Daniel 12 - Outline of Daniel (Book Notes menu page)
II. Daniel's Visions concerning the Times of the Gentiles (ch. 7-12)
D. The Time of the End (ch. 10-12)
  1. The Preparation for the Vision (10:1-21)
  2. The Rise of the Little Horns (11:1-45)
    1. A vile person who foreshadows the Antichrist (Antiochus Epiphanes). 11:1-35
    2. The willful king at the Time of the End (the Antichrist). 11:36-45
  3. The End of the Times of the Gentiles,
    The Great Tribulation...
    1. the deliverance of God's people, v.1
    2. the resurrections, v.2-3
    3. the sealed book, v.4-13
Chapter 12 concludes the vision begun in ch.10. The thought flows without break from the last verses of ch.11 (Dan 11:36-45).
1. And at that time shall Michael stand up,
the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:
and there shall be a time of trouble,
such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time:
and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
every one that shall be found written in the book.
at that time...- ie., at the time of the end,
when the Antichrist plants himself in Jerusalem (Dan 11:35b-45).
...shall Michael stand up...-
Michael, the archangel (whose name means "Who is like God?"), has stood faithfully with the LORD in behalf of Israel, in the spiritual warfare that has raged down through the ages (cp. Dan 10:20,21; Jude 1:9). But at the time of the end, Michael will rise to take specific action to bring God's purposes, regarding Israel, to their promised conclusion.
     The book of Revelation provides insight into this event in at least two places.
  1. Michael is mentioned by name, in Rev 12:7.
  2. He is referred to as "another mighty angel" in Rev 10:1-7 (also see the Book Notes at that reference).
    Some scholars believe this passage (Rev 10:1-7) refers to Christ, because the archangel is seen in great glory and holding the 'little book' (presumably, the seven sealed scroll of Rev ch.5).
       However, we note that Christ has all authority, while this angel acts on the authority of his Master (Rev 10:6).
       The book in his hands is 'little' because, by that time, all of the seven Seals will have been opened by Christ, and most of the Trumpet judgments will have been executed. Only the Bowl judgments will remain.
       By possession of this book, the angel does not possess title over the earth (for that belongs to Christ). Rather, the book conveys authoritative instruction to the angel, that he may understand, proclaim, and obey God's will. It is for a similar limited purpose that the angel gives the book to John (Rev 10:8-11).
For what purpose does Michael 'stand up'?
  1. to proclaim "that there should be time no longer."
    • The unspecified length of time that would elapse prior to "the time of the end" (ie., between the Sixty-ninth and Seventieth weeks of Dan 9:24-27) will have come to its end.
    • The specified length of time, until God's purposes are complete, is about to begin.
      With this proclamation, God's calendar is set at the middle of the seventieth week (the seven year Tribulation period), marking the beginning of the "Great Tribulation," the Time of Jacob's Trouble (the last half of the Tribulation period, Jer 30:7).
      Note the time references:
      • The angel speaks just before the seventh "Trumpet" (Rev 10:7; 11:15), following which the seven "Bowls" of wrath are poured upon the Beast (the Antichrist) and his kingdom, during the closing half of the Seventieth Week (as described in Revelation ch. 12-19).
             [See the Book Notes and graphics, at Rev 8:1-3, for the order of Seals, Trumpets and Bowl judgments.]
      • The specific amount of time remaining is enumerated in the immediate context (cp. Dan 12:6,7; Rev 11:1-3; 13:4,5).
  2. to press the battle in behalf of God's people,
    during the period of their great Tribulation (Rev 12:6-17).
As Daniel's vision opened, we were told (in Dan 10:14):
  • that it pertains to Israel (Daniel's people).
    Therefore, this vision has nothing to do with the Church, which was not revealed in the OT. The Church is active during the period (of unspecified length) between the Sixty-ninth and Seventieth weeks. But the true Church will have been taken out of the earth via the Rapture, before Michael stands up for Israel.
  • that it pertains to 'the latter days' (ie., the Seventieth Week, the Tribulation period).
  • that it was 'for many days' (far in the future from Daniel's time).
    When Michael stands up, the time for fulfillment will have come.
...and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was...-
Jesus warned that this time of unprecedented trouble would follow the appearance of "the abomination of desolation" (cp. v.11 with Mat 24:15-22).
The severity of that trouble is emphasized, in the book of Daniel...
  • by multiple foreviews of the coming Antichrist:
    • Dan 7:7-8,23-26 (the little horn out of the Roman empire);
    • 8:8-11,23-25 (the little horn out of the Greek empire who foreshadows the Antichrist);
    • 9:27 (the Antichrist's covenant and its breaking);
    • 11:21-35 (the vile person who foreshadows the Antichrist);
    • 11:36-45 (the willful king who is the Antichrist).
  • by the accounts of persecutions (in Daniel's day) like those of believers during the Tribulation...
  • by revelation of the course of gentile world dominion and its end:
    • through Nebuchadnezzar's vision (Dan 2:37-45),
    • as illustrated by the sudden fall of Babylon and the death of Belshazzar (Dan ch.5),
    • as seen in the foreview of the Son of man, who will receive everlasting dominion (Dan 7:9-14; Rev 5:1-14).
at that time, thy people shall be delivered....-
The promise of deliverance is included in the prophecy of the time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer 30:7; cp. Isa 11:10-12; Eze 39:25-29; Zech 12:3-10). Those delivered "at that time" will enter into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
...every one that shall be found written in the book.-
The promised deliverance applies to the believing remnant of Israel, not to the ethnic nation as a whole (see Zech 13:8,9). The book of life records those who have been redeemed through faith in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many Jews (and gentiles) will worship the Antichrist. Rev 13:8; Rom 9:6-8; 10:1-4; 11:5-7,25-27
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.
...many... that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake...-
The resurrection of the dead is clearly taught in the OT as well as in the NT.
eg., Job 19:25-27; Psa 17:15; Isa 26:19; Eze 37:1-4,12; Hos 13:14
(Note that some of those passages also connect the resurrection with Christ's Kingdom.)
some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.-
This verse identifies two resurrectons:
  1. The resurrection to everlasting life...
    (referred to, elsewhere, as "the first resurrection" and "the resurrection of the just"). Luk 14:13,14; Rev 20:4-6
  2. The resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt.
    The last resurrection is of the Unjust, to eternal judgment (Mat 25:46; Rev 20:11-15).
    Wherever these two resurrections are mentioned together, it is always in this order (cp. v.2; Joh 5:28,29; Acts 24:15).
       The Resurrection of the Just is "first" because it precedes that of the Unjust by a long period of time (Rev 20:5).
The first resurrection is not one isolated event. It includes (in this order):
  1. Christ, the firstfruits, 1Cor 15:22,23
  2. The Rapture of the Church, 1Thes 4:13-18
    The Rapture does not include the resurrection of OT saints, since it applies only to "the dead in Christ."
    Who are those who are "in Christ"? see 1Cor 12:12,13; Gal 3:26-28
  3. The Two witnesses, Rev 11:3,7,11
  4. The Tribulation martyrs, Rev 20:4-5
  5. The OT saints, Isa 26:19-21; Dan 12:1-3,13
All who are included in the first resurrection will be present in Christ's Millennial Kingdom, and will continue to live with Him eternally in the new heaven and new earth.
[For more about the resurrections, see Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, Chapter 4: "The Two Resurrections (of Dead Men)"]
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
The testimony of those who know the LORD will shine brilliantly in the dark days of the Tribulation. Beyond that time, the LORD will honor His faithful servants with eternal rewards.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
shut up the words... seal the book...-
Although Daniel understood some aspects of it (Dan 10:1), the message which he received would not be fully understood until its fulfillment, at "the time of the end."
many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.-
While it is true that worldwide travel and scientific knowledge have increased exponentially since Daniel's day, these things are not in view in the context of this passage.
  • To "run to and fro" is to make search, to seek answers.
    eg., 2Sam 24:2,8 (where the same word is translated 'go through'); 2Chr 16:9; Job 1:7,8; 2:2,3; Jer 5:1
    ie., From Daniel's day onward, until the time of the end, many would seek to understand the meaning of these prophecies.
    Some would find truth, others heresy (cp. Amos 8:12).
  • Between Daniel's day and the time of the end, knowledge would be increased because...
    God was going to reveal more about these things in the NT.
    In "the Revelation," Jesus Christ specifically reveals {uncovers previously hidden} "things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev 1:1-3) and opens the seven sealed book (Rev 5:1-7; 6:1-f). Much, of what was closed to Daniel's understanding, has been opened for believers who "rightly divide the Word of Truth," today (2Tim 2:15). Yet, there are many things that will remain unclear, or even totally sealed, until the time comes (eg., Rev 10:4).
5. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two,
the one on this side of the bank of the river,
and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6 And [one] said to the man clothed in linen,
which [was] upon the waters of the river,
How long [shall it be to] the end of these wonders?
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen,
which [was] upon the waters of the river,
when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven,
and sware by him that liveth for ever
that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half;
and when he
{ie., the Antichrist} shall have accomplished
to scatter the power of the holy people,
all these [things] shall be finished.
the man clothed in linen...- is the heavenly messenger, probably Gabriel,
who delivered this vision to Daniel (Dan 10:4-6).
Compare his statement in v.7 with that of Michael in Rev 10:5-7
how long...? ...it shall be for a time, times, and an half.-
ie., Three and a half years: the last half of the seven year Tribulation period, during which the Antichrist presents himself as god in the Temple (Dan 7:23-25; Rev 11:1-3; 13:4,5).
...and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.-
  • "To scatter the power" is lit., "to shatter the hand."
  • The "holy people {or, nation}" is Israel, against whom the Antichrist will be allowed to prevail during the closing half of the Tribulation (Dan 7:25; Rev 12:13,14; 13:5-7).
        When Israel's confidence, in the power of her own hand for self-preservation, has been shattered, they will look to the LORD for deliverance. Then, God's purpose in troubling them will have been accomplished. cp. Deu 8:17,18; Psa 44:3; 109:26,27; Jer 16:14-21; Zech 4:6
8 And I heard, but I understood not:
then said I, O my Lord, what [shall be] the end of these [things]?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel:
for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
I heard, but I understood not...-
Like the other prophets, Daniel faithfully recorded the Word received from the LORD, though he could not fully comprehend it. The message would become clear at a later time. cp. 1Pet 1:10-12
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried;
{cp. Titus 3:5,6; 1Pet 1:6,7; Rev 7:13,14}
but the wicked shall do wickedly:
and none of the wicked shall understand;
{cp. 1Cor 2:7,8,14; Joh 15:18-21}
but the wise shall understand.
{cp. v.3; Joh 16:13}
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.
12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth,
and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
...the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up...-
This is the event of which Jesus warned in Mat 24:15. It marks the mid-point of the Seventieth week (Dan 9:27). The Antichrist will be allowed to continue his blasphemous reign for three and a half years, which is forty-two months, or 1260 days (v.7; Dan 7:25; Rev 11:2,3; 13:5,6).
from the time.... there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Beyond the 1260 days of Antichrist's reign, another 30 days are added, totaling 1290 days. The purpose for the additional 30 days is not specified. However, when the 1260 days close with the judgment of the Antichrist and his armies (Rev 19:20,21), there will be many survivors of the Tribulation, whose allegiance is unknown. This transitional period, between the Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom, may be given to judgment, of individual Jews (Eze 20:33-44) and Gentiles (Joel 3:2,3; Mat 25:31-46). The 'sheep' and the 'goats' will be separated. Those, who had believed and obeyed God's Word during the time of great deception, will be judged worthy to enter into Christ's Millennial Kingdom (cp. Isa 25:9), while those, who opposed God's Word and persecuted His people, will go away into everlasting punishment.
blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to {ie., reaches} the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Another 45 days are added, for a total of 1335 days. Again, we are not told what will transpire during this time. But because those who reach this point are 'blessed,' this day may mark the full functioning of the Millennial Kingdom (eg., Mat 25:34; 5:3-12; Rom 11:15). This extended period of transition may include the partial cleansing of Israel's land, from the debris of war, and the supernatural preparation and occupation of the fourth Temple, in Jerusalem, where the Messiah will dwell and reign as King over all the earth (Eze 43:1-12). [The third temple, which will be built and defiled by Antichrist during the Tribulation, will have been destroyed in the closing judgments of that period.]
    Beyond the simple explanations above, many speculative and elaborate theories have been suggested to explain the periods of 1290 and 1335 days. However, we should not expect to understand fully, until the time comes (v.9).
13 But go thou thy way till the end [be]:
for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
The closing word is a personal message to Daniel. Before these things would be accomplished, he would rest in death. But "at the end of the days" (ie., at the conclusion of the 1335 days), he would "stand in [his] lot" (ie., he would be raised from the dead, with the other OT saints; see note above at v.2) to enter the Messiah's Millennial Kingdom, for which he passionately prayed with watchful yearning.

This concludes the study in Daniel.
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