|DANIEL - Chapter 12 Commentary
Some scholars think that chapters 10 through 12 should be continuous. However, Albert Barnes in Barnes Notes on the Old Testament feels that a break can be made after 12:4. That is because it appears the first four verses still cover the interfacing of the angel and Daniel. Although some scholars like to tie things together a little, there are still things that clearly break away from being and Antiochus reference and look at end times that simply do not fit Antiochus. Recall there was some fairly clean change when the Antichrist description occurs in 11:36. Some examples of differences are the references on end times, resurrection of the dead, and everlasting life and shame. Therefore, this appears to refer to the Antichrist.
Daniel is very perplexed at the predictions. He did not have a complete understanding. He even wants to know when all this will occur. He did not understand the angel's answer. In actuality, the angel did not know. In fact, nobody knows the end except God the Father, Jehovah. Daniel is told to seal the prophecies with an inference that it will be more clearly understood at a later time. The use of the time terms "time plus times plus 1/2 time" rears its head again.
The words "at that time" refer to the time of the events of 11:36-45, the Great Tribulation. Israel will be watched by the great prince, Michael. Remember Michael, which means "who is like God", is the special guardian of the affairs of Israel and is designated the archangel. Jesus used the same words in Matthew. Michael will stand up or stand guard to protect Israel. Here he is saying that there will be more troubles than has ever been known before that time. Many scholars think that the previous references to Michael standing and the troubles pertain to ALL people (not just Israel) the end times with the Antichrist. Remember that after Christ, all believers, gentile or Jewish, are under the same God and angel protections.
The second "at that time" refer to when the troubles have reached their peak. At that time, the people of God will be delivered. They shall be found written in "the book" (the Book of Life). This area is covered in much more detail in Revelation (Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21.27; 22:19).
20 "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;
21 for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall."
This verse predicts the resurrection of the righteous dead of OT times as will as the righteous martyrs of the Tribulation at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 20:4-6). Believers of the church age will already have been changed and raised at the Rapture.
As is frequently the case in prophecy, information was provided for Daniel concerning the facts abut two resurrections, while the chronology of such events was revealed later to John on Patmos. Daniel was simply instructed that there were to be two phases to the resurrection, one involving the righteous, who would be raised to life, and another focusing on the lost, who would be raised to experience everlasting shame and contempt. John revealed that an interval of 1000 years (i.e. the millennium) would separate the two resurrections. The resurrection of the wicked does not occur at the same time, but after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5).
Those who have insight will see through Antichrist's deception. They will also lead others to the truth during the tribulation period. Amid the dark, agonizing days of tribulation predicted in Daniel, here is a promise of refreshing relief. Out of that great period of depression and in every period of history, those possessing the wisdom of god shine as the brightness of the firmament [expanse defined in the Bible as the space between the earth and the sky - 1st heaven of three (KJV singular; others plural) (Gen. 1:6-8, 14-15, 17, 20)], especially those whose lives are given to the task of turning men to righteousness. These will glow like the stars for eternity.
The words were to be "shut up", which means no more will be added to what the angel told Daniel. Then the words are to be sealed up in the book. The book of information to Daniel from the angel is to be kept intact so as to help those living in the future tribulation days when more knowledge and understanding will be there at that time. As the end approaches, people will travel "many will go back and forth" about seeking to discover what the future holds. The knowledge of the truth will be known to those who truly seek the truth. A time of astonishing mobility and momentous increase of knowledge was forecast for the last days. Does that sound like we are getting (or already) there?
Daniel sees two figures. The two figures were probably two angels. One was on one side of the river and one was on the other side of the river. Daniel's final encounter with angelic messengers probably occurred still on the river Hiddekel, the Tigris.
The second angel may have been there all the time. He asks a question as if he had been there and wanted to have additional information. This angel seeks information from the one clothed with linen that originally showed himself to Daniel at the river in Dan. 10:5. The question raised was one of paramount interest to Daniel also, namely, how long would it be before all of these wonders would be brought to an end?
The original man clothed in linen holds up his hands toward heaven and makes an oath in the name of God ("Him that lives forever"). The angel that asked the question and Daniel were informed that "a time, times, and half a time" must be accomplished before all would be finished. A "time" is a year; "times" indicates two years,; "half" refers to 1/2 of a year. This is a total of 3-1/2 years., represented the concluding half of the Tribulation as described in Matthew. The Tribulation is a total of seven years. However, the last 3-1/2 years is traditionally called the Great Tribulation. No one knows but God the Father, Jehovah when the Tribulation will be.
Daniel heard the words but did not understand the man in clothe. They had been told "a time, times, and half a time" must be accomplished before all would be finished. Daniel asks also for the end time.
The man in clothe then says to Daniel to no ask any more questions. Go on with life. The words are now sealed until the time of the end comes. This is only known by God the Father.
As the concluding days came, the wise and righteous were promised a growing understanding and comprehension of what god had revealed to Daniel. On the other hand, the wicked would continue unable to comprehend the significance of the message. Those that know the truth will be purified by the grace of God. They will be given a foundational garment of white. The white is a sign of purity. This is the outfit described in Revelation for the purified (Rev. 3:4-5, 18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13-14; 19:14)
"From the time the daily sacrifice is taken away" is referring to the decree the Antichrist will make to stop all sacrifices. This, admittedly was also done by Antiochus. Actually, it is said this was done by others that took over the Jews. However, the context of this chapter and other activities associated with the Antichrist removes the thought that this is referring to Antiochus.
The phrase "the abomination of desolation" occurs at the midpoint of the tribulation "week" t(seventieth week) he Antichrist will abolish the Jewish sacrifices and perform abominations on the Temple. From that time to the end will be 1290 days. Normally 3-1/2 years (of the Jewish 360 days per year) would include only 1260 days. The extra 30 days mentioned here allow for the judgments that will take place after the Second Coming of the Christ.
There is another possible thought for this period being 30 days of one month longer that the usual designation of 1260 days. It is the events involved in the treachery of the Antichrist against Israel covered the month immediately prior to the actual initiation of the awful persecution of the Jews during the last 3-1/2 years of the great Tribulation.
There still are those that say that this refers to approximately 3-1/2 years between the time Antiochus removed the sacrifice to the time when Judas Maccabbeus purified the Temple after overthrowing Antiochus.
The patience of those who wait for the end to know the truth will gain them grace and blessings from God. Because the one who lives 75 days after the second advent (1335 days from the midpoint of the Tribulation) is called blessed, this must mark the beginning of the actual functioning of Christ's millennial kingdom. There is not a very good explanation from many commentaries for the unusual number of days. It appears it is referring to a number of days after the mid-point of the Tribulation.
The strange reference to the blessedness of those who came through the 1335 days must relate to the early days of the kingdom or millennial era, though it is not clear exactly how (verse 12).
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