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Daniel 12

By Jay Rogers
Published April 27, 2008

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.

There shall be a time of trouble — Refers to the great tribulation, the seige of Jerusalem from AD 67 to 70.

Such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time — Jesus refers to Daniel 12:1 in Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor shall ever be.”

At that time thy people shall be delivered — The first century Christians did not go through the great tribulation. In Luke 21:20-22, Jesus warns his disciples to flee Jerusalem, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all the things which are written be fulfilled.”

Eusebius writes in Ecclesiastial History III:5:

But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come thither from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men…. [A]nd how at last the abomination of desolation, proclaimed by the prophets, stood in the very temple of God, so celebrated of old, the temple which was now awaiting its total and final destruction by fire,- all these things any one that wishes may find accurately described in the history written by Josephus.”

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.

Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake — This refers primarily to the gospel being preached. Many who sleep in the dust, both Jews and Gentiles, shall be awakened by the preaching of the Gospel out of their heathenism. It has a secondary application to a future resurrection when the multitude that sleep in the dust shall awake; many shall arise to life, and many to shame.

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.

They that be wise shall shine — There is glory reserved for all the saints in the future state, for all that are wise, wise for their souls and eternity. Those who turn others to righteousness, who turn sinners from the errors of their ways, and help to save their souls from death (James 5:20) will share in the glory of those they have helped to heaven, which will add to their own glory.

4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Shut up the words, and seal the book — Daniel is commanded to seal the book of his prophecy until the time when it will be fulfilled. Compare this commandment with the commandment of the angel in Revelation: “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10).

The time of the end — The time when these prophecies shall be fulfilled.

5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Thousand two hundred and ninety days — This refers to the siege of Jerusalem from the spring of AD 67 to the fall of the Temple in September of 70. Vespasian enters the Land in spring of 67, but Jerusalem does not fall until 70.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

Thousand three hundred and five and thirty days — This is another 45 days beyond the time of trouble. Those who were forewarned and survived the holocaust were Christians living in Jerusalem who had been forewarned by Jesus and John’s prophecy to flee the city to the hills of Judea in order to wait out the siege.

13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

The end of the days — The end of the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. This does not refer to the “end times” in an eschatological sense as many have supposed.


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Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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