Daniel 12 Commentary

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Charts from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission


BGT  Daniel 12:1 καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὥραν ἐκείνην παρελεύσεται Μιχαηλ ὁ ἄγγελος ὁ μέγας ὁ ἑστηκὼς ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ λαοῦ σου ἐκείνη ἡ ἡμέρα θλίψεως οἵα οὐκ ἐγενήθη ἀφ᾽ οὗ ἐγενήθησαν ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὑψωθήσεται πᾶς ὁ λαός ὃς ἂν εὑρεθῇ ἐγγεγραμμένος ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ
---  Daniel (TH) 12:1 καὶ ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ ἀναστήσεται Μιχαηλ ὁ ἄρχων ὁ μέγας ὁ ἑστηκὼς ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ λαοῦ σου καὶ ἔσται καιρὸς θλίψεως θλῖψις οἵα οὐ γέγονεν ἀφ᾽ οὗ γεγένηται ἔθνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἕως τοῦ καιροῦ ἐκείνου καὶ ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ σωθήσεται ὁ λαός σου πᾶς ὁ εὑρεθεὶς γεγραμμένος ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ

NET  Daniel 12:1 "At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation's beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.

LXE  Daniel 12:1 And at that time Michael the great prince shall stand up, that stands over the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of tribulation, such tribulation as has not been from the time that there was a nation on the earth until that time: at that time thy people shall be delivered, even every one that is written in the book.

NLT  Daniel 12:1 "At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued.

KJV  Daniel 12:1 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.

ESV  Daniel 12:1 "At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

CSB  Daniel 12:1 At that time Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time. But at that time all your people who are found written in the book will escape.

NIV  Daniel 12:1 "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.

NKJ  Daniel 12:1 "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.

NRS  Daniel 12:1 "At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.

YLT  Daniel 12:1 'And at that time stand up doth Michael, the great head, who is standing up for the sons of thy people, and there hath been a time of distress, such as hath not been since there hath been a nation till that time, and at that time do thy people escape, every one who is found written in the book.

  • at that: Da 11:45
  • Michael : Da 10:13 Jude 1:9 Rev 12:7
  • the great : Da 9:25 10:21 Isa 9:7 Eze 34:24 37:24 Eph 1:21 Rev 1:5 17:14 Rev 19:11-16
  • there shall : Da 9:12,26 Isa 26:20,21 Jer 30:7 Mt 24:21 Mk 13:19 Lk 21:23,24 Rev 16:17-21
  • thy people : Isa 11:11-16 27:12,13 Jer 30:7 Eze 37:21-28 39:25-29 Ho 3:4,5 Joe 3:16-21 Am 9:11-15 Ob 1:17-21 Zec 12:3-10 Ro 11:5,6,15,26
  • written : Ex 32:32,33 Ps 56:8 69:28 Isa 4:3 Eze 13:9 Lk 10:20 Php 4:3 Rev 3:5 13:8 20:12,15)


Now at that time - What time? The time just discussed in Da 11:36-45, and specifically at the last 3.5 years, the "time of great distress" that will come on the entire world but specifically on the nation of Israel. As the time of the end draws closer and closer, keep your eye on Israel, "God's timepiece"!

Recall that although there is a chapter break, this is not a new vision but a continuation and climax of the vision which began in Daniel 10. Admittedly, it is somewhat confusing if you read Daniel 12:1ff as following chronologically the events of Da 11:36-45. Clearly, in context, the time of distress in Daniel 12:1 is a "flashback" to the time before the King/Antichrist/Little Horn met his fate at the hands (or more accurately "breath" - 2Th 2:8+, cf Rev 19:15+) of the King of kings. And comparing this unique time ("such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time") with the parallel time phrase describing the Great Tribulation in Mt 24:21 ("such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will"), it becomes very clear that Daniel 12:1 precedes the end (the demise) of the King/Anchrist/Little Horn in Daniel 11:45. 

Thus I agree with S R Miller who notes that "In spite of the chapter division found in both the English and Hebrew Bibles, Daniel’s final vision continues from Da 11:45 through Da 12:3 without interruption. Archer points out that the closing verses of Dan 11 describe Antichrist’s military and political career, whereas his internal policy of “brutal oppression and persecution” toward God’s people is set forth in Da 12:1. Da 12:1 also relates the final deliverance of the saints (Zech 12:10ff, Ro 11:26), followed in Da 12:2, 3 with an account of their glorious condition in the messianic kingdom. Maccabean date adherents continue to apply this material to the reign of Antiochus (e.g., Goldingay, Daniel, 305–6 [I avoid anything written by this popular author]; Driver, Daniel, 200; Anderson, Signs and Wonders, 145). According to these scholars, the author has once more erroneously predicted the end “as beginning immediately after the death of Antiochus” (Jeffery, “Daniel,” 541). (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary)

J Vernon McGee - By what authority do we call this period the Great Tribulation Period? By the authority of the Lord Jesus, because He used the same language in speaking of the Great Tribulation that Daniel uses here. He said that this would be a brief period, a time of trouble, and that there would never be a time like it before or afterward. This is the time the Lord Jesus called the Great Tribulation Period. He knew what He was talking about, and we will accept what He said (see Matt. 24:15–26). “At that time” identifies the time frame as the time of the end (Dan. 11:35, 40; 12:4) and the latter days (Dan. 10:14). This is now the end of the vision given to Daniel, and it ends with the Great Tribulation Period. Dr. Robert Culver wrote in Daniel and the Latter Days, p. 166: “Another expression, ‘at the time of the end’ (11:40), seems to indicate eschatological times. I do not feel that this evidence, taken by itself, can be pressed too far, for obviously the end of whatever series of events is in the mind of the author is designated by the expression, ‘time of the end.’ This is not necessarily a series reaching on to the consummation of the ages. However, it is quite clear from 10:14, which fixes the scope of the prophecy to include ‘the latter days,’ that the ‘time of the end’ in this prophecy is with reference to the period consummated by the establishment of the Messianic kingdom.” “Michael” is identified for us here. He is the only angel given the title of archangel (see Jude 9). His name means “who is like unto God?” He is the one who is going to cast Satan out of heaven (see Rev. 12:7–9). (ED: BUT THAT IS NOT THE TIME OF DISTRESS DESCRIBED IN DANIEL 12:1 FOR THIS DISTRESS IS ON EARTH, NOT IN HEAVEN). He is the one who protects the nation Israel and stands in her behalf, as Daniel makes clear here. His strategy is outlined by John in Revelation 12:14–16. “For the children of thy people.” This is positively the nation Israel. Otherwise the language has no meaning whatsoever. “And there shall be a time of trouble.” This is the Great Tribulation Period as our Lord so labeled it in Matthew 24:21. The believing remnant of Israel will be preserved (see Matt. 24:22; Rom. 11:26) (Thur the Bible)

Gleason Archer - The opening words of this chapter—“At that time”—refer to the fortunes of God’s covenant people during this period of the career of Antichrist. The closing verses of chapter 11 deal exclusively with his military and political career, described in broad and general outline. But his internal policy toward the community of God’s people within his empire has not so far been referred to. Here we are told that it will be characterized by a policy of brutal oppression and persecution surpassing in severity any tribulation through which Israel—or perhaps any other nation—has ever passed. “Such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” sounds like a generalization of broadest scope, reaching all the way back to the beginnings of ordered society. It is highly significant that our Lord Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24:21) picks up and enlarges on this prediction, saying: “For then there will be great distress [thlipsis] unequaled from the beginning of the world [hoia ou gegonen ap’ archēs kosmou—which corresponds very closely to the Theodotion rendering of Dan 12:1: thlipsis hoia ou gegonen aph’ hou gegenētai ethnos, ‘distress such as has not happened from the beginning of a nation’] until now—and never to be equaled again.” Quite evidently Jesus took this prophecy in Daniel as relating to the Last Days and particularly to the Great Tribulation with which our present church age is destined to close. (Expositor's Bible Commentary - 1985 edition)

Andrew Hill - The phrase “at that time” (v. 1a) links this section to the previous chapter, specifically, “the time of the end,” when the kings of the South and the North engage in battle (11:40). The reference to the archangel Michael also connects 12:1–4 with chs. 10–11, since he was first introduced in 10:13 and named again in 10:21. Michael is described as a “great prince” (Heb. śar gādôl) and protector (Heb. ʿmd; “the Hebrew text here suggests one who stands up ‘over’ or ‘beside’ or ‘for’ the people” [Seow, 186]), or guardian angel of the nation of Israel—“essentially a fighter” (Baldwin, 1203). Seow, 186, observes that the entire historical overview of 11:2–45 is framed by the presence of Michael and that he is “subliminally present throughout that historical recitation,” since we were told that he is involved in the fight against the supernatural patrons of the world empires of Persia and Greece (10:21). He apparently functions in the dual roles of celestial commander of the heavenly host standing as guardian over the people of Israel, as well as the chief angel who stands in the divine council and represents his people Israel before God. The historicist interpreter understands this unparalleled “time of distress” (v. 1b) as the enormity of the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV (e.g., Lucas, 294; Redditt, 190). The futurist interpreter equates this “time of distress” with the “great tribulation,” the cataclysmic wrath of God poured out against unbelieving Israel and the entire world at the end of the age just before the second coming of Jesus Christ (e.g., Miller, 314–15; cf. Rev 6–16). The revealing angel promises deliverance for “everyone whose name is found written in the book” (v. 1c). This book or scroll is to be distinguished from the “Book of Truth” that the revealing angel unveils to Daniel (10:21), and from the “books” of past deeds that provide the basis for God’s judgment of individual and nations (7:10). The figurative reference to “the book” is usually equated with “the book of life,” in which all the saints are enrolled (cf. Ex 32:33; Ps 69:28; Mal 3:16; Php 4:3; Rev 3:5; 20:12). (Expositor's Bible Commentary - revised edition)

David MalickThe Great Tribulation Rescue: At the end time when Michael the great protective angel of Israel arises and when Israel is experiencing the greatest trouble of her history everyone whose name is written in the book of life will be rescued Da 12:1 1) At the end time Michael the great prince/angel over the sons of Israel will arise [to protect them?] Da 12:1a 2) At that end time when Michael arises there will be a time of trouble for the nation Israel which has never been so great 12:1b 3) At that end time when Michael arises and there is great trouble for the nation of Israel there will be a rescue of everyone whose name is found written in the book [of life]64 12:1b

J Dwight Pentecost - No doubt when the revelation contained in chapter 12 was given Daniel, he was concerned about his people’s destiny. Now at the conclusion of this vision, the angel consoled Daniel by revealing two facts (vv. 1–3). First, the people of Israel (your people; cf. 9:24; 10:14) will be delivered by the intervention of Michael the angelic prince (cf. 10:13, 21), who is Israel’s defender. In the Great Tribulation Satan will attempt to exterminate every descendant of Abraham (see comments on Rev. 12:15). This will be a time of great unprecedented distress for Israel (cf. Matt. 24:21). Satan’s attack against the people of the kingdom will be part of his effort to prevent the return and reign of Christ. (See The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The Jewish writer Judah J Slotki (not a believer in Messiah) has an interesting comment on Daniel 12 noting that it "is generally taken by Jewish authorities to refer to the remote future which will herald the advent of the Messianic era." (Daniel - Ezra - Nehemiah Hebrew Text & English Translation)

Michael (note) the great prince - As used in Daniel 10-12, prince refers to an angelic being, in this case Michael (one of three named angels - others are Gabriel and Satan) the angel who is "assigned" to Israel.

Who stands guard over the sons of your people - Your people is not the church (see related study Israel of God) but Israel and thus as noted Michael is the "archangel" (Jude 1:9) over Israel and his role is to guard Israel.

Michael… will arise - Comparing Scripture with Scripture, this event would correlate well with the apostle John's description of the "last great invisible heavenly war" in Revelation 12…

And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Re 12:7-note, Re 12:8-note, Re 12:9-note)

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There will be - This identifies this as a future event. It is an event which has no historical counterpart.


A time of distress (See table of parallel descriptions) - This is another description of the Great Tribulation which was described by Jesus in similar terms stating that…

for then (When? "when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" Mt 24:15-note) there will be a Great Tribulation (thlipsis), such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. (Mt 24:21-note)

This time of great distress is unique in the history of the world (such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time) and is especially directed toward Israel (although clearly anyone alive in this time will be impacted).

Wiersbe explains how the Gentiles will be affected during this time noting that "While the Tribulation period is a time for punishing the Gentile nations for the way they have sinned against the Jews (Joel 3:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8+), it's also a time for sifting and purging Israel and preparing the Jews for the return of their Messiah (Amos 9:9, 10, 11, 12+). (Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament. Victor)

Distress (06869) (tsarah) literally conveys the idea of something which is narrow, tight or confining and figuratively describes distress (great pain, anguish or suffering affecting the body or mind), trouble (Disturbance of mind; agitation; commotion of spirits; perplexity), affliction (a state of pain, distress, or grief), anguish (extreme pain or misery, mental or physical torture, agony)

Tsarah - 71x in 70v in the NAS = affliction(1), anguish(2), distress(34), distresses(1), trouble(22), troubles(11) Ge 35:3; 42:21; Dt 31:17, 21; Jdg 10:14; 1Sa 10:19; 26:24; 2Sa 4:9; 1Kgs 1:29; 2Kgs 19:3; 2Chr 15:6; 20:9; Neh 9:27, 37; Job 5:19; 27:9; Ps 9:9; 10:1; 20:1; 22:11; 25:17, 22; 31:7; 34:6, 17; 37:39; 46:1; 50:15; 54:7; 71:20; 77:2; 78:49; 81:7; 86:7; 91:15; 116:3; 120:1; 138:7; 142:2; 143:11; Pr 1:27; 11:8; 12:13; 21:23; 24:10; 25:19; Isa 8:22; 30:6; 33:2; 37:3; 46:7; 63:9; 65:16; Jer 4:31; 6:24; 14:8; 15:11; 16:19; 30:7; 49:24; 50:43; Da 12:1; Obad 1:12, 14; Jonah 2:2; Nah 1:7, 9; Hab 3:16; Zeph 1:15; Zech 10:11. 

In the Septuagint (LXX), tsarah is translated with the Greek word thlipsis a term which originally expressed sheer, physical pressure, as when pressing grapes. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis.

Figuratively thlipsis pictures one being "crushed" by intense pressure, difficult circumstances, suffering or trouble pressing upon them from without. Thus persecution, affliction, distress, opposition or tribulation, all press hard on one's soul. Thlipsis does not refer to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. In Scripture thlipsis is most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress and sorrows which "weighs down" a man’s spirit like the sorrows and burden his heart. Thlipsis then includes the disappointments which can "crush the life" out of the one who is afflicted. The English word "tribulation" is derived from the Latin word tribulum (literally a thing with teeth that tears), which was a heavy piece of timber with spikes in it, used for threshing the corn or grain. The tribulum was drawn over the grain and it separated the wheat from the chaff. As believers experience the "tribulum" of tribulations, and depend on God’s grace, the trials purify us and rid us of the chaff.

John MacArthur writes that "Thlipsis (tribulation) has the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice… In Scripture the word thlipsis is perhaps most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress." (Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)

Lawrence Richards adds that "thlipsis is used as a technical theological term for the Great Tribulation of the end times. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

In a parallel passage in the Revelation, John beheld "a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands" (Rev 7:9-note), whom one of the elders explained were "the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation (thlipsis - see notes), and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev 7:14-note)

At that time - Begin to train yourself to ask questions (5W's & H) every time you observe an expression of time. You can usually ask at least one question - "To what time is the writer referring?" That will usually "force" you to re-read the preceding text (the context) which is never a bad thing and your Teacher the Holy Spirit (see Illumination of the Bible) is then able to give you insights that perhaps you did not glean on the first reading. The other thing that asking questions of the text does is that it "forces" you to slow down (cp Ps 46:10!) and the process of re-reading the text is in essence a "mini-meditation" (see lost art of meditation) which may even help you remember that verse the rest of the day (value of memorization). All these benefits from just pausing to query the text! Regarding what time is that time, the context clearly shows that it refers to the time of great distress and specifically (from other passages) after 3.5 years which will be "cut short" by Jesus' triumphal return, for as He declared "unless those days (What days? The days of the "Great Tribulation") had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect [in context refers most specifically to elect Jews [those who would compose the believing remnant] but by application refers to all the Gentile elect who are on earth in that horrible time] those days shall be cut short. (Mt 24:22) As an aside did you notice 7 words highlighted in green in Daniel 12:1 above? Each word is an expression of time - you could spend quite a while questioning just this one passage! And it would NOT be a waste of time!

Everyone who is found written in the book - This apparently refers to God's "Book of Life" in which there is a record of all the names of the saved.

Other Scriptures that parallel this passage and speak of the end time salvation of Jews include

Romans 11:26 and so all Israel (ALL THAT BELIEVE IN MESSIAH = 1/3 DESCRIBED BELOW IN ZECH 13:8-9) will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” 

Zechariah 12:10-14 I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11“In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12“The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

Zechariah 13:1 “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. 

Zechariah 13:8-9 It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.  9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Will be rescued (malat) - This refers not so much to physical rescue, but a spiritual rescue. In other words, rescued in this context refers to salvation (by grace through faith). Observe also that not everyone will be rescued or saved (this is not a reference to universal salvation, clearly an evil heretical teaching), but only "everyone" whose name is written in the book.

Lehman Strauss emphasizes that "Those to be delivered according to Daniel 12:1 are the elect of Israel. To read the Church into this passage is wrong. That there is a future salvation for the Jews is clear in such passages as Isaiah 11:11; 27:12, 13; Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 37:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 25, 27, 28; Hosea 3:4, 5; Amos 9:11, 12, 13, 14, 15; to mention but a few. But we must not fall into the evil that has ensnared those who teach that every Jew living on the earth at that time shall be saved. The prophecy in Daniel limits the deliverance to "every one that shall be found written in the book" (12:1). These are the godly Jews, the believing remnant on the earth at that time. Certainly the apostate Jews in that day are not included, but only the redeemed Israelites. (The Prophecies of Daniel)

Rescued (04422) (malat) means primarily to escape, to flee then to save, deliver or rescue. ""to escape, slip away, deliver, give birth." (Vine)

Vine - This word is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew. Mālaṭ occurs approximately 95 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. The word appears twice in the first verse in which it is found: "Flee for your life; … flee to the hills, lest you be consumed" (Gen. 19:17, rsv). Sometimes mālaṭ is used in parallelism with nûs, "to flee" (1 Sam. 19:10), or with bāraḥ, "to flee" (1 Sam. 19:12).The most common use of this word is to express the "escaping" from any kind of danger, such as an enemy (Isa. 20:6), a trap (2 Kings 10:24), or a temptress (Eccl. 7:26). When Josiah's reform called for burning the bones of false prophets, a special directive was issued to spare the bones of a true prophet buried at the same place: "… So they let his bones alone …" (2 Kings 23:18; literally, "they let his bones escape"). Mālaṭ is used once in the sense of "delivering a child" (Isa. 66:7). (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words)

Baker says "The picture of escape is as sparks leaping out of the fire (Job 41:19[11]); or like a bird escaping the fowlers (Ps. 124:7). This word is usually used within the context of fleeing for one's life as Lot was urged to do (Gen. 19:17, 19, 20, 22); as David did from the hands of Saul (1 Sam. 19:10-12; 27:1); or as Zedekiah could not do when facing the Chaldeans (Jer. 32:4; 34:3). It is also used to describe rescue from death (Esth. 4:13; Ps. 89:48[49]; Amos 2:14, 15); calamity (Job 1:15-17, 19); or punishment (Prov. 11:21; 19:5; 28:26). In a few instances, the word is used to describe protection (Eccl. 9:15; Isa. 31:5); in one instance, it means to give birth to a child (Isa. 66:7)." (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)

Malat is used in the great prophetic promise in Joel 2:32+  

And it will come about that whoever (THE DOOR IS OPEN!) calls on the name of the LORD (See Ps 50:15, Jer 33:3+, Zech 13:9+, Acts 2:21+, Ro 10:11+Will be delivered (malat;Septuagint (Lxx) = sozo - NT verb for saved, being born again, etc); For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

G Lloyd Carr on malat - mlṭ is one word of the cluster that includes gāʾal, yāshaʿ, nāṣal, plālaṭ and shālôm. These words are translated in the LXX by several Greek words: sōzō (including diasōzō and anasōsō) about seventy times, hryomai eight times, and exaireō five times. This distribution suggests that they have similar meanings with somewhat different emphases. Although mālaṭ may denote escape from court services to see one's relatives (1 Samuel 20:29) or deliverance of the needy from affliction (Job 29:12), the most prominent facet of meaning is of deliverance or escape from the threat of death, either at the hands of a personal enemy (1 Samuel 19:11; 1 Samuel 23:13) or a national enemy (2 Samuel 19:10), or by sickness (Psalm 107:20). The usual emphasis is on the role of Yahweh in deliverance (particularly paralleling the LXX hryomai; Psalm 116:4; Psalm 107:20; Psalm 22:5 [H 6]). His salvation is for the righteous (Proverbs 28:26; Job 22:30) but his judgment on sin cannot be escaped (1 Kings 19:17; Amos 2:14-15). Deliverance is possible only for those who call on him (Joel 2:32 [H 3:5]). He is the protecting, delivering God. By contrast, escape is not found in the strength of a horse (Psalm 33:17), the might of another nation (Isaiah 21:6), riches (Job 20:20), or in one's own understanding. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Gilbrant on malat -  A frequent and important Hebrew verb, mālat means "to escape," "to flee" or, in certain stems, "to cause to escape" or "to deliver." The verb has cognates attested in all branches of Semitic. Mālat occurs in several of the Hebrew verb stems with the Niphal being by far the most common (more than sixty times). In this form, it can have a simple meaning of "to escape," although it usually has the connotation of escaping from mortal danger. The author of Judg. 3:26 used mālat to say that Ehud "escaped" after his murder of King Eglon of Moab. Young David "escaped" from the murderous King Saul (1 Sam. 19:10). Esther was warned that she would not "escape," should the planned genocide of the Jews be carried out (Est. 4:13). Elsewhere mālat is employed in somewhat non-deadly situations. In 1 Sam. 20:29, it is used for "escape" from civic duty, although David did indeed flee for his life from Saul by this excuse. Although the Niphalforms of mālat were used commonly for the escape of an individual, they could also be used for the escape of groups. In 2 Chr. 16:7, there is a reference to the escape of the Syrian army from King Asa. In the Ehud narrative, mālat is used with a negative to describe the non-escape of the Moabite army, i.e., their annihilation (Judg. 3:29; cf. 1 Sam. 30:17; 1 Kings 18:40). Niphal imperative forms of mālat have the sense of "to escape for yourself" which may have the connotation of "to flee" (e.g., Gen. 19:17). In other Niphal contexts, mālat may appear with an agent who helped the escape. In these cases, mālat takes on a passive connotation of "to be delivered" (e.g., Isa. 49:24). The use of mālat in the other Hebrew verb stems was less frequent. In the Piel, it could have the sense of "to deliver" or "to save." David was warned to "save" his own life from the threat of Saul (1 Sam. 19:11; cf. Ezek. 33:5). The preacher of Ecclesiastes reminded his hearers that wickedness could not "save" its practitioners (Ecc. 8:8). In 2 Ki. 23:18, the Piel form of mālat has the sense of "to leave alone," motivated out of respect. An unusual use of the Piel may be found in Isa. 34:15, where mālat has the sense of an owl "allowing an egg to escape," that is, "to lay an egg." The Hithpael is used twice by Job with a sense of "to escape" or "to slip out" (Job 19:20; 41:19). In the Hiphil stem, mālat could mean "to deliver" (Isa. 31:5), but could also mean "to deliver a child," i.e., "give birth" (Isa. 66:7). Mālat was used to make important theological statements. The psalmist who realized the impossibility of self-deliverance cried out to the Lord to "deliver" his life (Ps. 116:4). The Lord promised to "deliver" Jerusalem (Isa. 31:5) and Jeremiah (Jer. 39:18). It is important to notice that this deliverance of Jeremiah by the Lord was based on the prophet's trust in the Lord. But even more important are those contexts where mālat has a sense of eschatological deliverance, salvation beyond physical human death. Joel 2:32 gives the promise of a future time when any who would call upon the name of the Lord (i.e., put their trust in Him) would be saved (cf. Ps. 116:4). This prophecy is a theological cornerstone for Peter's Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:21) and Paul's understanding of salvation (Rom. 10:13). (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Theodotion's version of the Greek Septuagint translates malat with the Greek verb sozo (word study) which has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole. More often sozo refers to salvation in a spiritual sense as illustrated in the following passages: Matthew recorded the angel's conversation with Joseph declaring

"She (Mary) will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save (sozo) His people from their sins." (Mt 1:21) (Here sozo is equated with deliverance from sins (guilt and power of) with Jesus' name being a transliteration of Joshua meaning "Jehovah is salvation".)

Malat - 93x in 85v in NAS - certainly rescue(1), deliver(7), delivered(9), escape(26), escaped(25), escapes(3), gave birth(1), get away(1), lay(1), leap forth(1), left undisturbed(1), rescue(2), rescued(4), retain(1), save(8), saved(2). Gen 19:17, 19f, 22; Judg 3:26, 29; 1 Sam 19:10ff, 17f; 20:29; 22:1, 20; 23:13; 27:1; 30:17; 2 Sam 1:3; 4:6; 19:5, 9; 1 Kgs 1:12; 18:40; 19:17; 20:20; 2 Kgs 10:24; 19:37; 23:18; 2 Chr 16:7; Esth 4:13; Job 1:15ff, 19; 6:23; 19:20; 20:20; 22:30; 29:12; 41:19; Ps 22:5; 33:17; 41:1; 89:48; 107:20; 116:4; 124:7; Prov 11:21; 19:5; 28:26; Eccl 7:26; 8:8; 9:15; Isa 20:6; 31:5; 34:15; 37:38; 46:2, 4; 49:24f; 66:7; Jer 32:4; 34:3; 38:18, 23; 39:18; 41:15; 46:6; 48:6, 8, 19; 51:6, 45; Ezek 17:15, 18; 33:5; Dan 11:41; 12:1; Joel 2:32; Amos 2:14f; 9:1; Zech 2:7; Mal 3:15.


BGT  Daniel 12:2 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν καθευδόντων ἐν τῷ πλάτει τῆς γῆς ἀναστήσονται οἱ μὲν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον οἱ δὲ εἰς ὀνειδισμόν οἱ δὲ εἰς διασπορὰν καὶ αἰσχύνην αἰώνιον
---  Daniel (TH) 12:2 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν καθευδόντων ἐν γῆς χώματι ἐξεγερθήσονται οὗτοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ οὗτοι εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν καὶ εἰς αἰσχύνην αἰώνιον

NET  Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake– some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence.

LXE  Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting shame.

NLT  Daniel 12:2 Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.

KJV  Daniel 12:2 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.

ESV  Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

CSB  Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal contempt.

NIV  Daniel 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

NKJ  Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

NRS  Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

YLT  Daniel 12:2 'And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches -- to abhorrence age-during.

  • many: Job 19:25-27 Isa 26:19 Eze 37:1-4,12 Ho 13:14 Mt 22:29-32 Jn 11:23-26 1Co 15:20-22,51-54 1Th 4:14 Rev 20:12
  • everlasting life: Mt 25:46 Jn 5:28,29 Ac 24:15
  • everlasting contempt: Isa 66:24 Jer 20:11 Ro 9:21


Notice that immediately after the description of the time of distress, we encounter the teaching on the resurrection.

Many - Why many and not "all"? Simply stated, not all mankind will sleep in the dust (die). Specifically the generation that experiences the Rapture (See also Table comparing Rapture vs Second Coming) will never experience death.

Sleep in the dust - Those who have died, whether believers or unbelievers. This is not a reference to the false teaching of "soul sleep" but only signifies physical death. Sleep is frequently used as a metaphor for death (see Jn 11:11, 12, 13,14; Acts 7:60; 1Co 15:51, 1Th 4:14-note, 1Th 4:15, 16-note).

S R Miller comments that "Although the spirit of the believer does not sleep, the body is placed in a grave (“the dust of the earth”; cf. Ge 3:19) and becomes inactive (sleeps) until the Lord raises it, glorifies it, and reunites it with the spirit (cf. 1Co15:51, 52, 53, 54, 55). Deceased unbelievers also will be resurrected and spend eternity in bodily form according to this verse (cf. Mt 10:28). (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary)

Will awake - This speaks of the resurrection and implies a literal bodily resurrection. The Septuagint translates awake with the Greek verb anistemi (this verb is also used in Da 12:13 for "rise again") which is used in the NT of causing to stand and figuratively to bring back to life (Jn 6:39, 44, 54, Acts 3:34, 2:24, 30, 32, 3:26, 13:33, 17:31)

NET Bible -This verse is the only undisputed reference to a literal resurrection found in the Hebrew Bible.

Henry Morris remarks that "This is an explicit promise of the future bodily resurrection of the dead, as recorded in one of the key prophetic books on the Old Testament. This is not, as some claim, a strictly New Testament doctrine. At this point (as in John 5:29), however, the thousand-year time interval between the resurrection of the saved and lost is not mentioned, since it is not relevant to the context and also (in view of the following verse) inconsequential in relation to eternity (Revelation 20:4, 5, 6). Those who now look with contempt on the Bible and Biblical Christianity will eventually experience “everlasting contempt” on themselves—as well as “everlasting fire” (Mt 25:41), and “everlasting destruction” (2Th 1:9). (Defender's Study Bible notes - Daniel 12)

To everlasting life (olam chay - the only use of this combination in Scripture) - Those who believe in Messiah shall live forever in the presence of Christ Who is our life (Col 3:4-note) is also the Truth (Rev 19:11-note) about the (only) Way (Acts 4:12) to the (everlasting) Life (Jn 14:6).

The Septuagint (LXX) translates this phrase with the Greek phrase "Zoen aionion" (literally "life eternal"). This identical Greek phrase is also found in 31 NT verses! 

Da 12:2; Mt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mk 10:17, 30; Lk 10:25; 18:18, 30; John 3:15, 16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 47, 54; 10:28; 12:25; 17:2; Acts 13:48; Ro 2:7; 5:21; 6:22; Gal 6:8; 1Ti 1:16; 1Jn 3:15; 5:11; Jude 1:21

In view of passages like Daniel 12:2, it should come as no surprise that the true believers in the days of Jesus (before the birth of the church) had at least some understanding of the future resurrection of the righteous. When Martha's brother Lazarus died, Jesus comforted her with the truth of the resurrection (which indeed has been a comforting truth to all believers throughout history - cf 1Th 4:18-note referring to the doctrine of the resurrection/rapture of those who compose the "Bride" of Christ - cf 1Th 4:13, 14-note, 1Th 4:15, 16-note, 1Th 4:17-note)

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn 11:23-26)

Constable writes: Jesus’ response was also typical of Him. His words had an obvious literal meaning, but they were truer than anyone present realized at the moment. Jesus offered Martha comfort based on the Old Testament assurance that God would resurrect believers (Isa. 26:19; Da 12:2; cf. Jn 5:28, 29). Martha, as the Pharisees, believed this Old Testament revelation, though the Sadducees did not (cf. Acts 23:7, 8). The “last day” refers to the end of the present age as the Jews viewed history, namely just before Messiah would inaugurate the new kingdom age (cf. Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 12:48).

Wiersbe adds that: When we find ourselves confronted by disease, disappointment, delay, and even death, our only encouragement is the Word of God. (Commentary on John - see John 11:1-16)

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming - Dear reader "Are you ready?" The only way to "be ready" is to believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31+), confessing Him as Lord (Ro 10:9-10+) and living out your faith (see Relationship of faith and obedience or  Obedience of faith). 

There’s a great day coming by and by,
When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left,
Are you ready for that day to come?

Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready for the judgment day?
Are you ready? Are you ready?
For the judgment day?
(Play - There’s a Great Day Coming)
(Play Acapella Version)

But - Term of contrast. In this case the contrast marks the "great divide" between the righteous (saved) and the unrighteous (unsaved). (cf Ps 1:4-6+, Mt 7:13-14+, Mt 7:24-27+)

But the others - This is surely one of the more dramatic adversative conjunctions ("but's") in Scripture, for here we see the eternal fates of every person ever born clearly contrasted. There is no "in between" eternal state of existence. See eternal punishment.

Disgrace (02781) (cherpah) means reproach, contempt, insult, scorn, taunt. The reproach can be part of God's judgment (Ps 79:4, Ezek 5:15, Micah 6:9-16) and was often brought on Israel because of her sin and idolatry (Ps 44:13, Ezek 5:5-17, Ezek 22:4).

Webster's dictionary says that disgrace is a state of being out of favor; disfavor; disesteem; as, the minister retired from court in disgrace. As state of ignominy; dishonor; shame. A cause of shame. Disgrace is the the state or condition of suffering loss of esteem and of enduring reproach and often implies humiliation and sometimes ostracism (banishment, expulsion, separation!).

Cherpah/herpah - 73x in 72v in NAS - contempt(1), disgrace(5), reproach(60), reproaches(2), scorn(3), shame(1), taunting(1). Ge 30:23; 34:14; Josh 5:9; 1Sa 11:2; 17:26; 25:39; 2Sa 13:13; Neh 1:3; 2:17; 4:4; 5:9; Job 16:10; 19:5; Ps 15:3; 22:6; 31:11; 39:8; 44:13; 69:7, 9f, 19f; 71:13; 74:22; 78:66; 79:4, 12; 89:41, 50; 109:25; 119:22, 39; Pr 6:33; 18:3; Isa 4:1; 25:8; 30:5; 47:3; 51:7; 54:4; Jer 6:10; 15:15; 20:8; 23:40; 24:9; 29:18; 31:19; 42:18; 44:8, 12; 49:13; 51:51; Lam 3:30, 61; 5:1; Ezek 5:14f; 16:57; 21:28; 22:4; 36:15, 30; Dan 9:16; 11:18; 12:2; Hos 12:14; Joel 2:17, 19; Mic 6:16; Zeph 2:8; 3:18. 

Contempt (01860) is the Hebrew word dera'own which is used only twice in Scripture, here in Daniel 12:2 and in the last passage of the book of Isaiah, where Jehovah Himself decrees…

Then they (believers, those experiencing everlasting life) shall go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me (Those who rejected God's free gift of salvation). For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind. (Isaiah 66:24)

Morris offers these interesting thoughts: The Lord Jesus used this terminology in describing the awful nature of eternal hell, the lake of fire (Mark 9:42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48), the ultimate fate of all who die without Christ (Rev 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15-note). This verse intimates that redeemed men and women will somehow be able to view the sufferings of the lost in that distant corner of the universe (which certainly cannot be on the new earth) in order to contemplate the magnificence of salvation. This probably will only be a one-time viewing, for soon "the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind" (Isaiah 65:17).


In order to better understand the meaning of the resurrection in Daniel 12:2, it is necessary to briefly summarize the two categories of resurrection in Scripture.

In the gospel of John, Jesus taught there were two general categories of resurrection, one of believers and one of unbelievers…

Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds (good deeds do not save but are evidence of genuine saving faith in Christ - faith is the "root" and "good deeds" are the "fruit" - cf Eph 2:8, 9-note = the "root" and Eph 2:10-note = the "fruit") to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28, 29)

Comment: From the following schematic timeline you will notice that the resurrection of unbelievers follows the last identifiable resurrection of believers by 1000 years, assuming one interprets the 1000 years of Revelation 20 literally.

In 1Corinthians 15, the "Resurrection Chapter", Paul gives us the prototype for all subsequent resurrections of believers, explaining that…

now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (1Cor 15:20)

Comment: In Leviticus 23:10-14,11+, the First Fruits of grain harvested were offered by the priests to Jehovah as a sign and a promise of a greater harvest to come. In the same way, Christ's resurrection as the "first fruits" assures that all those who have placed their faith in Him will be part of the first resurrection, which is the greater harvest of all believers, both OT and NT. The exception is those believers who are alive when Christ returns to Rapture the Church for they will not experience physical death and will not require bodily resurrection.

In Revelation 20, John uses the term first resurrection writing…

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:6+)

Study the schematic timeline below and note that there are two general categories of resurrections. Then read the explanatory notes that follow.



(3) 1st Resurrection
The Two Witnesses
Raised at Mid-Tribulation



(1) 1st

Christ the First Fruits
On the 3rd Day

(Lev 23:10-11+, 1Co 15:20+)

1st Resurrection
Believers at Rapture

(1Th 4:13-18+)

(4) 1st

a) Believers
Martyred in Tribulation
b) OT Saints
Preceding 1000 yr

(Rev 20:4-5+)

(5) 2nd

Non Believers
End of 1000 yr

(Rev 20:11-15+)


2010 + x Years

7 Years

1000 Years


The Church Age




*Note: The word "Tribulation" is never specifically used in Scripture to designate the last 7 years, Daniel's 70th week, but will be used in these notes because the term is so firmly entrenched in Christian jargon.

EXPLANATORY NOTES: The First Resurrection concerns only believers and is composed of several distinct "stages" at different times. Note that all believers (not just saints martyred during the Great Tribulation) will reign with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom. The Second Resurrection deals only with unbelievers and occurs in a single "stage" or as a one time event. Both the First and Second Resurrections refer to physical or bodily resurrection, not spiritual resurrection.

(1) The prototype resurrection forming the basis of the First Resurrection - Christ the first fruits of all subsequent resurrections of believers (1Co 15:20+, cf the "shadow" in Lev 23:10+)

(2) The Second "stage" of the First Resurrection - Believers who have died during the Church Age will be resurrected at the time the Lord returns to Rapture His Bride, the Church. (1 Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18+, 1Co 15:50, 51, 52, 53+, cp Jn 14:3+)

(3) The Third "stage" of the First Resurrection - The two witnesses who are killed in Revelation 11 are raised and then went up to heaven (Re 11:11, 12+)

(4a) The Fourth "stage" of the First Resurrection - After the Great Tribulation, believers who have been martyred will be resurrected to immortality (See notes regarding those who come out of Great Tribulation, some of which are undoubtedly martyred - Re 7:9+; Re 7:14+; see notes regarding saints martyred during the Great Tribulation some - Rev 20:4,5,6+) Notice especially "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." So not just those who were martyred will reign but all who believe in Christ in the NT will be resurrected and will reign with Christ (cf Rev 5:9-10+). 

(4b) The Fourth "stage" of the First Resurrection - After the time of Jacob's Distress or Trouble (= the Great Tribulation - Jer 30:7+), the Old Testament saints will also be resurrected (see OT descriptions of resurrection - Daniel 12:1, 2+, Da 12:13+, Isaiah 26:19, Job 19:26)

What Biblical basis is there for placing the resurrection of OT saints at the end of the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob's distress? Jeremiah gives us a clue writing…

'Alas! for that day (not a literal day but a 3.5 year period that corresponds to the Great Tribulation) is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob's distress (at which time there is a horrible period of persecution of Jews by the Satanically inspired and empowered Antichrist [Rev 13:4-5+, Rev 12:6, 14+], a "Jewish holocaust" the likes of which the world has never seen, but one that will be cut short by the return of the Messiah), But he (Israel, the believing remnant) will be saved from it. [cf "will be rescued" Da 12:1+] And it shall come about on that day (what day? the day of the Lord's return - see description beginning in Rev 19:11-21+),' declares the LORD of hosts, 'that I will break his yoke from off their neck, and will tear off their bonds; and strangers shall no longer make them their slaves. (To reiterate, this day corresponds to the return of the Lord, who defeats the Antichrist and all Gentile powers [Rev 19:15, 19, 20,21+] arrayed against God, His saints and Israel) But they (this refers to those Jews who come to saving faith in the time of Jacob's distress - see Ro 11:25, 26, 27+) shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. (Jeremiah 30:7, 8, 9+)

Comment: Note that these passages {also Ezekiel 37:24+} indicate that David himself will be resurrected and will actually reign over the earthly Israel during the millennial age. David's resurrection follows the defeat of the Gentiles at the end of the Great Tribulation which supports the premise that this period is the time when OT saints are resurrected.

(5) The Second Resurrection - After the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom all of the unbelieving dead will be resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne judgment and since their names are not found written in the Book of Life, they will be cast into the Lake of fire, which constitutes the Second Death, eternal separation away from the glory of God. (Re 20:11-15+)


Order Which Timing Who Description Scriptures



The Third Day

Jesus Christ

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

Mt. 28:1-7
Mk 16:1-11
Lk 24:1-12
Jn 20:1-18
1Co 15:20



Shortly after Christ’s Resurrection

A Few Old Testament Saints

At the earthquake attending the crucifixion, graves were opened. Shortly after the resurrection of Christ, these saints were raised.6

Mt 27:50, 51, 52, 53



Before the Tribulation


The resurrection of Church-age believers at the Rapture.

Jn 14:3
1Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
1Co 15:50, 51, 52, 53



Middle of the Tribulation

Two Witnesses

God’s two witnesses will be raised after being killed by The Beast.

Rev 11:11,12



After Jacob’s Trouble
(After the Great Tribulation)

OT Saints

Old Testament saints will be resurrected to enter the Millennial Kingdom

Da 12:1,2
Da 12:13
Isa 26:19 Eze 37:13,14



Beginning of Millennial Kingdom

Tribulation Martyrs

The Tribulation martyrs will be resurrected so that they can rule and reign with Christ.

Rev 20:4; 20:5; 20:6



After 1000 Years of the Messianic Kingdom

Unbelieving Dead
(not found recorded in the Book of Life)

End of the millennial reign of Christ, the final resurrection will consist of all unbelieving wicked dead who will be found guilty at the Great White Throne Judgment and cast into the Lake of Fire

Rev 20:11; 20:12; 20:13; 20:14 20:15

Modified from Tony Garland's The Testimony of Jesus


BGT  Daniel 12:3 καὶ οἱ συνιέντες φανοῦσιν ὡς φωστῆρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ κατισχύοντες τοὺς λόγους μου ὡσεὶ τὰ ἄστρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος
---  Daniel (TH) 12:3 καὶ οἱ συνιέντες ἐκλάμψουσιν ὡς ἡ λαμπρότης τοῦ στερεώματος καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν δικαίων τῶν πολλῶν ὡς οἱ ἀστέρες εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι

NET  Daniel 12:3 But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever.

LXE  Daniel 12:3 And the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and some of the many righteous as the stars for ever and ever.

NLT  Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

KJV  Daniel 12:3 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.

ESV  Daniel 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

CSB  Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

NIV  Daniel 12:3 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.

NKJ  Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

NRS  Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

YLT  Daniel 12:3 And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and for ever.

  • Those that have insight: Da 11:33,35 Pr 11:30 Mt 24:45 1Co 3:10 2Pe 3:15)
  • wise: Ac 13:1 Eph 4:11 Heb 5:12
  • shine: Pr 4:18 Mt 13:43 19:28 1Co 15:40, 41, 42 1Th 2:19,20 Rev 1:20
  • Lead: Jer 23:22 Lk 1:16, Lk 1:17 Jn 4:36 Php 2:16,17 Jas 5:19,20


See sermon below by Dwight L Moody based on Daniel 12:3 - True Wisdom

Adoniram Judson a famous missionary to Burma wrote that "A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity… the same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever… each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny… How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness! It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, (enabled by God's Spirit) resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly (forever) marked." 

Related Resources:

Those that have insight - In the context, the direct reference is to believing Jews, but the principle is applicable to all believers of all ages who have insight and lead the many to righteousness. Those living when the events described in Daniel, begin to unfold and who have ears to hear (Dt 29:4, Is 6:9, 10, Ezek 12:2, Mt 11:15, Mk 4:9, 23, Lk 8:8, 14:35, Ro 11:8), will understand the significance of these events and they will surely be impelled and empowered by the Spirit (cf Acts 1:8) to speak truth to those whose eyes are blinded to the truth. Those who shine as lights during this difficult time (cf Mt 5:14-note, Mt 5:16-note, Ep 5:8-note, Php 2:14, 15-note, 15, 2Co 4:6) will shine brightly throughout eternity (cf Mt 13:43).

Strauss adds that "The tribulation will be one of the darkest periods in human history. However, during that time God will have his luminaries on the earth who, through their wise behavior and clear testimony, will teach others the way of righteousness… No matter how troublous the times have been, or will become, the darkest hours afford the largest opportunity for letting the gospel light shine. Daniel and John were speaking of those who will defy the decree of the Antichrist that all worship him, and courageously teach others the pure gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14)." (Lehman Strauss Commentary – The Prophecies of Daniel) (The Prophecies of Daniel)

Will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven - This simile is striking, for it unveils the promise and hope that believers who are but dust (Ge 2:7) and who deserve damnation (outside of Christ) will be rewarded with an almost indescribable appearance similar to that of the glorious creation. And what is the logical association? First, let us recall the purpose of the created heavens in Psalm 19:1 (Spurgeon's note)…

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

It follows, that the comparison of believers to the heavens and the stars would support the premise that like those created entities, each individual believer would also be a divine masterpiece (Eph 2:10-note) to forever declare the glory of God! Does this not motivate each of us to seek diligently to redeem the time (Eph 5:16-note)? Father by Your Spirit enable each reader who believes in Jesus the Messiah, to Shine now  (read Mt 5:16-note, cp Php 2:15-note) so they will shine brightly forever!

I've "entitled" this verse "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." Those are the words of a little song children used to sing in Sunday School. Why don't you take a moment and sing along with this simple song and at the same time ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to "Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine," not naturally but supernaturally. That's a prayer in God's will which He hears and will answer (1 John 5:14, 15-note)! So sing and pray believing that God will empower you to shine in the darkness of this lost world in the place where He has providentially placed you! Shine now! Then shine forever! If you want a little "motivation" from a saint who "let his life shine" read the interesting sermon below by D L Moody - True Wisdom.

Remember lighthouses work better when they shine brightly than when they sound off loudly. How is your "lighthouse" shining lately?

Spurgeon - The minister of Christ should feel like the old keeper of Eddystone light house. Life was failing fast, but summoning all his strength, he crept round once more to trim the lights before he died. May the Holy Ghost enable his servants to keep the beacon fire blazing, to warn sinners of the rocks, shoals, and quicksands which surround them.

W A Criswell comments on this verse noting that "The beauty, the poetic flow of those words is magnificent. The reason that I notice it so much is because of the context where the verse is found. It is found in one of the darkest visions in the Bible. Shining in that darkness is this glorious, diamond-like beautiful promise. Is that not an unusual thing? But the Scriptures always present the promises against the darkest backgrounds."

The many - While I cannot be dogmatic, the specific phrase "the many" is used in Daniel at least two other times to describe Jews (Da 9:27-note, Da 11:33-note) and would correspond to the pattern of Ro 1:16-note which says the Gospel is to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentile).. However, by way of application, those who lead any (be they Jew or Gentile) to a saving knowledge of the Messiah will shine brightly (cp Paul's words that relate to the "treasure" he had stored up in heaven - 1Thes 2:19-20-note, cp Mt 6:19-21-note)!

Lead many to righteousness - I like that phrase. He does not say "talk many into becoming righteous" but lead many (cp God's way in Ro 2:4-note - not compelling but leading!), implying that these men and women are "preaching the gospel" by the way they live, which in turn opens a wide door of opportunity to proclaim the gospel with their words! As Spurgeon said "The master-magnet of the gospel is not fear, but love. Penitents are drawn to Christ rather than driven." Peter exhorts his readers who are suffering for doing right, that they (and we today) should not become fearful, but instead should…

sanctify (aorist imperative = command to do this now and do it effectively! Enabled, energized of course by the Spirit, for this is not "humanly" possible) Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope (Not hope so, but hope sure = the absolute assurance that God will do good to us in the future!) that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1Pe 3:15-note)

To righteousness - This speaks of salvation by grace through faith. Those who shine brightly like stars forever and ever are those who are not ashamed of the gospel (Ro 1:16), but instead who choose to speak forth the gospel boldly and with power (cf Acts 1:8, cf Peter who denied Christ 3x in Mt 26:34, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, with Acts 4:8, 31), knowing that only in the gospel is "the righteousness of God… revealed" (Ro 1:17). As Paul explained…

Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified (declared righteous) in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (in other words this God required, God given righteousness was proclaimed even in the Old Testament - thus salvation has always been by grace through faith, never by works, cf Abraham's salvation in Ge 15:6!), even the righteousness of God through faith (faith is the "effecting" action/agent by which men dead in sin become men alive in Christ) in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified (declared righteous) as a gift by His grace (unmerited favor = we deserve eternal death but God gives us the opportunity for eternal life) through the redemption (payment of a price [His precious blood] to set the captives free from bondage to sin and death) which is in Christ Jesus; Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (satisfactory offering) in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed (I.e., OT believers were saved by looking forward to the death of Christ. Their sins were not paid for in full until the Lamb of God died on Calvary); for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just (in bringing death for sin upon our Substitute, Christ Jesus, Who died in or place) and the justifier (declaring righteous) of the one who has faith in Jesus. Ro 3:19-26-see notes)

Be A Star - Those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars forever and ever. —Daniel 12:3

Many today seek stardom by trying to get into the media spotlight. But a young Jewish captive achieved “stardom” in a better way.

When Daniel and his friends were taken captive by a ruthless invading nation, it was unlikely that they would be heard from again. But the godly young men soon distinguished themselves as intelligent and trustworthy.

When the king had a dream that his wise men could not repeat nor interpret, he condemned them to death. After a night of prayer with his friends, Daniel received from God the content of the dream and its interpretation. As a result, the king promoted Daniel to be his chief advisor (see Dan. 2).

If the story ended there, it would be remarkable enough. But some scholars believe that Daniel’s influence in Babylon made people aware of messianic prophecies about a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Daniel’s teaching may have been the reason that 500 years later wise men from the East followed a star to a remote and unfamiliar part of the world to find an infant King, worship Him, and return to their country with the good news of God’s incredible journey to earth (Matt. 2:1-12). Julie Ackerman Link

By turning others to righteousness, we, like Daniel, can become a star that will shine forever.

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing!
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.  —Wilson

You can attract people to Jesus when you have His light in your life.

Light Up the Night - Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament. —Daniel 12:3

On a mild fall evening when the sky was dark and the moon was full, thousands of people in my hometown gathered along the banks of the river to light sky lanterns. They released them into the darkness, and watched as the lights rose to join the moon in a dazzling display that turned the night sky into a sparkling work of art.

When I saw pictures of the event, I was disappointed that I was out of town and had missed it. But a few days later I realized that what had happened in Grand Rapids could be seen as a symbol of the conference I was attending in New York City. More than 1,000 people from 100 cities around the world had gathered there to plan a “work of art”—how to light up the darkness of their own cities by planting churches and reaching thousands of people with the gospel of Christ, the Light of the world.

The prophet Daniel wrote about a time when those who turn others to the Lord will shine like stars forever (Dan. 12:3). We can all join in that great event. When we shine the light of Christ in dark places where we live and work, He is lighting up the night sky with stars that never will go out. By Julie Ackerman Link 

I want to shine for You in my world, Lord. Show
me how to lift You up, the Light of the world. I look
forward to that day when I will gather with people
from all nations to bow at Your feet and worship You.

When the Light of the world illuminates the earth, His beauty will attract people from every nation.

Candles or Stars? - 

Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? —John 11:26

Some say that life is like the flickering flame of a candle. When the flame is snuffed out, the light is gone forever. They believe that when we breathe our last breath, we are totally extinguished—as if we had never been!

British writer Arthur Porritt gives this sad description of how atheist Charles Bradlaugh was buried: “No prayer was said at the grave. Indeed, not a single word was uttered. The remains, placed in a light coffin, were lowered into the earth in a quite unceremonious fashion as if carrion were being hustled out of sight.” Porritt said that he came away “heart-frozen,” realizing how the “loss of faith in the continuity of human personality after death gives death an appalling victory.”

Life is not a brief candle-flame that death will forever extinguish. Christians in particular can rejoice that Christ “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10), that He is “the resurrection and the life,” and that all who believe in Him “shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

Because of God’s power and grace exhibited at Calvary, we will receive bodies like Jesus’ resurrection body, and we “shall shine . . . like the stars forever” (Daniel 12:3). Praise God! We’re not flickering candles, but shining stars!   Vernon C. Grounds

In bodies that will ne'er grow old,
We'll reign with Him, through years untold;
O precious thought, we all shall be
With Christ through all eternity. —Watson

Because Jesus lives, we too will live.

This Little Light Of Mine (see song above) - The Lake Michigan shoreline (a short drive from where I live) is dotted with lighthouses built to enable ship captains to navigate into safe harbors. The structures are varied in size, shape, and color, but each has unique charm and beauty. Pictures of the lighthouses are featured in books and calendars, and some people collect replicas and other lighthouse items. But lighthouses were not built just to be admired; they were built to hold lights that guide sailors to safety. A lighthouse is most useful and appreciated when, in the darkness of night, only its light can be seen—not the structure itself.

When Jesus sent out His disciples, He called them "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14-note). He also indicated that their task was not to draw attention to themselves, but to do good works that would cause people to recognize God's goodness and glorify Him.

Jesus said that just as a lamp's purpose is to give light, we also are to let our light shine (Mt 5:15, 16-see notes Mt 5:155:16). We're most effective when we shine brightly in the darkness, guiding people who need to find safe harbor in Christ.

For a light to be effective, it has to be shining in a dark place. —Julie Ackerman Link

My life was dark until the Light shone in, 
That Light was Christ, who saved me from my sin; 
His light that I've received I want to share 
And let it shine to people everywhere. —Hess 

A little light makes a big difference in the darkest night. 

Gain by Giving - "The generous soul will be made rich, andhe who waters will also be watered himself."--Proverbs 11:25

A visitor to a lighthouse said to the keeper, "Aren't you afraid to live here with the storms and high winds constantly lashing the walls?" "Oh, we have to be more concerned about those out on the sea," the man replied. "We think only of having our lamps burning brightly and keeping the reflectors clear so that those in greater danger may be saved."

We too are to be more concerned about others than we are about ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4). Generosity and selflessness produce an abundant life of joy and rich reward. According to the Scriptures, if we give freely to others, we will receive abundant blessing.

Proverbs 11 teaches that a person who gives to others will gain even more (vv. 24-25). Verse 25 paints a word picture to make the point. It states that "he who waters will also be watered himself." The 19th-century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, "Let me consider the poor, and the Lord will also recompense me. Let me water His garden, and He will make a well-irrigated garden of my soul." As we focus our attention on giving refreshing help to the needy, we will be refreshed by the Lord. -- Henry G. Bosch

Service is working and giving,
And not regretting the cost;
It's knowing and understanding
That no good deed will be lost.

When it comes to helping others, some people stop at nothing.

Like A Diamond In The Sky -  You have crowned him with glory and honor. —Psalm 8:5 Astronomers discovered a star in the sky that has cooled and compressed into a giant diamond. The largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found on Earth is the Cullinan Diamond—at over 3,100 carats. So how many carats are in the cosmic diamond?—10 billion trillion trillion carats! In our world, diamonds are prized for their rarity, beauty, and durability, and we often hear it said, “Diamonds are forever.” But God isn’t enamored with diamonds. To Him there is something far more precious. Thousands of years ago, David marveled at the great value God had set on human beings: “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:4-5). In fact, God placed such a high value on us that it cost Him dearly to buy our redemption. The purchase price was the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). If God places such a high value on us, we should also place a high value on the people He has brought into our lives. Bring them before the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to show you how each is more priceless than the most costly jewel in the universe.

Oh, teach me what it cost Thee
To make a sinner whole; "
And teach me, Savior, teach me
The value of a soul!

We are more precious to Jesus
than the costliest diamond.


  • Conceal : Da 8:26 Rev 10:4 22:10) (to the : Da 12:9 8:17 10:1 11:40
  • Many: Da 11:33 Isa 11:9 29:18,19 30:26 32:3 Zec 14:6-10 Mt 24:14 Ro 10:18 Rev 14:6,7

But as for you Daniel - Now that the vision is finished, the angel gives Daniel instructions on what he is to do with these words.

Conceal… and seal up (both are commands) (cf Da 12:9-note = "until the end of time") - The idea is not make the Book of Daniel unavailable for study and edification but to preserve it so that it will be available through the ages and especially to those who are living in the last 3.5 years of, the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Da 9:27-note), the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21), the time of distress (Da 12:1-note)

Ryrie comments that concealseal up does not me the book…

was to be left unexplained but that the book was to be kept intact so as to help those living in the future tribulation days.

Conceal (05640) (satham/satam) is a verb means to stop, stop up, block off, seal, obstruct (fountains 2Ki 3:19, 25, 2Chr 32:3, 4). The first use speaks of stopping up the wells (Ge 26:15, 18). In Ps 51:6 David uses satam to describe our hidden part. Satam describes the closes of the breaches in the wall about Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah (Neh 4:7). Daniel uses satam below to in recording that the words he has written were "concealed… until the end time." (Da 12:9) In Da 8:26 he was told to "keep (shut up) the vision secret." In Ezekiel 28:3 satam describes a secret.

Satham - 13x in 13v - Gen 26:15, 18; 2Ki 3:19, 25; 2 Chr 32:3-4, 30; Neh 4:7; Ps 51:6; Ezek 28:3; Da 8:26; 12:4, 9. NAS - closed(1), conceal(1), concealed(1), cut off(1), hidden part(1), keep the secret(1), secret(1), stop(1), stopped(5).

Seal up (02856) (chatham/hatam) means to seal as when one places a mark or impression on clay or wax for the purpose of authentication, marking ownership, origin, or content. Many things were sealed in the OT including letters (1Ki21:8), decrees of kings usually with his signet ring (Es 3:12; 8:8,10; Da 6:17), covenants (Neh10:1), and land purchase deeds (Jer 32:10,11,44).

Chatham - 26x in 24v in NAS - Lev 15:3; Deut 32:34; 1Kgs 21:8; Neh 9:38; 10:1; Esth 3:12; 8:8, 10; Job 9:7; 14:17; 24:16; 33:16; 37:7; Song 4:12; Isa 8:16; 29:11; Jer 32:10f, 14, 44; Ezek 28:12; Da 9:24; 12:4, 9. NAS - obstructs(1), seal(6), sealed(15), seals(2), sets a seal(1), shut(1).

Miller - In the ancient Near East the custom was to “seal” an important document by impressing upon it the identifying marks of the parties involved and the recording scribe. A sealed text was not to be tampered with or changed. Then the original document was duplicated and placed (“closed up”) in a safe place where it could be preserved. An excellent illustration of this process is recorded in the Book of Jeremiah (Jer 32:9, 10, 11, 12). The sealing of Jeremiah’s property deed was not done to “hide” the contents or to keep them “secret” but to preserve the document. As a matter of fact, Jeremiah performed this transaction in the presence of his cousin “and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard” (Jer 32:12). There also was an “unsealed copy” of the deed that presumably was open for inspection. (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary)

Until the end of time - This vision and the entire book of Daniel for that matter was to be preserved for those alive during this tumultuous future time when these God's truth would be needed and would be eagerly sought (many will go back and forth).

There are a number of relatively similar time phrases in the eschatological section of Daniel

  1. Da 8:17-note = the time of the end
  2. Da 8:19-note = the appointed time of the end
  3. Da 8:26-note = pertains to many days in the future
  4. Da 9:26-note = even to the end there will be war
  5. Da 10:14-note = in the latter days… pertains to the days yet future
  6. Da 11:27-note = the end is still to come at the appointed time
  7. Da 11:35-note = until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time
  8. Da 11:40-note = at the end time
  9. Da 12:4-note = until the end of time
  10. Da 12:6-note = until the end of these wonders
  11. Da 12:9-note = until the end time

Many - In Da 12:3 many will be led to righteousness.

Many will go back and forth - Some writers interpret this as a reference to literal travel which is obviously greatly accelerated in modern times compared to Daniel's time. The discerning reader needs to remember that some paraphrases like the Living Bible function essentially as "mini-commentaries" (which is why one needs to use the more literal versions)…

travel and education shall be vastly increased! (The Living Bible)

Wiersbe comments that this verse "is not a reference to automobiles and jet planes or the advancement of education. It has reference to the study of God's Word in the last days, especially the study of prophecy. Amos 8:11, 12 warns us that the day will come when there will be a famine of God's Word and people will run here and there seeking for truth but won't find it. But God's promise to Daniel is that, in the last days, His people can increase in their knowledge of prophetic Scripture as they apply themselves to the Word of God. Some interpret "to and fro" to mean running one's eyes to and fro over the pages of Scripture." (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament. Victor)

The generally excellent commentator Henry Morris favors a literal explanation writing that

The word “run” (NAS = "go") actually means “race.” That is, at the time of the end, the world will see “many”—evidently all over the world—racing back and forth, and this phenomenon would help students of God’s promises begin to “unseal the book,” and see that His return is near. It is significant that until the past two centuries, riding on a swift horse was the fastest way to travel. Today we have moved from horses to railroads to autos to airplanes to space ships. (Excellent Defender's Study Bible notes free online) (I do not favor this interpretation but present it only as an example)

In keeping with the context, however, the more plausible interpretation is that this phrase does not speak of a literal increase in travel per se but describes individuals going back and forth in search of knowledge (cf 2Chr 16:9; Jer 5:1; Am 8:12; Zec 4:10). What would motivate people such a frenetic search? Clearly such a search would be stimulated by the cataclysmic events that will occur in the years leading up to and culminating in the time of distress. Note that this same time period immediately preceding Christ's Second Coming is described in much greater detail in Revelation 6 through 19.

The Amplified Version (which also functions as a "mini-commentary - but one I generally find useful) says…

But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the Book until the time of the end. [Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously [through the Book], and knowledge [of God’s purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be increased and become great. (Amplified)

Here are some other versions that favor the interpretation of going to and fro searching for knowledge…

Many shall diligently investigate, and knowledge shall increase." (Darby)

Many people will go here and there to find true knowledge." (International Children's Bible)

Many shall scrutinize it, running through every page. (Fausset)

Here is an example of what I think is a horrible translation from the TEV (The English Version)…

Meanwhile, many people will waste their efforts trying to understand what is happening.

And knowledge will increase - While some see this phrase as a general reference to the exponential explosion in human knowledge in the 21st Century, if one keeps the context of the the end of time in mind (Da 11:36-45, Da 12:1-13 = prophecy of the end times, especially the time of distress), the interpretation would more reasonably describe a general increase in the knowledge of end times events as those events begin to unfold. In other words, God indicated that an increased understanding of what Daniel had written would come. Of course, only those who have "insight" (Da 12:3) and have their spiritual eyes opened by the Holy Spirit (cf Jn 16:13, 1Cor 2:12, 13, 14), will experience this increase in knowledge, and be enabled to understand that these ancient prophecies are beginning to unfold in their lifetime.

Dr Walvoord agrees writing that "Those who will profit most by the prophecies of Daniel will be those who will be living in the end time." (Ed: And I would add those who are willing to let the Scriptures speak for themselves and therefore interpret them LITERALLY!)

What will be the result of the fact that knowledge will increase? It certainly will not be just to make them smarter sinners! And while the immediate context does not state with certainty, I think an increased knowledge of the writing of truth (Da 10:21, cf true = Da 10:1, truth = Da 11:2) about the end times will produce a conviction in the hearts of many Jews and play a role in contributing to the salvation of the one third of Israel (Zech 13:8, 9) who will be rescued out of the time of distress (Da 12:1-note). And while the book of Daniel speaks primarily to the Jews, the principles are clearly applicable to the Gentiles, many of whom will have their eyes opened to the fact that these awesome end time events portend the imminent Second Coming of the Messiah and they will by grace through faith bow to Him as their King while today is still called today (He 3:13-note).

Wiersbe - In the ancient world, official transactions were ratified with two documents, one that was sealed and kept in a safe place and one that was kept available (Je 32:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12). God looked upon Daniel's book as the "deed" that guaranteed that He would faithfully keep His promises to the people of Israel. To close up the book and seal it didn't mean to hide it away, because God's message was given so His people would know the future. The book was to be treasured and protected and shared with the Jewish people. However, the book was "sealed" in this sense: the full meaning of what Daniel wrote would not be understood until "the time of the end" (see Mt 24:15). Even Daniel didn't fully understand all that he saw, heard, and wrote! (Da 12:8-note) (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament. Victor)

Dear reader, are you a prophecy buff who like to talk about end time events and yet you have failed to bow your knee to the King of kings? If so, today could be the day of salvation for you (2Co 6:2) to the praise of the glory of His matchless mercy and grace. As testimony to the fact that many Gentiles will recognize the signs of the times in prophecies such as Daniel and Revelation, the apostle John records…

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues (this clearly includes Gentiles), standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

"Salvation to our God who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb."…

(Play "Salvation Belongs To Our God")

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, and one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?" And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Re 7:9-note, Re 7:10-note, Re 7:11-note, Re 7:12-note, Re 7:13-note, Re 7:14-note)

Comment: From this passage in Revelation 7, it is clear that they will be an incredible harvest of souls in the last 3.5 year period of tribulation, and undoubtedly God's sure word of prophecy coming to pass before their very eyes will play a pivotal role in their coming to salvation.


  • Two: Da 10:5,6,10,16
  • Of the river: Da 10:4

Two others - Apparently two angelic beings. Some have suggested this refers to the number of witnesses called for in the Mosaic law (cf Dt 19:15), but that is speculation for the present events have nothing to do with criminal activity. In addition two angels appeared in Daniel 8:13ff-note in the absence of an oath.

The river - The Tigris the same river as in Da 10:4-note remembering that this chapter is still describing what was initially communicated in Daniel 10 when the prophet received his fourth vision.


  • One said: Da 8:16 Zec 1:12,13 Eph 3:10 1Pe 1:12
  • Man: Da 10:5,6 Eze 9:2 Rev 15:6 19:14
  • Above, Rev 10:2-5
  • How long: Da 8:13 Ps 74:9 Rev 6:10

Digital Art by Ted Larson

One said - One of the "two others" who again are presumably angelic beings.

The man dressed in linen - A question from the one (presumably an angel) to the man dressed in linen, who some feel is a pre-incarnate manifestation of Christ. Others interpret him as an angelic being. I think we cannot be dogmatic.

How long - Not how long until they begin but how long they will last once they begin (cf similar question in Da 8:13-note). As 1Pe 1:12-note explains even the angels despite their sinless state are not omniscient and desire to know about the great future events that will radically impact the present world.

Until the end of these wonders - The end of the time of distress which includes many "wonders" including the reign of terror of the Antichrist, the great conflict, etc. This phrase teaches of course that it will come to an end!


  • Raised: Dt 32:40 Rev 10:5,7
  • lives : Da 4:34 Job 27:2 Jer 4:2
  • that it : Da 12:11,12 7:25 8:14 11:13 Rev 11:2,3,15 12:6,14 13:5
  • when : Lk 21:14 Rev 10:7 11:7-15
  • the holy: Da 8:24 Dt 7:6 26:19 Isa 62:12 1Pe 2:9

Raised his right hand - Scripture records other situations in which one would raise his hand when uttering an oath (Ge 14:22; Dt 32:40; Rev 10:5,6-note). The fact that he raises both hands suggests this symbolizes the highest degree of assurance one could provide.

Time, times and half a time (See table below for of parallel time phrases) - Comparison with the events described in Rev 12:6-note and Rev 12:14-note, time, times and half a time equates with 1,260 days, the period to be reckoned from the time the "saints were delivered into the hand" of "the little horn." (Da 7:25-note).

Shattering the power - This describes the effect/purpose of the "Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21-note), the "time of Jacob's Trouble" (Je 30:7-note), the finish of "the indignation" (Da 11:36). This indicates that Israel will be utterly defeated by her enemies. This phrase may have a double meaning, in that the breaking of Israel's power will predispose individuals to be broken of their hard hearts and rebellion against God (cf Zech 12:10, 11, 12, 13, 14).

Strauss notes that…

Israel's extremity will be God's opportunity, for then Messiah shall come and the nation will be led to acknowledge Him…

There are those who tell us that the great tribulation spoken of by our Lord was that time of suffering that came upon the Jewish people at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. But both Daniel and John, and also the Lord Jesus, relate the great tribulation to a judgment that is to come upon the whole world immediately preceding the coming of the Son of Man to earth in power and great glory (Mt 24:29). Our world has witnessed distress of serious magnitude, but the coming last distress will be unequalled. The world today gives little heed to this solemn prophecy, but the present indifference to it will in no wise lessen its fierceness when it comes. (Lehman Strauss Commentary – The Prophecies of Daniel)

The holy people (cf Da 12:1-note "your people", Da 9:24-note "your people and your holy city") - In context this phrase refers to Israel, the Jewish people. The nation of Israel will be shattered by the anti-Semitic forces in the last half of the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21), the time of distress (Da 12:1-note), the time of Jacob's distress (Jer 30:7-note).



(Click Summary Chart on Daniel's 70th Week)

Da 9:27 Middle of the week

The prince (Antichrist) who is to come breaks the covenant with Israel and commits the abomination of desolation (see notes)

Da 7:25 Time, times
and half a time

Last 3.5 years - The time during which the saints (Jews) will be given into Little Horn's (Antichrist's) hand (power). (see notes)

Da 12:7 Time, times
and half a time

Last 3.5 years - The time required to shatter the power of the holy people (the Jews) and the completion of the future events described in Daniel 11:36-45.

Rev 11:2 42 months

Last 3.5 years - The time period during which the Gentile nations will be given the outside court of the Temple and will trample down Jerusalem. (see notes)

Rev 12:6 1260 days

Last 3.5 years - The time period when Israel flees into the wilderness to a place prepared by God so that she might be nourished. (see notes)

Rev 12:14 Time and times
and half a time

Last 3.5 years - The time during which Israel is nourished in the wilderness from the presence of the serpent (see notes)

Rev 13:5 42 Months

Last 3.5 years - The time which Antichrist will be given authority to act. (see notes)


  • But : Lk 18:34 Jn 12:16 Ac 1:7 1Pe 1:11
  • what : Da 12:6 10:14)

I heard but could not understand - The OT prophets often did not understand the prophecies which the Spirit gave them to record. Peter affirms this truth in the NT writing…

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things into which angels long to look. (1Pe 1:10, 11, 12)

Outcome (0319) (acharith) is a feminine noun that means the "after part", the end of a period of time, the last time, the latter time. The first use is in Genesis 49:1 = "Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, "Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come." In Nu 23:10 acharith refers to the "end" of one's life (death - cp similar use Nu 24:20, Ps 73:17, 5:11). It speaks of old or older age (Job 42:12 = "Jehovah blessed the latter days of Job") Acharith describes one's posterity (Ps 37:37, 38, 109:13). Here acharith conveys the idea of outcome - Da 12:8, Pr 5:4, 14:12, 16:25 (end), Eccl 7:8, Isa 41:22, 47:7. It conveys the sense of future (Pr 23:18, 24:14, 24:20, Jer 29:11, 31:17). In Ezek 23:25 acharith describes survivors (twice).

Acharith is used many times in a prophetic (eschatological) sense. Read the following passages - Nu 24:14 - "days to come.", Dt 4:30 = "latter days" = at Second Coming of Messiah at the time when all Israel will be saved (Ro 11:26-note) and Messiah sets up His Millennial Kingdom. The same meaning is seen in the following prophetic passages - Isa 2:2, Jer 23:20, 30:24, 49:39, Ezek 38:8 , 16, Da 10:14, Hos 3:5, Micah 4:1 = last or latter days.

Swanson - 1. last, end, i.e., the last point of a period of time (Dt 11:12); 2. future, i.e., a point in time future to the time of the discourse (Ge 49:1); 3. descendant, i.e., one of a future generation (Ps 109:13; Da 11:4); 4. least, i.e., an object of little importance (Jer 50:12); 5. remainder, the rest, remnant, i.e., ones who are left over from a whole (Eze 23:25); 6. far side, the other side, as a limit point of a space (Ps 139:9) (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew).

NAS translations of acharith = come (2), descendants(1), end (20), final end (1), final period (1), future (7), last (8), latter (7), latter ending (1), latter period (1), least (1), outcome (3), posterity (3), remotest part (1), rest (2), survivors (2).

In the introductory section of this vision (spanning chapters 10 through 12) we read…

Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people (Israel) in the latter (acharith) days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future." (Da 10:14-note) (Note that this noun is repeatedly utilized in the prophetic section of Daniel (Da 8:19, 23-note; Da 12:8).

Acharith - 60v in the NAS - Ge 49:1; Num 23:10; 24:14, 20; Deut 4:30; 8:16; 11:12; 31:29; 32:20, 29; Job 8:7; 42:12; Ps 37:37f; 73:17; 109:13; 139:9; Prov 5:4, 11; 14:12f; 16:25; 19:20; 20:21; 23:18, 32; 24:14, 20; 25:8; 29:21; Eccl 7:8; 10:13; Isa 2:2; 41:22; 46:10; 47:7; Jer 5:31; 12:4; 17:11; 23:20; 29:11; 30:24; 31:17; 48:47; 49:39; 50:12; Lam 1:9; Ezek 23:25; 38:8, 16; Da 8:19, 23; 10:14; 11:4; 12:8; Hos 3:5; Amos 4:2; 8:10; 9:1; Mic 4:1.

Below are some other uses of acharith that clearly speak of end times events that impact Israel.

Acharith is used by Moses in his prophecy of what will happen to rebellious Israel at the end of time (during Daniel's Seventieth Week and specifically the last 3.5 years of the time of the Great Tribulation) declaring…

When you are in distress (Dt 4:30KJV = tribulation) and all these things have come upon you, in the latter (acharith) days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. (Dt 4:30)

Comment: Israel will "return" and "listen to His voice" because a Spirit of grace and supplication has been poured out on them, softening their rebellious hearts (cf Zech 12:10). Compare Isa 2:2-note [Micah 4:1 acharith = "last"] where acharith is translated "last" and as in Dt 4:30 clearly refers to the termination of the Great Tribulation and the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom when the King of kings returns and one third of the Jews repent and return and call out to their Messiah [cf Zech 13:8, 9] - what a happy day it will be! See a parallel description of "the last (acharith) days" (the Millennium) in Hosea 3:5.

Here are some other uses of acharith in a distinctly futuristic, end times context…

The anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last (acharith) days you will clearly understand it. (Jer 23:20, cp similar uses of acharith in Jer 30:24+, Jer 48:47, 49:39, and the related Aramaic word "'acharith" in Da 2:28-note)

Comment: Here last refers to the final act of this present age during the Great Tribulation with the inauguration of the New Age of the Messiah when the terms of the New Covenant will be fully and finally fulfilled for the believing Jews who God had promised through Jeremiah 31:31, 32, 33, 34+ - note especially the phrase in verse 34 "they shall all know me", cp Hebrews 8:11. Zech 12:10+ also alludes to the eyes of the Jews being opened by grace so that they come to understand what their forefathers had done to the Messiah - compare "in the last days you [Jews] will clearly understand it".


  • Go: Da 12:13
  • concealed : Da 12:4 8:26 Isa 8:16 29:11 Rev 10:4


Go your way, Daniel - Even though Daniel is advanced in age (80+ years), he is not told to go and rest but is commanded to keep pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call.

For these words - He has just said "Go" and now explains why Daniel does not have to worry about the integrity of these prophecies relating to Israel.

These words are concealed and sealed up until the end of time - This indicates that the words of the vision are preserved intact and secure (cf Da 12:4-note = "until the end of time") and will be available to those who search to and fro in the end time. And as stated in the next verse many Jews as a result of searching the writing of truth will turn and look upon Him Who they pierced (Zech 12:10), recognize Jesus as their Redeemer and be spiritually purged, purified and refined!

Note the important expression of time until - this clearly implies that one day the "seal" will be removed and the meaning of these words will be crystal clear! 

Strauss adds that "It was not needful that Daniel have all the answers at that time. The vision would come to pass at God's appointed time, and that was all Daniel needed to know for the present. The Lord told Daniel that there was no further need to probe deeper into these matters. At the appointed time God will bring all to pass as revealed in the vision. Daniel was not to sit by idly and wait for the fulfillment of the prophecies, but he was told, "Go thy way, Daniel," that is, follow on in the way of obedient service as in the past." (Lehman Strauss Commentary – The Prophecies of Daniel)


  • Will be: Da 11:35 Ps 51:7 Isa 1:18 Eze 36:25 Zec 13:9 1Co 6:11 2Co 7:1 Titus 2:14 Heb 12:10 1Pe 1:7,22 Rev 3:18 7:13,14 19:8,14
  • but the wicked: 1Sa 24:13 Isa 32:6,7 Eze 47:11 Ho 14:9 Ro 11:8, 9, 10 2Th 2:10-12 Rev 9:20,21 16:11 22:11
  • but those who have insight: Da 11:33,35 Ps 107:43 Pr 1:5 2:1-5 Mk 4:11 Lk 24:25 Jn 7:17 Jn 8:47 18:37 1Co 2:10-16 1Jn 5:20)


Some non-literal (see literal interpretation) interpreters such as Edward J Young (Ref) incorrectly associate this verse with the tribulations of God's people throughout history, but such a genre of interpretation completely "jettisons" the Jewishness of this passage and its clear eschatological context!

Many - Who are the "many?" In context (the end time Da 12:9) this probably refers to one third of the Jews who will experience the testing, purging time of the Great Tribulation and cry out to their Messiah to rescue (save) them (Da 12:1-note, Zech 12:10, Zech 13:8, 9, Ro 11:25, 26, 27-note). As discussed above, multitudes of Gentiles will also be saved during this time of distress and great tribulation (as we can deduce from comparing Rev 7:9-note, Rev 7:14-note), but that is not the specific group intended in the context of Daniel 12 which is addressed directly to the Jewish nation.

One might invert the order of Charles Dickens' famous saying (Tale of Two Cities), saying that for Israel the worst of times are yet to come, but they will be followed by the best of times for the Jews who recognize, respond, repent and are refined by the end time three and one half year fires of affliction.

Purged (01305) (barar) means to purify (as one's lips Zeph 3:9), purge out (Ezek 20:38 - which describes the future judgment of Jews at the end of the Great Tribulation to determine who enters the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah = only saved will enter [read Ezek 20:34, 35, 36, 37, 38]), to test (Ec 3:18) or to select or choose (1Chr 7:40, 9:22, 16:41). Barar can describe a sifting or sorting out (sifting - Jer 4:11 to describe the "sifting" produced by the Babylonian invasion), which is exactly what the time of Jacob's distress (Heb = tsarah = tightness, trouble, root deals with harassment and torment engendered by an enemy, intense inner turmoil; same word used in Da 12:1 "time of distress") (Jer 30:7-note) will accomplish among the Jews. This pressure filled time of distress will produce a separation of the repentant and regenerate from the unrepentant, unregenerate. Barar is used twice in Psalms 18:26 to describe God and men - "With the pure You show Yourself pure And with the crooked You show Yourself astute."

Barar - 18x in 16v in the NAS - 2Sa 22:27; 1 Chr 7:40; 9:22; 16:41; Neh 5:18; Job 33:3; Ps 18:26; Eccl 3:18; Isa 49:2; 52:11; Jer 4:11; 51:11; Ezek 20:38; Dan 11:35; 12:10; Zeph 3:9. NAS = choice(2), chosen(2), cleanse(1), pure you show(2), purge(2), purged(1), purified(1), purify(1), select(1), sharpen(1), show yourself pure(2), sincerely(1), tested(1).


Purified (03835)(laban) means to make white or be made white or to come white and figuratively means to purify. In other words it is a figurative description of "filthy" sinners made morally pure. This sense is seen in several passages - Ps 51:7, Isa 1:18, Da 11:35, 12:10. In fact the only literal use is in Joel 1:7.

Purified in Da 12:10 is in the Hithpael and thus has been translated both reflexively (RSV = "make themselves white" and passively KJV = "made white"). While either translation is grammatically defensible, the latter translation avoids the misleading suggestion that such moral cleansing comes by self reformation, for only God can make sinners "white as snow" (see below), dressing them in Christ's righteousness (1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21, Ro 3:21, 22, 23-note, Ro 3:24-note, Php 3:8, 9-note, Isa 61:10) in contrast to man in "his" own righteousness (Ec l7:15, Ezek 33:13, Isa 64:6)

The first use of laban is the most famous where David pleads to God - " Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Ps 51:7). Isaiah pleads with sinful Israel to "“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool." (Isa 1:18)

Laban - 5x in 5v in the NAS - Ps 51:7; Isa 1:18; Da 11:35; 12:10; Joel 1:7. NAS = become white(1), make them pure(1), purified(1), white(1), whiter(1).

Daniel infrequently used Hebrew word laban earlier in his description of the Jews suffering under the "time of distress" wrought by the "Antichrist of the Old Testament", Antiochus IV Epiphanes…

And some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine (see tsaraph below), purge (see barar above), and make them pure (laban - KJV has "make them white"), until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time. (Da 11:35-note)

In Isaiah, Jehovah calls out to unrepentant sinners in Israel (and by application to sinners of all "genre") with this gracious offer…

Come (command) now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white (laban) as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. (Isa 1:18-note)

David a man after God's own heart (1Sa 13:14, Acts 13:22) cried out for "washing" of his soul and conscience after his great sin against God which he committed with Bathsheba…

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter (laban) than snow. (Ps 51:7-Surgeon's note)

The Lxx (Theodotion) of Daniel 12:10 uses the verb ekleukaino (to translate the Hebrew laban) which means to make or become quite white. The picture of white garments as symbolic of those who are cleansed from their sin (and are now holy and pure) is frequently alluded to in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (remember that Revelation 6 through 19 gives the details of the horrible time of distress of Da 12:1 which will purge, purify and refine many Jews). The apostle John writes that…

(Jesus speaking) He who overcomes (not a "special" or "elite" group for all believers are "overcomers"! cf 1Jn 5:4, 5) shall thus be clothed in white (leukos - brilliant, bright, shining, glittering, dazzling white as were the garments of the transfigured Jesus Mt 17:2; cf the everlasting state of the saints in Da 12:3, Mt 13:43) garments (cf Rev 3:4-note); and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life (cf Da 12:1 = "everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued"), and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. (Rev 3:5-note, cf the spiritually "naked" in Re 3:17-note with those who "purchase" white garments in Re 3:18-note)

And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. (Rev 4:4-note)

And there was given to each of them (Those who had been slain because of the word of God - Re 6:9-note, Re 6:10-note) a white robe (cf the first garment for sinners Ge 3:21); and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also. (Re 6:11-note)

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands… And one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?" And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Re 7:9-note, Re 7:13-note, Re 7:14-note)

And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (cf Re 19:7-note), were following Him (Rev 19:11, 12, 13-note) on white horses. (Rev 19:14-note)

If one refuses and rejects God's "whitening" of their soul, they will be forced to stand before a "white" throne for judgment of their wickedness…

And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. (Rev 20:11-note)

Refined (06884) (tsaraph) describes the process by which the refiner purifies metal, first by heating it to separate the dross to leave pure ore (Pr 25:4). Scripture uses tsaraph to describe God's Word as that which is refined and thus is pure (2Sa 22:31, Ps 12:6-note, Ps 18:30-note, Pr 30:5). God uses trials to refine people (Ps 17:3-note, Ps 66:10-note, Ps 119:140-note [pure = tested]; Is 48:10) and in Ps 105:18-note Jehovah used His Word to test Joseph. David beseeched God to "test" his mind (Ps 26:2-note), which have something to do with why David was called a man after God's own heart (1Sa 13:14, Acts 13:22)!

Tsaraph is used in the present passage to describe God's spiritual refining of Israel (cf Is 1:25 = "smelt"; used in Zech 13:9, Mal 3:3).

Tsaraph - 32x in 29v in the NAS - goldsmith(5), goldsmiths(2), pure(1), refine(3), refined(5), refiner's(1), refining goes(1), silversmith(2), smelt(1), smelter(2), smith(1), test(2), tested(4), tried(2).

Jdg 7:4; 17:4; 2Sa 22:31; Neh 3:8, 32; Ps 12:6; 17:3; 18:30; 26:2; 66:10; 105:19; 119:140; Pr 25:4; 30:5; Isa 1:25; 40:19; 41:7; 46:6; 48:10; Jer 6:29; 9:7; 10:9, 14; 51:17; Da 11:35; 12:10; Zec 13:9; Mal 3:2, 3.

In a passage that prefigures God's final refining fire, the Great Tribulation, Jeremiah writes…

Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I will refine (tsaraph) them and assay (bachan) - in context this speaks of the "crucible" of affliction in the 70 year Babylonian exile) them (Judea), for what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?" (Jer 9:7)

Will be purged, purified and refined (KJV = purified, and made white, and tried) - This a vivid figurative description of the spiritual purification and regeneration of the many (Jews), which the prophet Zechariah identifies as one-third of the nation of Israel using a virtually identical "metallurgical metaphor"…

It will come about in all the land," Declares the LORD, "That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine (tsaraph) them as silver is refined (tsaraph), And test (bachan) them as gold is tested (bachan). They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" (Zechariah 13:8, 9+)

Comment: The last three chapters of Zechariah (12-14) actually present a single unified message which Henry Morris says represents "one the most remarkable prophetic sections in the Bible. Its climax is the great victory of God over all His enemies and the fulfillment of all His promises to Israel. As such, it appropriately begins with a reminder that the God of Israel is none other than the mighty Creator of the universe and of every human being." These last 3 chapters of Zechariah are introduced as the "the burden (for Israel's enemies) of the word of the LORD concerning Israel" (Zech 12:1)


The prophet Malachi also alludes to the "Refiner's fire", drawing his readers attention to the "day of His coming" which cuts short the days of the Great Tribulation

But who can endure the day of His coming (Second Coming brings an end to the Great Tribulation)? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's (tsaraph - see discussion of this word above) fire and like fullers' soap. And He will sit as a smelter (tsaraph) and purifier of silver, and He will purify (Heb = taher = make clean, cf Je 33:8 where "cleanse" = taher) the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness (Since the only righteousness acceptable to God is by faith, these are Levitical priests who have come to believe in the Messiah). (Malachi 3:2, 3-note)

John MacArthur explains: Instead of bringing rewards, His coming is likened to two purifying agents—fire to burn off dross and alkali to whiten—an indication of the true condition of their hearts. The fire will burn off the dross of iniquity; the soap will wash out the stain of sin. His coming will be one in which He removes all impurities. No one will escape this cleansing. Importantly, He will come purifying and cleansing, but not necessarily destroying (cf Is 1:25; 48:10). Since the Levitical priests were instrumental in leading the nation astray and a new group of pure priests was required for the work of the millennial temple (cf. Ezek 44-45:8), the cleansing of the nation would begin with them (cf. Ezek 9:6). Then they can “offer to the Lord” what is righteous as called for in the millennial sacrifices (cf. Ezek 45:9-46:24). offering in righteousness. Given from cleansed hearts in a right condition before God, their offerings will be “in righteousness.” These millennial sacrifices will be a memorial for the redeemed nation of Israel, commemorating Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word)

The prophet Isaiah also alludes to this future end time refining of Israel…

I (Jehovah speaking) will also turn My hand against you, and will smelt away (Heb = tsaraph - smelt, refine, test, try, purge away) your dross (the waste and impurity which is turned away or skimmed off in the refining process) as with lye, and will remove all your alloy. Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. After that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city (Referring to Jerusalem)." (Isaiah 1:25, 26-see notes)

The wicked (rasha - evil, ungodly, guilty of crime/sin) will act wickedly - How do you know they are wicked? Look at their actions. Their "rotten fruit" underscores their "rotten root". The bring forth fruit in keeping with an unrepentant heart. The wicked are those who willfully reject the truth, but the those who have insight are those who seek to know it. Even in the face of the clear evidence of God's righteous wrath, two thirds of the Jews will refuse to repent (Zech 13:8), and in their willful unbelief will only be further hardened by their tribulation "fires". (cf the repetitive refrain of the rebels in Revelation of a refusal to repent - Re 2:21-note, Re 9:20-note, Re 9:21-note, Re 16:9-note, Re 16:11-note; Rev 22:11-note cf Mt 13:11, 12; see similar principle in the command to Isaiah to "Render the hearts of this people insensitive… " - Isa 6:9, 10-note)

Paul warned Timothy (and all believers) that…

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2Ti 3:12, 13-note)

Paul solemnly describes the grave danger of rejecting God's truth, explaining that the coming of the Antichrist…

is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason (What reason? They did not "put the welcome mat" out for truth - see study of the verb for "receive" = dechomai) God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth (Note the order - They heard the truth but did not receive it or believe it. Their frightening fate --- divinely dealt delusion!), but took pleasure in wickedness. (2Th 2:9, 10, 11, 12)

The apostle John summarizes these same two contrasting responses (gospel reception and gospel rejection) in the book of the Revelation…

Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. (Revelation 22:11-note)

Monty Mills comments: God is saying that men choose to sin because they want to, not because they know no better; and the inference is that even this book, which reveals the ultimate, stark, destiny of sin, will not deter sinners from pursuing their fancy.

Tony Garland comments: In view of this reality, the marching orders of the Church are similar to those of the prophet Ezekiel:

But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD.” He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house. (Ezek 3:27)

It was not Ezekiel’s responsibility to make the rebellious turn. His responsibility was to accurately preserve and convey the message of God. Those who would respond did so. Those who would not did not. He did not own the results!

(Quoting John MacArthur) Preaching Revelation draws the line. Its truths will melt the hearts of the repentant and harden the hearts of the unrepentant. Those same truths thus become either an instrument of salvation, or an instrument of damnation (cf. 1Co 1:18; 2Co 2:15, 16).

Those who have insight will understand (cf foreshadowing of this future event in Da 11:33, 35-note in time of Antiochus Epiphanes) - Who are "those"? In context this refers to believing Jews (those who were spiritually purged, purified and refined) but by application to all believers in these end times. They will understand because God gives them insight (cp Da 2:21,22-note), for the ability to discern or perceive God's work comes only from the wisdom which He imparts. In short, only believers will have supernatural insight into these spiritual events (1Cor 2:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, cf 1Jn 5:20 = "given us understanding") and therefore they will understand what is happening when the difficult, rapid paced fulfillments begin to transpire in the Seventieth Week of Daniel and especially in the last half, the time of distress.



From the time - This time phrase clearly begins the countdown which will end in 1290 days. While the beginning is clearly identified as discussed below, there is no specific event associated with the ending.

The regular sacrifice is abolished - This refers to the Jewish sacrifices in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. Daniel 9:26-note explains that the "prince who is to come", who in context is the "little horn" or the Antichrist, will "put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering" (Da 9:27-note)

The abomination of desolation (See word study) is set up - This is the pivotal event about which Jesus had prophesied in Mt 24:15 (Mk 13:14) and Daniel had described in Da 9:27-note, the abomination occurring at the midpoint of Daniel's Seventieth Week.

This event was prefigured by actions of Antiochus IV Epiphanes as described in Daniel 8 and Daniel 11…

It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. (Da 8:11, 12-note)

And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. (Da 11:31-note)

The abomination of desolation describes the future desecration of the rebuilt Jewish Temple by an abomination presumably in the Holy of holies. The Hebrew word for abomination often refers to an idol, something/someone in the place of God, and when compared with other related passages, the abomination is best explained as either an abominable person (the Antichrist) or his idolatrous image as recorded by Paul and John respectively…

(Paul writes about the "abominable" person, the Antichrist) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2Thes 2:3, 4)

(John writes about the "abominable" image of the person, the Antichrist) And he (the False Prophet, aka the second beast, the "front man" for the Antichrist) deceives those who dwell on the earth (earth dwellers = a "technical term" in Revelation that equates with unbelievers) because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had^ the wound of the sword and has come to life. And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast (An abominable idol of the Antichrist!), that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Rev 13:14-18-note)

Those who do not accept the literal futuristic interpretation of prophecy, are forced to contrive speculative interpretations of the text. Here is an example from the respected theologian R A Torrey who compiled the incredibly useful resource, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (from which this quote is derived)…

(Ed note: Explaining the "abomination of desolation Torrey writes that this is) Probably Mohammedanism, which sprang up in power the same year as the papal, A.D. 606; and 1,290 years from that time will be A.D. 1896, and 1,335 years A.D. 1941.

There will be 1290 days - There are 1260 days from the setting of the image in the temple until the Beast is destroyed by the returning Christ (Rev 19:19,20-note). One can only speculate to what this extra 30 days (1260 + 30) refers. Most conservative commentators feel this probably refers to the time it will take to judge the Gentiles and Jews who physically survive the Great Tribulation to determine who is allowed to enter into the 1000 year Kingdom of Christ.

It is surprising that the highly respected commentator Gleason Archer feels that the last 3.5 years is only an approximation and that the 1,290 days is a more accurate description of the Antichrist’s persecution of Israel! To the contrary, God seems to go to great lengths to identify exactly the beginning and end of this most horrible time period in the history of Israel (and the world) (See table listing God's very specific parallel time phrases).

Be on the alert for non-literalist interpreters like Joyce Baldwin who writes that…

All attempts to find an exact application of the literal numbers break down (Ed: O really?!). We turn next to the symbolic interpretation, keeping in mind that there have already been indications of symbolic numbers in the book, notably the seventy sevens of years in Da 9:24-27

Comment: I do not agree with Baldwin (and would advise an Acts 17:11-note mindset when reading anything by this relatively acclaimed author!). I would offer this quote by Baldwin as an example of the dangerous practice of invoking non-literal interpretation in passages where the text does not obviously warrant such an approach. Just because we do not know the event(s) associated with 1290 days and 1335 days does not justify a non-literal interpretation! God does know and one day we will know! (1Cor 13:12-13) What these specific time phrase do warrant is a measured, non-dogmatic interpretative approach. Remember Dt 29:29 is still apropos! Remember Jesus' words to His disciples in Jn 16:12!

See Tony Garland's discussion of Systems of Interpretation

This verse of course presupposes that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Mark Hitchcock writes that…

The main impediment to the rebuilding of a temple in Jerusalem is the presence of the Muslim Dome of the Rock, or the Mosque of Omar, on the place where the temple must be rebuilt. Also on the Temple Mount is the AL-Aqsa Mosque, which was completed in A.D. 715 and which is regarded as the third holiest place in Islam (after Mecca and Medina). However, Muslims consider the Dome of the Rock to be the crown of the Temple Mount. How will the Jews ever be able to rebuild their temple, with the Dome of the Rock on the same piece of real estate, without triggering World War III? To me this is one of the thorniest problems in all of Bible prophecy.

However, there are several possible solutions that are commonly put forth.

Here are three of the more common solutions to this problem:

1. Some believe that the temple could be rebuilt without disturbing the Dome of the Rock. The Jewish temple and Muslim Dome of the Rock could stand side by side on the Temple Mount. This is very unlikely for two reasons. First, the best archaeologists, including Israeli scholars, concur that the Dome of the Rock stands on the site where the first and second Jewish temples once stood. Second, even if the temple could be rebuilt next to the Dome of the Rock, this would be anathema to both the Jews and the Muslims. Neither of them would accept this solution.

2. It is also possible that God will send some great disaster, such as an earthquake, that will destroy the Muslim structures on the Temple Mount.

3. A third possible solution is that the annihilation of Russia and her Muslim allies, as detailed in Ezekiel 38-39, will eliminate the Muslim threat to the Jews, thus allowing them to tear down the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque and rebuild their temple without fear of reprisal.

I believe that the simplest one is for the Antichrist, when he comes to power, to impose a peace treaty on Israel and the Islamic/Arab nations. A key element in that plan would have to include Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount area. The Antichrist will then do what no one has been able to do up to that point. He will bring a comprehensive peace plan to the Middle East. If he is able to somehow compel Muslims to give up control of the Temple Mount and return it to the Jews, he certainly would be hailed as the greatest diplomat in human history. This may be the event that catapults him onto the international political scene as the world's messiah. (Mark Hitchcock - Is the Antichrist Alive Today?)


  • Ro 11:15 Rev 20:4


Blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains - While the specific event that ends in 1335 days is uncertain, the reaction called for is clear -- this time is marked by blessing in the Millennial age and then the age to follow (New Heaven and New Earth).

Compare the seven uses of "blessed" in the Revelation - Rev 1:3-note Rev 14:13-note Rev 16:15-note Rev 19:9-note Rev 20:6-note Rev 22:7-note Rev 22:14-note. My favorite is…

Blessed (makarios) are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (in His Messianic Kingdom). (Rev 19:9-note, see also Lk 22:18, 29, 30, Mt 8:11)

Blessed (0835) ('esher/'eser related to the verb 'ashar = in its root means to be straight, to be right) conveys a deep sense of well-being. 'Esher speaks of the inner contentment in the life of the man or woman who is right or “straight” with God. The man who practices righteousness will be a blessed man.

'Esher - 42 OT uses -

Dt. 33:29; 1Ki. 10:8; 2Chr. 9:7; Job 5:17; Ps 1:1; 2:12; 32:1,2; 33:12; 34:8; 40:4; 41:1; 65:4; 84:4,5, 12; 89:15; 94:12; 106:3; 112:1; 119:1,2; 127:5; 128:1,2; 137:8,9; 144:15; 146:5; Pr 3:13; 8:32, 34; 14:21; 16:20; 20:7; 28:14; 29:18; Ec 10:17; Isa. 30:18; 32:20; 56:2; Da 12:12

One person has written "The word happy is a good rendition of blessed ('esher), provided one keeps in mind that the condition of "bliss" is not merely a feeling. Even when the righteous do not feel happy, they are still considered "blessed" from God's perspective. He bestows this gift on them. Neither negative feelings nor adverse conditions can take his blessing away."

John Piper adds that the Hebrew word 'esher "means happy in the rich, full sense of happiness rooted in moral and mental and physical well being.

The Septuagint (LXX) translates blessed with the Greek word makarios (see word study) which can be summed up as describing the man who is fully satisfied especially in the spiritual sense, surely the state of the righteous who enter the Millennial Kingdom. The blessed man knows that he is safe in "the Ark" of Jehovah, the One Who declares I Am… I Am anything and everything you will ever need (not want but need! cf Php 4:19, Ps 23:1, Ps 84:11, Mt 6:33, Lk 12:30, 31, 32, Ro 8:32, 2Co 9:8, He 13:5, 6 2Sa 22:7 Da 3:28, 6:22 Ps 116:4 ; Ps 120:1)

Gleason Archer - The believers who survive to that day and share in the glory of Jesus’ coronation on earth are here acclaimed as “blessed.” They are about to become citizens of the most wonderful society governed by the most wonderful ruler in all human history—the Millennial Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing - 1984 edition)

Keeps waiting - This verb (hakah/chakah) can convey the sense of waiting accompanied by a sense of longing or hoping for something to occur (Ps 33:20; Isa. 8:17; Hab 2:3; Zeph 3:8). The idea is reminiscent of Paul's last words of encouragement to believers to remember that …

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2Ti 4:8-note)

Henry Morris remarks that at the Christ's Judgment of the Gentiles after the Great Tribulation and prior to the Millennium Jesus will say to the "sheep"…

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34), and they will be enabled to enter, still in their natural bodies, the great millennial kingdom of Christ, where they will serve as the initial generations inhabiting the earth during that glorious period. The resurrected saints will also be there, in teaching and governing capacities (Rev 20:4, 6). Daniel himself will be there and “stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Da 12:13).(Excellent Defender's Study Bible notes free online)

Related Resource:


  • go: Da 12:9
  • rest: Da 12:3 Isa 57:1 Zec 3:7 Mt 19:28 Lk 2:29,30 2Co 5:1 2Th 1:7 2Ti 4:7,8 Rev 14:13
  • Rise again: Ps 1:5 Lk 21:36 Jude 1:14,15


But as for you - God has not forgotten His servant Daniel.

Go your way to the end - Not the end of this age but the end of his life. Keep on keeping on Daniel. Daniel may have been in his 80's but as long he had breath, he had time he could redeem (Eph 5:15-16-note). One has little doubt that he complied with this command.

Enter into your rest - This is a reference to the end of Daniel's physical life on earth, which is not the end of his existence, but is the beginning of his promised rest. Immediately upon death, all those of the faith obtain rest (Is 57:1,2; Da 12:13; Lk 23:43, cf "rest" in Rev 14:13-note). What a glorious, blessed hope this sure word of prophecy (2Pe 1:19-note) is for Daniel and by way of application to all believers (Beginning to see signs of "spiritual burnout"? - Study the concept of "Rest" in the Bible) Note that this verse is not teaching the false doctrine of "soul sleep (note)"!

Rise again (KJV = "dost stand") - God promises the highly esteemed Daniel that he will be resurrected. When will he be resurrected? At the end of this age in order to enter into and experience the next age on God's calendar (the Millennial Age - the Age of the Messiah).

God says of David "I will raise" him (Jer 30:9-note) Most believe this is the "son of David" but what keeps this from being interpreted literally? If God will raise Daniel, then surely He will resurrect David so that he too can experience the Millennial age (along with you and me dear reader! Won't this be a glorious time!)

Related Resources:

I agree wholeheartedly with Leon Wood who observes that

"If Daniel is to be resurrected at this time, then other Old Testament saints will likely be resurrected at the same time, thus giving evidence regarding the probable time for the resurrection of Old Testament saints." (Leon Wood -Daniel commentary).

McGee agrees writing that ""In thy lot" (Da 12:13KJV) means that Daniel will be raised with the Old Testament saints at the beginning of the Millennium."

David's affirmation is that of Daniel and every genuine believer…

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake. (Ps 17:15-note)

Your allotted portion (Da 12:13NIV "allotted inheritance" cf Jdg 1:3, Col 1:12-note) - This describes Daniel's reward at the end of this age, when he is resurrected (along with Moses and David and all the OT saints) when he will surely hear "Well done, My good and faithful servant". (cf Mt 25:21, 23, Lk 19:17)

Miller writes…

This “consolation of hope” belongs to all who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. May every person who reads these words be part of that great host of the redeemed who “will shine like the brightness of the heavens” and “like the stars for ever and ever!” (Amen and Amen!) (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary)


End of the age - "The age" is a specific phrase in Scripture and in this context describes the end of this present age in which we live today, which comes to an end in the last 3.5 years, the Great Tribulation, when Christ, the Stone of Daniel 2 returns (Da 2:34, 35-note, Da 2:45-note) (Christ's Second Coming). "The age" Daniel and we today live in will be followed by another age, the the Messianic Age. This phrase gives us a "clue" as to when the resurrection of the OT righteous (saints) will occur - at the end of the age. When Jesus returns in triumph to reign as King of kings at the end of the age, all the OT saints will experience a bodily resurrection. This is simply one "phase" of the blessed "First Resurrection" (see notes above)

Jews divided all time into two ages this present age which they felt was wholly bad and beyond all hope of human reformation. It could only be mended by the direct intervention of the Messiah. The other division was "the age to come" when Messiah intervenes in the history of the world and establishes the golden age. At that time, the age to come, will have arrived.

Jesus spoke about the age in his parable on the tares

The enemy who sowed them (tares) is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age… So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, (Mt 13:39, 40, 49) (See other NT uses referring to the age - Lk 20:34, 35 Mt 12:32 Mk 10:30)

Comment: Louis Barbieri notes that "“The end of the Age” represents the conclusion of the present Age before Christ establishes the messianic kingdom.

The disciple's question about the age was followed by Jesus' famous Olivet Discourse

And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Comment: Henry Morris writes that this age refers to "the "age" of time and space in which people now live and have lived since the world was drastically changed by the Flood in the days of Noah." (Defender's Study Bible. -free Online Version)

John MacArthur adds that "End translates sunteleia, a compound word that refers to completion, as in the final culmination of a planned series of events. In the disciples’ minds the end of the age would accompany Jesus’ full manifestation of His messianic power and glory, bringing to a close the era of man’s sin and rebellion against God and ushering in the divine kingdom of righteousness and justice. (Matthew 8-15, Matthew 16-23, Matthew 24-28)

In His so-called "Great Commission" Jesus said…

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples (aorist imperative = the only command in this section - Do this now! Do it effectively!) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

John MacArthur: Always literally means “all the days.” For the individual believer that means all the days of his life. But in its fullest meaning for the church at large it means even to the end of the age, that is, until the Lord returns bodily to judge the world and to rule His earthly kingdom. (See Mt 13:37- 50, where Christ uses the phrase “end of the age” three times to designate His second coming.) Jesus will not visibly return to earth and display Himself before the whole world in His majestic glory and power until the end of the age. (Matthew 8-15, Matthew 16-23, Matthew 24-28)

F B Meyer has a devotional on Daniel 12:13…

Man becomes mystified with the great circle of God’s Providence. He tries to follow it, but his eyesight fails; his heart and head grow weary. And God says, It is enough—go thy way till the end be: learn thy lesson; do thy work; tread the predetermined path: it is enough that thou shouldst fulfill thy little day; evening will be here presently, and then thou shalt rest; leave the evolution of my vast schemes to Me; I will bring all right; and “thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

Thy way. — For every one that way is prepared; identical in the main outlines, but special for the footsteps that are destined to tread it. There are three elements, which are almost certainly present—Suffering, the strain of Toil, and Temptation. So long as the blight of the curse lingers on our earth, these will be the ingredients in our cup. But let us go on our way. It is graduated to our steps. God’s grace will be sufficient for us.

Our lot. — What will it be? As Canaan was allotted, so will heaven be. Where shall we stand? Among the overcomers, or the martyrs, or the virgin souls that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, or those that get the victory over the Beast? Or shall our lot be amongst those who have buried their talents, forgotten their oil, and proved disobedient and self-indulgent? “Make us to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting.”

Thou shalt Rest. — Heaven will be to each soul what it most desires, and has missed on earth. To the lonely, Love: to those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, Holiness: to those who have dwelt amid perpetual warring and strife, Peace: to the weary, Rest—and to all the vision of God in Christ. (Our Daily Homily)

In light of the great future and hope promised in the prophecies of Daniel not only to Israel but to all who by grace through faith believe in the Messiah…

Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope (aorist imperative = Do this now! Do it effectively! Do it with a sense of urgency!) completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1Pe 1:13-note)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be (present imperative = Command to let each of the following be our daily/habitual practice! What God commands, He always enables!) steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1Co 15:58)


For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

the Blessed Hope
and the Appearing of the Glory
of our Great God and Savior,
Christ Jesus

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-note, Titus 2:12-note, Titus 2:13-note, Titus 2:14-note, cf 1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note)

THOUGHT - Beloved, in view of the fact that every word of Daniel is the writing of truth (Da 10:21) and is true (Da 10:1, cf Da 11:2), what are you "looking for"? Are you looking for the temporal pleasures of this world which is passing away (and even its lusts - 1Jn 2:17-note) or are you longingly, anxiously looking for and anticipating the appearance of our glorious "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:13-note)? Remember, what you are looking for will (should) radically impact what you are living for!

True Wisdom
Daniel 12:3
Dwight L Moody

  • “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.” Daniel 12:3.

That is the testimony of an old man, and one who had the richest and deepest experience of any man living on the face of the earth at the time. He was taken down to Babylon when a young man; some Bible students think he was not more than twenty years of age. If anyone had said, when this young Hebrew was carried away into captivity, that he would outrank all the mighty men of that day—that all the generals who had been victorious in almost every nation at that time were to be eclipsed by this young slave—probably no one would have believed it. Yet for five hundred years no man whose life is recorded in history shone as did this man. He outshone Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Cyrus, Darius, and all the princes and mighty monarchs of his day.

We are not told when he was converted to a knowledge of the true God, but I think we have good reason to believe that he had been brought under the influence of Jeremiah the prophet. Evidently some earnest, godly man, and no wordly professor, had made a deep impression upon him. Someone had at any rate taught him how he was to serve God.

We hear people nowadays talking about the hardness of the field where they labor; they say their position is a very peculiar one. Think of the field in which Daniel had to work. He was not only a slave, but he was held captive by a nation that detested the Hebrews. The language was unknown to him. There he was among idolaters; yet he commenced at once to shine. He took his stand for God from the very first, and so he went on through his whole life. He gave the dew of his youth to God, and he continued faithful right on till his pilgrimage was ended.

Notice that all those who have made a deep impression on the world, and have shone most brightly have been men who lived in a dark day. Look at Joseph; he was sold as a slave into Egypt by the Ishmaelites; yet he took his God with him into captivity, as Daniel afterwards did. And he remained true to the last; he did not give up his faith because he had been taken away from home and placed among idolaters. He stood firm, and God stood by him.

Look at Moses who turned his back upon the gilded palaces of Egypt, and identified himself with his despised and down-trodden nation. If a man ever had a hard field it was Moses; yet he shone brightly, and never proved unfaithful to his God.

Elijah lived in a far darker day than we do. The whole nation was going over to idolatry. Ahab and his queen, and all the royal court were throwing their influence against the worship of the true God. Yet Elijah stood firm, and shone brightly in that dark and evil day. How his name stands out on the page of history!

Look at John the Baptist. I used to think I would like to live in the days of the prophets; but I have given up that idea. You may be sure that when a prophet appears on the scene, everything is dark, and the professing Church of God has gone over to the service of the god of this world. So it was when John the Baptist made his appearance. See how his name shines out to-day! Eighteen centuries have rolled away, and yet the fame of that wilderness preacher shines brighter than ever. He was looked down upon in his day and generation, but he has outlived all his enemies; his name will be revered and his work remembered as long as the Church is on the earth.

Talk about your field being a hard one! See how Paul shone for God as he went out, the first missionary to the heathen, telling them of the God whom he served, and who had sent His Son to die a cruel death in order to save the world. Men reviled him and his teachings; they laughed him to scorn when he spoke of the crucified One. But he went on preaching the Gospel of the Son of God. He was regarded as a poor tent-maker by the great and mighty ones of his day; but no one can now tell the name of any of his persecutors, or of those who lived at that time, unless their names happen to be associated with his, and they were brought into contact with him.

Now the fact is, all men like to shine. We may as well acknowledge it at once. Go into business circles, and see how men struggle to get into the front rank. Everyone wants to outshine his neighbor and to stand at the head of his profession. Go into the political world, and see how there is a struggle going on as to who shall be the greatest. If you go into a school, you find that there is a rivalry among the boys and girls. They all want to stand at the top of the class. When a boy does reach this position and outranks all the rest, the mother is very proud of it. She will manage to tell all the neighbors how Johnnie has got on, and what a number of prizes he has gained.

Go into the army and you find the same thing—one trying to outstrip the other; everyone is very anxious to shine and rise above his comrades. Go among the young men in their games, and see how anxious the one is to outdo the other. So we have all that desire in us; we like to shine above our fellows.

And yet there are very few who can really shine in the world. Once in a while one man will outstrip all his competitors. Every four years what a struggle goes on throughout our country as to who shall be the President of the United States, the battle raging for six months or a year. Yet only one man can get the prize. There are a good many struggling to get the place, but many are disappointed, because only one can attain the coveted prize. But in the kingdom of God the very least and the very weakest may shine if they will. Not only can one obtain the prize, but all may have it if they will. 

It does not say in this passage that the statesmen are going to shine as the brightness of the firmament. The statesmen of Babylon are gone; their very names are forgotten.

It does not say that the nobility are going to shine. Earth’s nobility are soon forgotten. John Bunyan, the Bedford tinker, has outlived the whole crowd of those who were the nobility in his day. They lived for self, and their memory is blotted out. He lived for God and for souls, and his name is as fragrant as ever it was.

We are not told that the merchants are going to shine. Who can tell the name of any of the millionaires of Daniel’s day? They were all buried in oblivion a few years after their death. Who were the mighty conquerors of that day? But few can tell. It is true that we hear of Nebuchadnezzar, but probably we should not have known very much about him but of his relations to the prophet Daniel.

How different with this faithful prophet of the Lord! Twenty-five centuries have passed away, and his name shines on, and on, and on, brighter and brighter. And it is going to shine while the Church of God exists.

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

How quickly the glory of this world fades away! (ILLUSTRATION) Eighty years ago the great Napoleon almost made the earth to tremble. How he blazed and shone as an earthly warrior for a little while! A few years passed and a little island held that once proud and mighty conqueror; he died a poor broken-hearted prisoner. Where is he to-day? Almost forgotten. Who in all the world will say that Napoleon lives in their heart’s affections? But look at this despised and hated Hebrew, prophet. They wanted to put him into the lions’ den because he was too sanctimonious and too religious Yet see how green his memory is to-day! How his name is loved and honored for his faithfulness to his God.

(ILLUSTRATION) Many years ago I was in Paris, at the time of the Great Exhibition. Napoleon the Third was then in his glory. Cheer after cheer would rise as he drove along the streets of the city. A few short years, and he fell from his lofty estate. He died an exile from his country and his throne, and where is his name to-day? Very few think about him at all, and if his name is mentioned it is not with love and esteem. How empty and short-lived are the glory and the pride of this world!

If we are wise, we will live for God and eternity;
we will get outside of ourselves,
and will care nothing for the honor and glory of this world.

In Proverbs we read: “He that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30KJV) If any man, woman, or child by a Godly life and example can win one soul to God, their life will not have been a failure. They will have outshone all the mighty men of their day, because they will have set a stream in motion that will flow on and on forever and ever.

God has left us down here to shine.

We are not here to buy and sell and get gain, to accumulate wealth, to acquire worldly position. This earth, if we are Christians, is not our home; it is up yonder. God has sent us into the world to shine for Him—to light up this dark world (Php 2:15). Christ came to be the Light of the world (John 8:12), but men put out that light. They took it to Calvary, and blew it out. Before Christ went up on high, He said to His disciples: “Ye are the light of the world. Ye are my witnesses. Go forth and carry the Gospel to the perishing nations of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, Mt 5:16)

So God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine. Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more, because he was faithful and used what he had.

Remember a small light will do a good deal when it is in a very dark place. Put one little tallow candle in the middle of a large hall, and it will give a good deal of light.

(ILLUSTRATION) Away out in the prairie regions, when meetings are held at night in the log schoolhouses, the announcement of the meeting is given out in this way: “A meeting will be held by early candle-light.” The first man who comes brings a tallowdip with him. It is perhaps all he has; but he brings it, and sets it on the desk. It does not light the building much; but it is better than nothing at all. The next man brings his candle; and the next family bring theirs. By the time the house is full, there is plenty of light. So if we all shine a little, there will be a good deal of light. That is what God wants us to do. If we cannot all be lighthouses, any one of us can at any rate be a tallow candle.
A little light will sometimes do a great deal. The city of Chicago was set on fire by a cow kicking over a lamp, and a hundred thousand people were burnt out of house and home. Do not let Satan get the advantage of you, and make you think that because you cannot do any great thing you cannot do anything at all.

Then we must remember that we are to let our light shine. It does not say, “Make your light shine.” You do not have to make light to shine; all you have to do is to let it shine.

(ILLUSTRATION) I remember hearing of a man at sea who was very seasick. If there is a time when a man feels that he cannot do any work for the Lord it is then—in my opinion. While this man was sick, he heard that someone had fallen overboard. He was wondering if he could do anything to help to save the man. He laid hold of a light, and held it up to the port-hole. The drowning man was saved. When this man got over his attack of sickness, he went on deck one day and was talking with the man who was rescued. The saved man gave this testimony. He said he had gone down the second time, and was just going down again for the last time, when he put out his hand. Just then, he said, someone held a light at the port-hole, and the light fell on it. A sailor caught him by the hand and pulled him into the life-boat.

It seemed a small thing to do to hold up the light; yet it saved the man’s life. If you cannot do some great thing you can hold the light for some poor, perishing drunkard, who may be won to Christ and delivered from destruction. Let us take the torch of salvation and go into the dark homes, and hold up Christ to the people as the Savior of the world. If the perishing masses are to be reached, we must lay our lives right alongside theirs, and pray with them and labor for them. I would not give much for a man’s Christianity if he is saved himself and is not willing to try and save others. It seems to me the basest ingratitude if we do not reach out the hand to others who are down in the same pit from which we were delivered. Who is able to reach and help drinking men like those who have themselves been slaves to the intoxicating cup? Will you not go out this very day and seek to rescue these men? If we were all to do what we can, we should soon empty the drinking-saloons.

(ILLUSTRATION) I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Someone went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man replied: “I have it so that no one may stumble over me.”

Dear friends, let us think of that. Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me. That is what Paul meant when he said we were to be living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men. I would not give much for all that can be done by sermons, if we do not preach Christ by our lives. If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ. Some little act of kindness will perhaps do more to influence them than any number of long sermons.

(ILLUSTRATION) A vessel was caught in a storm on Lake Erie, and they were trying to make for the harbor of Cleveland. At the entrance of that port they had what are called the upper lights and the lower lights. Away back on the bluffs were the upper lights burning brightly enough; but when they came near the harbor they could not see the lights showing the entrance to it. The pilot said he thought they had better get back on the lake again. The Captain said he was sure they would go down if they went back, and he urged the pilot to do what he could to gain the harbor. The pilot said there was very little hope of making the harbor, as he had nothing to guide him as to how he should steer the ship. They tried all they could to get her in. She rode on the top of the waves, and then into the trough of the sea, and at last they found themselves stranded on the beach, where the vessel was dashed to pieces. Someone had neglected the lower lights, and they had gone out.

Let us take warning. God keeps the upper lights burning as brightly as ever, but He has left us down here to keep the lower lights burning. We are to represent Him here, as Christ represents us up yonder. I sometimes think if we had as poor a representative in the courts above as God has down here on earth, we would have a pretty poor chance of heaven. Let us have our loins girt (1 Peter 1:13KJV) and our lights brightly burning, so that others may see the way and not walk in darkness.

(ILLUSTRATION) Speaking of a lighthouse reminds me of what I heard about a man in the State of Minnesota, who, some years ago, was caught in a fearful storm. That State is cursed with storms which come sweeping down so suddenly in the winter time that escape is difficult. The snow will fall and the wind will beat it into the face of the traveler so that he cannot see two feet ahead. Many a man has been lost on the prairies when he has got caught in one of those storms. This man was caught and was almost on the point of giving up, when he saw a little light in a log house. He managed to get there, and found a shelter from the fury of the tempest. He is now a wealthy man. As soon as he was able, he bought the farm, and built a beautiful house on the spot where the log building stood. On the top of a tower he put a revolving light, and every night when there comes a storm he lights it up in the hope that it may be the means of saving someone else. That is true gratitude, and that is what God wants us to do. If He has rescued us and brought us up out of the horrible pit, let us be always looking to see if there is not someone else whom we can help to save.

(ILLUSTRATION) I remember hearing of two men who had charge of a revolving light in a lighthouse on a rock-bound and stormy coast. Somehow the machinery went wrong, and the light did not revolve. They were so afraid that those at sea should mistake it for some other light, that they worked all the night through to keep the light moving round.

Let us keep our lights in the proper place, so that the world may see that the religion of Christ is not a sham but a reality.

(ILLUSTRATION) It is said that in the Grecian sports they had one game where the men ran with lights. They lit a torch at the altar, and ran a certain distance; sometimes they were on horseback. If a man came in with his light still burning, he received a prize; if his light had gone out, he lost the prize.

How many there are who, in their old age, have lost their light and their joy! They were once burning and shining lights in the family, in the Sunday-school, and in the Church. But something has come in between them and God—the world or self—and their light has gone out. Reader, if you are one who has had this experience, may God help you to come back to the altar of the Savior’s love and light up your torch anew, so that you can go out into the lanes and alleys, and let the light of the Gospel shine in these dark homes.

As I have already said, if we only lead one soul to Jesus Christ we may set a stream in motion that will flow on when we are dead and gone. (ILLUSTRATION) Away up the mountain side there is a little spring; it seems so small that an ox might drink it up at a draught. By and by it becomes a rivulet; other rivulets run into it. Before long it is a large brook, and then it becomes a broad river sweeping onward to the sea. On its banks are cities, towns and villages, where many thousands live. Vegetation flourishes on every side, and commerce is carried down its stately bosom to distant lands. So if you turn one to Christ, that one may turn a hundred; they may turn a thousand, and so the stream, small at first, goes on broadening and deepening as it rolls toward eternity.

In the book of Revelation we read: “I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors: and their works do follow them.” (Rev 14:13-note)

There are many mentioned in the Scriptures of whom we read that they lived so many years and then they died (Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31). The cradle and the grave are brought close together; they lived and they died, and that is all we know about them. So in these days you could write on the tombstone of a great many professing Christians that they were born on such a day and they died on such a day; there is nothing whatever between.

But there is one thing you cannot bury with a good man; his influence still lives. They have not buried Daniel yet; his influence is as great to day as it ever was. Do you tell me that Joseph is dead? His influence still lives and will continue to live on and on. You may bury the frail tenement of day that a good man lives in, but you cannot get rid of his influence and example. Paul was never more powerful than he is to-day.

(ILLUSTRATION)  Do you tell me that John Howard, who went into so many of the dark prisons in Europe, is dead? Is Henry Martyn, or Wilberforce, or John Bunyan dead? Go into the Southern States, and there you will find millions of men and women who once were slaves. Mention to any of them the name of Wilberforce, and see how quickly the eye will light up. He lived for something else besides himself, and his memory will never die out of the hearts of those for whom he lived and labored.
Is Wesley or Whitefield dead? The names of those great evangelists were never more honored than they are now. Is John Knox dead? You can go to any part of Scotland to-day, and feel the power of his influence.

I will tell you who are dead. The enemies of these servants of God—those who persecuted them and told lies about them. But the men themselves have outlived all the lies that were uttered concerning them. Not only that; they will shine in another world. How true are the words of the old Book:

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

Let us go on turning as many as we can to righteousness. Let us be dead to the world, to its lies, its pleasures, and its ambitions. Let us live for God, continually going forth to win souls for Him.

Let me quote a few words by Dr. Chalmers:

“Thousands of men breathe, move and live, pass off the stage of life, and are heard no more—Why? They do not partake of good in the world, and none were blessed by them; none could point to them as the means of their redemption; not a line they wrote, not a word they spoke could be recalled; and so they perished; their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, O man immortal? Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love and mercy, on the hearts of the thousands you come in contact with year by year; you will never be forgotten. No, your name, your deeds will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.”