In 1844, what was the correct date for the
Day of Atonement?

By Robert K. Sanders


Great Disappointment of 1844

The Millerite fanatics including James and Ellen White were disappointed that they could not make a liar out of God after proclaiming they knew the day, month and year of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Matt 24:36 - 37 (NIV) 36“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

What is even more disturbing is that the SDA members have been indoctrinated to accepted this fairy tale as coming from God. If you were living in 1844, would you have accepted this this this as truth?


Why is the accuracy of these dates important?

It is important to Seventh-day Adventists to maintain October 22, 1844 as the Day of Atonement regardless of historical documents that bear out September 23, 1844 as the true Day of Atonement. The reason for this is their prophet Ellen G. White, had confirmed October 22, 1844 as the Day of Atonement. If the October date is false then the Seventh-day Adventists would have to concede that their prophet endorsed a false date for Day of Atonement. Ellen G. White’s Sanctuary and Investigative Judgment doctrines would also be incorrect. October 22, 1844 is the date she believed and taught from vision, that Jesus and the Father moved from the Holy Apartment to the Most Holy Apartment to begin the Investigative Judgment and the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Ellen G. White states her beliefs:

"So it was believed that Christ, out great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming." —The Great Controversy, p. 400. "The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in giving the first message, was ordered of God. The computation of the prophetic periods on which that message was based, placing the close of the 2300 day in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment."—The Great Controversy, p.457.


According to Ellen G. White

  1. (Didn't happen)—That Christ would appear and purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners.
  2. (Didn't happen)—Christ would bless the people with immortality. His people are the Little Flock or Seventh-day Adventists.
  3. (Didn't happen)—This would take place October 22, 1844.
  4. (Didn't happen)—God ordered preaching a definite time for judgment. This definite time was October 22, 1844.
  5. (Didn't happen)—The computation of a definite time for judgment at the close of the 2300 days (October 22, 1844) stands without impeachment.

The first quote from The Great Controversy is from the chapter titled, "Prophecies Fulfilled". It is amusing to say the least not one of these prophecies was fulfilled as well as having the date incorrect for the Day of Atonement and Christ’s coming. Did God order two false dates, the 1843 failure and the 1844 failure?

It is no wonder the October 22, 1844 is called, "The Great Disappointment." Wm. Miller and his followers including Mrs. White would not have been disappointed if only they believed the Word of God, that no one knows the day and hour of Christ’s return. They were disappointed that they could not make a liar out of God, and God was true to his Word.


The Day of Atonement in 1844 according to Jewish encyclopedia

The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 1939, vol. 2, lists holidays, feasts and fasts as follows for September:

September (Tishri): Started on September 14, 1844

  • 1 Rosh Hashanah—New Year (September 14, 1844)
  • 2 Second Day of Rosh Hashanah (September 15, 1844)
  • 10 Yom Kippur—Day of Atonement (September 24, 1844—starting the evening of September 23, 1844)

From the above data from the The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 1939, Vol. 2, the first day of Tishri begins on September 14th of our calendar. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) begins 10 days later, Tuesday September 24, 1844. Using the Biblical and Jewish reckoning, the day begins at evening or sunset. The Day of Atonement would begin the evening of Monday September 23, 1844 and not October 22, as claimed by Ellen G. White.

The significance of A Jewish Calendar (following) will show that Hiam Elias Lindo's published his work in 1838—six years before Ellen G. White, Wm. Miller, Joseph Bates, and SS Snow date setting of the Day of Atonement which was not Oct. 22, 1844, but Sept. 23-24, 1844. If they would have only trusted the Word of God and had Lindo's Calendar they would not have made the mistake, and becasue of it they have deceived millions of Adventists.

I also added the following month of Heshvan to show that Oct 22 is well pass Autumnal Equinox, and occurs in the eighth month thus disproving the October 23 theory.


A Jewish calendar for sixty-four years

A Jewish calendar for sixty-four years, detailing the new moons, festivals, and fasts, with the sections of the law as read in the synagogues every Sabbath during the year; also the days on which the hour for commencing Sabbath is altered; together with the corresponding Christian dates, to which are added tables for continuing the calendar to A.M. 60002240 and a chronological table forming a summary of Jewish history from the flood to the present time. Lindo, Elias Hiam, d. 1865, published 1838.

To read the full book go HERE [offsite]

To find the chart I selected the PDF and went to page 25. I have shown the chart below. The Day of Atonement in 1844 also called, Kippur (Yom Kippur) on the Jewish Calendar. The month is, Tisri 10 Monday and on the Gregorian Calendar it is Monday September 23, 1844.


Tisri 1, 2

Saturday, Sunday

New Years

September 14, 15

Tisri 3


September 16

Tisri 7


September 20

Tisri 8


September 21

Tisri 10


Yom Kippur

September 23

Tisri 15, 16

Saturday, Sunday


September 28, 29

Tisri 18


October 1

Tisri 21


Hosanna Raba at 5

October 4

Tisri 22, 23

Saturday, Sunday

Feast of the 8th day

October 5, 6

Tisri 29



October 12

Hes. 30, 1

Sunday, Monday

New Moon

October 13, 14

Hes. 5


Sabbath at 4 1/2

October 18

Hes. 6



October 19

Hes. 13


Lech Lecha

October 26

Hes. 19


Sabbath at 4

November 1

Hes. 20



November 2

Hes. 27


Haye Sarah

November 9


Verification of the Day of Atonement in 1844

Purdue University Professor Susan Prohofsky, Director of the Hillel Foundation,
Purdue University, a State University in West Lafayette, Indiana

In 1992 Professor Prohofsky researched the Day of Atonement in 1844 on a computer program called "Inter Luach" (Hebrew for Lunar Calendar). Her findings were that the September 23, 1844 was the Day of Atonement. She also stated that, "The Day of Atonement never came as late as the month of October."


Will October 22, 1844 bear investigation?


By E. S. Ballenger

Oct. 22, 1844 has been a crucial time with S.D.A.’s since their pioneers fixed upon it for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and they still stand tenaciously for this date in spite of all facts to the contrary. The Day of Atonement fell on Sept. 23, in 1844 instead of Oct. 22. This can be easily demonstrated by consulting any Jewish almanac of that time, or any orthodox Jewish authority. They celebrate the Day of Atonement in 1844 on Sept.23.

The defenders of the creed declare that while the orthodox Jews may have celebrated the Day of Atonement on Sept. 23, the Karaite Jews observed it on Oct 22. We have made careful investigation, and we find that this is a false claim. The leading Karaite rabbi of Cairo, Egypt, Youseff Ibrahim Marzork, in reply to an inquiry as to the day on which they celebrated the atonement in 1844, wrote:

"As to the dates of the Passover and Yom Kippur they are the following:—

"According to the Karaite Jews in the year 1843 the Yom Kippur is on Wednesday the 4th October, and just the same date according to the Rabbinical." "In the year 1844 it is on Monday 23rd September for the Karaite and Rabbinical."

If being ignorant of the movement of Christ from the holy to the most holy was such a great sin that their prayers were answered by the devil how about Mrs. White and her followers who continued to pray just the same as these condemned people did for a month after Christ made His move. If Christ made this transfer on the Day of Atonement in 1844, then He moved on Sept. 23, that is, twenty-nine days before Mrs. White and her followers knew that he had moved.

Yes, this extremely ridiculous; but you cannot escape the fact that according to S.D.A. teachings, either Mrs. White was mistaken in claiming that one class of people were praying to the devil, or else she and her followers were praying to the same devil for a month after Sept. 23, the Day of Atonement in 1844." —The Gathering Call by E. S. Ballenger, May-June 1941, pp. 14-15.


Editor's note: The SDA church had this letter of Youseff Ibrahim Marzork's on file for over 60 years and never published it. If they had it would have shown S. S. Snow was wrong and that Ellen G. White was also wrong in setting the Day of Atonement as October 22, 1844. To see the letter CLICK HERE.

Did Ellen G. White and her followers pray to Satan for a month as claimed by Pastor E. S. Ballenger? Ellen G. White answers:

"I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be on the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, "Father give us Thy Spirit." Satan would then breath on them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but now sweet love, joy and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children." —Early Writings, p. 56.

Questions to consider

  1. Would Jesus allow Satan to sit on his throne and answer the prayers of those that were asking in faith, even if they were unaware of where his throne was? The Bible believing Christians always knew Jesus was on the throne with the Father in the Most Holy.
  2. Ellen G. White was a month late on the true date September 23. Therefore she and her followers was praying to Satan in the same way she accused others of doing by believing the Day of Atonement came on October 22.
  3. Can you believe that Jesus would allow Satan to answer the prayers of those that come to him in faith? Especially in light of the fact that Ellen G. White, Wm. Miller and all their followers were essentially calling God a liar. They claimed they know the MONTH, DAY AND YEAR, of Christ’s return in 1843 as well as in 1844 with their time settings. But Jesus said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. — Mat 24:36 (NIV)
  4. William Miller was an honest man as he renounced his 1843/1844 errors. Wm. Miller and his followers started preaching the gospel to the world after the disappointment, thus proclaiming the door was open to the world for salvation and was having conversions to Christ. This caused a split between the Millerites and Ellen G. White and her followers as they were teaching the door of salvation was closed to the world. Ellen G. White did not wake up to the fact that the door of mercy to the world was never closed till 1851.
  5. From 1844-1851 the White’s and the Adventists would only preach to the Millerites who would not accept the closed door doctrine. When the Adventists gave up on the false shut door doctrine they then began preaching salvation to others.


Samuel S. Snow inventor of the October 22, 1844 fiasco

The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia Volume 10, p. 1357

SNOW, SAMUEL S. (1806-1870). A Congregationalist, then a skeptic, later a Millerite minister; initiator of the "seventh-month movement." Beginning with an article written Feb. 16, 1843, he emphasized the tenth day of the Jewish seventh month, Tishri, the Jewish Day of Atonement, as the true ending date of the prophetic 2300 years. Later he set forth the specific day as Oct. 22, 1844, our calendar equivalent of the tenth day of the seventh month in that year according to the old Karaite Jewish calendar. At first there was but little interest or response, but when Snow preached on July 21 in the large Boston Tabernacle on the text, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh [on the tenth day of the seventh month]; go ye out to meet him," some began to be roused.

Then soon after, at a large camp meeting held at Exeter, New Hampshire, Aug. 12-17, Snow's presentation was whole heartedly received. But the prominent leaders elsewhere regarded his message with marked reserve. Nevertheless, the "seventh month" message spread with seemingly irresistible power.

Snow published the True Midnight Cry (four pages), at Haverhill, Massachusetts, on Aug. 22. It was filled with brief but convincing arguments. His preaching of the definite time was soon taken up by hundreds of Millerite preachers, while Snow himself lectured continuously throughout the East. One by one the outstanding leaders joined in the swelling chorus.

In common with all Adventists, Snow was deeply disappointed in the failure of the Bridegroom to descend from heaven on Oct. 22. For a brief time he questioned as to whether a mistake had been made in the prophetic reckoning of the year.

However, he soon began to preach strange doctrines, and published a paper, the Jubilee Standard, from March to August, 1845. Sharp conflicts developed between him and the Millerites, as he went on into extreme fanaticism and finally proclaimed himself to be Elijah the prophet. He soon separated himself from Adventism in every form." —The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 10, p. 1357


White Estate denies September 23, 1844 date

In a letter to Mr. Paul Gordon Director of the White Estate, dated June 20, 1994. I asked, "did Satan answer EGW’s prayers for thirty days? Do you believe that Ellen White was mistaken on the Day of Atonement in 1844? It was not Oct. 22, but Sept. 23, 1844 reported Susan Prophsfsky, Purdue University Director of the Hillel Foundation, who researched the Day of Atonement on the computer program called, INTER LAUCH."

Mr. Gordon’s reply: "I have no particular confidence in the professor you have quoted. There is abundant evidence that this would contradict her claim. I would not hang my belief of September 23 on the words of a single professor."

Readers notice: Mr. Gordon offers only that there is abundant evidence to contradict the professor’s claim. Mr. Gordon offers not one shred of evidence that the professor is in error nor does he offer any data to show October 22 is accurate. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has yet to offer proof that October 22 was the Karaite date, for the Day of Atonement or that it was different than the Orthodox Jewish date.


"Atonement, Day of, Ancient and Modern Observance

Source: "Atonement, Day of," The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1959), pp. 190,191.

Atonement, Day of (Heb. Yom Kippur): Solemn fast –day observed on Tishri 10, described in Lev. 23:32 as a "Sabbath of solemn rest".... Seventh-day Adventist Bible Students Source Book, vol. 9, p. 61.

From the above data from Jewish sources, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aware that the Day of Atonement fell on September 23, 1844, but continues with the false date of October 22, 1844 to prop up their prophet Ellen G. White. There is no way Tishri 10 can come in late October.


L. E. Froom

Froom tries to justify the late Oct 22 date in Exhibit E and F, p. 792. Froom offers no documents to show that the Karaites held a different date than the Rabbinical Jews. —Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, p. 792.


This is important!

Ellen White based the Day of Atonement on the "Mosaic system" found in The Great Controversy p. 400, which would should have been on September 23, 1844 and not the Karaite reckoning which is the same date as the Rabbinical system. In any case EGW and the Millerites were totally in error on the date and events.

EGW: "Under the MOSAIC system ... the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh JEWISH month. ... The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the 22d of October ..." —The Great Controversy, p. 400.

EGW: "The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered of God." —The Great Controversy, p. 457.

Note: EGW contradicts God as God never ordered a set time for judgment. No one knows the day and hour or even the year. Christ will come as a thief when people least expect it to happen.



  1. It is proven from Jewish sources that the Day of Atonement was September 23, 1844.
  2. S. Snow first used the true Rabbinical Day of Atonement, then changed the date to October 22, 1844 date as the Day of Atonement. His claim that Oct 22 was the Karaites Day of Atonement is unfounded.
  3. The October 22, date has never been proven as a Day of Atonement for the Karaite Jews by Ellen G. White, S. Snow, Leroy Froom or the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  4. Ellen G. White was wrong in putting her prophetic stamp of approval on a false date as well as all the other false teachings dealing with the Oct 22, 1844 date.
  5. Seventh-day Adventists are the only ones that hold to these non Biblical teachings, Jesus and the Father was in the Holy Apt. for 1800 years moving into the Most Holy Apt. in 1844. Jesus then began an Investigative Judgment of blotting out sins and to see who was worthy of heaven.
  6. What Ellen G. White failed to see was, God already knew who were righteous by naming some of them in Hebrews 11. These Godly saints were judged worthy by God, before 1844, and proves that God did not need Ellen's false non-biblical Investigative Judgment to determine who is going to be saved. This non-Biblical teaching proves Ellen G. White is a false prophet.


Hebrew date converter

Convert dates between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars

Robert K. Sanders, Founder and Editor of Truth or Fables, 1997–2012
Life Assurance Ministries assumed ownership of Truth or Fables in 2012
© 2016 Life Assurance Ministries. All rights reserved.