History Addict's Sunday School Lessons Series

Daniel Chapter 11:36-12:12 Notes: The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist

(Please note: These are not just my original lesson plans, included are notes, annotations and references from a variety of sources, listed at the bottom of the page)

Dan. 11:36           The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.

Dan. 11:37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.

Dan. 11:38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.

Dan. 11:39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.

Dan. 11:40           At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.

Dan. 11:41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.

Dan. 11:42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.

Dan. 11:43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.

Dan. 11:44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.

Dan. 11:45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

Dan. 12:1 At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your peopleeveryone whose name is found written in the bookwill be delivered.

Dan. 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Dan. 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

Dan. 12:4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

Dan. 12:5             Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank.

Dan. 12:6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?

Dan. 12:7             The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.

Dan. 12:8             I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?

Dan. 12:9             He replied, Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.

Dan. 12:10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

Dan. 12:11           From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.

Dan. 12:12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.

Dan. 12:13           As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.


 lAow l$Ea_lD;k_lAo  l;dŊgVtyw MEmwrVtyw JKRl#R;mAh wnwxrIk hDcDow Dan. 11:36

hDxrTjn yI;k MAoYz hDlD;k_dAo AjyIlVxIhw twaDlVpn rE;bdy My$IlEa lEa


MyIvn t;dVmRj_lAow Ny$Iby al wyDtObSa yEhlTa_lAow Dan. 11:37

:l;dŊgVty lO;k_lAo yI;k NyIby al A;hwlTa_lD;k_l`Aow

rRvSa A;hw%lTaRlw dE;bAky wnA;k_lAo MyYzUo`Dm A;hlTaRlw Dan. 11:38

hrqy NRbRaVbw PRsRkVbw bDhzV;b dE;bAky wy#DtObSa whUody_al


rRvSa r$Dkn A;hwlTa_MIo MyzUo`Dm yrVxVbImVl hDcDow Dan. 11:39

qE;lAjy hDmdSaw My$I;br`D;b MDlyIvVmIhw dwbDk hR;bry [ryI;ky] ryI;kIh


wy%DlDo rEoD;tVcyw bgYnAh JKRlRm w;mIo jAgnVty X#q tEoVbw Dan. 11:40

twxrSaAb aDbw tw;br twynFaDbw My$IvrDpVbw bRkЮrV;b Nw#pDxAh JKRlRm

:r`DbDow PAfDvw

wfVlD;my hR;lEaw wlEvD;ky tw;brw y$IbVxAh XrRaV;b aDbw Dan. 11:41

:Nw;mAo yEnV;b tyIvarw b$Dawmw MwdTa w$dΥyIm

hRyVhIt al My$rVxIm XrRaw twxrSaA;b wdy jAlVvyw Dan. 11:42


twdUmSj lOkVbw PRs$R;kAhw bDh·zAh ynAmVkImV;b l#AvDmw Dan. 11:43

:wydDoVxImV;b MyIvUkw MyIbUlw MyrVxIm

aDmEjV;b aDxyw NwpDxImw jrzI;mIm wh$UlShAby twoUmVvw Dan. 11:44

:My`I;br MyrSjAhVlw dyImVvAhVl h$DlOdg

vdOq_yIbVx_rAhVl MyI;my NyE;b wYndApAa yRlFhDa oAfyw Dan. 11:45

:wl rEzwo NyEaw w$xIq_dAo aDbw

dEmOoDh lw#dΊgAh rAcAh l%EaDky`Im dOmSoy ayIhAh tEoDbw Dan. 12:1

ywYg twyVh`Im hDtyVhn_al rRvSa h$rDx tEo hDtyDhw ~KR;mAo yEnV;b_lAo

bwtD;k aDxVmnAh_lD;k $KV;mAo fElD;my ayIhAh tEoDbw ayIhAh tEoDh dAo


M$Dlwo yEyAjVl hR;lEa wxyqy rDpDo_tAmdAa yEnEvץyIm MyI;brw Dan. 12:2

s :M`Dlwo NwardVl twprSjAl hR;lEaw

My$I;br`Dh yqy;dVxAmw AoyqrDh rAhOzV;k wrIhzy My$IlI;kVcA;mAhw Dan. 12:3

p :d`Row MDlwoVl MyIbDkw;kA;k

tEo_dAo rRpE;sAh MOtSjw MyrDb;dAh MOtVs laGynd hD;tAaw Dan. 12:4

:tAo;dAh hR;brItw MyI;br wfVfOvy Xq

MydVmOo MyrEjSa MyAnVv hEnIhw laYynd yInSa yItyIarw Dan. 12:5

:rOayAh tApVcIl hΊnEh dDjRaw r$OayAh tApVcIl hΊnEh dDjRa

yEmyEmVl lAoA;mIm rRvSa My$;dA;bAh vwbVl vyIaDl rRmaGyw Dan. 12:6

:twaDlVpAh Xq yAtDm_dAo rOayAh

 lAoA;mIm rRvSa My#;dA;bAh vwbVl vyIaDh_tRa oAmVvRaw Dan. 12:7

yEjV;b oAbDvyw My$AmDvAh_lRa wlamVcw wnyImy MrΥyw ~rOayAh yEmyEmVl

vdOq_MAo_dy XEpn tw;lAkVkw yIx#Ejw My%dSowm dEowmVl yI;k MDlwoDh

:hR;l`Ea_lDk hnyRlVkI;t

tyrSjAa hDm ynOdSa h$rVmOaw NyIbDa alw yI;tVoAmDv yInSaw Dan. 12:8

p :hR;l`Ea

MyrDb;dAh MyImUtSjw MyImUtVs_y`I;k laEyn;d JKEl rRmayw Dan. 12:9

:Xq tEo_dAo

woyIvrIhw My$I;br Њwpr`Dxyw wnV;bAlVt`Iyw wrr`D;bVty Dan. 12:10

:wny`Iby MyIlI;kVcA;mAhw MyIoDvr_lD;k wnyIby alw My$IoDvr

MyImy MEmOv Xw;qIv tEtDlw dy$ImD;tAh rAswh tEoEmw Dan. 12:11

:My`IoVvItw MyAtaDm PRlRa

twaEm vlVv PRlRa MyImyVl AoyIgyw hR;kAjVm`Ah yrVvAa Dan. 12:12

:h`DvImSjw MyIv lVv

XqVl KVlrOgVl dOmSoAtw AjwnDtw X;qAl JKEl hD;tAaw Dan. 12:13


McKays Notes

Daniel 11:36-12


The first 35 verses of Daniel 11 contain a total of 135 specific prophecies which have been fulfilled, and well documented by extra biblical sources. Therefore, the reality of the God of the Bible is demonstrated for us.


Starting in verse 36, God unveils what is to come in the future for us to Daniel, and having had his revelations come to fruition and well-documented in detail, we can rest confidently on what the rest of Daniel has to show us.


Daniel 11:36 through chapter 12 contain revelations about what will happen just prior to the second advent of Christ, the literal end times.

-       The king spoken of is the Antichrist himself, the little horn spoken of repeatedly in Daniel, and the verses from 36 to 39 outline what his character and actions will be like

-       In his invasion, the Antichrist will conquer all the lands north of Jerusalem, but will spare Edom, Moab, and the leaders of Ammon, which is modern Jordan. Either they will ally with him or just simply be out of his direct line of battle.

-       The Antichrist will set up his headquarters between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain, which may either be the Temple Mount itself, or a hilltop just south of Jerusalem, where he can threaten the city militarily

-       Either way, at some point the Antichrist will enter and defile the rebuilt Temple, according to 2 Thess 2:4 and Matt 24:15.

-       Armies from the north and the south will threaten him at some point, possibly in the military campaign written of in Ezek 38-39.

-       The great battle spoken of in 40-45 is the battle of Armageddon, to be fought in the valley of Megiddo

-       This battle is referred to in Ezek 39:2-29; Joel 3:2-16; Zech. 12:2-9, 14:1-21; Rev. 16:16.

-       The Antichrists career will end after this great battle, and he will be judged when Christ returns to set up His millennial kingdom (Dan 7:11, 26,27; 2 Thess 2:8; Rev 19:20)

-       The Archangel Michael is Israels protector, and the greatest of all Gods angels will be needed for this task, as Israel is prophesized to experience a time of distress like nothing else in its history

-       Michael will engage in a great battle with Satan during the Tribulation period.

-       The core of Christian faith, the Resurrection, is prophesized in 12:2, the first time everlasting life appears in scripture.

-       The time of this terrible period is given as 7 years

-       Daniel asks questions, just like we would!, and is given some additional insight, but the real message is given him by Christ: go live your life without worrying or fretting about this future time it is coming, but you have nothing to fear if you are called by His name!

Commentaries & Outside Notes


Dr. Constable's Notes on Daniel


3. The distant future

11:3612:4    In the revelation given to Daniel about the 70 sevens (years, 9:24-27), we observed that  what Gabriel told the prophet in verses 24-26 has already happened. Those verses  described what would happen in the first 69 sevens. Verse 27 predicts things that have  not happened yet. It reveals what will happen in the seventieth seven. There is a similar  break between verses 35 and 36 of chapter 11. What was predicted in verses 2-35 has  happened. What follows in this chapter has not happened.   


"No commentator claims to find precise fulfillment in the remainder of  this chapter."


    Even liberal scholars, who believe that a second-century writer wrote the book as history  rather than as prophecy, admit that all of what follows has had no literal fulfillment in the  past. A few scholars, liberal and conservative, believe that Antiochus Epiphanes  fulfilled some of these predictions, especially those in verses 36-39. However, I am not  aware of anyone who believes that he fulfilled them all literally.  


 In view of later revelation, in the Olivet Discourse and in the Book of Revelation  particularly, what the angel told Daniel in these verses must refer to the last one of  Daniel's seventy weeks. This is the last seven-year period before Jesus Christ returns to  the earth to establish His kingdom. Jesus called the end of it a time of great tribulation  (Matt. 24:21), and Daniel's angel called it the worst period of distress that the Jews have  ever seen (12:1; cf. Jer. 30:7). Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that what  follows will occur in that seven-year period, the Tribulation.453   


The coming ruler 11:36-39


11:36 "Then" signals a leap in time to the distant future, as the context indicates.


The predicted king will have the power to do as he pleases; apparently he

will not be subject to a higher human authority (cf. 7:23; Rev. 13:1-10;

17:12). He will exalt himself higher than any other god implying that he

will demand worship (cf. 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:11-18; 17:16). He will also

repudiate the true God (cf. 7:25). He will prosper for a time, until God's

indignation against His people the Jews has run its course (cf. 8:19; Isa.

10:25; 26:20). All of this will happen under the sovereign authority of

God, however.


11:37 This verse gives more information about the ruler's religious convictions.

The phrase "the God of his fathers" is similar to one that occurs elsewhere

in Scripture describing the God of the Jews (cf. 2:23; Exod. 3:15-16; 4:5;

et al.). This has led some interpreters to conclude that this king will be a

Jew.454 However the phrase does not require this interpretation. The name

"God" is "Elohim," the general word for God rather than the covenant

name "Yahweh" that God often used when stressing His relationship to

His chosen people. This word can have a plural translation (gods) or a

singular one (God). Moreover in the light of other revelation about this

man, he seems to be a Roman (7:8, 24; Rev. 13:1-10). Of course, he could

be a Jewish Roman, but the description of him in this verse does not

identify him clearly as a Jew. Probably the angel meant that this king will

abandon the religion in his past whatever that religion may have been.


He will do this because he will set himself up as the object of worship in

place of all gods.


The identity of "the desire of women" is also problematic. It may be a

reference to the Messiah.455 Supposedly the supreme desire of every godly

Jewish woman in Daniel's day was that she bear the Messiah. Another

view is that the reference is to Tammuz (Adonis), a pagan goddess in

Daniel's day that women found very attractive.456 Others believe that the

meaning is that this king will have no desire for women. Some even

speculate that he will be abusive toward women. In other words, he will be

devoid of natural affection.457 I tend to favor this third view.


11:38 What this king will really trust in is a "god" who he believes can give him

military success. Evidently this is not a god in the religious sense. He will

probably idolize power. His forefathers typically acknowledged some

supreme being or some pagan god or gods. He will honor his "god" by

spending money to build his military arsenal. In other words, he will be a



11:39 The foreign god referred to in this verse may be the god of military might

mentioned in verse 38. Alternatively it may be some other foreign god that

he uses for his own ends, or it may even be himself. As Antiochus before

him, this ruler will reward those who are loyal to him and support him by

bestowing honors and positions of authority on them. Perhaps he will also take bribes, as Antiochus did, and give land to those who pay him off.

Another possibility is that he will reward with lands those who are faithful

to him.


The attack against the ruler 11:40-45

11:40 Finally the very end time of the seventieth week will arrive (cf. vv. 27, 35;

12:4, 9). Then this king will be the focus of attack by the king of the South

(cf. vv. 42-43), a power south of Palestine, and the king of the North, a

force to its north. Evidently they will attack him simultaneously.

Apparently this king is neither the king of the South nor the king of the

North himself. In view of 9:26, he will probably be a western ruler, the

little horn arising out of the Roman Empire (i.e., Antichrist; 7:8, 24).459

The conflict will be great, but he, apparently the ruler described in verses

36-39 (Antichrist), will invade many countries, overwhelm them, and pass

on to conquer others.460

"Presumably the warfare will be carried on by armored

vehicles and missiles such as are used in modern warfare

though in order to communicate with Daniel's generation,

ancient equivalents of these are used here. Likewise, the

ancient names of the countries or states occupying the

region where the final conflict will be carried on are used in

the prediction, though most of those political units will no

longer bear these names in the last days."


Ezekiel described a great military force descending on Israel from the far

north in the future (Ezek. 3839; 38:15). Ezekiel did not mention a power

from the South. Part of the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy is probably

the same invasion Daniel recorded here.462 This aspect of the fulfillment

will probably occur in the second half of the Tribulation, when Israel is

suffering intense persecution.


11:41 The Antichrist will also enter Palestine (cf. 8:9), and many there will fall

before his forces. He will also defeat other countries in addition to Israel.

He will probably enter Palestine after he breaks his covenant with Israel,

which would confirm that these events will happen in the last half of the

Tribulation. There will be a few areas that he does not overpower,

however, namely, those in the former territories of Edom, Moab, and

Ammon. These nations were to the east and south of Israel. Today Jordan

occupies this region. The "foremost" of the sons of Ammon probably

refers to the best part.464


11:42-43 This ruler will then press his attack against other countries, particularly

Egypt. It will fall to his control. He will plunder the treasures of Egypt and

will bring those living in the ancient territories of Libya and Ethiopia

under his control. Libya lay to the west of Egypt and Ethiopia to its south.

11:44-45 Rumors of enemy armies from the East (cf. Rev. 9:13-21; 16:12) and from

the North (cf. v. 40) will cause him to kill more people (cf. Zech. 13:8).465

He will also return to Palestine. His headquarters there will evidently be in

Jerusalem. This city stands between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas.

The NIV translation "at the beautiful holy mountain" confirms this

location since Jerusalem stands on Mt. Moriah. It is evidently there that he

will meet his match and suffer defeat. Later revelation says that Jesus

Christ will return from heaven and destroy him (Rev. 19:19-20; cf. Zech.



One writer summarized the revelation about Antichrist in verses 36-45 as follows. He

will act in self-will (v. 36), will exalt himself (v. 36), and will magnify himself above

every god (v. 36). He will blaspheme the true God (v. 36), will prosper for a limited

period of time (v. 36), and will be an irreligious person (v. 37). He will also place

confidence in military might (vv. 38-39), his military might will be challenged (v. 40),

and he will be initially victorious in battle (vv. 40-43). However, he will face renewed

conflict (v. 44), will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem (v. 45), and will finally come

to an end (v. 45).


The deliverance of Israel 12:1-3

Whereas the previous verses have focused on the Antichrist, those in this pericope

concern Israel. Here we learn that this "end time" will definitely be a time of intense

persecution of Jews. This section constitutes the climax of this revelation (chs. 1012)

as well as the climax of the whole series of prophecies that this book records. It

highlights God's faithfulness to His promises to His chosen people Israel.


12:1 At the time of the end (11:40), Michael, the angel responsible to protect

Israel (cf. 10:13, 21), will arise in defense of this nation. This revelation

focuses the reader's attention again on the invisible and supernatural

dimension to the events that will take place. "Now at that time" introduces

additional information about this end time; it does not introduce a

chronologically subsequent event.


This period generally will be a time of extreme distress for the Jews,

worse than any other time in their national history (cf. Deut. 4:30; Jer.

30:7; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 619).467 The repetition of "your people" in this

verse clearly identifies the Jews, not all believers. They will be the focus

of intense persecution, though many non-Jews will also suffer, and their

land will become an international battlefield (cf. Matt. 24:22).


Nevertheless all those Jews whose names are in "the book" will

experience rescue (cf. 7:18, 27). This is not a promise of spiritual

regeneration; that comes only by faith in Jesus Christ for Jews living then.

Rather it is a promise of national deliverance from human enemies (cf.

Zech. 12:10; 13:8-9; Rom. 11:26). Therefore "the book" probably contains

the names of all the Jews living in that region then who will experience

physical deliverance (cf. Rev. 12:13-17).468 The figure of a book connotes

a divine record written beforehand that is the basis for this rescue.469


12:2 Why did the angel say "many" will awake and not "all?" Apparently he

did so to stress the fact that those Jews who die because of Antichrist's

persecutions will experience resurrection at the end of this period (i.e., the

Tribulation; cf. Rev. 20:4-6).470 He referred to the hope of those Jews in

particular. Furthermore this wording clarifies that not all will arise then.

Some will experience resurrection at other times in history (e.g., 1 Thess.

4:13-17; Rev. 20:4-6).


The angel meant a physical resurrection rather than just a renewal of the

soul (cf. Isa. 26:19; Hos. 13:14). This seems clear since he specified that

they will arise from "the dust of the ground."


"The OT's standard way of envisaging dying and coming

back to life is by speaking of lying down and sleeping, then

of waking and getting up. The former is an extreme form of

the latter, which thus provides the metaphor for it (2 Kgs

4:31; 13:21; Isa 26:19; Jer 51:39, 57; Job 14:12). Further,

dying means lying down with one's ancestors in the family

tomb, with its nonmaterial equivalent, Sheol; so coming

back to life would mean leaving such a 'land of earth' (cf.

also Pss 49; 73). The image presupposes a restoring to life

of the whole person with its spiritual and material



"The Bible never speaks of sleep in reference to the soul,

for sleep is not an activity of the soul. Rather, the Bible

always speaks of sleep as an activity of the body (see Matt.

9:18-25; Mark 5:35-42).


Some of these Jews will enter into everlasting life, namely, those of them

that will be believers. Others will experience disgrace and everlasting

contempt, because they do not believe on Christ (cf. Matt. 25:46; John

5:28-29). Evidently those martyred during the Tribulation and resurrected

at this time will reign with Christ during His kingdom, which will begin

with His return to earth at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 20:4).

While this verse teaches that there will be a resurrection of the wicked, it

does not say that this will occur at the end of the Tribulation. It only says

that others will awake to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Revelation


20:12-14 make clear that the resurrection of the wicked will occur at the

end of the Millennium, not at the end of the Tribulation. In the context of

Daniel 12:2, the emphasis is on the hope of the Jews who will die in the

Tribulation. The destiny of the wicked is brought in simply to clarify that

they too will be raised, not to specify when.


This is the first mention in the Old Testament of a twofold resurrection.

For this reason, and because this verse identifies the time of the physical

resurrection of saved Jews (who lived outside the church age, cf. 1 Thess.

4:13-16), this is an extremely important verse.

"Those who argue simply on the basis of the concept of

'lifetime' or 'age' for only an age-long punishment in hell

rather than one of endless duration must reckon with the

many passages in the OT that apply 'olam to the endless

life and sovereignty of God himself. In other words, if hell

is not eternal, neither is God; for the same Hebrew and Greek words are used for both in the Bible (cf. Rev 4:10;

20:10; 21:8). The corresponding Greek word aion exactly

parallels the Hebrew 'olam in connotation and semantic



This is the first occurrence of the expression "eternal life" in the Old



12:3 The emphasis on hope for the Jews living during this time continues in

this verse. Rewards will follow resurrection. Those Jews who have insight

into the importance of remaining faithful to God and who do so will

receive glory (cf. 11:33, 35). Those who lead others to do right will too.

Their glory will be similar to the glory of the firmament above and to the

stars (cf. Matt. 13:43). The angel expressed this blessing in a beautiful

parallelism. Their glory will involve the privilege of reigning with Jesus

Christ during His millennial kingdom and from then on (cf. Matt. 25:14-

30; Luke 19:11-27; Rev. 20:4).

"Verses 2-3, then, clearly affirm the doctrines of

resurrection and of eternity beyond the grave. Even the

most skeptical OT scholars concede the presence of these

doctrines here . . ."


The end of the vision 12:4

In conclusion, the angel instructed Daniel to close the record of this revelation. In the

ancient Near East, people wrote official documents and then, after making a copy for

reference, deposited the original in a safe place. The phrase "conceal these words" does

not mean that Daniel should keep them to himself but that he should preserve this

revelation because it was important (cf. 8:26). Also it was customary for the scribe who

recorded important documents such as contractual promises to run his cylinder-seal

across the bottom to guarantee authenticity.478 That is what the angel instructed Daniel to

do with this contractual promise. By sealing it, Daniel would certify that what stood

written was exactly what God had revealed to him and had promised would happen (cf.

Rev. 22:18-19).


Daniel was to preserve this revelation until the end of time (or the "time of the end," the

last half of the Tribulation479) because much of what God had revealed to him concerned

the far distant future. He confessed that he did not understand much of it (v. 8), as we can

appreciate since most of it predicted things still future from his standpoint in history.


The last part of this verse probably refers to the attempts of people in the future to

understand this revelation, in view of the context (cf. Amos 8:12).480 Attempting to

understand these prophecies, people would search around and try to discover what they

meant. As time passed and knowledge increased, they would understand these things

better than Daniel could.


"Whether or not physical wandering and travel is involved, the implication

is that attempts to understand the truth will require considerable effort."


Even though Daniel and his people did not understand this book's prophecies as well as

we do, simply because we have seen many of them fulfilled, these predictions did

comfort them. They assured them that Yahweh would ultimately deliver Israel from the

hostile Gentiles and fulfill His covenant promises.


4. The end of Israel's trials 12:5-13

Daniel continued to view things in the vision that he began describing in 10:5. The book

ends with a question and answer session.


The first question 12:5-6

Daniel now saw two other individuals, undoubtedly angels, beside the one who had been

addressing him since 10:11, standing on either side of the Tigris River (cf. 10:4). One of

these angels asked a question of the man (angel) dressed in linen (cf. 10:5-6) who was

above the river. He wanted to know how long it would be until the end of the events just

related (cf. 1 Pet. 1:12), namely, the things having to do with Israel's final persecution

and deliverance (11:3612:3).


The first answer 12:7

The angel above the river swore by the eternal God that what he was about to say was

true. Normally people who swore by God lifted one hand to heaven (cf. Deut. 32:40).

This angel lifted both hands thus stressing the truthfulness of what he was about to reveal.

"There must be a reason for the choice of the word translated stream. As

already indicated, it is the common designation for the Nile river.

Possibly, it is deliberately employed here to remind Dan. that just as the

Lord had once stood over Egypt, the world-nation which was hostile to

God's people, so now does He stand over the world kingdom, represented

symbolically by the Nile stream, actually the Tigris, ready again to deliver

His people."


The meaning of "time, times, and half a time" is quite clearly three and one-half years (cf.

7:25).483 Scattering the power of the holy people refers to the terrible persecution of the

Jews in the end times previously revealed (11:36-45). This was good news for Daniel and

his people. Even though the future enemy of the Jews would be in control for one week

(seven years, 9:27), intense persecution would only be the Jews' lot for the last half of

that period (cf. Zech. 14:2-3).

The second question 12:8

Daniel continued having trouble comprehending this revelation, so he respectfully asked

the angel how everything would end. He may have been particularly interested in

receiving more information about the resurrection and rewards that the angel had

mentioned briefly before (vv. 1-3).


The second answer 12:9-13

12:9 The angel reminded Daniel that much of what he had received would

remain obscure until the end time (cf. v. 4). Then people will be able to

look back, marvel at the total fulfillment of prophecy, and glorify the

sovereign Most High God.


12:10 The troubles coming on the earth, and especially on the Jews, would cause

many to turn to the Lord and experience spiritual purification through

faith. The wicked, however, would continue to act wickedly and would not

understand what was happening (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14; Rev. 13:10). The wise,

who have insight because they pay attention to divine revelation, will

understand what is happening.484 This verse provides motivation to pay

attention to what God has revealed and to study it carefully. It should also

help us avoid thinking naively that the passing of time and the fulfillment

of prophecy will cause bad people to change their ways. Humankind will

not get better and better in spite of what postmillennialists and social

evolutionists believe (2 Tim. 3:13).


12:11 Now the angel conceded to Daniel's request and provided a little more

information. However as these things were unclear to Daniel, so they still

are for most interpreters today, including myself.


The angel measured the time between the end, presumably the end of the

Tribulation, and the time that the Antichrist will terminate Jewish

sacrifices and desecrate the temple (cf. Matt. 24:15). It will be 1,290 days.

This is 30 days longer than the three and one-half years previously

mentioned (v. 7; cf. 7:25; Rev. 11:2; 12:6, 14; 13:5). Consequently the extra month must involve time before the three and one-half years, after it,

or both.


Perhaps Antichrist will terminate the sacrifices and desecrate the temple

30 days before the middle of the seventieth "week." This interpretation,

which I prefer, views the explanation in this verse as more specific and the

one in 9:27 as a general description.485 A similar view is that the Antichrist

may announce the termination of sacrifices and the setting up of the

abomination 30 days before he carries out those acts.486 Another option is

that there will be a 30-day period between the time when Antichrist

abolishes the regular sacrifice and the time when he sets up the

abomination of desolation. A fourth possibility is that the 30 days will

extend beyond the last three and one-half years.487 It will include the

cleansing of the temple and possibly the judgments of Israel and the

nations that Christ will execute when He returns (Ezek. 20:34-38; Matt.



12:12 The angel said that those would be blessed who keep waiting, presumably

for God to rescue them (v. 1), and attain to the 1,335 days. Why did he

mention this particular number of days, and when will this period end?

The 1,335-day period is 45 days (one and a half months) longer than the

1,290-day period just mentioned (v. 11). Evidently this period will end

after the Tribulation has ended, namely, after the millennial reign of Christ

has begun or at least after He has returned to earth. We can only speculate

about what these 45 days following the Tribulation will hold for people

living on the earth then. One view is that Jesus Christ will appear in the

clouds at the end of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:30), and 45 days later He

will descend to the earth.488 A better option, I think, is that it may take 45

days for Jesus Christ to accomplish the necessary judgments and set up

His kingdom after returning to the earth.


Whatever the explanation, clearly this verse will encourage believers living during the Tribulation to remain faithful to the Lord. It encourages us likewise.


12:13 The angel then dismissed the aged prophet. He was to go his way to the

end. The angel may have had the end of Daniel's life in mind, or he may

have meant that he should continue with his affairs, including dying, until

the end of the age would come. The first option seems preferable since the

angel appears to have been viewing Daniel's life in sequence. First he

would rest, in death, then he would rise again (cf. v. 2), and then he would

receive his reward from God (cf. v. 3). His resurrection and recognition

would occur at the end of the age, namely, at the end of the times of the



Thus this great book closes with a reminder that the present age of Gentile domination is

not all that God has in store for humankind. There is another age coming beyond the

present one in which Jesus Christ will reign in righteousness and holiness on the earth (cf.

Isa. 11:9; Zech. 9:10). We should all look forward to the beginning of this Messianic age

and pray for its coming (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2).


Whereas this book would have encouraged the Jews of Daniel's day, it has become

increasingly encouraging to God's people as history has unfolded. Today we can see as

never before how God has fulfilled His predictions exactly in the past. This gives us great

confidence as we anticipate His faithfulness to those promises that still remain





IVP-OT Commentary


11:36-39.  . If Antiochus IV is still in sight in these verses, they offer a general description of the difficult period surrounding the desecration. References to Antiochuss arrogance, his lavish support of some temples and his redistribution of land to those who support him are easily recognized as characteristic of this period.

11:37.   the gods. Antiochuss Seleucid predecessors had elevated the god Apollo, while the Ptolemies had shown preference for Adonis (possibly referred to here as the one desired by women). Antiochus neglects them (though by no means rejects them) in favor of Olympian Zeus. The fact that he designated himself as God Manifest on his coins is sufficient to explain the comment in this verse.

11:38.   god of fortresses. The fortress referred to here is usually considered to be the Akra, the garrison for Syrian soldiers that was adjoined to the Temple Mount.

11:40-45.   final battle. There is no known historical sequence corresponding to that which is laid out in these verses. Antiochus IV was killed in battle in Persia in December 164. Many interpreters of Daniel consider this section (perhaps starting as early as v. 36) to contain a reference to a much more distant future.




Hope for the End

12:1.   the book. This appears to be a reference to the book of life. In Exodus 32:3234 Moses is willing to be blotted out of the book, an action that would result in his death. Yahweh replies that the one who sins is wiped out from the book. The metaphor is of a ledger that contains a list of the living. This is comparable to the book that contains the names of those destined for death that Enkidu sees in his dream of the netherworld. When someones sins mandate judgment, their name is blotted out, thus leading to their death. This draws a connection between the book of life and the book of judgment (see comment on 7:10). Here the book still pertains to continued life, because those recorded will be delivered from the persecution. It is not yet conceived of as a book of eternal life.

12:2.   resurrection in the ancient Near East. There are several different concepts of afterlife that are evidenced in the ancient Near East. The most fundamental concept is continued existence in a gravelike netherworld where there is no differentiation in the treatment of the righteous and wicked. The Israelites called this place Sheol (see comments on Is 14:9), and they believed that it allowed for no interaction with God. In Canaan and Mesopotamia netherworld deities governed this realm. In Egypt the netherworld existence is more congenial for those who pass the judgment and enter its confines. Those who are not approved are devoured. None of these concepts include the idea of resurrection out of the netherworld. In general, in the ancient worldview the only awakening that took place was the calling up of spirits of the dead (which was not permanent and not a bodily presence) or the awakening of the fertility gods of nature cycles. These died annually when the agricultural cycle came to an end and wintered in the netherworld. Then they were ritually awakened in the spring. None of this bears any resemblance to a theological doctrine of resurrection. Likewise not comparable are the occasional revivifications (when an individual is restored to life) or the indications of national return to life (Ezekiels dry bones). A fully developed doctrine of resurrection in the modern sense includes six elements: (1) it is individual, not national; (2) it is material, not spiritual; (3) it is universal, not isolated; (4) it takes place outside the netherworld; (5) it leads to permanent immortality; and (6) it involves distinctions between the righteous and the wicked. Zoroastrianism appears to have all of these elements, but the nature of the sources makes it difficult to determine how early the Persians developed these concepts (for further discussion see comment on Is 26:19).

12:3.   shining like the stars. Stars and angels are associated by the fact that both are referred to as the host of heaven (see comment on 8:10). Contemporary Greek thinking and intertestamental apocalyptic literature indicated that the righteous become stars or angels. Daniel only speaks of comparison, not identification.

12:4.   seal the words. Already in the eighth century Assyrian texts of an esoteric nature were being preserved. The scribal notations (called colophons) at the ends of such works indicated that they contained secret lore to be shared only with those who were initiates. Scrolls could be sealed either by tying a string around them and sealing the knot with clay, or by placing them in a jar and sealing the cover. The clay or the seal around the lid would be impressed with the owners seal. Mesopotamia used cylinder seals, Egypt used scarab seals, and Syria-Palestine used stamp seals. Tablets would be sealed inside a clay envelope, which would be impressed with the owners seal. The seals were intended to vouchsafe the integrity of the contents. They warned against tampering and, if intact, attested to the authenticity of the document. For more information see Nehemiah 9:38.

12:11-12.   1,290/1,335 days. A lunar calendar was in use through most of the ancient world that resulted in years of 354 days. It had long been recognized that the solar year was 365 days, so periodic adjustments were made by adding months of a determined number of days. Greek practice used standardized thirty-day months that were also regularly adjusted to the solar cycle. Twelve hundred and ninety days is three years and seven months of thirty-day months.



IVP New Bible Commentary


            Possibly the most difficult section in the book follows in vs 36-45. The description seems to exceed all that is known of even the blasphemous Antiochus (hence the conclusion of many commentators that this section is indeed predictive prophecy on the part of the author, which, because erroneous, enables us to date the final edition of the entire book). 13:1-3, however, suggests that the end of all history may now be in view. In this case, v 35 may be pointing forward to the experience of Gods people, not merely during but beyond the time of Antiochus. Nevertheless, identifications of the king (36) vary (e.g. the Roman Empire [Calvin], the papacy and the antichrist).

            Precise identification of the meaning of prophecy always depends on its historical fulfilment. In any event, we at least have here a portrayal of the spirit of antichrist (1 Jn. 2:18)

in the radical autonomy of the king (cf. 3:15; 4:30; 8:25; 11:3, 12, 16), who exalts himself as divine (36-37; cf. 3:5) and the marriage of ungodliness and unrighteousness. The reference to the one desired by women (37) is difficult. Sometimes taken as a reference to Tammuz, the pagan deity mourned by the goddess Ishtar (cf. Ezekiels alarm at this abomination in Ezk. 8:13-14), the words may also signify the love of women and denote the kings complete disregard for human affection (cf. 2 Tim. 3:2-4) or indeed for the creation ordinance of malefemale relationships.

            Vs 40-45 portray a final struggle. Some interpreters suggest this will be fulfilled in the precise geographical terms in which it is described, but the statements are best taken as a portrayal of future conflict in terms of a then contemporary political map. Edom, Moab and Ammon (41) represent the ancient enemies of Gods people. The traditional enemies of the king of the north with their allies will be mastered by him (43). Yet, his end will come unceremoniously (44-45).

            If we have here a reference to the final scenes of history, it should be remembered that they are described in terms of the ancient world order. Prophecy does foretell the future, but also speaks to its contemporary world in terms drawn from its own time.

            Even if the climax of godlessness is here portrayed, it would be a mistake to anticipate that historys denouement will involve chariots and cavalry (40). Nor should we forget that the function of this entire section is to emphasize that no matter how radically godless a ruler of the nations may be, yet he will come to his end, and noone will help him (45).


12:1-4 The last things

The angelic messenger promises Daniel that the people of God will be protected against the ravages of the powers of darkness, as always, by Michael (cf. 10:13, 21). But like the testing of himself and his companions this will not mean that they will be shielded from the time of distress (1; cf. 2 Tim. 3:1-9) but delivered out of it. Gods purposes (cf. the book, v 1) will not fail; he keeps his people for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet. 1:5). V 2 points forward to this resurrection as the reversal of the curse of death (everlasting life, v 2, contrasts with sleep in the dust of death, cf. Gn. 2:7, 17; 3:19), or its confirmation (everlasting contempt). The wise (cf. 11:25) who have been faithful to Gods word, despite shame and suffering, will be glorified (3). This is the message of hope and comfort which will strengthen future believers. For this reason, Daniel is to seal the words of the scroll (4), not in the sense of keeping them secret, but in order to preserve them until they are needed, keeping them for those who seek a word from God by contrast with others who go here and there to increase knowledge (4; cf. Am. 8:12).


12:5-13 Gods reign and his servants rest

The exquisite conclusion focuses again on Daniel himself (cf. 10:2-18). He sees two others, possibly to be viewed as confirmatory witnesses (Dt. 19:15), standing one on each bank of the river. One of them asks the question which was certainly already in Daniels mind, and frequently asked by Gods distressed people, How long... before these... things are fulfilled? (cf. 8:13; Rev. 6:10). The divine figure (cf. 10:5-6) raises both hands indicating the solemnity and dependability of what he will say. As before a time, times and half a time (cf. 7:25) expresses both a general and extended period of time and a sense that these periods are known to and limited by God. Just when Gods people have no defences left God himself will intervene (7).

            Daniel was understandably puzzled and sought further illumination on the outcome of these events (8). Significantly (for all later interpreters as well as for Daniel) he was informed that the unfolding of the meaning of the vision will await its historical fulfilment; then the divison between the wise and the wicked will be made plain (10). The former, with Daniels book in hand, will understand the true significance of the events through which they are passing. The wicked will know only confusion and bewilderment.

            The figure provides one final explanation (which builds on 11:31). From the time of the abomination that causes desolation (11) the time of distress (1) will last for approximately three and a half years, stretching out for a further month and a half (11-12). This may be intended as a microcosm of the final time, times and half a time (7) and relate to the suffering under Antiochus Epiphanes. It seems likely, however, that it also looks beyond to the final days, these three and a half years bringing to completion the seventy sevens, only sixtynine and one half of which had been fulfilled in 9:24-27.

            Fittingly the final words are of promise to the aged Daniel himself. He too must persevere to the end. Then he will enter into his rest. His works continue to follow him until his resurrection (v 13; cf. Rev. 14:13).



IVP Hard Saying of the Bible


12:810 Clarity of Prophecy?

            It has been argued that the prophets who wrote Scripture often did not understand what they wrote. Daniels plain assertion, I heard, but I did not understand, is used to prove that prophets often spoke better than they knew.

            But this conclusion is too simplistic. It fails to ask the question, What was it that Daniel did not understand? Was it the meaning of his scriptural writings?

            Not at all! The incomprehensible words were not his own, but those of the angel who had been speaking to him (Dan 12:7). Moreover, the angels words were never clarified. They were to be closed up and sealed until the time of the end. This expression echoes Isaiah 8:16, Bind up the testimony and seal up the law. In both of these texts, the sealing of the testimonies referred to the certainty of their predictions, not their mysteriousness to the prophet to whom they had been disclosed or unveiled (as the word revelation means).

            In this case, Daniels question was a temporal one, What will the outcome of all this be? Daniel wanted to know the state of affairs at the close of the time, times and half a time (Dan 12:7). But to this question, as with most temporal questions arising from prophecy, God gives no further disclosure. Even the Son of Man did not know the time of his own Second Coming.

            Failure to know the temporal details of prophecy is hardly a basis for asserting that the prophets wrote better than they knew. Unfortunately this dubious principle has gained widespread popularity. The obvious rejoinder is Better than what? What could be meant by the term better? Since our Lord has disclosed all that can be classified as Scripture, how then could he know less than he recorded? And if it is argued that this phrase means that the writers sometimes wrote things down but had little or no knowledge of what they had said or meant, then I will counter that a case for automatic or mechanical writing must be proven. The only biblical cases for mechanical writing are the Ten Commandments and the writing on the wall during Belshazzars feast in the book of Daniel. But these cases hardly set the pattern for all the other texts.

            Because the sealing up of the prophecy indicated its certainty, not its hiddenness, Daniel was at times overcome by the meaning of his prophecies. On one occasion he lay sick for days (Dan 8:27).

            I conclude, then, that Daniel knew all but two aspects of the prophecies revealed to him: (1) the temporal aspects (an exclusion we share even today, as noted in 1 Pet 1:1012) and (2) additional information beyond that revealed to him. No prophet claimed omniscience, only an adequate, God-given knowledge of a limited topic of importance.

            Let us acknowledge, of course, that we often are better able than the prophets themselves to understand the implications of prophecies because we can now see many different streams of history and prophecy coming together. This is similar to one persons accurately describing a country he or she has never visited versus another persons not only reading this authors account but visiting that country as well. Nevertheless, our historical advantages cannot diminish the value of the original contributions by Gods earthly spokesmen.

Daniel References:


Intervarsity Press Old Testament Commentary


Intervarsity Press New Bible Commentary


Intervarsity Press Hard Sayings of the Bible


Shepherds Notes: Daniel


Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Daniel, Joyce Baldwin

Daniel: An Expositional Commentary, James Montgomery Boice


Hermeneia: Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, John Joseph Collins


The Preachers Commentary: Daniel, Sinclair Ferguson


The New American Commentary: Daniel, Stephen Miller


International Critical Commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, James Montgomery


Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary, John Phillips


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