A Fresh Look at Daniel - Part 11

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Aug 8, 2008 - 9:42:55 AM


Part XI

We come, now, to Daniel 12. This is not the epilogue to the book of Daniel. It is the conclusion of the prophecy given by Gabriel who began his prophecy at Daniel 10:20.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up[ i ], 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” (Dan. 12:1).

Michael is the great heavenly ruler over holy ones (i.e., the saints) who serves and defends the children of Israel against world-rulers of darkness in high places. It will be Michael’s official duty to order his command (or army) to stand aside; thereby, allowing Israel’s tribulation to begin. The people of Daniel, whose names are found written in the book, shall be delivered [ ii ]. The Hebrew word translated, “delivered,” is “malat (maw-lat'); a primitive root; properly, to be smooth, i.e., (by implication) to escape (as if by slipperiness);” Strong’s OT Number 4422. Those who escape will be divinely protected during the Great Tribulation.

“Written in the book” [ iii ] - is there a book in the counsels of God? We noted, in Daniel 10:21, a reference to “what is written in the scripture of truth.” Gabriel came to Daniel to inform him of what was written. We questioned if there was a book of Scripture in Gabriel’s possession? Here, in Daniel 12:1, we, again, ask the same question; is there a literal book in the realm of the spirit? The notes in the Companion Bible state: “No.” References to the book of life, the “Lamb’s book of life,” etc. are a figure of speech. God certainly doesn’t need one, but we’ll leave that for the student to ponder.

“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” (Dan. 12:2).

This is, clearly, a resurrection at “the time of the end,” that is, at the consummation of the “latter days,” or the pre-millennial Kingdom of God. The birth of a baby consummates a pregnancy; likewise, the 2nd coming of Christ and the resurrection described in 1 Corinthians 15:51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is the consummation of the age of the Lord Jesus Christ’s world-wide rule from heaven.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament [ iv ]; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

The “wise” are the instructors, turning “many to righteousness.” Many of these, I am sure, will have been raised from the dead in the earlier years of the reign of Christ from heaven and lived under His benevolent reign for hundreds of years. They shall shine as the brightness of the restored firmament, and the wise that turn many to righteousness will shine as the stars forever and ever.

“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” (Dan 12:4).

This verse is a perfect reason for believing that this prophecy will not be fulfilled until “the time of the end.” Daniel is told to close up the words, and “seal the book.” There is “the book,” again. It does make you wonder.

Many, running to and fro, indicates that many apostatize. Truth had been established in the earth for six-hundred years. Mankind had been enlightened; the standards of God’s Government were understood, world-wide, by all of mankind. But, in the closing days of the Day of Christ, there comes a falling away [apostasy] (2 Thess. 2:3) from the long established truth, and, then, the man of sin is revealed.

In the context of “many shall run to and fro,” the increase in knowledge doesn’t imply that many are getting smarter. It’s just the opposite; they’re getting dumber. They fall away from revealed truth, taking pleasures in unrighteousness, and believing the Lie; therefore, God sends them strong delusions that they all might be damned (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

The Old Testament word for “knowledge,” in Daniel 12:4, is “da` ath (dah'-ath)” which means “cunning,” “ignorantly,” “unawares,” or “unwittingly”[ iv ]. The note in the Companion Bible says that the Septuagint renders this; “till many have gone raving mad.” The CB, also, says that “wickedness increases.” The remote context of Daniel 12:4 is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 which clearly indicates that those who apostatize have been sent strong delusions so that they believe the “lying” signs and wonders of the Wicked.

Now, Daniel speaks, saying, “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. 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? 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 shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Dan 12:5-7).

Daniel heard one angelic being ask, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” The answer came back to the angel, “it shall be for a time, times, and an half” (i.e., three and a half years).

Daniel heard but didn’t understand. “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”(Verse 8).

Daniel heard but didn’t understand. He was not expected to understand. Even though we have more information than Daniel had at the time of this vision, we are not able to fully understand.

Daniel was told, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Verse 9).

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Dan 12:10). The wicked does wickedly, and they will not understand. This adds to the understanding of what we have of Verse 4; running to and fro, and increasing in wickedness (knowledge). In the day of this fulfillment, the wise will understand what’s going on and what will be the outcome.

"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance" (Dan. 12:11-13). NIV

Why the extra forty-five days? Like Daniel, “I do not understand.” Daniel is told he will rest in death and stand in resurrection. In resurrection, he will understand, exactly, the events unfolding before his eyes, and he will know the outcome before the time of the end plays out.

Most of the prophecies of Daniel, which were divinely interpreted for him, will find their fulfillment in the “latter days.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-statue-vision of Chapter Two has never been, historically, fulfilled. It will become a reality when the next dispensation begins “the latter days,” or the Kingdom of God.

Nebuchadnezzar’s “tree dream” of Chapter Four was a historical event, fulfilled in Daniel’s and Nebuchadnezzar’s lifetime.

The dream-visions of Daniel in Chapter Seven, concerning the “four great beasts,” have nothing to do with historic nations, or kings. It will find its fulfillment during the consummation of the coming age.

In the vision Daniel had concerning the ram and goat in Chapter Eight, Gabriel interprets the vision for him and states, “O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be this vision” (17). This informs us of what time period this vision relates to ─ the future. The vision of Chapter Nine and the visions of Chapters Ten through Twelve all relate to the prophecies which will be converted into reality, in the future, at “the time of the end” of the “latter days.”

This concludes our “Fresh Look at Daniel” series. In this eleven-part series, we did not re-interpret the clear God-given interpretations. We made no attempt to match details with any historical nation, or personality unless the divine interpretation did. The only future king the Word identified by name was Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel Two. [Perhaps Cyrus will be one of the five kings mentioned in Daniel Chapter Two, as we mentioned on Page 29 of this study].

The visions and dreams which are related to events, we learned, do not belong to the historical past, but to the “latter days,” the “hereafter,” “the Day of Jesus Christ,” “the time of the end, ”or the “Kingdom of God.” All of these are different titles of the next dispensation.

The trek up Mount Daniel provided vistas which this mountaineer had never seen before. It is hoped that other mountaineers who have trekked along with us on our ascent of Mount Daniel did not turn back. The panoramic view, from our vantage point, is a view which few, or if any, have ever seen before. If there is any discarded gear on the trail we trekked, it probably belongs to some of the mountaineers who started out with us but abandoned the climb.


[ i ] The Hebrew word for “stand up” is awmad; stand aside, cease, tarry.

[ ii ] This is not the place for a study on what, or who restrains the Antichrist from reeking havoc on the Jews and Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation. Suffice it to say, Michael is, “he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.

[ iii ] The “book,” here, is a reference to God’s Book in Exodus 32:32-33, as well as, Revelation 3:5; 13:8, 20; 20:12, 15.

[ iv ] The “firmament” (the raqia, or raqiya) of Genesis 1:6-8 fell to earth as rain during Noah’s Flood. It had been the canopy enveloping the earth, filtering out all harmful rays of the sun. The original earth had moderate temperatures from pole to pole. Before the flood, man was encased in a perfect environment - like a hyperbaric chamber. When Acts 3:19 (the restitution of all things) comes to pass, the firmament will reappear in the heavens, as it was in Genesis 1:6-8. The author subscribes to the “Canopy Theory,” full well recognizing that it is a much debated theory among creationists.

[ v ] Strong’s Number 1847.

Tom L. Ballinger