Setting Date Overview Commentary
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, 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.
2 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.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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?
7 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.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 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.
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
See on chapter 10.
See on chapter 10. Our calculations indicate that this event occurred in the spring of 535 B.C.
This chapter is a continuation of Daniel's last recorded vision which comprises chapters 10-12 of the book. The final verse of chapter 11 touches on the ultimate collapse of earthly dominions. The next verse, Daniel 12:1, depicts the close of human probation, the great time of trouble, and the final deliverance of God's people. These are events which will take place in their order in the closing days of this earth's history.
As the great outline prophecy comes to an end, a discussion ensues between Daniel and his heavenly visitors. Three prophetic time periods are discussed. Daniel is instructed to shut up the words and seal the book, being assured that its prophecies will have their place at the time of the end.
Verse 1 Text
"And at that time"
That is, at the time of the previous verse, when the king of the north "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." Daniel 11:45. That move on Babylon's part is Satan's last step in taking control of all who would not respond to God's invitation of grace.
At that time, everyone will have made their final decision as to their allegiance. They will have irreversibly chosen the king whom they wish to serve. At that time human probation closes (See chart).
"Shall Michael stand up"
Throughout the vision, one king after another has "stood up" (Daniel 11:2, 3, 4, etc.), meaning that he took the kingdom and began to reign. But here is announced the moment for the last earthly kingdom to come to its end and Michael to take the crown. In Ezekiel 21:25-27 God said, "I will overturn" one kingdom after another, and "the crown" of the world's dominion "shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." The fact that Michael is He who shall stand up and rule the kingdom is convincing evidence that Michael must be Jesus.
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13, 14.
"The great prince which standeth for the children of thy people"
The present tense here indicates reference to the intercessory work Jesus is currently performing for us in heaven.
"And there shall be a time of trouble"
When Jesus ceases His intercessory ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, the time of God's wrath commences. This parallels the loosing of the four winds in Revelation 7 and the pouring out of the vials of God's wrath in Revelation 16.
At that time the whole world will be thrown into a time of chaos that cannot be described in words. Here is why:
Through His prophets God has revealed the special care and protection He will give to His people during that awful time. Read those promises.
The time of trouble spans the brief period from the completion of Jesus' ministry in the heavenly sanctuary until His appearance at the second advent. See chart.
We must distinguish between this "time of trouble" which is yet future, and "the tribulation" (Matthew 24:21, 29) which took place during the Dark Ages. Often the two terms are confused. More about this distinction.
"Such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time"
How can this be, considering that Jesus described the severity of the tribulation during the Dark Ages to be "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:21)? The difference is that the tribulation of the Dark Ages was greater in length of duration than any period of persecution ever again will be. But the time of trouble will be greater in intensity and in worldwide scope than there ever has been in the history of the world.
In fact, there will be no effectual "tribulation" (persecution) at all during the time of trouble itself. Just before the close of probation, God's people will be persecuted for refusing to worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (See Revelation 13:15-17). That period is sometimes called "the crisis" or "the little time of trouble." Many of God's people will seal their testimony with their blood. But after mercy ceases to plead on behalf of sinners, no good would be gained by the testimony of martyrs, and so God places His protecting hand upon His people throughout the entire time of trouble.
"And at that time thy people shall be delivered"
"At that time" must mean the time just mentioned, the time of trouble. The deliverance of the saints is accomplished under the seventh plague of Revelation 16:17-21. This is just a short time before the second coming of Jesus.
"Every one that shall be found written in the book"
Jesus will deliver only those whose names are found written in the book of life. Everyone who has ever entered Christ's service has his name written in the book of life at the time of his conversion. But during the judgment, which is now going on in heaven, each name in the book is evaluated. Those who have developed a Christlike character will have their names retained in the book of life, and their sins will be blotted out. But those who allow sins to remain in their lives, their sins will remain in the books of heaven, and their names will be blotted out of the book of life. The Bible describes this process in the texts on the heavenly books of record.
Verse 2 Text
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake"
In other words, many of the dead. Death is explained in the Bible as a sleep.
The resurrection here described is not a general resurrection of all the dead, for it says, "many" shall awake, not "all." Neither is it the general resurrection of the righteous, for it includes "some" of the righteous and "some" of the wicked. Because this does not match the description of either of the two general resurrections, it must be a special resurrection.
Verse 3 Text
(The preparation of this chapter's commentary is in progress.)
Verse 4 Text
"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"
Verse 5 Text
Verse 6 Text
Verse 7 Text
"That it shall be for a time, times, and an half"
This is how long it would be "till the end of these wonders" (verse 6).
"And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."
The king in Daniel 11:36 would "prosper till the indignation be accomplished."
Verse 8 Text
"I understood not"
Such was the lot of the prophets which "enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." 1 Peter 1:10-12.
Verse 11 Text
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days"
This verse makes it clear that the daily is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up at the same time. For a more complete discussion of the "daily" see comments on Daniel 8:11. In a nutshell, the "daily" refers to the continual mediatorial work of Jesus. We will discuss the abomination that maketh desolate a little later. Let us first look at this 1290-day prophecy.
Remember that a "day" in symbolic prophecy stands for a year in actual time.
This verse comes as the second part of the answer to the question asked in Daniel 12:6. The question was, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" The question is first answered in verse 7, "It shall be for a time, times, and an half" (1260 days). Verse 11 continues the answer, "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." So we have two time periods extending to "the end of these wonders." Both the 1260- and 1290-day prophecies conclude at that time. We have previously seen that the 1260 days ended in the year 1798. Then so must the 1290 days. To calculate when the daily would be taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, simply subtract 1290 from 1798. That gives us the year A.D. 508. See the 1290-day timeline chart
What happened in A.D. 508?
We are now ready to identify "the abomination that maketh desolate." As we have already noticed from this verse, this abomination was set up when the "daily" was taken away. The one was replaced by the other. What was this abomination?
Verse 12 Text
"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days"
This would be 1335 days "from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away" (verse 11). So this time period must begin at the same time as did the 1290 days. That starting point was the year A.D. 508. (See comments on verse 11). So when the 1290 days would end, one must still "wait" until the end of the 1335 days. At the end of that period of prophetic days, according to verse 13, Daniel would stand in his lot.
To calculate the 1335-day prophecy, simply add 1335 to 508. That takes us to the year 1843. The significance of this date will be explained in comments on verse 13.
View the full chart of The Time Prophecies of Daniel 12.
Verse 13 Text
"But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest"
This was Daniel's last recorded vision. He was about 88 years old at this time. Gabriel's words here imply that Daniel would soon die. In saying, "Go thou thy way," the angel used the same expression as did David, Joshua and Job when speaking of death. For Daniel, death would continue "till the end be," - in other words, until the resurrection at Christ's second coming. The angel's words, "Thou shalt rest," reveal the Biblical concept of death as a sleep.
"And stand in thy lot at the end of the days"
"The days" mentioned here are the 1335 days of the previous verse, which were found to end in the year 1843 (See comments on verse 12). How would Daniel "stand in his lot" at that time?
As you will remember from verse 4, the book of Daniel was shut up and sealed until the time of the end. For more than 2000 years the full prophetic significance of the book was not understood. During the Dark Ages, few people were studying the book, and fewer understood it. The Protestant Reformation saw a renewed interest in the prophecies, but even then a full understanding was lacking.
But after 1798, in "the time of the end," the world experienced a great awakening of interest in Bible prophecy. Bible students all over the world focused their attention on the prophecies of Daniel. This wide-spread interest reached its peak in the year 1843. In America, many people expected Jesus to return in that year, based on their study of Daniel 8:14. That story is described in Revelation chapter 10. But in spite of this divinely-permitted misunderstanding, the prophecies of the book of Daniel were opened and unsealed as never before. And so, Daniel stood in his lot at the end of the days.