What does “the daily” in Daniel 8:13 mean?


By BibleAsk Team

“The Daily”

About “the daily”, the prophet Daniel wrote: “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?” (Daniel 8:13).

The word “daily” (Hebrew Tamid), is mentioned 103 times in the Old Testment. The word itself does not mean “daily,” but simply “continual” or “regular.” In Daniel (Daniel 8:11, 12, 13; 11:31; 12:11), it means continual. Of the 103 incidents, it is translated “daily” only in Numbers 4:16. The word is used to portray different ideas, like continual service (Ezekiel 39:14), continual sustenance (2 Samuel 9:7–13), continual sadness (Psalms 38:17), continual hope (Psalms 71:14), continual provocation (Isaiah 65:3).

“Daily” is used often in relation with the services of the sanctuary such as the “continual bread” that was to be kept upon the table of shewbread (Numbers 4:7), the lamp that was to burn continually (Exodus 27:20), the fire that was to be kept burning upon the altar (Leviticus 6:13), the burnt offerings that were to be offered daily (Numbers 28:3, 6), the incense that was to be offered morning and evening (Exodus 30:7, 8).

In Daniel 8:11, “daily” stands independently. In the Talmud, when “tamid” is used independently, it means the daily sacrifice. The translators of the KJV, who supplied the word “sacrifice,” noticeably thought that the daily burnt offering was the theme of this prophecy.

Two Views

First: The “daily” refers to “paganism,” in contrast with “the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31), or the papacy. Both terms point to persecuting powers. The word “daily,” points to the continuance of the devil’s opposition to the ministry of Christ through paganism. The taking away of the daily and the setting up of “the abomination of desolation” points to papal Rome replacing pagan Rome (2 Thessalonians 2:7 and Revelation 13:2).

Second: The “daily”— “continual”—refers to the continual priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1) and to the worship of Christ. The taking away of the “daily” points to the replacement of the voluntary unity of all believers in Christ by the compulsory unity of the papal church; the replacement of Christ as the head of the church by the Pope; the replacement of the direct access to Christ by all believers by the a priestly hierarchy; the replacement of salvation by faith in Christ by salvation through works (confessional, the mass, penance …etc. ); the replacement of the mediatorial work of Christ our great high Priest in heaven by the mediatorial work of Mary and the saints.

This view also holds that the little horn of Daniel 7 is a symbol of imperial Rome as well as of papal Rome (verses 9, 13). Thus, the “daily” may also refer to the earthly Temple and its services, and the taking away of the “daily” to the desolation of the Temple by Roman legions in A.D. 70 and the following termination of the sacrificial services. It was this feature of “the abomination of desolation” to which Christ referred to in His description of future events (Daniel 11:31; Matthew 24:15–20; Luke 21:20).

While some faithful Bible students hold that the “daily” refers to paganism, other equally faithful Bible students hold that the “daily” refers to the priestly ministry of our Lord. Clearly, this is not a salvation issue and will certainly be made known as believers draw near to the end of times.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.