Daniel 12

Chapter twelve concludes this prophecy and the book of Daniel. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, as brutal as he was, was just a foreshadowing of the coming Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation 12. The angel had already told Daniel that this prophecy was about “what will happen to [his] people in the latter days” (Daniel 10:14). In Daniel 12:1-4 the angel told Daniel that, during the reign of Antichrist, the Jewish people will undergo “a time of distress” unrivaled in their entire history. However, God has appointed the archangel, Michael, to be their national protector, and he will be very active during that time (see Revelation 12:7-17).

The angel told Daniel that he was to be done writing this vision, sealing it “until the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). Some take this to mean that Daniel was not allowed to reveal some of the prophetic information he was given. Others conclude that the seal simply indicated that what he wrote could not be changed. Many speculate that the scroll that John was given to eat so he could prophesy again in Revelation 10 may have been Daniel’s scroll, because his next major prophecy was about Antichrist. Until then, the angel said that “knowledge will increase,” possibly indicating the general knowledge amassed by humanity or increased knowledge just about the end times.

Daniel, naturally, still had questions about what he had seen. In his vision, one angel asked when these things would take place (Daniel 12:5-7). The answer was “a time, times, and half a time,” exactly the same phrase used in Daniel 7:25 about the little horn, and explained by John in Revelation 11 and 12 to be the final 3 ½ years of the 70th week (7 years) that Daniel heard in Daniel 9:27. When Antichrist’s “power…has been exhausted, all these things will be finished” (Daniel 12:7).

Daniel then asked what would happen next (Daniel 12:8). This almost certainly came out of concern for his people rather than simple curiosity. After seeing the turmoil and destruction that would come upon the Jewish people for centuries after his death, he was concerned to know how they fared in the end. The answer was reassuring.

First, he found out that he would not be told (Daniel 12:9). He had seen everything that God intended to show him. He would have to trust God and wait for the rest. Second, Daniel learned that God has it planned out to the exact number of days. “From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed” cannot refer to the action done by Antiochus, so Antichrist will do something similar near the mid-point of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). Those who survive to 75 days after the end of the Tribulation 1 will have a special blessing, because they will enter into Messiah’s kingdom (Daniel 12:11-12). Third, Daniel was assured that, after his “rest” in death, he would “arise to receive” whatever God has allotted him for his faithful service (Daniel 12:13). This is a wonderful promise showing that the Hebrew saints who “died in faith without receiving the things promised” (Hebrews 11:13) did not believe or die in vain.

This great book and great final words should cause us to look forward to our own resurrection and the final fulfillment of all of these promises. “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

Notes:

  1. 1,335 days is 75 more than the 1,260 given in Revelation 12:6, which is the explanation of “time, times, and half a time.”
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Daniel Goepfrich

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