I. Video. What can the book of Daniel tell us about God’s plan for our future?
II. Video Data. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg, (M. Div., D. Min.), (Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021).
III. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910- 2002) Daniel Commentary.
A. The material described as the fourth vision of Daniel beginning in chapter 10 has its climax in the great tribulation and the resurrection which follows, mentioned in the early verses of chapter 12. This is also the high point in the book of Daniel itself and the goal of Daniel’s prophecies relating both to the Gentiles and to Israel. It is comparable to Revelation 19, the high point of the last book of the Bible.
B. The chapter division at this point is unfortunate as the narrative of chapter 11 naturally extends through the first three verses of chapter 12. The first four verses of chapter 12 are the completion of the long section which began with chapter 10. They give in remarkably brief compass and restrained language the writer’s expectation of what the divinely appointed end would be like. It would be the climax of which Israel would be the centre, as is shown by the fact that Michael, the patron angel of Israel, is to play the decisive part on God’s behalf. The great tribulation will come to a head but Israel will escape, all those in Israel, that is to say, whose names are written in the book of life (Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5). God already knows His own.
C. Added to the previous revelation are the important disclosures (1) that the time of the end has a special relationship to “the children of thy people,” that is, Israel, (2) that Israel will experience at that time a special deliverance to be realized by those in Israel who worship God, and (3) that the doctrine of resurrection which climaxes the time of the end is the special hope of those who are martyred.
D. The entire section from Daniel 11:36 to 12:3 constitutes a revelation of the major factors of the time of the end which may be summarized as follows: (1) a world ruler, (2) a world religion, (3) a world war, (4) a time of great tribulation for Israel, (5) deliverance for the people of God at the end of the tribulation, (6) resurrection and judgment, and (7) reward of the righteous. All of these factors are introduced in this section. Added elsewhere in the Scriptures are the additional facts that this time of the end begins with the breaking of the covenant by “the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26-27); that the “time of the end” will last for three and one-half years (Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 13:5); that the time of the end is the same as the time of Jacob’s trouble and the great tribulation (Jer 30:7; Mt 24:21). Many additional details are supplied in Revelation 6-19.
E. The fact that the opening section of chapter 12 is obviously eschatologically future, constitutes a major embarrassment to liberals who attempt to find Antiochus Epiphanes in 11:36-45. Chapter 12, which is naturally connected to the preceding section, clearly does not refer to Antiochus Epiphanes but to the consummation of the ages and the resurrection and reward of the saints. Nowhere does the attempt to make Daniel entirely history fail more miserably than here, as the detailed exegesis of these verses demonstrates.
F. The opening phrase of chapter 12, and at that time, makes clear that this passage is talking about the same period of time as the previous context, that is, “the time of the end” (11:40). The action here in verse 1 is not subsequent to the preceding events but coincides with them chronologically. Chapter 11 had dealt primarily with the political and religious aspects of the time of the end. Chapter 12 relates this now to the people of Israel. Here is stated in clear terms that this is the time of trouble for the people of Israel, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” To take the expression the children of thy people in any other sense than that of Israel is to ignore the uniform meaning of thy people throughout the book of Daniel. The people involved are a nation, that is, the nation Israel.
G. The unprecedented time of trouble here mentioned is a major theme of both the Old and New Testament. As early as Deuteronomy 4:30, it was predicted that “in the latter days” the children of Israel would be “in tribulation.” Jeremiah had referred to it as “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” in his lament, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer 30:7).
H. Christ described the great tribulation as beginning with “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet”(Mt 24:15), a reference to the breaking of the covenant and desecration of the temple in Daniel 9:27. Christ’s warning to the children of Israel at that time was that they should “flee into the mountains,” not taking time to secure clothes or food. Christ graphically described the period in these words, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Mt 24:21-22).
1. This description of the time of the end confirms Daniel’s revelation that the time of the end will be a period of trouble such as the world has never known, trouble of such character that it would result in the extermination of the human race if it were not cut short by the consummation, the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is made clear from a further study of Revelation 6-19, where the great catastrophies which overtake the world in the breaking of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets, and the emptying of the vials of divine judgment decimate the world’s population. All of these Scriptures agree that there is no precedent to this end-time trouble.
2. Numerous other allusions in Scripture to this period indicate that it is indeed a time of supreme trial for Israel. Zehariah 13:8 declares of this period, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.” Zechariah goes on to picture the refining process until the people of Israel acknowledge the Lord as their God. The very next verses describe the final struggle for Jerusalem and the second advent of Christ which delivers Israel. This time of trouble is parallel to the warfare described in Daniel 11:40-45.
I. In their distress, the children of Israel are especially aided by Michael, the archangel (Jude 9). As the head of the holy angels, Michael is given the special responsibility of protecting the children of Israel. Although Calvin preferred the interpretation that Michael was the person of Christ,there is no justification for confusing Michael and Christ. Earlier in Daniel itself, mention was made of Michael in Daniel 10:13-21, where Michael participated in the angelic warfare which had prevented the messenger from reaching Daniel promptly. Michael was indeed a “great prince” among the angels whose activity is especially directed to the children of Israel in their time of great trouble.
J. Because of the purpose of God and the ministry of Michael, it is revealed to Daniel that “at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” This obviously refers to the end of the tribulation, at which time some of the children of Israel, who by miraculous divine protection had been preserved, will be delivered from their persecutors (Dan 7:18, 27). The repeated reference to “thy people,” twice in one verse, seems to limit this to the people of Israel, rather than to all the saints as Young and Leupold interpret it, after Calvin. This is in keeping with the whole tenor of Daniel which deals with Israel as Daniel’s people. The deliverance will not extend to all Israel, in that unbelieving or apostate Israel is excluded; and even here, it refers only to those actually living at the time of the return of Christ as many others may be martyred. The prophecy assures, however, that in spite of satanic efforts to exterminate the people of Israel, a godly remnant will be ready to greet their Messiah when He returns (Zee 12:10; 13:8-9). The people of Israel who have endured the times of the Gentiles ever since the days of Nebuchadnezzar will be delivered “at that time,” an expression repeated twice in this verse. (Ryrie Study Bible Luke 21:24 note: “the times of the Gentiles.” The period of Gentile domination of Jerusalem, which probably began under Nebuchadnezzar (587 B.C., was certainly in effect in A.D. 70 and continues into the Tribulation (cf Rev 11:2.)
K. The reference to “every one that shall be found written in the book” conveys the thought that those delivered have their names inscribed in the book of life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27). At the second coming of Christ, not every individual Israelite is spiritually prepared for His return, as Ezekiel 20:33-38 makes clear, describing the purging out of the rebels in Israel at the time of the second advent. Although Israel as a nation will be delivered from their persecutors (Rom 11:26), individual Israelites will still face the searching judgment of Christ as to their spiritual preparation to enter the kingdom. For Jew as well as Gentile, the issue will be whether they have eternal life.
IV. Scripture Text. Daniel Chapter 12. Link pasted from Bible Gateway
V. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., Litt. D.,1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.
A. 12:1. “at that time.” The time of the events of 11:36-45, the Great Tribulation. “Michael.” See note on 10:13. “such as never occurred” C.f. Jesus’ words in Matt 24:21.
B. 12:2. The verse predicts the resurrection of the righteous dead of OT times, as well 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 (The resurrection of the wicked does not occur at the same time, but after the Millennium (Rev 20:5).
C. 12:3. “Those who have insight ” will see through Antichrist’s deception. They will also lead others to the truth during the tribulation period.
D. 12:4. “seal up the book.” Not that its meaning was left to be unexplained, but that the book was to be kept intact so as to help those living in the future tribulation days. “many will go back and forth.” As the end approaches, people will travel about seeking to discover what the future holds.
E. 12:5. Likely two angels.
F. 12:7. The events of the Tribulation will be consummated when the “time, times, and half a time” (the last 3 1/2 years of that 7 year period) come to a close. These last 3 1/2 years constitute the Great Tribulation (cf Mt 24:21).
G. 12:8. Even Daniel did not understand all these prophecies.
H. 12:11. “the abomination of desolation.” At the midpoint of the tribulation “week” Antichrist will abolish the Jewish sacrifices (9:27; Matt 24:15 note). From that point to the end will be 1290 days. Normally 3 1/2 years (of 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 Christ (See notes at Ezek 20:33-44; Joel 3:2-3; Matt 25:32).
I. 12:12. 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.
J. 12:13. “you will enter rest.” I.e., Daniel would die but is promised that he will “rise” (be resurrected) and receive his inheritance (portion) in our Lord’s millennial kingdom.
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