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Bible Commentaries
Daniel 12

Gray's Concise Bible CommentaryGray's Concise Commentary

Verses 1-13


In the introduction to this last vision of Daniel, it was stated (Daniel 10:14 ) that it concerned his people “in the latter days,” but thus far it has extended only to Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabees. The dividing line is at the close of Daniel 11:35 and the beginning of Daniel 11:36 . In the former we read of the testing and purifying experiences of the wise ones in Israel “even to the time of the end,” and in the latter of a certain “king” who “shall do according to his will.” Most students agree that the space between these two verses represents another lapse of time from the Maccabean period to the end of the age, and that the king now before us is the Antichrist of those coming days, who is referred to more particularly in Zechariah 11:15-17 , 2 Thessalonians 2:1 , and Revelation 13:11-17 . Some identify him with the “little horn” of chapter 7 and the “little horn” of chapter 8, whom Antiochus Epiphanes typifies. This, indeed, may be true, i.e., the restored head of the Roman Empire in that day, and the Antichrist, may be one and the same individual, but there are others who think that they may be two. Of this we cannot be certain.

THE KING DESCRIBED (Daniel 11:36-39 )

He is self-willed, proud, blasphemous, successful, idolatrous, materialistic, and covetous. “The God of his fathers” (Daniel 11:37 ) is a phrase indicative of his Jewish extraction; “the desire of women,” is taken by some as signifying the true Messiah, to whom all pious Jewish women in pre-Messianic times desired to give birth. “The god of forces” or “a god of fortresses” (Daniel 11:38 , RV) is difficult to understand except in some materialistic sense. Shall we say it finds interpretation in Revelation 13:11-17 , by identifying the first beast as the restored head of the Roman Empire, and the second as this evil king, the Antichrist, who causes all men to worship the first? Is the first beast, this god, in other words?

THE LAST CAMPAIGN (Daniel 11:40-45 )

This king has enemies, the “king of the south” and the “king of the north” (Daniel 11:40 ) of that period, but who they are cannot be conjectured. The last- named is more vigorous and successful, entering Jerusalem and overcoming countries (including the south country, Egypt, Daniel 11:41-43 ) until at length a menace in the east and north moves him to make quick work at Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45 ), in which he meets his own inglorious end (compare Zechariah 8:0 and 15, and Joel 2:0 ). It would appear from these passages that the coming of the Lord on behalf of Israel brings about his end, and we know that it is nothing less than this which also dispatches the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:8 ). There are deep things here for whose solution we can only wait, as Daniel was obliged to do (Daniel 12:12 ).


The opening verses of this chapter, should be read in connection with Christ’s words in Matthew 24:0 , especially Matthew 24:21 , and also Revelation 12:0 , especially Revelation 12:7-12 . Note the deliverance of the faithful remnant of the Jews in that day as shown in the latter part of Daniel 12:1 ; Zechariah 13:8-9 ; Matthew 24:22 . It is a question whether it is a physical or a moral resurrection that is spoken of in Daniel 12:2 , but it would be harmonious with Ezekiel 37:0 to say the latter.

“They that be wise” (v. 3), may be rendered “teachers,” and refers doubtless to the faithful Jewish witnesses of the end period and the reward which comes to them; of course, it can be applied in a secondary sense to faithful witnesses anywhere and always, for “He that winneth souls is wise.’


This book is still sealed to Daniel’s people the Jews, but the time is coming when it will be unsealed (Daniel 12:4 ). “The man clothed in linen” (Daniel 12:5 ) is, it would seem, the same who appeared to the prophet at Daniel 10:5 , the blessed Lord Himself. Compare Daniel’s question and its answer with

Revelation 10:1-6 . The answer once more identifies the last three and one-half years of the end period, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” the 1,260 days of Revelation 11:12 . But Daniel 12:11 adds another 30 days, and what may be understood by this we do not know. In the meantime may the promise to Daniel be fulfilled to us in our place and measure, “thou shalt rest, and shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.’


1. What period of time is represented by the division between v.35-36?

2. How might the king of Daniel 11:36 be identified?

3. How is he described?

4. Have you read Revelation 13:0 ?

5. Have you read Matthew 24:0 ?

6. Do you recall the subject of Ezekiel 37:0 ?

7. Where is found the verse “He that winneth souls is wise”?

8. Quote from memory the last verse of Daniel.

Bibliographical Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on Daniel 12". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jgc/daniel-12.html. 1897-1910.
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