradually perceived as the predicted events were progressively identified. Many centuries were required for full development, and consequently for clear recognition. Moses and Ezekiel had long before given the inspired key to all prophetic time measurement; namely, that the prophetic time unit is always a day for a year 1 just as on a map one inch may stand for one hundred miles. In the application of this basic principle the fulfillment of the prophesied seventy weeks of years—which were to extend from the time of Persia to the Messiah—was first seen to be exactly accomplished in the baptism and death of Christ in connection with the seventieth week. These sublime transactions sealed forever for the Christian church the “year-day” principle already recognized by the Jews. PFF2 124.1

Joachim of Floris, in the twelfth century, had seen the 1260-day period to be so many year-days. This great advance was slowly accepted. Meanwhile, the anonymous De Semine (1205) interpreted the 2300 days as twenty-three hundred years, approximating the year-day principle. Then in 1292 Villanova, in addition to using this prophetic time unit in the 1290—and 1335— day periods, seems to have been the first Christian writer to apply this established canon of measurement to the longest of the great time prophecies of Daniel—a prophetic period embracing all others—the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. 2 This was destined to be of utmost interest and importance in later centuries. Finally in 1440 Cusa gave a more definite B.C. and A.D. dating to the period, and through his greater prominence he established the principle in the minds of the prophetic expositors who followed him. To Cusa, then, we now turn our attention, first to note the caliber and type of the man who gave currency to this new step in the application of time prophecy, and then to observe his precise statements. PFF2 124.2