The Word Made Fresh
1“Then Michael will arise, the great prince and protector of your people. There will be a terrible time of anguish, worse than any that ever occurred since nations first existed. But your people will be rescued, all whose names are found written in the book. 2Many who sleep in the land of dust shall awaken to everlasting life, or to shame and eternal contempt. 3The wise ones will shine like the bright sky overhead, and those who have led many to righteousness will shine like the stars, forever and ever. 4But as for you, Daniel, keep these words to yourself and keep the book sealed until the end time. Many will run back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
5Then I saw two others appear. One was standing on this side of the river and the other stood on the other side. 5One of them said to the man dressed in linen who was standing upstream, “How long will it be until these wonders are completed?” 7The man raised his hands toward heaven and I heard him promise by the Eternal One that it would be for a time, two times, and half a time, and when the strength of the sacred people has been shattered all these things will come to be.
8I heard what he said, but didn’t understand what he meant. I asked, “My lord, what will be the outcome of all this?”
9He said, “Go on your way, Daniel, for the word will remain secret and sealed until the end times. 10Many will be made pure, clean, and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. They won’t understand, but those who are wise will understand. 11From the time when the regular sacrifices are taken away and the detestable misery comes there will be one thousand two hundred ninety days. 12Those who keep the faith for a thousand three hundred thirty-five days will rejoice. 13But you, Daniel, go your way and rest. At the end of the days, you will rise for the inheritance allotted to you.”
1: The archangel Michael will return and a time of “great anguish” will ensue. But the Jewish people will be delivered. “Written in the book” is probably a reference to genealogical records kept rather meticulously through the centuries, mostly by the priesthood.
2: Some have said this is the most important verse in the Old Testament because of its clear statement of belief in the resurrection of the dead, more clearly stated here than anywhere else in the Old Testament.
3: Not only is there a resurrection in the future, but a judgment as well, an idea Jesus presents even more clearly in his depiction of the separation of the “sheep” and the “goats” (Matthew 25:31-46).
4: These things are not to take place quickly, however.
5: Daniel is again near a river, and he sees two unidentified figures on either side.
6: And a third figure as well, who is likely intended to represent Michael or Gabriel, standing upstream and clothed in linen, a symbol of holiness. One of the other two asks this linen-clad figure how long all these things will take.
7: “A time, two times, and a half time” is the length of time Antiochus IV is given to rule Jerusalem (see 7:25). The vision will come to pass only after this period of suffering is ended.
8: Daniel, for his part, wants to know more, and asks the linen-clad figure what the end result of all this will be.
9: But his question is not answered. He is simply told to go his way, what will be, will be.
10: As it all unfolds there will be some who understand, but the wicked will never understand.
11: Obviously, we’re not to have the answers. When Antiochus IV abolishes the worship of God and institutes pagan worship in the temple, 1290 days will pass, but then what? We are not told.
12: What the 1335 days lead to is not revealed either.
13: What should we make of this? Simply that we are not supposed to know. Go home, Daniel, be at peace until the day of your rest. You will receive your reward when you are resurrected at the end of days.
So shall we all who believe.
We need never despair regardless of our circumstances. God is in charge, and God’s people will eventually be rescued and rewarded. All in God’s time.