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And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth

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shall awaken, these to everlasting life, and those to shame and everlasting contempt.

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Many of those who have returned to being dust (died) and have been placed under the ground from where they cannot awaken and return (been buried), will indeed wake up; some of them will return and experience a never-ending life; and some will return and for all eternity will experience shame and be abhorred by everyone.



Not only does it say that these people sleep (are dead), but in order to create an emphasis it says that they “sleep in the dust” and then for greater emphasis it adds “of the earth.” There are two parts of this statement which point to the fact that after this life is over our bodies return to what they were originally made of, dust, and therefore we are helpless to bring someone back to a living state. But what is impossible for man is simple for God.


The last half of this verse is an obvious reference to the final judgment. In the midst of Daniel’s visions about the trouble his people will face, and how the Messiah will indeed come to fulfill God’s purpose, there is this additional point indicating that everyone will be rewarded or punished in the end. There will be no one in the middle.