What is 1844 About?
On occasion, articles on this website have addressed the year 1844. However, precisely what is 1844 about? What happened during this year that made it such a significant event in Christendom? Hopefully, this article will shed light on this very question with some answers.
The year 1844 results from the end of a prophecy written in the book of Daniel. It initially establishes the end of a prophecy and concurrently signifies the initiation of a significant event.
This prophecy is contained in a vision of Daniel, found in Daniel 8:1-13 which describes, with much symbolism, a period that entails the succession of three major kingdoms, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Let us take a look at this passage in Scripture and unpack it. Dan 8:1-13
1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me — to me, Daniel — after the one that appeared to me the first time. (2) I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai. (3) Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. (4) I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great. (5) And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. (6) Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. (7) And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. (8) Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. (9) And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. (10) And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. (11) He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. (12) Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. (13) Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” NKJV
We see in verse 3 that Daniel saw a Ram in the vision with two horns. In prophecy, animals and beasts symbolize kingdoms; horns symbolize authority and great power. One horn was longer than the other and came up last. Further down in verse 20, it is stated that the ram represented the Medo-Persia empire.
Secular history reflects that Darius the Mede reigned first, followed by Cyrus the Persian, whose empire was the stronger of the two. Therefore, the first horn represented Darius the Mede, and the second, more prominent horn represented Cyrus, the Persian.
In verse 4, we see that the ram pushed its way west, north, and south, illustrating that it seized Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt during its rise to power.
Next, in verses 5 and 6, a goat appears on the scene from the west with a prominent horn between his eyes without touching the earth. Not touching the earth addresses the swiftness of this kingdom’s movement as it headed toward the ram. It is important to note that rams and goats were used in the sanctuary services.
In verse 7, the goat viciously attacks the ram and tramples him. The goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the prominent horn between the goat’s eyes represents the first king of Greece (Daniel 8:21).
Verse 8 describes how great the goat became, and the large horn was broken off at the height of its power.
Secular history reflects that Alexander the Great was the first leader of a united Greece as it took over the world. Additionally, Greece defeated Medo-Persia in 331 BC. Alexander was only 25 years of age at the time. The horn of the goat breaking off signified Alexander the Great’s death at the age of 33 in 323 BC.
We also see in this verse that four prominent horns replaced the giant horn. Chapter 7 of Daniel confirms that four of Alexander’s generals eventually took over the Greek Empire. Ultimately, one took over the northern portion of the empire, known as the King of the North, while another took over the southern portion and became known as the King of the South.
In verse 9, we see that another horn rose from among these four. It started out small but increased in power. It grew “exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.”
The glorious land refers to the land of Judea (Daniel 11:16). The direction that the little horn was traveling indicates that it came from the west, directly affecting Judea and nations in the south and east. This little horn refers to Rome, which came from the west of Jedea and Greece. Judea and other crucial nations were directly en route between Greece and Egypt. By 168 BC, Rome became the fourth world kingdom.
Verse 10 addresses how the little horn grew up to the host of heaven. Verse 24 says that the hosts of heaven and stars are the mighty and holy people. This refers to the persecution of God’s people by Pagan and Papal Rome. The faithful Jews and Christians after Christ were viciously persecuted by pagan Rome under various emperors, and later during the years of Papal supremacy, the persecution increased as was instigated by the Catholic Church.
In verses 11 and 12, we see that the little horn exalted itself against “the prince of the host,” who was Christ. It was pagan Rome that crucified Christ in A.D. 31. In other passages in Daniel, Christ is referred to as Prince (Daniel 9:25-27, 11:22). Not only did it crucify Christ, but it set itself up to be the equal of God and ordered the daily sacrifices to end.
In verse 13, two angels are communicating with one another. One asked the other how long it would take for the completion of the vision to be fulfilled. The reply in verse 14 was 2,300 years.
This verse is the high point of Daniel 8. This vision is known as the 2300-day prophecy and culminates the chapter. This vision of Daniel occurred long before its commencement and has been fulfilled in its entirety.
It is very crucial to note that the 2300 days mentioned are not literal because of the kingdoms it encompasses. Therefore, it is evident that the prophetic day-year principle is used. That is, each day is one (1) year. Thus, 2300 prophetic days are actually 2300 years. This principle is evident in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. This period began in 457 BC. It is verse 13 that begins to shed light on the year 1844.
Daniel had problems understanding the meaning of the 2300 days as he said in Dan 8:27, “I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” NIV
In chapter nine, Daniel earnestly prayed an intercessory prayer to God for Israel and himself and asked for understanding of the vision. While he was praying, God sent Gabriel with the interpretation in Dan 9:24-27 which reads:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
Israel was attacked and annihilated by Babylon, destroying the temple, and the Babylonians carried the Israelites into exile for seventy years because of their sins against God (Jeremiah 27:7-11). At the end of the 70 years, Israel was given seventy-sevens, 490 prophetic years (1 week=7 days=7 prophetic years x 7=490 prophetic years) to “put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness,” etc.
In other words, they had 490 years to get their act together. This period served as a probationary period for Israel. This period is known as the 70-week prophecy. These 490 years were the beginning of the 2300-year prophecy.
25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
In 457 BC, Artaxerxes, the Persian King, issued the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. This was when the 2300-year prophecy began. It would take seven weeks (seven sevens =49 years) to rebuild Jerusalem, and it would be with much opposition. Sixty-two weeks (434 years)after that point, we have the messiah, the anointed one.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
After three-and-a-half years, the Messiah would be cut off. Three-and-a-half years later, the nation’s probation will end. Then Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed by the Romans. War, destruction, and desolation will come in on the land like a flood.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” NIV.
During this last prophetic week of the seventy-year prophecy, God will fulfill His covenant promise to the people. But three-and-a-half years into the Messiah’s ministry, they will turn Him over to strangers to be crucified. This action will end the ancient sacrifices and offerings. For the next three-and-a-half years, God will extend one last call to the people, but the rulers will not listen, bringing about desolation. However, the nation that destroys the city and the temple (Rome) will also come to an end. The end has been decreed and is assured.
Again, this vision of Daniel occurred thousands of years prior and was fulfilled exactly as it was seen. The fulfillment of the prophecies of the past helps us to look forward to the fulfillment of the prophecies of the future. History is prophecy fulfilled, and prophecy is history foretold.
What is 1844 about?
The first 490 years of the 2,300-year prophecy apply specially to the Jews and the coming of Christ the Messiah. The last part of the 2300 years must apply to God’s people, both Jew and Gentile, along with the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. Ultimately, after that, the second coming of Christ.
The first 490 years applied to the first Advent of the Messiah and ended in A.D. 34 with the stoning of Steven. Subtracting 490 years from 2,300 years leaves us with 1810 years. These remaining 1810 years apply to God’s people. If we begin at A.D. 34 and add 1810 years, we come to A.D. 1844, the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the beginning of probation. This is what the year 1844 is about. The chart below illustrates this remarkable vision and timetable.
For more on the cleansing of the sanctuary, see the article, The Sanctuary Truth, on this website.
In the light of the cleansing or restoration of the truth about the sanctuary and heaven’s end-time judgment, God makes His final appeal to all humanity in Revelation 14:6-11 to respond to His love, accept His grace, and live godly, obedient lives. This is what the three angels’ messages are about.
For more on the three angles messages, see the article, The Three Angels Message, on this website.
Comments, questions, and concerns are welcomed below.