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c. Conclusion of the vision. The Messianic deliverance and glorifying of God’s people, together with a reference to the definite determination by God of the time at which the Messiah’s coming to deliver should transpire.
1And at [in] that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which [who] standeth for [over against] the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as [which] never was1 since there was a nation even to [till] that same time: and at [in] that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2And many of them that sleep in the dust [ground] of the earth [dust] shall awake, some [these] to everlasting life, 3and some [these] to shame [reproaches] and [to] everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn [the] many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.
4But [And] thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to [till] the time of the end: many shall run to and fro [run through the book], and [the] knowledge [of it] shall be increased.
5Then [And] I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank [hither at the lip] of the river,2:and the other [one] on that 6side of the bank [hither at the lip] of the river.2 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which [who] was upon the waters3 of the river,2 How long 7[Till when] shall it be to the end of these [the] wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [who] was upon the waters 3of the river, when [and] he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven [toward the heavens], and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter [as (at) the finishing of scattering] the power [hand] of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8And I4 heard, but I understood not [could not understand]: then [and] said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end [sequel] of these things ? 9And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10Many shall be purified [purify themselves], and made white [whiten themselves], and tried [be smelted]; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but [and] the wise [prudent] shall understand. 11And from the time that the daily [continual] sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up [to the giving of the desolate 12abomination], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13But [And] go thou4 thy way till [to] the end be: for [and] thou shalt rest, and stand in [to (at)] thy lot at the end of the days.
Daniel 12:1-3. The Messianic deliverance and the judgment for eternal retribution. And at that time; i.e., at the time just indicated (Daniel 11:45), when judgment shall overtake the impious oppressor, Antiochus Epiphanes, and when he shall come to his end “without a helper.”5 In opposition to Hävernick’s attempt to interpret וּבָעֵת חַהִיא in the indefinite sense of “once, at a certain time,” nearly all recent expositors have justly contended: (1) that the copula ו connects this new designation of time most intimately with the preceding; (2) that it is impossible to regard the words בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, which Hävernick adduces in comparison, otherwise than as a reference to the time indicated in the context immediately preceding; (3) that the time referred to is immediately afterward characterized as a time of trouble, which shows with sufficient clearness, that, like the mention of the משכילים in Daniel 12:3 (cf. Daniel 11:35), the allusion is to the period of persecution under Antiochus as heretofore described.6—Shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which standeth for the children of thy people. This introduction of Michael as the heavenly ally and protector of Israel (not as the Son of God or the Messiah himself,—as Havernick, in accord with the older exegesis, still supposes), refers back to Daniel 11:1, and also to the preliminaries to the vision as a whole in chap. 10, and especially to Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21, in the same way as וּבָעֵת הַהִיא refers to the close of the preceding chapter. In both places עמד is employed sensu bellico, and denotes an armed and martial appearance (cf. Daniel 11:14; Daniel 11:16, etc.). עַל is, following הָעֹמֵד, serves to express the idea of protecting oversight over, etc., as in Esther 8:11; Esther 9:16. He “stands up” or “stands there” for the children of thy people, i.e., he represents their interests in the way of actively supporting them and of protecting them; cf. Daniel 10:13.—And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; i.e., he trouble of the faithful shall then reach its highest intensity, shall have reached its climax when deliverance finally arrives; cf. Daniel 11:45; Daniel 9:26-27. On the relative clause וגו׳ אֲשֵׁר לֹא נִחְיְתָח, which describes this as a time of unheard of, unprecedented trouble, cf. Exodus 9:18; Exodus 9:24; Joel 2:2, and particularly Jeremiah 30:7, which latter passage seems to have served generally as a prototype of the text.—And at that time thy people shall be delivered. Kranichfeld remarks properly, that “the deliverance of Israel (יִמָּלֵט) which is here conceived of as accomplished under the direction of מִיכָאֵל, is coincident in fact with the descriptions of Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:26 et seq., 14; Daniel 9:24; and the entrance to the Ancient of days (Daniel 7:13) of him who was like the son of man, and who was the spiritually endowed leader of Israel, i.e., the Mashiach, sprung from Israel itself, receives notice as being the final result and attestation of the victorious conflict maintained, under the invisible direction of the angel מִיכָאֵל, against the adversary of the theocracy, who appears in the history of the nations. The absolute identity of the Mashiach with מִיכָאֵל, whose spiritual endowments and official relations were similar to his, does not, however, become manifest from this observation—as Hävernick and others assert—despite the appropriate and well-founded application of the description to the glorified Son of man in person, in the New Test. Apocalypse,—any more than the direct identity of Satan, the adversary of God in the angelic world, with the New Test. antichrist, who stands under his ægis, can be demonstrated.”—Every one that shall be found written in the book; or, “whosoever shall find himself recorded, in the book.” The A. V. is literal. On כל in the sense of “whosoever, quicunque,” cf. Isaiah 43:7; 2 Samuel 2:23. The book is the same as that mentioned in the similar passage, Isaiah 4:3, and hence, the book of life; cf. on Daniel 7:10. It is, of course, not to be regarded as a “list of living Israelites” (cf. Psalms 69:29; Exodus 32:32); nor, probably, as a “record of those who shall be delivered in the decisive hour and be permitted to live.” It is rather a record of those who shall inherit eternal life, a “list of the subjects of Messiah’s kingdom” (cf. Hitzig on the passage), of those who shall stand approved in the judgment, whether they live until it transpires, or are raised from the dead to meet it, according to Daniel 12:2. Hofmann (Schriftbew., I. 209) is in substantial accord with this view—the “Divine register of Israel, upon which are entered all who truly belong to Israel,”—while Füller arbitrarily applies the expression in this place to the “book of truth,” Daniel 10:21.
Daniel 12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth; rather, “and many of them that sleep under the earth;” literally, “many of the sleepers of the dust land.” אַדְמַת־עָפָר, “land, earth of dust” (i.e., the dust of the grave, cf. Psalms 22:16; Psalms 22:30; Isaiah 26:19, etc), is substantially equivalent to “earth dust, soil;” the יְשֵׁנֵי א׳־ע׳ are those who sleep the sleep of death in that dust of the earth; cf. Psalms 13:4; Job 3:13; Jeremiah 51:39; Jeremiah 51:57; and also the New Test. κοιμώμενοι, κεκοιμημένοι.—Shall awake, some to everlasting life, etc. While all the ancient Christian expositors regard this as referring to the general resurrection of the dead, and, among moderns, Hävernick, Hofmann, Auberlen, Zündel, Kliefoth, etc., still agree with that view, which makes “many” to be equivalent to “all” (or translates, with Hofmann, Schriftbew., II. 2, 549, “and in multitudes shall they arise from the world of the dead”), a majority of writers since Bertholdt (also Kranichfeld, Füller, Köstlin, in Stud. und Krit., 1869, No. 2, p. 252) hold that the many who awake from their sleep belong solely to the nation of Israel; as Fuller expresses it, p. Dan 339: the resurrection of the dead foretold in this place is “not the last and general resurrection, but a partial one which precedes that, and is confined to Daniel’s nation.” It is manifest, however, that the final and general resurrection is here intended, (1) because the expression, the “sleepers of the dust of the earth” is far too general in its character, to admit of its being limited to the deceased Israelites; (2) because the mention of the eternal punishment of the wicked in the closing words of the verse would be incomprehensible, and serve no purpose, if they refer only to Israelites who are to be punished eternally (see the context immediately below); (3) further, רַבִּים, which primarily implies the immeasurable extent of the multitude of the resurrected dead (cf. Hofmann’s rendering: “in multitudes”), may as well designate the entire world of dead arising from their graves as a large fraction of it—in the same way as πολλοί or οἱ πολλοί is frequently employed in the New Test, as synonymous with πάντες; cf., e.g., Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28, with 1 John 2:2; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Romans 5:15-16, with Daniel 12:12; Daniel 7:0 (4) if the earlier prophetic parallels, Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 66:24; Ezekiel 37:1-15, actually do foretell a partial resurrection which is confined to Israel (which can by no means be positively established, since they rest, without exception, on the pre supposition of an ultimate resurrection of all men, cf. Hofmann, Schriftbew., II. 2, 461 et seq.), this will not involve that the passage before us has a similar bearing; (5) on the contrary, the expectation of a general resurrection of the dead, whose existence is abundantly evidenced in the Jewish apocalyptic literature (2Ma 7:14) and in the New Test, (see especially John 5:28 et seq.; Acts 24:15), would require that there should not be wanting basal testimonies to that fact in the canonical Old Test. as well, which would obviously be the case if this passage referred exclusively to a particular resurrection of the Israelites; (6) nor does the intimate connection of the passage with the preceding context, or, in other words, the concatenation of the eschatological prophecies in Daniel 12:1-3 with the æra of the Antiochian MaceabfeanMaceabfean troubles, as described in the preceding chapter, militate against the universal character of the resurrection in question. It is evident that in the mind of the prophet that period of trial was the immediate precursor of the end of the world.8 (4) if the earlier prophetic parallels, Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 66:24; Ezekiel 37:1-15, actually do foretell a partial resurrection which is confined to Israel (which can by no means be positively established, since they rest, without exception, on the presupposition of an ultimate resurrection of all men, cf. Hofmann, Schriftbew., 2:2, 461 et seq.), this will not involve that the passage before us has a similar bearing; (5) on the contrary, the expectation of a general resurrection of the dead, whose existence is abundantly evidenced in the Jewish apocalyptic literature (2Ma 7:14) and in the Sew Test, (see especially John 5:28 et seq.; Acts 24:15), would require that there should not be wanting basal testimonies to that fact in the canonical Old Test, as well, which would obviously be the case if this passage referred exclusively to a particular resurrection of the Israelites; (6) nor does the intimate connection of the passage with the preceding context, or, in other words, the concatenation of the eschatological prophecies in Daniel 12:1-3 with the æra of the Antiochian-Maccabæn troubles, as described in the preceding chapter, militate against the universal character of the resurrection in question. It is evident that in the mind of the prophet that period of trial was the immediate precursor of the end of the world.*As he viewed it, the end of the persecution by Antiochus and the advent of the Messiah to introduce a new and eternal period of blessing were substantially coincident. He saw nothing at all of the long series of years that were to intervene between those Old-Test. “woes of the Messiah” and his actual birth and incarnation, nor did he observe the many centuries between His first and second advent, between the beginning of the end and the ultimate end of all things, because it was inconsistent with the nature of prophetic vision (cf, supra, Eth.-fund. principles, etc., on chap. 9. No. 1). The antitypical general judgment of all flesh was identical with the typical judgment that came upon the Old-Test, oppressor of God’s people, to his understanding; and it is therefore equally one-sided to deprive the judgment here referred to of its universal character, and to reduce it to a special judgment over the good and the wicked Israelites, as Bertholdt, Hitzig, and the remaining rationalistic expositors contend,—or to arbitrarily refer Daniel 12:1 to the deliverance of Israel from the oppression of Antiochus, and therefore interpret it typically and distinctively, but Daniel 12:2-3 to the general resurrection and judgment, making them antitypical and eschatological, so that an immense chasm between the time of Daniel 12:1-2 is postulated, of whose existence there is no indication in the text. Against this arbitrary disruption of a description that obviously forms a unit, see Hilgenfeld, Die Propheten Ezra und Daniel, p. 84, and also Kranichfeld, p. 402. A hiatus of centuries certainly exists; but it belongs between Daniel 11:45 and Daniel 12:1, and is of such a character that the prophet could have been in no way conscious of its presence.9—And some to shame, and everlasting contempt. As the awaking “to everlasting life” recalls Isaiah 26:19, so the arising “to shame, to everlasting contempt” (דִּרְאוֹן, stat. constr. of דֵּרָאוֹן, similar to זִכְרוֹן, constr. of זִכָּרוֹן) suggests Isaiah 66:24. cf. the New Test, expressions ἀνάστασις κρίσεως, John 5:29, and θάνατος δεύτερος, Revelation 20:14.—Füller supposes, very arbitrarily, that “the resurrection to shame” is “merely a passing observation,” which might be omitted from the passage without damaging its meaning. On the contrary, the mention of the eternal shame and torment which await the wicked at the judgment is a leading thought, which was not only suggested, but positively demanded, by the recent mention of the helpless and irretrievable ruin of the antichristian madman (Daniel 11:45), and which deserves consideration as a leading proof that the judgment here foretold is not to be distinctively Jewish, but universal in its character, precisely because of this undeniable reference to Daniel 11:45 b; see supra, No. 2.
Daniel 12:3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. There is no more reason here than in Daniel 11:33; Daniel 11:35, to translate חַמָּשְׂכִּילִים otherwise than “the wise, prudent, or understanding” ones. It does not characterize the pious generally (who were designated as the “many,” רַבִּים, in Daniel 11:33, and who are again mentioned by the same term in b of this verse), but “those who were prominent among the people by their piety, fidelity, and steadfastness, who accomplished more than others by word and deed, and suffered more than others for the holy covenant” (Füller). It is self evident that the activity of such theocratically wise or prudent persons would include the work of teaching, but this does not involve the necessity of rendering משכיִלים directly by “teachers.” This over-precise adaptation of the idea is not established by the parallel מַצְדִּיקֵי חָרַבִּים, nor by the designation of Jehovah’s servant by מַשְׁכִּיל, in Isaiah 52:13 (against Hitzig). On the other hand, the too general and diluted rendering, “pious, well-disposed ones” (de Wette), has no sufficient support, e.g., in Matthew 13:44; for Christ’s statement respecting the “righteous” in general, that “they shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” is a free application, but not a translation or an explanation of this passage.—On the comparison of the shining of the “wise (חַזְחִיר, properly, “to radiate brightness, to shine brightly”) with that of the bright arch of heaven (רָקִיעַ, “the firmament,” cf. the expositors on Genesis 1:6), see especially Exodus 24:10; also Ezekiel 1:22; Ezekiel 1:26, etc.—And they that turn (the) many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever. The words מַצְדִּיקֵי חָרַבִּים seem to have been borrowed from Isaiah 53:11, but do not on that account justify the assertion of Kranichfeld, that only originators of the righteousness mediated by the priestly function,—hence priests, “who take away the sins of the people through the sacrificial ceremonial”—are to be understood thereby;—a view concerning חִצְדִּיק that is entirely too contracted, and, at the same time, interpolating in character, which finds no support either in the former mention of theocratic sacrifices (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 8:11; Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:26), or in the passage, Daniel 9:24.—The stars are mentioned as symbols of the heavenly condition of the righteous who have been glorified after the image of God in 1 Corinthians 15:40 et seq.; Revelation 2:28; cf. also supra, on Daniel 8:10.
Daniel 12:4. Concluding exhortation of the prophesying angel. But thou, O Daniel shut up (or “conceal”) the words, and seal the book. The “words” and the “book” can hardly designate the entire book of Daniel’s prophecies, but refer merely to the final vision, Daniel 11:2 to Daniel 12:3 (Hävern., Von Leng., Kranichf., Füller, etc., are correct). On סֵפֵר as denoting a limited section of connected writing, which occupies a single roll, cf. Nehemiah 1:1; Jeremiah 51:63; also supra, on Dan 9:2.10On סתם, “to conceal,”—i.e., to preserve in secret, or not publish it—and חִתם, “to seal,” which is added to strengthen the idea, see on Daniel 8:6. Neither of the words was to be taken literally, of course (against Hitzig). What the angel required of the prophet, and to which the latter doubtless consented, was merely that he should avoid any intentional or inconsiderate publishing of the prophecy, hence, that he should transmit it into chaste, approved, and trustworthy hands, that would be prepared to treat it in accordance with its mysterious and awe-compelling subject.—To the time of the end: i.e., until the juncture indicated in Daniel 12:1, to which the entire prophecy, beginning with Daniel 11:2, is directed.—Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased; rather, “many shall search it through, and the understanding shall become great.” יְשֹׁטְטוּ, properly, “they shall run about,” namely, for the purpose of searching or investigating; cf. Jeremiah 5:1; Amos 8:12; Zechariah 4:10; 2 Chronicles 16:9. The interpretation by “wandering about, roving about without a guide” (as contrasted with the assured guidance afforded by God’s word), which was advocated by J. D. Michaelis and Von Lengerke, cannot be established; nor can the sense of “careful reading,” which was adopted by Maurer, Hitzig, Ewald, etc., be demonstrated, despite the citation of the rabbinical &שִׁטִּים שִׁטָּה, “a line (of reading), a straight line,” which is alleged as underlying the words in the text.—The whole observation was evidently intended to assign a reason for the exhortation to conceal the imparted prophecy, and treat it sacredly, and to prevent its falling into profane hands; for that prophecy was not unimportant and ordinary in its character, but a means to secure to many, who should zealously examine it in the future, a deeper insight into the ways of God, the controller of all earthly fortunes. For that reason it would be sinful to profane it. [“If Daniel, therefore, must only place the prophecy securely, that it may continue to the time of the end, the sealing then does not exclude the use of it in transcriptions, and there exists no reason for thinking that the searching into it will take place only for the first time in the end” (Keil).]
Daniel 12:5-7. Solemn averment, by oath, of the assured realizing of the prophecy until a determined point in the future—namely, until the expiration of the mystical three and a half years, to whose close the prophet had already been referred, Daniel 7:25 (cf. Daniel 8:14; Daniel 9:27). The recurrence of this comforting designation of time indicates that the contents of these verses to the end of the chapter are designed to form an epilogue, not merely to the last prophetic vision (chap. 10–12:3), but to the entire prophetic part of the book, and even to the whole book itself. The new scene, however, which begins with this verse, and serves to introduce the epilogue, obviously occupies a more intimate relation to the scene, Daniel 10:4 et seq., which introduces the last great vision, than to the others, and may even be regarded as a resumption of that scene, with but little modification. Compare, on the one hand, the words indicating a new beginning, “Then I, Daniel, looked,” etc., which recall Daniel 10:5, and, on the other hand, the circumstance that the principal person in the former scene, the mighty angelic prince, “clothed in linen,” still continues to be the principal person in word and action (Daniel 12:6 et seq.), although two other angels, who had not been present hitherto, now appeared (as witnesses of the oath to be taken by him; see immediately below), so that the number present was now double its former size, when only Daniel and the angelic prince in linen clothing were on the scene.—And behold, there stood other two; i.e., other than the one who had hitherto spoken and who again resumes in Daniel 12:7,—other than the priestly angelic prince in linen garments. אֲחֵרִים is certainly not used with reference to the speaker introduced in Daniel 12:6 (Hengstenb.), but refers, as it always does, to what has been previously mentioned, so that it distinguishes two other persons besides the angel who was thus far the speaker; and these enter into the prophet’s range of vision at this point. There can be no doubt that these persons were likewise angels; and the following verses leave no room to question that their number was precisely two, that they might be recognized as witnesses to the oath in Daniel 12:7; cf. Deuteronomy 19:15; Deuteronomy 31:28; 2 Corinthians 13:1, etc. (thus correctly, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and in substance Kliefoth also). It would be useless, however, to venture any supposition as to who the two angels were, for the simple reason that the writer did not see fit to furnish their names. It is scarcely probable that they were Gabriel and Michael, for Daniel would certainly have noticed their presence, since he had already mentioned these two chief princes among the angels in several instances. Probably angels of inferior rank are to be conceived of, since they were capable of being witnesses in the present case. Whether they were identical with the two saints whom the prophet heard conversing together in Daniel 8:13, or not, must remain undecided. In any case, the following theories, which conflict with the context, must be rejected: (1) that one of the two אֲחֵרִים was Gabriel, whose disappearance was nowhere mentioned (Von Lengerke); (2) that one of them was Gabriel, but the other was a different angel, who was already introduced in the former scene, chap. Daniel 12:5 et seq., but had not yet been designated by name (thus Hävernick, who consequently finds the three angels of this scene present in chap. 10, without exception, but without being clearly distinguished from each other); (3) that the אֲחֵרִים were the guardian angels or princes of Persia and Græcia, mentioned in Daniel 10:20 (Jerome, Luther, Grotius, Sanctius, etc.); (4) that they were Judas and Simon Maccabæus (!—so J. D. Michaelis); (5) that they were the representatives of all who in the future should wait for the kingdom of God and inquire after the time of its coming (Cocceius); (6) that they were a mystical personification either of the law and prophecy (thus a gloss in the margin of the cod. Chisian.) or of reason and imagination (rabbins, e.g., Jos. Jacchiades). M. Geier already remarks respecting these and other theories of a similar character: “Hœc figmenta sunt hominum, textus auctoritate destituta.”—The one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river; rather, “the one here on the bank of the river, the other yonder on the bank,” etc. חַיְאֹר, usually the Heb. name for the Nile (which in the Egypt, itself is called ior [Sahid. jero, Memphit. jaro]; cf. Gesen. Dietr., s. v., יְאֹי), is here used to designate the “great river” Tigris, Daniel 10:4. The reason is probably to be found in the fact that at an early period יְאֹר had acquired a purely appellative signification =חַנָּחָר חַגָּדוֹל, as may appear from the poetic use of יְאֹרִים in the sense of “channels” (cf. Job 28:10; Isaiah 33:21). It is useless for Hitzig and Kranichfeld to deny the purely appellative use of יְאֹר in this place, and to contend instead that the Tigris is here termed the Nile by way of metonymy—from which position they deduce consequences of a more or less arbitrary character (the former, that this designation reveals that the angel who had hitherto spoken, and who now, Daniel 12:6 et seq., hovered over the water, was the guardian spirit of Egypt [cf. on chap. Daniel 12:5] and also that the author of the entire book was of Egyptian descent [!]; the latter, that “the metonymical co-ordination in fact of the Nile, representing Egypt, and the Hiddekel, the representative of the coming time of trouble [?], was designed to indicate a second Egyptian deliverance” 11).
Daniel 12:6. And one said to the man clothed in linen, etc. The subject of וַיּאֹמֶר is certainly not “each of the two, the one on this side and one on the other” (Theod., Syr., Kranichf., Kliefoth), but rather only one of them (חִאֶחָד מֵחֶם, Ibn-Ezra), as the analogy of Daniel 8:13 clearly suggests, and probably the one nearest to the prophet, on the same side of the stream as the latter, and the only one whom he could hear. This angel represents the prophet himself in his inquiry, similar to Daniel 8:13 (cf. 12:14); Jerome is therefore not in the wrong to that extent, when he substitutes “et dixi” for “et dixit (alter eorum),” without further question.—Which upon (or “above”) the waters of the river; supply “stood,” or “hovered.” This hovering over the waters of the Tigris denotes a new position, which was not mentioned in connection with the former introduction and description of the “man clothed in linen,” chap. 10, and with which Daniel 8:10 is probably not to be compared (see on that passage). The fact that the revealing angel hovered over the stream was hardly for the mere purpose of placing him between the two inquiring angels on its banks, nor was it merely designed to recall the brooding of God’s Spirit over the waters, Genesis 1:2 (Hitzig), but rather serves to designate the mighty and swiftly flowing stream of the Tigris—as formerly the sea (Daniel 7:2)—as a symbol of the surging world of nations over which “the good spirit of the world-power” exercises sway as a beneficent and guiding principle of order (so Fuller, probably with correctness; but he combines with it the extremely forced hypothesis that the angels on the banks of the river were intended to denote the two-fold end of the world-period, hence the two manifestations of Christ, the first in lowliness and the second in glory!)—How long to the end of the wonders? i.e., “when (עַד־מָתַי, here equivalent to מָתַי) shall the end, the consummation, come of the wondrous things foretold by thee ?” The קֵץ is evidently that referred to in Daniel 12:1 (cf. Daniel 11:45), and therefore different from the אַחֲרִית, “the last end,” concerning which Daniel makes inquiry in Daniel 12:8. The “wondrous things” (פְּלָאוֹת) themselves are the extraordinary sufferings and judicial punishments, whose instrument Antiochus, the Old-Test. Antichrist, was to become, and which are described at the end, beginning with Daniel 11:30; cf. the similar use of נִפְלָאוֹת in Daniel 8:24; Daniel 11:36; and particularly Isaiah 29:14.
Daniel 12:7. And he held up his right hand and his left hand. The raising of both hands was designed to impart a solemn emphasis to the act of taking the oath; cf. Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezekiel 20:5.—And sware by him that liveth for ever. בְּחֵי־עוֹלָם, cf. Daniel 4:31; Deut., l. c., and Revelation 10:6. חַי is an adjective, not a substantive, in this place. cf. the similar predicates connected with the names of heathen gods also, e.g., ἀείζωος θεός in the inscrip. at Shakka (Burkhardt, Reisen, etc., pp. 147, 503); Πτολεμαῖος αἰωνόβιος on the Rosetta stone, lines 4, 9, 54. In connection with the true God Jehovah, the predicate vivens in æternum has the profounder significance, that He not only lives for ever, but also fixes the limit of evil for ever (Ewald, on this passage).—That for a time, times, and a half; i.e., after a time, and two times, and a half time, or, briefly, after three and a half (mystical [rather, literal]) years; cf. on Daniel 7:25. To this limitation of time, which has become familiar from its former occurrence (cf. also Daniel 8:14; Daniel 9:27), is now added a further one, which, however, substantially coincides with it:—and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people; rather, “and when the scattering of a part of the holy people shall have ceased.” No material objection can be brought to bear against this exposition of the words וּכְכַלּוֹת נַפֵּץ יַד־עַם־קֹדֶש, since נִפֵּץ almost invariably has the meaning “to scatter, disperse,” in the prophetic usage (cf. Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 51:20; Jeremiah 51:23), while that of “break, shatter,” seems to be confined more particularly to poetry (cf. Psalms 2:9; Psalms 137:9), and further, since the rendering of יָד by “part, division,” seems to be adequately supported by parallels like Genesis 47:24; 2 Kings 11:7; Nehemiah 11:1. It is not necessary, in order to obtain this meaning, to change the pointing so as to read דְכִכְלֹדת נֶפֶץ דגד׳, as Hitzig proposes The correct view is represented by Bertholdt, Dereser, Gesenius, Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Zündel, and substantially by Theodot., Vulg., Luther, etc., excepting only that the latter neglect to render יָד by “part,” and either interpret it by “might, warlike power,” or leave it altogether untranslated. On the other hand, Hengstenberg, Hofmann, Maurer, Auberlen, Kranichfeld, Füller, Kliefoth, Ewald, etc., render: “When the shattering of the hand of the holy people shall have ceased” (i.e., when its power shall have been entirely broken). In support of this view it is usually contended (with Hofmann, Weiss, und Erf., I. 314 et seq.) that the idea of reuniting the scattered Israel, which occurs nowhere else in Daniel, would be presented in this place without any preparation whatever. This is as if the chapter under consideration did not present a number of other ideas, which are wholly new and have never occurred previously, e.g., the prophecy of the resurrection in Daniel 12:2; the shining of the wise like the brightness of the firmament, in Daniel 12:3; and also the contents of Daniel 12:10; or as if the mention in this book of the expectation that the dispersed people of God should be reunited, which was so familiar to the earlier prophets, could be in any way remarkable, when taken in connection with the correspondence, usually so thorough, of the range of this prophet’s ideas with that of his predecessors (cf. Joel 3:5 et seq.; Amos 9:11 et seq.; Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 51:20 et seq., etc., etc.).12 It is entirely unnecessary to adopt the historical reference to 1Ma 5:23; 1Ma 5:45; 1Ma 5:53 et seq.; 2Ma 12:32, which Hitzig discovers in this passage, and regards as a proof that in this instance there is another vatic, exeventu. There is not the slightest difficulty, however, connected with the opinion that the facts recorded in those passages of the Maccabæan books (relating to the bringing back to Judæa of the scattered Jews who lived in Galilee and Gilead among the heathen, by Judas and Simon Maccabæus), constituted a first typical fulfilment and historical exemplification of the present prophecy.13—All this shall be finished. כָּל־אֵלֶּה, not the foregoing words, but the things spoken of, the sum of the prophecy beginning with Daniel 11:2 (inclusive of the contents of Daniel 12:1-3).14
Daniel 12:8-9. The prophet’s question concerning the final end, and the angel’s encouraging reply. And I heard, but I understood not, namely, the information just imparted by the angel, involving a two-fold designation of the time, and also including the statement, which was especially incomprehensible to the prophet, that at the expiration of the three and a half times the dispersion of a part of Israel should have reached its end.—What shall be the end of these things? i.e., “which event is to be the last of these ‘wondrous things?” (Daniel 12:6); by the occurrence of what event shall it be possible to know that the last end of the entire series of the predicted troubles and judgments has been reached?—Hence the אַחֲרִית, concerning which Daniel now inquires, does not directly coincide with the קֵץ to which the question of the angel in Daniel 12:6 referred, but stands related to it as the final point in a course of development is related to a final period of extended duration.15
Daniel 12:9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, etc. לֵךְ, as in Daniel 12:13, an encouraging remark addressed to the prophet, who had approached with anxious questioning; cf. Ecclesiastes 9:7. This parallel demonstrates, if there were no other reason, that it is impossible to take הלךְ in the sense of “to die, to die peacefully, to lie down to sleep,” in this place, as Bertholdt, Hävernick, etc., propose.—For the words are closed up (or “concealed”) and sealed till the time of the end. cf. Daniel 12:4, where חַדְּבָרִים, “the words,” is evidently employed in the same sense as here, namely, as designating the words of the prophecy, Daniel 11:2 to Daniel 12:3. The statement that these words are “concealed and sealed” till the time of the end, has, of course, a different meaning from the exhortation in that passage, “to conceal and seal” them. While that exhortation was intended to warn him earnestly against an inconsiderate desire to publish and prostitute to common uses the statements of the prophecy, the present reference to their hidden condition (i.e., to the mysterious nature of the revealed facts), is designed to encourage and to lead to humble submission to the Divine guidance, whose purposes cannot at first be understood, עֵת קֵץ, however, has no other signification in this place than in Daniel 12:4, or than קֵץ in Daniel 12:6.
Daniel 12:10-12. Approximate17determination of the final point (the אַחֲרִית) of the predicted development, for the purpose of affording additional comfort and encouragement to tie prophet, in his anxiety to receive information. Many shall be purified and made white, and tried, rather, “shall purify and cleanse themselves, and shall be thoroughly tried.” The terms recur from Daniel 11:35, excepting that they are differently arranged, and that the two leading verbs, ברר “to purify”, and לבן “to cleanse,” are to be taken in a reflexive sense, corresponding to the Hithpael, while the third צרף (Niph.) expresses the passive sense of being thoroughly tried, or of being thoroughly purified (cf. Psalms 12:7; Proverbs 30:5). With each of the verbs the idea of suffering and persecution on account of the faith is of course again involved, as forming the media of purifying.—But the wicked shall do wickedly. The ו in וְהִרְשִׁיעוּ is adversative, and serves to contrast the conduct of the wicked in the last time with the contemporaneous course pursued by the faithful. cf. the free rendering of the passage in Revelation 22:11.—And none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand, namely, what is the meaning and ultimate aim of the predictions relating to the last time; consequently they shall then understand the prophecy, and by its light shall be able to correctly interpret the signs of the time (cf. Matthew 24:32 et seq.; Luke 21:28 et seq.), and accordingly, to act and regulate their conduct with reference to the salvation of their souls,18 —Hitzig himself realizes that it would be exceedingly inappropriate to render מַשְׂכִּילִים by “teachers” in this passage; but why should he arbitrarily refuse to assign to it the meaning of “understanding ones,” which is the only one that can be admitted here, in the former passages (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 12:1), where it is no less appropriate?
Daniel 12:11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and an abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and nicety days. On the construction of the words דּמֵעֵת חדּסַר דגר, which denote the beginning of the 1290 days, cf., e.g., Daniel 2:16; Daniel 5:15; Ecclesiastes 9:1; Jeremiah 17:10, etc. חוּסַר, as appears from the following לָתֵת, which does not depend on עֵת after the manner of the genitive, is not an infinitive, but a “relative asyndetic connection of the præt. propheticum with עֵת” The לְ in לָתֵת may be regarded as “expressing the fateful purpose of God,” and therefore as taking the place of the jussive imperfect, which ordinarily serves that purpose (cf. Daniel 11:18).—The expression שִׁקּוּץ שֹׁמֵם is distinguished from the synonymous הַשִּׁקּוּץ מְשֹׁמֵם, Daniel 11:31, and also from שִׁקוּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם, solely by its greater brevity, which may be indicated by the combination “desolating abomination” (cf. also the substantially identical חַפֶּשַׁע שֹׁמֵם, Daniel 8:13).19 It seems to be inadmissible because of the substantial identity of the expression with those former parallels, to translate this passage, with Wieseler (Die siebzig Wochen, etc., p. 109): “From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, till the desolating of the abomination, i.e., till the destruction of the idol-altar and the rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabæus.”—It has already been shown, on Daniel 8:14, that the 1290 days are substantially identical with the half year-week (Daniel 9:27), or with the three and a half times (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7), and that they involve an extension of that period by about half a month only (twelve to thirteen days); and it was also shown on that passage, that on the other hand the 2300 evening-mornings or 1,150 days shorten the same period by about four months. According to all the passages relating to the period of three and a half years as thus determined (in the one case exceeding those years by a few days, in the other falling below them by a few months), and especially according to the present passage, the terminus a quo for that period was the juncture when the daily sacrifice was taken away, and when the abomination of desolation was placed in the sanctuary. Our passage is silent with regard to the special terminus ad quem, which had in former passages been described as coincident, on the one hand with the judgment of the wicked author of such profanation (Daniel 7:26; Daniel 9:27), and on the other with the rededication of the profaned sanctuary (Daniel 8:14); in other words, the revealing angel does not precisely determine the final point of the last time of trouble (the אַחֲרִית, concerning which Daniel inquired, Daniel 12:8).20 He affords an indication, indeed, that a period of blessing should ensue on the expiration of the mystical three and a half years, by employing the beatitude of the following verse: “Blessed is he that waiteth,” etc.; but he refrains from determining the exact point of time in which it should begin. Upon this point his language is even undecided and equivocal, inasmuch as he fixes the limits of the intervening time, at first at 1290, but afterwards at 1335 days—thus in the one case exceeding the measure of exactly 1277 days by thirteen, and in the other by fifty-eight days. The troubled events of the Maccabæan period, which might deserve notice as the points of the beginning and the end of the historical equivalent of the three and a half years, do not present a satisfactory reason for such vacillating predictions; for the exact period required cannot be found in that epoch, however its limits may be fixed. E.g., if, with Bertholdt. Hävernick, Von Lengerke, et al., its conclusion is assigned to the day of rededicating the temple by Judas Maccabæus, or the 25th Chisleu (Dec. 15th) of the year B.C. 164 (1Ma 4:52), and the 1290 days are reckoned backward from that date, their beginning will fall on June 10th, B.C. 167, or more than five and a half months earlier than the event which is generally regarded as marking the commencement of the three and a half years (i.e., earlier than the abrogation of the daily sacrifice on the 15th Chisleu, 167; cf. 1Ma 1:54); nor will that reckoning consist with the arrival in Jerusalem of Apollonius, the commissioner of taxes, which might possibly be regarded as the introductory event of the period in question; for according to 1Ma 1:29, his arrival took place only about three months prior to the 15th Chisleu, 167, instead of 5th (cf. supra, on chap. 7). Further, the attempt to regard the Maccabæan dedication of the temple as the characteristic fact that marked the conclusion of the 1290 days, is antagonized by the circumstance that the troubles of the Jews had by no means reached their end at that time, since the dreadful tyrant Antiochus yet lived, the citadel of Zion was still garrisoned by enemies, their leader, Lysias, who had gone to Antioch, was employed in making preparation for farther extensive operations, in order to wipe out the shame of his former defeat by Judas, and, in addition, the Ammonites, Edomites, and other heathen neighbors threatened the little band of Jews led by the Maccabees with dangerous attacks (cf. 1Ma 4:35; 1Ma 4:41; 1Ma 5:1 et seq.).21 If we assume, with Hitzig, Bleek, Hofmann, Delitzsch, Füller, etc., that the death of Epiphanes, which took place somewhat later than the dedication of the temple, ended the 1290 days, we are met by the difficulty of ascertaining the date of his death, which has not been preserved by any historical authorities that have descended to our times, and for that reason cannot be definitely settled. That Epiphanes died precisely 140 days after the dedication of the temple, is a mere assumption of Hitzig, Bleek, etc., based on a comparison of the 1150 days of Daniel 8:14,—which, it is asserted, extend exactly to the dedication—with the 1290 days of the present passage. This assumption appears the more uncertain, in proportion as, on the one hand, it becomes impossible to exactly accommodate those 1150 days between the desecration of the temple and the ascertained date of its rededication (cf. on Daniel 8:14), and as, on the other hand, it becomes difficult to reconcile the date of the death of Antiochus, as thus assumed, with historical statements respecting his end which have been preserved to us.22 We are accordingly compelled to abandon every attempt to demonstrate an exact correspondence between the time indicated in the text and the periods of the Maccabæan æra of persecution, and to remain content with the hypothesis that the 1290 days have a merely mystical and symbolical significance.23 The merely approximate character of the correspondence between the prophetic measurement of time and the chronological relations of the history of its typical realization, with which we were obliged to content ourselves in a former instance, in connection with the 1150 days, returns here in a somewhat different manner. In that instance we found a considerable minus in comparison with the number 1277, and. here a smaller plus.24 It will scarcely become possible to ever assign a more definite reason for this two-fold discrepancy than that the seer’s attention was to be emphatically called to the approximation of the designation of time. cf. Kranichfeld also, p. 413, who justly observes in opposition to the artificial attempts to ascertain the exact historical grounds for the difference between the 1150 and 1290 days, which he adduces, that “it is, moreover, an assertion which can never be exegetically established, that the deliverance of the nation, the destruction of the foe, and the restoration of the order of worship are everywhere in this book regarded as separate in time. On the contrary, they designate the same juncture of time at the end, as seen in the prophet’s perspective, which appears from their indiscriminate application, or in other words, from the substitution of one for another; cf. Daniel 7:25 with 26; Daniel 8:14 with 25 et seq.; Daniel 9:24 with 26, 27; Daniel 11:45 with Daniel 12:1.… For the rest, the profanation of the temple which an Antiochus Epiphanes imposed on Israel during three years, continues to be a historical exemplification of the facts revealed to Daniel’s prophetic vision, in the face of the 1290 days, and despite the fact that in the nature of the case it accords but relatively with them in a formal aspect.”25
Daniel 12:12. Blessed is he that waiteth (or “is steadfast to the end”) and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. In view of its connection with the foregoing, the meaning of this exclamation can only be as follows: “After 1290 days have expired, the tribulation shall end; it shall not be completely ended, however, until forty-five additional days (one and a half months) have elapsed, hence, until a total of 1335 days has been reached.” Here again we believe ourselves obliged to rest satisfied with finding a symbolic and approximate value in the relation of the several numbers to each other; cf. the remarks on this point in a former connection, Eth.-fund. principles, etc., on chap. 8 No. 1. Among the various attempts that have been made to explain with historical accuracy the difference of forty-five days between the time fixed by Daniel 12:11 and that given in Daniel 12:12, none have succeeded in realizing an entirely satisfactory result: e.g., (1) that of Hitzig, based on the assumption that the 1335 days extend to the reception from Tabæ of the tidings respecting the death of Antiochus, forty-five (?) days subsequent to his demise; (2) the assumption of Füller, that the 15th Xanthicus (April) of the year B.C. 164 (?), when a letter from Antiochus V. Eupator to the Jews reached Jerusalem, according to 2 Maccabees 11, which contained the welcome proffer of peace, marks the end of the 1335 days; and (3) the theory of Bertholdt, Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Wieseler, etc., that while the 1290 days extended to the dedication of the temple, the 1335 days reached down to the death of Antiochus, forty-five days afterward. Against the latter opinion it may be objected that the interval between the dedication of the temple and the death of Antiochus was unquestionably longer than forty-five days; or, in other words, that Epiphanes did not die as early as the month of Shebat in the year 148 æ. Sel., as those scholars (including Wieseler in Herzog’s Real-Encyklop., I. 387, Art. Antiochus) assume, in contradiction of 1Ma 6:16 (cf. also Hitzig, p. 226, and Füller, p. 357 et seq.).26 The two former theories, on the other hand, are open to the objection that the reception of the news from Tabæ of the king’s death, and also of the offers of peace from Antioch, were events of far too little importance to lead the writer (whether prophesying ex eventu, or by virtue of a disclosure of the future from God) to assign to either of them the dignity of marking the final conclusion of all troubles. The letter from Eupator was merely an offer of peace, and and not the peace itself; and at the time both of its arrival and of the tidings from Tabæ, the horizon of Judæa was far too dark to enable a pseudo-Daniel, writing at that day, to announce the end of all the sufferings of his nation as having already arrived, or as being immediately at hand (cf. 1Ma 4:35; 1Ma 6:17 et seq.), on the ground merely that such messages had been received. The mode of escape from the difficulty that is adopted by Kirmss, Bleek, Delitzsch, et al., is however still more questionable than the reference of the 1335 days to any of the events that were adduced in support of the foregoing theories. It assumes that some other fact of an encouraging nature, which is no longer found in our historical documents, formed the terminus ad quem of the 1335 days of the prophet; and is clearly nothing more than an expedient prompted by embarrassment and helpless discouragement, which feelings our theory of the merely symbolic value of the designation of time serves to justify better than any other hypothesis. cf. Kliefoth, p. Dan 514: “In extending this period of 1290 days by forty-five, the design probably was merely to indicate that whoever should live in patience and religious faith beyond the 1290 days, i.e., beyond the death of the wicked oppressor Antiochus, should be accounted blessed. The forty-five days are mentioned for the purpose merely of expressing that idea of surviving, and the form of the expression was governed solely by a desire to retain the analogy of Daniel 12:11.” Also Kranichfeld, p. Dan 416: “The period of final conflict which leads to the victory is here described as being very brief, comparatively, for the purpose of comforting and encouraging the pious ones; it is not measured by years, but merely by fractions of months. The half of a cycle of three months here takes the place of the limited period in the mind of the writer, according to Daniel 9:26; Daniel 8:25, etc.; and by the arithmetical measurement of time by days which is current in this book, it obtains the forty-five days which lie outside of the period of 1290 days or three and a half times,” etc. cf. also the Eth. -fund, principles, No. 2.
Daniel 12:13. Concluding exhortation and promise. But go thou thy way (rather, “on”) till the end. וְאַתָּה, properly, “and: thou,” with conclusive ו, but which may also be taken in an adversative sense, because it leads over from the foregoing to the close in an encouraging manner. לֵךְ לֵקּץ is of course to be understood according to the analogy of Daniel 12:9 : “go on, toward the final point of the predicted events;” not “go thy way” (Hitzig), nor yet “go toward thy end” (Hävernick, Füller, Kliefoth, etc.), for קֵץ is clearly shown by the article to refer to the same end as that mentioned in Daniel 12:9.—For thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days; i.e., thou shalt rest in the grave, in the quiet sleep of death (cf. Isaiah 57:2, and supra, Daniel 12:2). The meaning is, “that thou mayest rest, and enter on thy lot,” etc., i.e., that thou mayest receive thy portion of the inheritance at the judgment of eternal recompense; cf. Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 20:6. The thought refers back undeniably to Daniel 12:2-3, hence to the Messianic recompense, of which Daniel also should partake, and a majority of interpreters recognize that fact; but they generally pervert the meaning of וְתַעֲמֹד, so as to make it apply to the resurrection (standing up) for the purpose of being thus recompensed. The correct view in this respect is advocated, e.g., by Ewald, Kamphausen, Kranichfeld, etc.—Hitzig’s interpretation is very flat and exceedingly forced (in partial imitation of Grotius and Dathe): “And thou, go on to the goal, and thou mayest be content (!), and attend to thy office (!) for the end of days.”—[“גּוֹרָל, lot, of the inheritance divided to the Israelites by lot, referred to the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12), which shall be possessed by the righteous after the resurrection from the dead in the heavenly Jerusalem. לְקֵץ הַיָּמִים, to=at the end of the days, i.e., not=אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, in the Messianic (rather Antiochian) time, but in the last days, when, after the judgment of the world, the kingdom of glory shall appear.—Well shall it be for us if in the end of our days we too are able to depart hence with such consolation of hope!”—Keil.]
ethico-fundamental principles related to the history of salvation, apolo-getical remarks, and homiletical suggestions
1. The fundamental dogmatic thought that is especially prominent in this closing section is the future resurrection of the dead and their eternal destiny, as predicted in Daniel 12:1-3, and as again repeated and confirmed in the closing words of Daniel 12:13. That in the meaning of the book this resurrection is not to be regarded as confined to Israel only, but rather as universal in its scope, has been shown in the remarks on Daniel 12:2. It remains only to briefly answer the important question respecting the relation of that prediction to the Maccabæan age, which primarily afforded a typical and preliminary realization only of the prophecies of Daniel in general. Is it necessary, for instance, to take the entire prophecy in a figurative sense, as Dereser does, and to apply it merely to a spiritual or national resurrection of the nation from its former condition of apparent helplessness and death?27 Or are we, with Bertholdt, Hitzig, and the remaining rationalistic exegetes, to charge the prophet with having committed a gross error, in conceiving of the end of the world, the resurrection, and the judgment as immediately consequent on the death of Ant. Epiphanes?—Neither of the two would be correct; on the contrary, we are again reminded of the perspective character of prophetic vision in this connection, according to which the interval between the preliminary and the ultimate end was overlooked, from the point of view occupied by the prophesying seer long before either came to pass. By virtue of this perspective vision, the Old-Test, and the New-Test. Antichrists become one, which is true also of all the circumstances and results connected with their appearance. “As Antiochus became a type of Antichrist, so the oppression of the Old-Test, community of God’s people by him became a type of the oppression of the New-Test, congregation of the people of God by the latter. And as little as it surprises us that Joel 3:1 et seq. should make the preliminary signs of the end follow immediately upon the pouring out of God’s Spirit, with which the last world-period begins, without remarking the period intervening between them; or as easily as we can explain the fact that Amos 9:0 should predict the restoration of the fallen tabernacle of David and the final return of Israel to its native land, immediately after the judgment which he denounces upon the nation, thus overlooking the whole of the immense period in the course of which Israel indeed returned to its country, but was a second time expelled by the Romans; or as little as we charge untruthfulness upon the prophet Ezekiel, when, in chap. 36, he announces to the mountains of Israel the future return of the nation, and adds that God would show greater kindness to them than ever before, because this was not fulfilled on their first return; or as natural as we find it that in chap. 11 Isaiah should connect a description of the glory and peace of Christ’s kingdom, which shall only be realized at His second coming, with the words, “there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,” which are regarded as bearing on the appearance of Christ in lowliness, thus viewing Christ’s first and second advents together; so little should it surprise us or seem incompatible with the nature of prophecy, that the present prediction should represent the Seleucid persecution as being immediately followed by the full and final deliverance of the nation, without observing that a long series of years intervenes between the two.… Call it prophetic limitation, or whatever else we will, it is nevertheless the manner of the prophets j and the fact that we find it exemplified in the present instance is to us an evidence that the prophecy is genuine. Why do its opponents neglect to show how the prophecy respecting the resurrection of the dead immediately after the decease of Antiochus can be reconciled with their view concerning the composition of the book? If it was written immediately before the death of Antiochus, what was there to excite the hope that the time of blessing and the resurrection of the dead should follow immediately afterward? And if it was felt that such a hope was warranted, and it was not realized, were men not deceived? Who would have attached further value to such a mistaken prophecy?—But if it was composed after the death of Antiochus, it becomes wholly inconceivable that the false prophet should have compromised his pretended prophecy by this conclusion. But the features that are inconceivable on the presumption that the prophecy is spurious, are readily explained on the view that it was the actual Daniel who prophesied thus, centuries before Antiochus. The truth of his prophecy was in that case so incontestably assured in the time of Antiochus, that the apparent failure of its prediction concerning the resurrection of the dead (or, more properly, the delay of its fulfilment) was no longer sufficient to cast a doubt upon it. In one word, this passage of our book, usually considered so difficult, is so little worthy to be regarded as the heel of Achilles in the case, that it rather constitutes its strength, before which its assailants are put to shame” (Fuller, p. 343 et seq.).—It should, however, be observed in this connection that the leading idea in the prophecy in Daniel 12:1-3 is not the prediction of the resurrection, but rather the universal and eternal recompense to be meted out to them. The rising of the many “sleepers in the dust of the earth,” as predicted in Daniel 12:2, is at bottom a mere auxiliary thought, or a preparation for the principal feature of the prophecy, consisting in the promise of everlasting life to the pious, and the denouncing of everlasting shame and torment upon the wicked. Inasmuch as the judgment upon the Old-Test. Antichrist, as foretold in a former passage (Daniel 11:45), forms, in a measure, the opening act and point of commencement of this great recompensing judgment, all subsequent instances of such judgment must appear as a continued series of displays of the Divine righteousness, whose final conclusion at the last judgment will constitute the highest and most perfect, but not the only fulfilment of this prophetic passage. Among such displays of God’s justice may be reckoned the end of the tyrant Herod and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the subjugation of the Eastern churches by Islamism and the overthrow of the Middle-age Papal church by the Reformation.—As the eternal recompense, so the awaking of the dead, which forms its substratum and preliminary condition, reaches far into the history of time and earth, extending itself close to the historical position of our prophet, even though Jesus Christ, as the first fruits of them that sleep, began the blessed series of those who shall have a part in the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14; Luke 20:36; 1 Corinthians 15:20 et seq.), and though, consequently. He was the first who could say with entire truth, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear him shall live” (John 5:25; of. 12:28, 29). Both the preliminary judgment of the world, which is transpiring in the events of history, and the ethical resurrection in Christ Jesus of the spiritually dead, which is the basis and pre-condition of the future resurrection of all flesh,—both these have their beginning at the very point where the prophet’s scope of vision ends, and by that fact attest the truth and the Divine origin of his predictions, to which the Lord would assuredly not have repeatedly appealed and referred, had He not considered this book equal, in its inspired character, to any of the remaining prophets of the Old Covenant (cf. the Introd. § 6).
2. The prophecy, which forms the second leading thought of this section, relates to the point of time of the end. It repeats in substance the mystical [?] measure of time noticed in a former section, by which the last severe trouble of God’s people should continue during three and a half times, and adds a further period of one and a half months, during which the last remnants of suffering and trouble shall be removed. It was shown above that the historical conditions of the Maccabæan period afford but little countenance to the assumption that these periods of 1290 and 1335 days were invented to accord with the course of events in the experience of the past. It was also shown in a former instance (on Daniel 7:25) that the underlying idea, which is common to all the parallel mystical limitations of time (the half-week, the three and a half times, the 1150, 1290, 1335 days), is that the time of suffering should be shortened,—that the time of tribulation should indeed begin, but should be broken through at the middle, and by the grace of God should quickly be brought to its close. It is consequently a time to which the words of the Saviour respecting the shortening of the days of tribulation (κολοβωθῆναι, Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20) will apply. It will be sufficient to notice, in this connection, that this mysterious period, which received a first approximate [!] fulfilment in the great religious persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, appeared a second time in the Jewish war, which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (A.D. 66–70), and that a third and final fulfilment of the same period is in anticipation, in the last days before the return of Christ, according to Revelation 12:14; Revelation 13:5, when the church shall be overtaken by a time of severe trial and purification. cf. Auberlen (Daniel, p. 287), who, somewhat vaguely and generally characterizes the three and a half times as “the period of the world-power, during which the supremacy over the kingdom of heaven is given to the earthly kingdoms,” and then proceeds: “So, then, this number is resumed in the Apocalypse, in order to characterize the times of the heathen, during which Jerusalem is trodden under foot, and in which, consequently, the kingdom of God has wholly lost its outward and visible existence in the earth—hence the times from the Roman destruction of Jerusalem to the return of Christ (more correctly, without doubt, the last and most momentous epoch of that time, or the epoch of the New-Test. Antichrist). cf. Luke 21:24, and Revelation 11:2, both of which speak of the treading under foot of the holy city by the heathen, to continue, according to the former passage, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and, according to the latter, until forty-two months(=3½ years=1260 days) are past. To this negative designation Revelation 13:5 adds a positive, according to which the forty-two months denote the duration of the power of the beast, i.e., of the world-power. The only remaining passage in the Apocalypse which mentions the 1260 days, Daniel 11:3, might likewise be explained by this opinion.… The congregation therefore finds room in the heathen world, but it is also given over to the dominion of the world-power; it rests under the protection of that power, but also under its pressure; it is a suffering and militant church to this day. Precisely this correlation of protection and oppression forms the specific feature of the relation of the congregation to the world-power throughout the history of the church.” Delitzsch (p. 285) is more cautious, that is, he avoids the excessive extension of the three and a half times until they cover a period of many centuries, and contents himself with observing that “in the anti-typical history of the last times, these measures of time, the three and a half years, 1290 and 1385 days, shall yet become important;” and Kliefoth (p. 503) contends for that interpretation of the three and a half times which holds that they denote “the highest development of the power of Antichrist, and his end,” immediately before the manifestation of Christ.
Probably the opinion of those is likewise not to be at once rejected, who hold that there was also a typical relation between the three and a half times of Daniel and the public life of Jesus, which covered three to four years, whether they regard the latter period as a period of continued trial and suffering, which became more intense toward its close (cf. Luke 13:6-9 : the three years of laborious and vain attempts on the part of the Lord to convert the barren fig-tree, Israel), or whether they find in it the first half of the mystical week mentioned in Daniel 9:27, and let the Second, which corresponds directly to the three and a half years, follow immediately afterward (cf. supra, the history of the exposition of Daniel 9:24-27). Ebrard has recently put forth a particularly noteworthy effort to carry out the latter of these views, with special regard to the chronology of the leading events in the life of Christ, although his attempt involves much that is artificial and arbitrary (Christliche Dogmatik, 2d ed., II. 747; cf. his Kritik der evang. Geschichte, 3d ed., pp. 165, 196 et seq.;—and for a criticism of his views, cf. Bähring, in Schenkel’s Allg. kirchl. Zeitschrift, 1867, p. 579).
3. Homiletical suggestions.—As in the Oratio eschatologica by Christ (Matthew 24:0 par.) and especially in its intermediate parts (12:29–36), so in the present section there are two principal questions whose investigation devolves on the homiletical student; and they succeed each other in the same order as in that section of the gospels: (1) the question concerning the preconditions and the course of the end of the world and the final judgment (see Daniel 12:1-3); and (2) the question relating to the preceding development, or to the time of the end of the world (see Daniel 12:5 et seq.). In answer to the first question, Daniel 12:1-3 indicate that the sufferings and sorrows of God’s people shall attain to an unprecedented height, as a necessary preparation for their deliverance by the Messiah; and further, that the general resurrection of all the dead, whether pious or godless, forms a prerequisite and preparation to pave the way for the judgment of the world, which is to dispense eternal rewards and punishments. The revealing angel answers the second question in Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11-12, so far as to state that the last times shall constitute a period of suffering, through which the faithful ones must urge their way, but which shall be shortened and broken through at the middle by the grace of God,—in which is contained, at the same time, a reference to the sudden and unexpected introduction of the final time of the end, or to the coming of the judge of the world like a thief in the night (Matthew 24:36; Matthew 24:42; Matthew 24:44; Luke 21:34 et seq.; 1 Thessalonians 5:2 et seq.). The solution of both questions leads to an exhortation to patient, contented, and watchful waiting for the fulfilment of the prophecy respecting the last end (Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9; Daniel 12:13—cf. Matthew 24:32 et seq., Matthew 24:42 et seq.; Matthew 25:1 cf seq.). Thus all the leading features of the Scriptural doctrine of the last things (Mors tua, judicium postremum, gloria cœli, et dolor inferni, etc.) are comprehended within the narrow limits of this chapter, and are there properly arranged for practical and edifying discussion, either in a single study or in several.
On Daniel 12:1, Luther: “This does not signify physical sufferings, which were far greater at the destruction of Jerusalem, in Rome, and in many other cities and countries; but the suffering of souls, or the spiritual affliction of the church, as prefigured by the sufferings of Christ. For physical sufferings are temporary, and cease with the body. But the question here is whether the church shall fall or stand, which the devil had attacked in two directions through the agency of Antichrist: on the one hand, by an Epicurean contempt for the sacraments and the Word of God, on the other, by the terrors and despair of conscience, in which no proper comfort of the graces (was found), but only wretched tortures, which vexed men with the sufficiency of their own doings and with their works (of which, however, the Epicureans and heathen know nothing); hence, that it was time that Michael should arouse himself, and not suffer Christendom to be destroyed at its last-gasp, but to comfort and collect it again by his beneficent word of grace.”—Melancthon: “Semper oportet nobis notam esse et infixam animis hanc doctrinam, quod Ecclesia sit subjecta cruci, et cur sit subjecta, videlicit, quia vult Deus intelligi ab Ecclesia iram adversus peccatum, quam mundus contemnit. … Agnoscant igitur pii Ecclesiœ, œrumnas, et propter Dei gloriam ac propriam salutem et publicam necessitatem acrius incumbant in Evangelii studium, et toto pectore Deum, innocent, ut Ecclesiam conservet, defendat, et augeat.—Quatuor autem consolationes h. l. traduntur, quœ piis omnibus semper in conspectu esse debent: 1. Prima est, quod Ecclesia non sit penitus interitura, sed tunc quoque in illis periculis duratura. 2. Secunda consolatio, quod ibi sunt futura, Ecclesiœ membra, ubicumque erunt amplectentes puram Evangelii doctrinam; erit enim, ut inquit, dispersio populi (cf. Daniel 12:7). 3. Tertia consolatio, quod in his tantis periculis habitura sit Ecclesia defensorem Filium Dei (Michaelem). 4. Quarta consolatio est, quam hie quoque proponit Angelus: Quum cerumnœ non sint futurœ perpetuœ, hac spe facilius eas feramus, quod pits promittitur gloriosa liberatio et œterna lœtitia; impiis vero denuntiantur œterni cruciatus.”—Starke: “God permits the persecution of His church to reach its highest point that His help may be so much the more glorious.”
On Daniel 12:2-3, Jerome: “Oppresso Antichristo et spiritu Salvatoris extincto salvabitur populus, qui scriptus fuerit in libro Dei, et pro diversitate meritorum alii resurgent in vitam œternam, et alii in opprobrium sempiternum. Magistri autem habebunt similitudinem cœlli, et qui alios erudierunt, stellarum fulgori comparabuntur. Non enim sufficit scire sapientiam, nisi etalios erudias; tacitusque sermo doctrinæ, alium non ædificans (cfr. 1 Corinthians 14:3 ss.), mercedem operis recipere non potest.“—Melancthon:” Facilius ferimus hujus vitœ miserias, cum quasi metam prospicimus, et scimus aliquando Ecclesiam ex tantis malis eluctaturam esse.… Videmus nunc quidem misere dissipatum esse populum Dei: quare non procul abest resuscitatio mortuorum.”—Starke: “Since the faithful martyrs, who loved not their lives unto the death, are to have the preference over others in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:23 et seq.), should it contradict the righteousness of God that the greatest persecutors of the church, as the first-born sons of hell, should be raised before the general resurrection of the dead, and be the first to be cast into hell with soul and body (comp. Revelation 19:20 with Romans 2:9)?—Forward, then, ye teachers of the Gospel! do not become wearied in your office! Rather devote tongue, pen, and life to point men to Christ as the true righteousness! Suffer in patience everything that the wicked world can do to you on that account! The magnitude of your gracious reward is well worth such industry and patience!” On Daniel 12:4, Jerome: “Etiam in Apocalypsi Joannis liber videtur signatus septem sigillis intus et foris.… Librum autem illum potest solvere, qui Scripturarun sacramenta cognovit, et intelligit œnigmata et verba tenebrosa propter mysteriorum magnitudinem, et interpretatur parabolas, et occiddentem literam transfert in spiritum vivificantem.”—Osiander: “The Divine prophecies are only then correctly understood when they are in course of fulfilment (cf. 2 Peter 1:20).”
On Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11-12, Melancthon: “Metœ sunt temporum mirabili consilio Dei constitutœ. Et quanquam Christus diem ilium soli patri notum esse inquit nec vult nos curiose quœrere certum diem out annum, sed semper velut in statione paratos expectare ilium lœtissimum diem, quo se ostendet universo humano generi et cum sua Ecclesia triumphabit; tamen brevitas hujus mundi varie significata est.”—Calvin: “Quamvis Daniel non stulta curiositate inductus quœsierit ex Angelo de fine mirabilium, tamen non obtinet, quod petebat, quia scilicet voluit Deus ad modum aliquem intelligi, quœ prœdixerat, sed tamen aliquid manere occultum, usquedum veniret maturum plenæ revalationis tempus. Hœc igitur ratio est, cur Angelus non exaudiat Danielem. Pium quidem erat ejus votum (nequc enim optat quicquam scire plus quam jus esset), verum Deus scit quid opus sit, ideo non concessit, quod optabat.”—Geier (in Starke): “The last times will be terrible and dangerous; but they have their definite limits.”
On Daniel 12:10, Theodoret: Οὐδὲ γὰρ δεῖ πᾶσιν α̇πλῶς προσκεῖσθαι τὰ θεῖα ̓ οἱ μὲν νοήμονες διὰ τῆς ἄνωθεν αὐτοῖς χορηγουμένης γνώσεως συνήσουσιν, οἱςδὲ , σαφῶς τὰς περὶ τούτων μαθήσονται προφητσίας.—Luther: “For however brightly and powerfully the Gospel moves, and however strong the church may be, there must still be heretics and false teachers to prove her, in order that the approved ones may be manifest; and these same heretics are fond of taking sides with kings and great lords. Consequently the heretics will continue to the end.… But to the godless he (the prophet, or, rather, his prophecy) is of no service, as he himself remarks: the wicked shall remain wicked, and not regard it. For this prophecy and similar ones were not written that we might (beforehand exactly) know history and the troubles of the future, so as to feed our curiosity as with an item of news; but that the pious might comfort themselves and rejoice over them, and that they should strengthen their faith and hope in patience, as those that see and-hear that their wretchedness shall have an end, and that they, delivered from sin, death, the devil, and every evil, shall come to Christ in heaven, in his blessed eternal kingdom.”
On Daniel 12:13, Tübing. Bibel: “How blessed will it seem to rest in the bosom of the Lord, after the work of this life is done, until the day of restitution shall come, when we shall arise, every one to the gracious lot that shall fall to him.”—Starke: “At length the sufferings of the faithful reach a joyous end; then follow rest and sweet refreshing, and finally a glorious resurrection, when with their glorified bodies they shall enter into the joy of their Lord.” Blessed is he who with Daniel shall receive a similar lot. Amen.
[נָחְיְתָח, was made to exist, or was gone through, contains the idea of exhaustion.—
חַיְאֹר, strictly, the canal, properly applied to the Nile, but here used of any alluvial stream.—
The reduplicated forms מִמַּעַל לְמֵימֵי seem to call special attention to the position of this being, which was not precisely defined before, Daniel 5:5.—
The pronoun is emphatic]
[Keil (as we have seen) makes the transition from the Antiochian to the Messianic æera occur at an earlier point in the prophecy, and he urges the connective force of the introductory clause of the verse, especially the ו of consecution as a proof that no break or interval can be admitted here. This is an unnecessary straining of the phraseology. In fact, phrases of date, like בִּעֵת חַהִיא here, usually indicate a transition rather than a close sequence. cf. Stuart, who instances especially Isaiah 19:23; Isaiah 26:1; and even Daniel 2:44.]
[Keil, on the other hand, thinks that “וּבָעֵת חַהִיא points back to בְּעֵת קֵץ (Daniel 11:40),” which he interprets as “the time of the end, when the hostile persecutor rises up to subdue the whole world,” i.e., the final Antichrist. The transition appears to us precisely analogous to that found in our Lord’s eschatological discourse, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; and it seems to stand here, as there, for a connecting link between the near and the remote application of the prediction. The distress of the Antiochian persecution, like that of the final siege of Jerusalem, is made the symbol of the ecclesiastico-political throes of the final catastrophe, the downfall of Judaism being there the precursor of that of the world itself. The phrase, “In that time,” thus becomes parallel with the formula, “In that day,” or, “In those days,” “In the last day,” etc., as a stereotyped designation of the Messianic æra. It is the constant practice of the prophets to view these series of future events on the same plane and in the same perspective, the interval, as well that between the close of the Old Dispensation and the introduction of the New, as that between the establishment of the latter and its ultimate triumph, being left out of view. There is thus always a measure of indenniteness in the prophetical utterances on these points, especially in the phraseology relating to these “times and seasons.”]
Cf. Calvin on that passage: “Multos hie ponit pro omnibus, ut certum est. Neque hœc locutio debet nobis videri absurda. Non enim rabbino opponii angelus omnibus vel paucis, sed opponit uni; cfr. Romans 5:15; Romans 5:19.” [Keil observes that “the angel has it not in view to give a general statement regarding the resurrection of the dead, but only discloses on this point that the final salvation of the people shall not be limited to those still living at the end of the great tribulation, but shall include also those who have lost their lives during the period of the tribulation.” This, however, seems an unnecessary limitation of the “many,” which Keil himself admits “can only be rightly interpreted from the context.” Stuart clearly argues that the connection gives it here the universal sense.]
[This view is unnecessary, and places the prophet in a false light. Daniel does not explicitly say that these events are simultaneous, if we have rightly apprehended and expounded his language. He did not indeed clearly apprehend the length of the interval, but we are not warranted in saying that he was not aware there was any. Much less does he assert it.]
[Keil of course disputes this interval at the place assigned to it by our author. Stuart also is unable to discover it there. Both lay undue stress upon the connecting link, “In that time.”]
[Keil, on the other hand, inclines (with Bertholdt, Hitzig, Auberlen, Kliefoth) to “understand by the חַסֵּפֶר whole book. For, as Kliefoth remarks, the angel will close, Daniel 12:4, the revelation, and along with it the whole prophetical work of Daniel, and dismiss him from his prophetical office, as he afterwards, Daniel 12:13, does, after he has given him, Daniel 12:5-12, disclosures regarding the periods of these wonderful things that were announced. He must seal the book, i.e., guard it securely from disfigurement, ‘till the time of the end,’ because its contents stretch out to the end. cf. Daniel 8:26, where the reason for the sealing is stated in the words, ‘for yet it shall be for many days.’ Instead of such a statement as that, the time of the end is here briefly named as the terminus, down to which the revelation reaches, in harmony with the contents of Daniel 11:40 to Daniel 12:3, which comprehends the events of the time of the end.”]
[Keil (after Kliefoth) thus moderates the latter position: “The river Hiddekel (Tigris) was a figure of the Persian world-power, through whose territory it flowed (cf. for the prophetic type, Isaiah 8:6-7 : Psalms 124:3-4), and the designation of the river as יְאֹר, Nile, contains an allusion to the deliverance of Israel from the power of Egypt, which in its essence was to be repeated in the future.”]
[Keil defends the rendering of נִפֵּץ by shatter, rather than “scatter,” and of כַּלֹות by completion, rather than “ceasing;” but the sense is not materially different in either case, if the prophecy refer to the persecution by Antiochus, for the hour of striking for independence was coincident with that of the deepest oppression. The metaphorical signification of power for יַד, however, seems preferable as being more usual and natural than that of part; and the latter savors too much of a diplomatic rendering.]
[It may reasonably be objected to this reference that it is too petty, and requires too special a rendering of the words to be of any great value]
[The “fulfilment of all these things” obviously is explained by the more definite statement in Daniel 12:11-12, for the prophet’s inquiry was expressly in order to elicit such an explanation. This is precisely analogous to our Lord’s eschatological data, Matthew 25:34. etc.; where the nearer event alone is chronologically determined, and the final one left vague (Matthew 25:36).]
[Keil likewise distinguishes between קֵץ and אַחֲרִית but neither his nor the author’s distinction seems to be very clear or well, founded. In the present instance אַחֲרִית seems to denote the nearer sequel of the pressing emergencies in immediate view, and קֵץ the more distant consummation of the entire prophecy. If so, the angel does not fully answer the inquiry of Daniel 12:6, but does Daniel’s, by designating only the terminus of the Antiochian history. “Hitzig is altogether correct; in thus stating the (latter) question: ‘What, i.e., which event is the uttermost, the last of the פְּלָאוֹת, that stands before the end?’ ” (Keil).]
[In like manner the “closing and sealing” (סתם and חתם in both cases) can be no other here than in Daniel 12:4. “But since, according to Daniel 12:4, Daniel himself must shut up and seal the book, the participles in this clause, assigning the reason for לֵךְ, cannot have the meaning of the perfect, but only state what is or shall be done; shut up—they shall be (remain) till the time of the end; thus they only denote the shutting up and sealing, which must be accomplished by Daniel. …The shutting up and sealing. …can only consist in this, that the book should be preserved in security against any defacement of its contents, so that it might be capable of being read at all times down to the time of the end, and might be used by God’s people for the strengthening of their faith; cf. Daniel 8:26”—Keil.]
[It is strange that a commentator will persist in calling this an “approximate estimate,” when its sole object was to clear up uncertainty as to the duration of the events in prospect, and when, accordingly, precise periods of time are assigned in explicit and varied terms. Surely the whole subject is designedly left in doubt if this language does not definitely determine it.]
[It is thus true that history in a measure interprets prophecy, or rather enables the interpreter to give vividness and detail to predictions in themselves general and obscure. So also seeing is better than reading a description, however clear. But it is not necessary to wait for the accomplishment of prophecy in order to gain an intelligent comprehension of its essential import. To maintain this would be equivalent to denying any intelligible use of language. Nor is it true, as many expositors assert, that Daniel himself did not understand these prophecies. Daniel 12:8 only means that he did not clearly see the application of the announcement in Daniel 12:7 to the previous prophetic declarations, especially the mode of computing the note of time there given. This point is cleared up by the particular specifications of the present communication, and Daniel is therefore dismissed with a peaceful sense of full intelligence.]
[The neut שֹׁמֵם, however, is not in itself synonymous with the act. מְשֹׁמֵם; it here becomes equivalent to it only by reason of the connection with שִׁקּוּץ. “In Daniel 11:31, where the subject spoken of is the proceedings of the enemy causing desolation, the abomination is viewed as מְּשֹׁמֵם, bringing desolation; here, with reference to the end of those proceedings” (rather, with reference to the persecuted sufferers as being profaned by it), “as שֹׁמֵם, brought to desolation; cf. on Daniel 9:27” (Keil).]
[After the precise designation of the terminus ad quem in the passage which our author last refers to, there seemed to the prophet, or rather to his angelic instructor, no need of its repetition here. Every reader would spontaneously understand the period in question, dating from an idolatrous installation, to continue till the removal of the offensive and impious object. It is evidently the term of the sacrilege.]
[It ought to be observed, on the contrary, that the 1,290 days are not assigned as the limit of the troubles, but only of the profanation.]
The precarious character of all combinations bearing on this question may appear from the following calculation by Hitzig (p. 225 et seq.): “. … Antiochus (1MMalachi 1:10) ascended the throne in the year 137 æ. Sel., and he died (1Ma 6:16) in the year 149; consequently his reign falls between April, B.C. 170 and March, 163. But we possess a coin of seleucus bearing the number of the year PAZ (see Eckhel, Doctr. num., iii. 222), which shows that Seleucus still reigned at least at the beginning of the last quarter of B.C. 176. Antiochus became king during the month of October, 176, at the earliest; and if he reigned not quite twelve years, according to Appian, Syr., c. 66, we may perhaps regard the eleven years 175–165 as being full, and obtain, in addition, the fraction of the twelfth year by including a remnant of 176 possibly, and certainly by adding the first months of 164 (at least as far as April). Accordingly if, as we believe, the author referred in Daniel 12:11 to the death of Antiochus as the end of the period, it follows that the latter died 140 days after the dedication of the temple (see on Daniel 8:14), on the fifteenth to eighteenth day of the second month 149 (Jewish), i.e., on the thirteenth of the eighth month (Artemisius) 148 Sel. This result harmonizes excellently with that coin, and also with Appian (?). On the other hand, when Eusebius (Chron. 1:348) assigns eleven years to the reign of Antiochus, from Olymp. 151, 3, to Olymp. 154, 1, or from B.C. 174 to 164, there is an error, not only with respect to the point of departure, but also with regard to the end, since the death of the king transpired during the second half of the Olympiad; Antiochus, died in Olymp. 153, 4.” Bleek ventures a similar calculation (Theolog. Zeitschr., p. 293 et seq.), in which the words “perhaps, probably, I believe,” occur suspiciously often.
But this convenient refuge of the puzzled expositor is cut off by the repeated and varied form of the numbers so absolutely given. If all was symbolical, why these changes, and why these particular numbers?]
[This excess or deficiency is occasioned by the erroneous interpretation of the “2300 evening-mornings” as being 1150 days (cf. on Daniel 8:14), and by taking the three and a half years too strictly.]
[It seems to us that the following explanations of Stuart fairly and sufficiently meet the difficulties or “discrepancies” raised by the author: “The 1290 days are more specific than the phrase. ‘time, times and a half,’ in Daniel 12:7, and also in Daniel 7:25. The latter (‘time,’ etc.) is, as it were, a round number, three and a half first equalling the one half of the sacred number seven, and the fractional part equalling the half of one year. In such a case minute exactness of course is not to be expected. But the thirty additional days here (over 1200 days=forty-two months=three and a half years) are doubtless designed as an exact account of time during which the detestable (desolating) abomination continued in the temple. The terminus a quo is the time when Antiochus first removed the daily sacrifice, which probably was near the end of May or at the beginning of June in B.C. 168. Judas Maccabseus removed this שִׁקּוּץ, and purified the temple, Dec. 25th of B.C 165, making the time in question, i.e., three and a half years, as nearly as history will enable us to compute it. There can hardly be room for doubt that the statement in our text is minutely correct. The work of Judas there is the terminus ad quem of the period in question.”]
[The author is far too positive concerning the irreconcilability of this period with the death of Antiochus, as the following computation by Stuart will suffice to show: “It appears from 9:40–44 above, that Antiochus made another and final invasion of Egypt, near the close of his life, after which he marched against Palestine. Mattathias and his sons, in the mean time, had been organizing the party of the pious, and Antiochus was exceedingly indignant at the efforts which they made and the success with which they were attended. In 1Ma 2:26-37, we have an account of the situation of Antoeuus while in the ‘glorious land.’ His treasury was empty. He had already robbed the temple of all which it contained that was of any value, and he was necessitated to look to another quarter. He left half of his army, therefore, with Lysias, one of his favorite officers, and passed over the Euphrates in order to rifle the countries of the East. First he went through and subdued Armenia (τὰς ἐτάνω χώρας, 12:37), and then turned off to rob the temple at Elymais, where he met with disgrace, and finally with death. Not long after the departure of Antiochus, Lysias began the contest in Palestine in serious earnest; but Judas uniformly triumphed in all his encounters; and so decisive was one of them over Lysias, that Judas proceeded to purify the temple and to restore its worship, 1Ma 4:36 seq. All this must have occupied some months; and the consecration of the temple took place the 25th of Dec. 165 B.C. Of course Antiochus had had sufficient time for his conquest in Armenia and for his advance to Elymais before the winter had far advanced. It was in early spring that he undertook the robbery of the temple in Elymais; after which, on his retreat, the news met him of total defeat in Palestine, and helped to increase the malady under which he was then laboring. In 1Ma 6:1 seq., is an account of the close of the life of Antiochus, and of his failure at Elymais. If we now count onward, from the consecration of the temple by Judas to the time when Antiochus deceased, we shall perceive at once that the period of 1335 days is in all probability the period of Antiochus, death. From the time that the daily burnt-offering was removed by Apollonius, at the command of Antiochus, to the time of the reconsecration, were 1290. From the same terminus a quo to the death of Antiochus were 1335 days, i.e., forty-five days more than is included in the preceding period. History has not anywhere recorded the precise day of Antiochus’ death; so that we cannot compare the passage before us with that. But we are certain as to the order of events, and as to the season of the year, as well as the year itself, in which the death of this king took place. Of the general accuracy there can be no doubt; and such are the chronological designations of this book that we may safely rely, in this case, on its minute accuracy.”]
Cf. Dereser on the passage: “Many Israelites who lived during the persecution. … in rocky caverns, where the dead were bestowed, or who seemed to lie in the dust like a lifeless corpse, shall, so to speak, awake to renewed life through the goodness and power of God, and shall perform actions by which they shall live forever in history. On the other hand, the apostate Jews— —shall be branded with everlasting shame.”
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Daniel 12". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent