Daniel 12:4


But you, DANIEL, conceal the words, and fasten a seal on the scroll till the end,

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and many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.


But you, GOD IS MY JUDGE, hide away the words that you have been given to write and fasten a seal on the scroll so no one will open it and read what you have written, and keep it that way until the final judgment when people will be in confusion and fear, but also

true knowledge (of God) and spiritual discernment will increase (one way or another).

Daniel 12:5


Then I, DANIEL, looked and [I saw] two others standing there, one on this bank of the river [nearest to me], and one on that bank of the river [furthest from me].


Then I, who live by the motto GOD IS MY JUDGE, looked around me and I noticed two others were present and ready for action, one controlled or at least had access to the sources of abundance and happiness that were closest to me, and the other one controlled or at least had access to the sources of abundance and happiness that were further removed from my reality.

Daniel 12:6


One said to the man clothed in linen

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who was over the waters of the river,

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“Until when shall be the finality of these extraordinary things?”

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One of them asked the man who was surrounded by purity and

was definitely in control of all the abundance and happiness possible in life, “How long will people have to wait to see the fulfillment of these extraordinary things that are hard to explain?”

Daniel 12:7


Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river as he raised up his right hand and his left hand

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to the heavens and swore by the one who lives continuously without end that it would for a time, times, and half a time,

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and when the scattering

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of the strength

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of the people of holiness is exhausted,

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all these things will be accomplished.


Then the man who was surrounded by purity and who was definitely in control of all the abundance and happiness possible in life

put in jeopardy all his powers and abilities and everything he had ever accomplished if he did not proceed to tell the truth,

God being the one to judge the veracity of his statement. Then I heard him swear based on the nature and longevity of God who lives forever and forever, that it would only be for a limited time, and when the attempts to scatter the strength of the people of holiness has been exhausted, all these things will be accomplished.


It is hard to imagine how the angel could have made this point more powerfully than he did. Before answering the question, he swore an oath based on his willingness to risk all his capabilities and everything he had accomplished, and on the awareness that God sees everything that will happen to us in the future. Based on these things, the angel answered the question in a way that was perfectly clear (to the people of that day), undeniable, and therefore trustworthy.

 The answer was that the suffering of God’s people that was predicted in Daniel’s visions about conquering armies would be tolerable; they will be able to handle it. Their ability to withstand what was coming was sure and certain based on the angel’s oath.

This phrase, “a time, times and half a time,” is not measured in time even though it sounds like it should be, it is a measure of the capacity of God’s people to endure hardships.

In the midst of trials and persecution, one may wonder if he has what it takes to make it to the end without breaking and denying his Lord. This sworn statement was an assurance, a promise that enduring would be possible because God would provide what was needed to endure.

Daniel 12:8


I heard and understood, and yet I did not fully comprehend it, so I said, “My lord, what will the final result be?”


I understood what he had said because he had made it perfectly clear, but I feared that my people were not ready to do their part. So I asked, “Sir, I know God will do His part, but will we really be able to do our part?”

Daniel 12:9


Then he said, “Depart DANIEL,

for these words are concealed and sealed until the end.


He answered me, “GOD IS MY JUDGE, you must move along now and stop asking such questions. The detailed answer is concealed from mankind and will not be revealed until the final judgment.

Daniel 12:10


Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked will act wickedly and none will understand, but all of the wise will understand.


There will be many who purify themselves until they are pure and refined by the fire of their hardships, but the evil in heart will continue to do evil things and none of them will choose to grasp the consequences of their actions, but all of those who are wise will fully understand about consequences and will choose accordingly.


The angel was saying something akin to this: “Daniel, I can’t answer your question in detail because only God knows the heart of each person. You are right to see that many people are not spiritually ready, but you are wrong to think they cannot endure hardship. Suffering has a way of purifying the sufferer and many will indeed do what is needed to become pure; they will be refined by the fire of their sufferings. But this will be an individual reality, distinct for each person. There will be many others who continue in their Godless ways, and they will suffer the consequences. God will sort it all out in the end because He is a just judge.”

Daniel 12:11


And from the time that the regularly repeated [thing] is removed

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and the detestable thing [that causes] desolation is set up,

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[there will be]

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a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

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Also realize that after

things get as bad as you have ever seen them get and you have witnessed the worst thing you could possibly imagine along with its horrible consequences,

then you will need to hang on just a little bit longer.

Daniel 12:12


The one who waits and reaches the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days [will be] blessed.


The one who holds on and hangs in there yet a little longer still, will be rewarded.


There is considerable agreement among scholars that 1,290 days is a reference to three and a half years plus one month (Jewish months were always 30 days long), and 1,335 days would be one and a half months beyond that. However, there is much less agreement about the meaning of these additional periods of time.

 I believe that the Jews of biblical times would have started by seeing the sign of three and a half years as a reference to something (either time, or something that is not related to time) cut short, or limited. In this vision, it is suffering that will be limited in its intensity, making it bearable. While the suffering will be limited, these two phrases require the sufferer to hold on a little bit longer, and then a little longer again.

So if you are personally going through a trial that is worse than you could have imagined, then realize two things: First of all God will enable you to endure all of it if you are trusting in Him, and secondly, you may have to hang on a little longer than you thought possible, and then a little bit more beyond that, but you will indeed endure and be victorious to the glory of God. This is especially true of things we suffer for the sake of Christ, not just things that come into our lives but have nothing to do with our relationship with God. But remember that this symbolic language does not always refer to time. Here it is about intensity and the capacity to endure either more time, or greater intensity.

Can we use this passage to predict future events?

 I think not. The mention of a “detestable thing that causes desolation,” usually called “the abomination that causes desolation,” is indeed a reference to Antiochus IV destroying the Jewish altar and sacrificing pigs on an altar he built and dedicated to a foreign god. Most authors and preachers focus on the fact that it appears to be talking about periods of time, and the one thing mentioned was a political event that is historically verified, so they assume that everything else in the passage should refer to major, visible events set in time. Based on those assumptions, many have used this passage in an attempt to predict the timing of future events, especially the return of our Lord in power and glory.

However, there are a few things that point a different direction; allow me to point them out. 1) The phrase “time, times, and half a time” is code language for “three and a half,” and “three and a half” is code language for “something that has been limited” and therefore, you will be able to endure it. The thing that is being limited does not need to be time, it can be anything the context requires it to be.

2) The additional periods of “time” are also code language. Both of them can mean “a little bit longer,” and the context of this passage shouts for them to be understood in that way. To go beyond that is to go beyond what the context will allow.

3) The purpose of this vision was to give Daniel and his compatriots encouragement and hope. While several of Daniel’s visions indicated that things would be tough for the Jews, there was also hope because the Messiah would indeed come, and they were promised that God’s strength would enable them to endure all the hardships. In my opinion, the angel was not giving Daniel a predictive tool, he was giving him strength to carry on.

Of these things we can be certain. Anything else is supposition and has a high probability of being wrong.

Daniel 12:13


But you, proceed until the end, for you will rest and stand

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for your inheritance at the final days.


But you, keep moving forward until the end, for you will not see all these things with your own eyes, rather you will die, and then

you will be raised to your feet again so you can stand before God to receive your inheritance at the final judgment.


1: “till the end”

Although this word is often used in conjunction with time, it is not clear what it is referring to. It could mean till forever, i.e. “keep it sealed for always,” or it could mean until the final event, meaning the final judgment, at which time, everything will be revealed. I prefer the idea of “until the final [judgment],” but I cannot prove that was the intended purpose.


Linen was associated with cleanliness and purity.

3: “who was over the waters of the river”

If someone is reading this passage and wondering if any of it might be symbolism, this phrase makes it obvious that it was indeed intended as symbolism.


Daniel had just been told to keep what he was shown a secret, but the one who controls all the resources of life, was asked by his subordinates to shed whatever light he could upon the question, “How long will God’s faithful followers have to endure hardship before God’s purpose has been completed?” In his answer he gave as much information as he was permitted to give.


The raising of each hand is mentioned separately because this is intended as two symbols, not one. First there is the symbol of the right hand in its typical usage. The symbol of the left hand does not fit this context, therefore, even though the left hand is mentioned specifically, it is not presented as its own separate symbol. Bringing in the left hand converts this clause into a symbol of both hands. Thus the right hand is mentioned once but its symbolism is used twice (once alone and once as part of the two hands together), while the left hand is mentioned once but only used as part of the symbolism of both hands.


“a time, times and half a time” is code language for three and a half periods of time which is code language for a period of time cut short, or something that is limited. The idea behind “three and a half” was such a powerful code that several other codes developed to express this code. It could be expressed as the number of days, the number of months, or by this phrase “a time, times and half a time.” God’s people who are suffering persecution can be encouraged because the time or intensity of their suffering will be limited, meaning they will be able to endure it.


This word can mean “to disperse, scatter, break into pieces, shatter into pieces, or cut asunder.” Due to the way I have chosen to translate the other verb in this part of the sentence, the idea of “scatter or disperse” makes the most sense.


“strength” is really the word “hand,” but a hand must have strength in order to accomplish anything. Context must indicate whether it is referring to one’s hand or to one’s strength.


There are three dilemmas regarding how to translate the latter part of this verse. 1) There are two infinitives (each with two definitions that must be considered) used back-to-back – “exhaust/complete” and scatter/shatter”. A number of Bible versions choose to make the first one into an adverb that describes the second, but it is an Infinitive, not an adverb. 2) The second dilemma is whether “strength of” refers to “the holy people” (as most translations render it), or to the one doing the scattering. The most natural reading of the sentence is that it is referring to the strength of the people. 3) The third question is: “What is being completed or exhausted?”

My take on these three issues is that “strength of” refers to the strength of the people, “scatter” fits this context better than “shatter,” and it is the effort to scatter the strength of God’s people that is being exhausted. That means that when Satan has done all he can to disperse God’s people and draw away their strength, and yet he is proven unsuccessful, everything will be brought to completion.

10: “regularly repeated thing”

This is referring to the daily sacrifices, but the word “sacrifices” is not used. You are expected to use the context to realize what the speaker meant. Notice that there are three things in this verse that are not stated but must be assumed. Leaving things out like that is typical of ancient Hebrew.


I believe “that causes” is more accurate than “of” because neither “the detestable thing” (commonly translated “abomination”) nor “desolation” are in a possessive form, which would call for “of”.


The word “until” is conspicuous by its absence. This starts out sounding like a “from…until” statement, but the speaker never arrived at “until;” he left it to the hearer/reader to assume what would happen after 1,290 days. Even though this passage does not mention the Messiah specifically, it can be assumed that the coming of the Messiah (either His first coming or His last coming, or both) is implied by the unspoken “until” of this verse. Verse 1 of this chapter says “your people shall be delivered,” which would bring to their minds the coming of the Messiah.


Here “days” must be figurative. This is one case in which it does not work to interpret it literally because we now know that there were more than 1290 days between the abomination of Antiochus IV and the coming of Jesus. The ancient Jews would have understood days to mean literal days unless the context demanded something different. We are not at liberty to make the word “day” mean whatever length of time we wish, as some erroneously do with Genesis chapter 1, in which the context uses several mechanisms to point to literal days. The use of days in Daniel 12:11 and 12:12 are an exception to the norm because the context points to a symbolic usage and history has verified that it must be symbolism.


“stand” has a double meaning here. Because it is preceded by “rest,” which means “death” in this context, we know that “stand” means to be raised from the sleep of death. Since it is followed by a reference to the final judgment, we know that “stand” also points to the fact that we must all stand before God to receive punishment or reward based on how we lived and how we responded to Jesus.