AT THAT TIME MICHAEL, THE GREAT PRINCE WHO PROTECTS YOUR
PEOPLE, WILL ARISE: Michael is the angel responsible for overseeing and
protecting Israel (Dan 10:13,14,21); he will arise in defense of this nation.
The presence of Michael defines the scope and location of this prophecy:
plainly, it has to do with Israel and the Land of Israel!
"The Michael who had earlier joined forces with the angel
Gabriel (Dan 10:20,21) to ensure a prompt response to Daniel's pleading, appears
in a dramatic scene in the Last Days going into action (behind the scenes, as
formerly) on behalf of Israel. The Scriptures which associate him as specially
concerned with the Ministry of Israelitish Affairs are few but impressive (Exo
23:20...; Jos 5:14; Zech 3:1 with Jud 1:9; Rev 12:7). The reasons for equating
this Michael with the Lord Jesus are quite inadequate, and (in Dan 10:21) would
involve a strange concept of personal pre-existence" (WDan).
A TIME OF DISTRESS: "For then there will be great
distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now -- and never to be
equaled again" (Mat 24:21). "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On
the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing
of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the
world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken" (Luk 21:25,26). This distress
will most directly affect Israel (cp Deu 4:30; Jer 30:7): the repetition of
"your people" in this verse clearly identifies the Jews, not all believers; they
will be the focus of intense persecution, and their land will become an
international battlefield (cp Mat 24:22 in context). But those who believe will
be delivered from their enemies (Zec 12:10; 13:8,9; Rom 11:26).
"This prophecy speaks of a time when the powers of heaven are
shaken, so that it needs the strong action of this archangel of God to save His
people in their final crisis (1Th 4:16,17). This, it may be fairly safely
surmised, will be when the final 'overturning' of the nation takes place. It
will be 'a time of trouble such as never was.' 'Alas, for that day is great, so
that there is none like it -- it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he
shall be saved out of it' (Jer. 30:7). Daniel has the same explicit detail: 'a
time of trouble such as never was since there was a Gentile (goi -- in the Land,
adds LXX) even to that same time.' This is surely Zech 13:9; 'I will refine them
as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call upon
my name, and I will hear them.' -- 'Thy people shall be delivered, every one
that is found written in the book' (v 1; cp Rev 5:4 and Eur 1:12). So also Joel
2:2,3 and the sad ominous words of Jesus in Mat 24:21" (WDan).
WRITTEN IN THE BOOK: "The idea of a heavenly roll of
honour, the Lamb's Book of Life, is constantly before the mind of the observant
reader of Holy Scripture: Exo 32:32; Psa 56:8; 69:28; Isa 4:3; Eze 13:9; Luk
10:20; Phi 4:3; Rev 3:5; 13:8)" (WDan).
MULTITUDES: "Many" (KJV), but not all. Only those who
are responsible by knowledge. The resurrection will take place after the time
periods of Daniel, after the Kingdom of Men is destroyed, in the latter days
during a time of trouble: v 1; Hos 13:14; cp Rom 11:15. Jesus claims the
resurrection is an OT doctrine: Mat 22:31,32.
MULTITUDES WHO SLEEP... WILL AWAKE: Resurrection as an
awakening from sleep: Psa 17:15; Isa 26:19; Job 14:15. Some will sleep a
"perpetual" sleep, and now awake: Jer 51:39,40.
IN THE DUST OF THE EARTH: Emphasizing -- so there will
be no doubt -- that this is a physical and literal resurrection, not some
spiritual renewal or regeneration.
SOME TO EVERLASTING LIFE: The first instance of this
phrase in the Bible.
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: Cp Mat 13:43: "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the
kingdom of their Father." Their glory will involve the privilege of reigning
with Jesus Christ during his millennial kingdom (Mat 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27;
Rev 5:9,10; 20:4). The reward of the righteous in ETERNITY is directly linked to
their faithfulness to the task they were given to fulfill in TIME.
LIKE THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER: " 'As the stars'
perhaps echoes the great Promise to Abraham (Gen 22:17) of an earthly seed 'as
the sand of the seashore,' and a spiritual seed 'as the stars of heaven.' The
context here mentions only the latter. Cp also the force of 1Co 15:41,42"
CLOSE UP AND SEAL THE WORDS OF THE SCROLL UNTIL THE TIME OF
THE END: In conclusion the angel instructed Daniel to close the record of
this revelation. In the ANE, people wrote official documents and then, after
making a copy for reference, deposited the original in a safe place. The phrase
"conceal these words" does not mean that Daniel should keep them to himself but
that he should preserve this revelation because it was important (cp Dan 8:26).
Also, it was customary for the scribe who recorded important documents such as
contractual promises to run his cylinder-seal across the bottom to guarantee
authenticity. That is what the angel instructed Daniel to do with this
contractual promise. By sealing it, Daniel would certify that what stood written
was exactly what God had revealed to him (cp Rev 22:18,19).
Daniel was to preserve this revelation until the end of time
because much of what God had revealed to him concerned the far distant
There's a suggestion here that, as we get closer and closer to
the "time of the end", we may expect -- individually and/or collectively -- to
understand better and better the visions that previously have been -- in some
measure -- "sealed up". It's like a traveler on a long journey... in the
distance he may see a range of mountains, but he sees them as a whole range --
the details cannot be discerned. But as he gets closer and closer, each mountain
may become more and more differentiated from its neighbor, and features on the
mountainsides may become clearer. Closer still, and he may be able to tell even
the order of the mountains, ie, which are closest and which are furthest away.
He may even discover that he must pass through a valley or two, on the way to
the mountains, valleys that he didn't even know existed when he stood further
It may be that, only when the events in question actually
happen, will we truly appreciate certain features of the Divine program! Will it
be too late then? Why should it be? Although it was the subject of prophecy, and
spoken of several times by Jesus himself, the greatest event in history -- the
resurrection of Jesus Christ -- was still not understood by his closest
disciples (at least, not nearly in its fullness) until after it
UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END: "A declaration difficult to
reconcile with the view that the visions seen by Daniel present a conspectus of
continuously unfolding history from Daniel's time right through to the day of
MANY WILL GO HERE AND THERE TO INCREASE KNOWLEDGE: "The
tendencies to isolate these words, and treat them as a vivid anticipation of the
ease and rapidity of modern travel borders on the grotesque" (WDan). Instead,
this seems to refer to the Last Days activity of preaching the Truth. To "run"
was an idiomatic way of describing how a prophet was to convey the message of
God (cp 1Ki 18:46; Jer 23:21; Hab 2:2; Isa 52:7). To "run" was also to search
for knowledge (Amo 8:12; Jer 5:1). The eyes of Yahweh, symbolizing the saints,
"run" through earth (2Ch 16:9; Zec 4:10). Also, God's word itself "runs swiftly"
(Psa 147:15; 2Th 3:1, NIV mg; cp Psa 19:4; Rom 10:16-18).
"Knowledge shall increase" indicates growth in understanding
as a result of hearing the message; this is the reversal of the famine of
hearing the prophetic word described in Amos 8:11,12. The context definitely
points to Bible preaching and knowledge, and to the carrying of the message to
all the earth (Mat 24:14) -- not merely to some more generalized global travel
and technological growth. This point is confirmed by Dan 12:3 -- where the NIV
margin reads: "Those who IMPART KNOWLEDGE will shine like the brightness of the
heavens, and those who LEAD MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, like the stars for ever and
THESE ASTONISHING THINGS: The events just related,
having to do with Israel's final persecution and deliverance (Dan 11:36 --
MANY WILL BE PURIFIED, MADE SPOTLESS AND REFINED: The
troubles coming on the earth, and especially on the Jews, would cause many to
turn to the Lord and experience spiritual purification through faith.
THE WICKED WILL CONTINUE TO BE WICKED. NONE OF THE WICKED
WILL UNDERSTAND: Cp 1Co 2:14; Rev 13:10.
BUT THOSE WHO ARE WISE WILL UNDERSTAND: "Here is an
intimation of the value which Heaven sets on eagerness for fuller insight into
the ripening purpose of God" (HAW).
GO YOUR WAY: Cp Mat 28:20: "Go into all the
TILL THE END: "Then shall the end come", when the
Gospel has been preached to all the world (Mat 24:14).
AT THE END OF THE DAYS...: Or, as LXX, "For still there
will be days to the end of the world" // "I am with you all the days to the end
of the world" (Mat 28:20). Thus connecting the Great Commission, to preach the
Gospel, to the Last Days of 3 1/2 years.
Daniel was of course anxious to learn WHEN these things would
all transpire -- implying that he hoped to see the culmination before he died.
But God reminded the elderly Daniel that he would miss none of the glories of
that Kingdom -- even though it would commence long after he died. The very last
words of the prophecy of Daniel contain God's final reassurance to His faithful
servant: "You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to
receive your allotted inheritance" (Dan 12:13). Like a loving father to an eager
child, anxious for a special day to come, God speaks to Daniel: 'Don't worry. Go
to sleep. I'll wake you up in plenty of time. You won't miss