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FRAMEWORKS: Daniel 12:  The Vision Concludes


v.1-4 Daniel is told of the End Time

v.5-7 Another asks for Daniel and is told it will be in a set time

v.8-13 Daniel also asks and is told there is a set time



v.1-4 Daniel is told of the End Time


v.1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 

v.2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 

v.3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 

v.4  But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” 


[Notes: Although this is a continuation of the previous chapter, it very much has the feel of the end time when Jesus returns and what follows [see Rev 19 onwards]. Daniel is told this scroll is for that time.]



v.5-7 Another asks for Daniel and is told it will be in a set time


v.5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 

v.6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?” 

v.7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.” 


[Notes: The river [v.5] we were told was the Tigris [see 10:4] and now Daniel sees two other divine messengers, subservient to the first one, who question when these things will happen and are told that when three and a half times [1 + 2 + 1/2] have passed. Some suggest that as seven is the perfect divine number, 3½ is usually taken to mean a limited divinely appointed time, i.e. God has decreed the times and He will cut them off to prevent them just going on.]



v.8-13 Daniel also asks and is told there is a set time


v.8  I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” 

v.9  He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 

v.10  Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. 

v.11  “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 

v.12  Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. 

v.13  “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.”


[Notes: Daniel is perplexed by this and wonders what will be the outcome and a second time [also v.4] is told it is for the end time when there will be a time of judgment [v.10]. Next, unclear periods are given in v.11 & 12 and many interpretations are offered by commentators. In the absence of clarity perhaps the best thing to do is remember Jesus' words that about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” [Mt 24:36] The final verse of the book, starting “as for you” reminds us of Jesus' words to the apostle Peter when he questioned him about John and what might happen to him, “ If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” [Jn 21:22] i.e. here, “don't worry about it – you will eventually die but you will also receive the resurrection of the dead.” We too may be perplexed by not being told exact details but our calling is to follow, even when unclear ‘how long', and simply trust God. End of the book.]



APPENDIX: Ongoing History of the area


Perhaps to help the reader, an understanding of how history actually rolled out might be helpful:

With the fall of Babylon in 539BC the  Persian Empire prevailed as the dominant power, first with Cyrus and other following kings.

•  Between 486 and 465/64 the Persian king ruling was Xerxes I, otherwise known as Ahasuerus.

•  He features in Esther 1:1 thus identifying the period where Jews' lives were threatened throughout the Persian Empire, which stretched from India to Ethiopia, [Est 1:1] and were only saved by the activities of a man named Mordecai and his niece, Esther, who lived in one of the four Persian capitals, Susa. Although this was not a struggle that involved fighting, nevertheless the very existence of the returned people, and the many Jews scattered over the Persian Empire, was under threat.

•  Thus the historical books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, together with some of the minor prophets, such as Malachi are the last Biblical books giving details of the lives of the Jews at that time.

•  Round about 330BC the  Persian Empire  was overcome by the  Greeks  under Alexander the Great who brought Greek culture and language (known as the  Hellenistic  period which lasted for a little less than two hundred years). His kingdom was eventually divided among four of his generals.

•  One of these, Ptolemy, was given the rule of  Egypt  and established himself as king and created a dynasty that lasted from 305BC to the Roman conquest of 30BC (the  Egyptian Ptolemaic Empire) and they had control over the Jews. They are significant in that a number of Jews settled in Egypt and particularly in Alexandria and between 250 and 130BC a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which we now call the Septuagint, was produced to help those Jews living outside Jerusalem and beyond Canaan who were becoming more Greek orientated.

•  About 198BC the  Syrian Empire  to the north gained control over the Jews and put pressure throughout their empire to spread the Greek culture, even seeking to stop the Jews following their traditional ways of life and even turning the temple into a pagan shrine.

•  A revolt occurred in Israel and eventually, Judas (Maccabeus) from a priestly family took control and independence was eventually gained. In 164BC the temple was cleansed and the event became the annual celebration in December of Hanukkah, the ‘Feast of Lights'.

•  The period of 164-63BC now tends to be referred to as the Hasmonean or  Maccabean Period . (Hasmonean coming from the Hebrew name, Simon, one of the early Maccabean leaders). Nine rulers followed Judas Maccabeus, and as time passed they became more dictatorial and corrupt. Internal strife led their leaders to ask the Roman general, Pompey, to come and restore order and thus  Roman rule  started in 63BC and continued until well into the next millennia.

•  In 40BC the Romans appointed Herod the Great as king of Judea and he died about 4BC . Thus the nation existed under the rule of Rome at the time of Jesus' birth.

•  In 67AD came the great Jewish revolt and in 70AD the Romans destroyed the Temple and much of the city and the great dispersion of the Jews occurred (Read the allegorical description in Rev 12).