Daniel Chapter XII
History's Coming Climax
Verse 1 And at that time shall Michael stand up,
the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and
there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a
nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be
delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
A definite time is specified in this verse, not a
particular year or month or day, but a time made definite by the
occurrence of a certain event with which it is connected. "At that
time." What time?--The time to which we are brought by the closing
verse of the preceding chapter--the time when the king of the north
shall plant the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain.
When this event takes place, he is to come to his end; and then,
according to this verse, we look for the standing up of Michael, the
Michael Stands Up.--Who is Michael, and what is
his standing up?-- Michael is called the "archangel" in
Jude 9. This means the chief angel, or the head over the angels. There
is but one. Who is he?--He is the one whose voice is heard from heaven
when the dead are raised. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16.) Whose voice is heard
in connection with that event?--The voice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(John 5: 28.) Tracing back the evidence with this fact as a basis, we
reach the following conclusion: The voice of the Son of God is the voice
of the Archangel; the Archangel, then, must be the Son of God. But the
Archangel is called Michael; hence Michael must be the name given to the
Son of God. The expression in verse 1, "the great Prince which
standeth for the children of thy people," is sufficient alone to
identify the one here spoken of as the Saviour of men. He is the
"Prince of life," and "a Prince and a Saviour." Acts
3: 15, 5: 31. He is the great Prince.
He "standeth for the children of thy
people." He condescends to take the servants of God in this poor
mortal state, and redeem them for the subjects of His future kingdom. He
stands for us who believe. His people are essential to His future
purposes, an inseparable part of the purchased inheritance. They are to
be the chief agents of that joy which Christ foresaw, and which caused
Him to endure all the sacrifice and suffering which have marked His
intervention in behalf of the fallen race. Amazing honor! Be everlasting
gratitude repaid Him for His condescension and mercy to us! Be His the
kingdom, power, and glory, forever and ever!
We now come to the second question, What is the
standing up of Michael? The key to the interpretation of this expression
is given us: "There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;"
"A mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great
dominion." Daniel 11: 2, 3. There can be no doubt as to the meaning
of these expressions in these instances. They signify to take the
kingdom, to reign. This expression in the verse under consideration,
must mean the same. At that time Michael shall stand up, shall take the
kingdom, shall begin to reign.
But is not Christ reigning now?--Yes,
associated with His Father on the throne of universal dominion.
(Ephesians 1: 20-22; Revelation 3: 21.) But this throne, or kingdom, He
gives up at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15: 24.) Then begins His reign,
brought to view in the text, when He stands up, or takes His own
kingdom, the long-promised throne of His father David, and establishes a
dominion of which there shall be no end. (Luke 1: 32, 33.)
The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom
"of our Lord and of His Christ." His priestly robes are to be
laid aside for royal vesture. The work of mercy will be finished and the
probation of the human race ended. Then he that is filthy is beyond hope
of cleansing; and he that is holy is beyond the danger of falling. All
cases are forever decided. From that time on until Christ comes in the
clouds of heaven,
the nations are broken as with a rod of iron, and
dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel, by an unparalleled time of
trouble. There will be a series of divine judgments upon men who have
rejected God. Then shall the Lord Jesus Christ be revealed from heaven,
"in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and
that obey not the gospel." 2 Thessalonians 1: 8. (See also
Revelation 11: 15; 22: 11, 12.)
Momentous are the events introduced by the standing
up of Michael. He stands up, or takes the kingdom, some length of time
before He returns personally to this earth. How important, then, that we
have a knowledge of His position, that we may be able to trace the
progress of His work, and understand when that thrilling moment draws
near which ends His intercession in behalf of mankind, and fixes the
destiny of all forever.
But how are we to know this? How are we to determine
what is taking place in the sanctuary above? God has been so good as to
place in our hands the means of knowing this. He has told us that when
certain great events take place on earth, important decisions which
synchronize with them are being made in heaven. By these things which
are seen, we thus learn of things that are unseen. As we "look
through nature up to nature's God," so through terrestrial
phenomena and events we trace great movements in the heavenly kingdom.
When the king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace
between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, then Michael our Lord
stands up, or receives from His Father the kingdom, preparatory to His
return to this earth. Or it might be expressed in words like these: Then
our Lord ceases His work as out great High Priest, and the probation of
the world is finished. The great prophecy of the 2300 days gives us the
definite beginning of the final division of the work in the sanctuary in
heaven. The verse before us gives us data whereby we can discover
approximately the time of its close.
Time of Trouble.--In connection with the
standing up of Michael, there occurs a time of trouble such as never
Matthew 24: 21 we read of a period of tribulation
such as never was before it, nor should be after it. This tribulation,
fulfilled in the oppression and slaughter of the church by the papal
power, is already past; while the time of trouble of Daniel 12: 1 is
still future, according to the view we take. How can there be two times
of trouble, many years apart, each of them greater than any that had
been before it, or should be after it?
To avoid difficulty here, let this distinction be
carefully noticed: The tribulation spoken of in Matthew is tribulation
upon the church. Christ is there speaking to His disciples, and of His
disciples in coming time. They were the ones involved, and for their
sake the days of tribulation were to be shortened. (Matthew 24: 22.) The
time of trouble mentioned in Daniel is not a time of religious
persecution, but of international calamity. There has been nothing like
it since there was--not a church, but--a nation. This is the last
trouble to come upon the world in its present state. In Matthew there is
reference made to time beyond that tribulation; for after it is past,
the people of God shall never go through another period of suffering
like it. But there is no reference here in Daniel to future time after
the trouble here mentioned, for it closes this world's history. It
includes the seven last plagues of Revelation 16, and culminates in the
revelation of the Lord Jesus, coming in clouds of flaming fire, to visit
destruction upon His enemies. But out of this tribulation everyone shall
be delivered who shall be found written in the book--the book of life;
"for in Mount Zion . . . shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath
said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." Joel 2: 32.
Verse 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of
the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and
This verse reveals the importance of the standing up
of Michael, or the beginning of the reign of Christ, for at this time
shall be a resurrection of the dead. Is this the gen-
eral resurrection which takes place at the second
coming of Christ? Or is there to intervene between Christ's reception of
the kingdom and His revelation to earth in all His advent glory (Luke
21: 27) a special resurrection answering to the description here given?
Why may it not be the former, or the resurrection
which occurs at the last trump?--Because only the righteous, to the
exclusion of all the wicked, have part in that resurrection. Those who
sleep in Christ then come forth, but the rest of the dead live not again
for a thousand years. (Revelation 20: 5.) The general resurrection of
the whole race, then, is divided into two great events--first, of the
righteous exclusively a thousand years thereafter. The general
resurrection is not a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked
at the same time. Each of these two classes is set off by itself, and
the time which elapses between the respective resurrection is plainly
stated to be a thousand years.
In the resurrection brought to view in the verse
before us, however, many, of both righteous wicked come up together. In
cannot therefore be the first resurrection, which includes the righteous
only, nor the second resurrection, which as distinctly confined to the
wicked. If the text read, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the
earth shall awake to everlasting life, then the "many" might
be interpreted as including all the righteous, and the resurrection be
that of the just at the second coming. But the fact that some of the
many are wicked, and rise to shame and everlasting contempt, bars the
way to such an application.
Is there, then, any place for a special, or limited,
resurrection? Is there elsewhere any intimation of such an event, before
the Lord appears? The resurrection here predicted takes place when God's
people are delivered from the great time of trouble with which the
history of this world terminated, and it seems from Revelation 22: 11
that this deliverance is given before the Lord appears. The awful moment
arrives when he
that is filthy and unjust is pronounced unjust still,
and he that is righteous and holy is pronounced holy still. Then the
cases of all are forever decided. When this sentence is pronounced upon
the righteous, it must be deliverance to them, for then they are placed
beyond all reach of danger or fear or evil. But the Lord has not at that
time made His appearance, for He immediately adds, "Behold, I come
The utterance of this solemn fiat seals the righteous
to everlasting lift and the wicked to eternal death. A voice goes forth
from the throne of God, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16:
17. This is evidently the voice of God, so often alluded to in
descriptions of the scenes connected with the last day. Joel speaks of
it, and says: "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His
voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the
Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of
Israel." Joel 3: 16. The margin reads instead of "hope,"
"place of repair, or harbor." Then at this time, when God's
voice is heard from heaven just previous to the coming of the Son of
man, God is a harbor for His people, or, which is the same thing,
provides them deliverance. The last stupendous scene is about to open
upon a doomed world. God gives to the astonished nations another
evidence and pledge of His power, and raises from the dead a multitude
who have long slept in the dust of the earth.
Thus we see that there is a time and place for the
resurrection of Daniel 12: 2. A verse in the book of Revelation make it
clear that a resurrection of this kind must take place. "Behold, He
cometh with clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every
eye shall see Him [of the nations then living on the earth], and they
also which pierced Him [those who took an active part in the terrible
work of His crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of Him." Revelation 1: 7. Those who crucified the Lord,
would, unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in
their graves until the end of the thousand years and come up in the
general assembly of the wicked at that time.
But here it is stated that they behold the Lord at
His second advent. There must, therefore, be a special resurrection for
It is certainly most appropriate that some who were
eminent in holiness, who labored and suffered for their hope of a coming
Saviour, but died without seeing Him, should be raised a little before,
to witness the scenes attending His glorious epiphany; as, in like
manner, a goodly company came out of their graces at His resurrection to
behold His risen glory (Matthew 27: 52, 53), and to escort Him in
triumph to the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high
(Ephesians 4: 8, margin). There will be also some, eminent in
wickedness, who have done most to reproach the name of Christ and injure
His cause, especially those who caused His cruel death upon the cross,
and mocked and derided Him in His dying agonies, who will be raised, as
part of their judicial punishment, to behold His return in the clouds of
heaven, a celestial victor, in great majesty and splendor endurable to
What is here said supposed by some to furnish good
evidence of the eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, because those
of this character who are spoken of come forth to shame and everlasting
contempt. How can they forever suffer shame and contempt, unless they
are forever conscious? It has already been stated that shame implies
their consciousness, but it will be noticed that this is not said to be
everlasting. This qualifying word is not inserted until we come to the
contempt, which is an emotion felt by others toward the guilty, and does
not render necessary the consciousness of those against whom it is
directed. Shame for their wickedness and corruption will burn into their
very souls as long as they are conscious. When they pass away, consumed
for their iniquities, their loathsome characters and guilty deeds excite
only contempt on the part of all the righteous, as long as they hold
them in remembrance. The text therefore furnishes no proof of the
eternal suffering suffering of the wicked.
Verse 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as
the stars for ever and ever.
A Glorious Inheritance.--The margin reads
"teachers" in the place of "wise." "They that
be teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament." That
is, of course, those who teach the truth, and lead others to a knowledge
of it just previous to the time when the events recorded in the
foregoing verse are to be fulfilled. As the world estimates loss and
profit, it costs something to be teachers of truth in these days. It
costs reputation, ease, comfort, and often property. It involves labors,
crosses, sacrifices, loss of friendship, ridicule, and not infrequently,
The question is often asked, How can you afford to
keep the true Sabbath, and perhaps lose a situation, reduce your income,
or even hazard your means of support? Oh, what shortsightedness, to make
obedience to what God requires a matter of pecuniary consideration! How
unlike is this to the noble martyrs who loved not their lives unto
death! When God commands, we cannot afford to disobey. If we are asked,
How can you afford to keep the Sabbath, and do other duties involved in
rendering obedience to the truth? we have only to ask in reply, How can
you afford not to do them?
In the coming day, when those who have sought to save
their lives shall lose them, and those who have been willing to hazard
all for the sake of the truth and its divine Lord, shall receive the
glorious reward promised in the text, and be raised up to shine as the
firmament, and as the imperishable stars forever and ever, it will then
be seen who have been wise, and who, on the contrary, have made the
choice of blindness and folly. The wicked and worldly now look upon
Christians as fools and madmen, and congratulate themselves upon their
superior shrewdness in shunning what they call their folly, and avoiding
their losses. We need make no response, for those who now render this
decision will soon themselves reverse it, and that with terrible though
Meanwhile, it is the Christian's privilege to dwell
upon the consolations of this marvelous promise. A conception of its
magnitude can be gathered only from the stellar worlds themselves. What
are those stars, in the likeness of which the teachers of righteousness
are to shine forever and ever? How much of brightness, and majesty, and
length of days, is involved in this comparison?
The sun of our own solar system is one of these
stars. If we compare it with this globe upon which we live (our handiest
standard of measurement), we find it an orb of no small magnitude and
magnificence. Our earth is neatly eight thousand miles in diameter, but
the sun's diameter is eight hundred sixty-four thousand miles. In size
it is one million three hundred thousand times as large as our globe. In
the matter of its substance, it would balance three hundred thirty-two
thousand worlds like ours. What immensity is that!
Yet this is far from being the largest or the
brightest of the orbs in the heavens. The sun's proximity, only some
ninety-three million miles from us, gives him with us a controlling
presence and influence. But far away in the depths of space, so far that
they appear like mere points of light, blaze other orbs of vaster size
and greater glory. The nearest fixed star, Proxima Centauri, in the
southern hemisphere, is found to be about twenty-five million million
miles away. But the polestar system is about a hundred times as remote,
or two thousand five hundred trillion miles; and it shines with a luster
equal to that of 2500 of our suns. Others are also more luminous, as,
for instance, Arcturus, which emits light equivalent to one hundred
fifty-eight of our suns; Capella, one hundred eighty-five; and so on,
until at last we reach the great star Rigel, in the constellation Orion,
which floods the celestial spaces with a brilliance fifteen thousand
times that of the ponderous orb which lights and controls our system!
 Why, then, does it not appear more luminous to us? Ah, its distance
is equivalent to thirty-three million diame-
ters of the earth's orbit; and the latter is one
hundred eighty-six million miles! Figures are weak to express such
distances. It will be sufficient to say that its glowing light must
traverse space as only light travels--one hundred eighty-six thousand
miles a second--for a period of more than ten years before it reaches
this world of ours. There are many other stars which are hundreds of
light-years from our solar system.
Some of these monarchs of the skies rule singly, like
our own sun. Some are double; that is, what appears to us like one star
is found to consist of two stars--two suns with their retinue of
planets, revolving around each other. Other are triple, some are
quadruple, and one at least sextuple.
Besides this, they show colors of the rainbow. Some
systems are white, some blue, some red, some yellow, some green. In
some, the difference suns belonging to the same system are variously
colored. Says Dr. Burr: "And, as if to make that Southern Cross the
fairest object in all the heavens, we find in it a group of more than a
hundred variously colored red, green, blue, and bluish-green suns, so
closely thronged together as to appear in a powerful telescope like a
superb bouquet, or piece of fancy jewelry." 
A few years pass away, and all things earthly gather
the mold of age and the odor of decay. But the stars shine on in their
glory as in the beginning. Centuries and cycles have gone by, kingdoms
have risen and slowly passed away. We go back beyond the dim and shadowy
horizon of history, go back even to the earliest moment when order was
evoked out of chaos, and "the morning stars sang together, and all
the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38: 7)--even then the stars
were on their stately marches. How long before this we know not.
Astronomers tell us of nebulae lying on the farthest outposts of
telescopic vision, whose light in its never ceasing flight would consume
five million years in reaching this planet. Yet their brightness is not
dimmed, nor their force abated. The dew of youth still seems fresh upon
them. No faltering motion
reveals the decrepitude of age. These shine on in
undiminished glory through all eternity.
Thus shall they shine who turn many to righteousness.
They shall bring joy even to the heart of the Redeemer. Thus shall their
years roll on forever and ever.
Verse 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and
seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased.
Book of Daniel Sealed.--The "words"
and "book" here spoken of doubtless refer to the things which
had been revealed to Daniel in this prophecy. These things were to be
shut up and sealed until the time of the end; that is, they were not to
be specially studied, or to any great extent understood, until that
time. The time of the end, as has already been shown, began in 1798. As
the book was closed up and sealed to that time, the plain inference is
that at that time, or from that point, the book would be unsealed.
People would be better able to understand it, and would have their
attention specially called to this part of the inspired word. Of what
has been done on the subject of prophecy since that time, it is
unnecessary to remind the reader. The prophecies, especially Daniel's
prophecy, have been under examination by all students of the word
wherever civilization has spread abroad its light upon the earth. So the
remainder of the verse, being a prediction of what should take place
after the time of the end, begins, "Many shall run to and
fro." Whether this running to and fro refers to the passing of
people from place to place, and the great improvements in the facilities
for transportation and travel made within the past century, or whether
it means, as some understand it, a turning to and fro in the prophecies,
that is, a diligent and earnest search into prophetic truth, the
fulfillment is certainly and surely before our eyes. It must have its
application in at least one of these two ways, and in both of these
respects the present age is very strongly marked.
Increase of Knowledge.--"And knowledge
shall be increased." This must refer either to the increase of
in general, the development of the arts and sciences,
or an increase of knowledge in reference to those things revealed to
Daniel, which were closed and sealed to the time of the end. Here,
again, apply it which way we will, the fulfillment is most marked and
complete. Look at the marvelous achievements of the human mind, and the
cunning works of men's hands, rivaling the magician's wildest dreams,
which have been accomplished within the past hundred years or more.
Within this time more advancement has been made in all scientific
attainments, more progress has been made in human comforts, in the rapid
transaction of business among men, in the transmission of thoughts and
words from one to another, and in the means of rapid transit from place
to place and even from continent to continent, than all that was done
for three thousand years previously.
Harvesting Machinery.--Compare the harvesting
methods of our day with the old method of hand reaping which was in use
in the days of our grandfathers. Today one machine cuts and gathers,
threshes, and sacks the grain ready for the market.
Modern Battleships and Mechanized Warcraft.--Modern
warfare uses naval armored surface and underseas boats and fighting and
bombing airplanes undreamed of at the middle of the past century. Tanks
and motor trucks, motorized guns, and other equipment replace the
animals and battering-rams of the ancients.
The Steam Railway.--The first American-build
locomotive was made at the West Point Foundry, New York, and put into
service in 1830. In the present day, improvements have made possible
speeds of more than one hundred miles an hour by streamlined trains.
Ocean Steamships.--After little more than a
century of steam-powered ships, the largest ocean liners built can cross
the Atlantic in four days, and supply every luxury found in the finest
Television.--Then came wireless, a miracle, in
1896. By 1921, this discovery had developed into radio broadcasting.
Now television--the wireless transmission of sight
and sound, the sending forth of motion pictures on air waves--is a
The Automobile.--Only a few years ago the
automobile was unknown. Now the entire population of the United States
could ride at one time, and racing cars have made speed of more than
three hundred miles an hour. Huge passenger buses span the continents,
and in the large cities double-decked buses have largely replaced
The Typewriter.--The first model of the modern
typewriter was put on the market in 1874. Now speedy and noiseless
machines, in both office and portable style, are adapted to every type
of writing and tabulation, and have become an indispensable part of
general business and office equipment everywhere.
The Modern Printing Press.--Contrast the hand
printing press of Benjamin Franklin with the high-speed rotary printing
press, capable of printing news at more than twice the speed of machine-gun
The Photographic Camera.--The first sunlight
picture of a human face was made by Professor John William Draper of New
York, in 1840, by an improvement of the process of Daguerre, the French
pioneer in photography. since 1924, by means of improved lenses,
photographs have been taken from great distances, over wide areas, and
from airplanes high in the sky. Photographs can be taken of objects
invisible to the eye by means of X rays and infrared rays. Color
photography has made vast advances. Beginning 1895, the motion picture
has become a mighty influence in the lives of millions. Movie and color
cameras have been perfected and made cheap enough for use by multitudes.
Air Navigation.--Man's conquest of the air was
achieved by the airplane in 1903. It is one of the most noteworthy
triumphs of any age. Regular transoceanic passenger and mail service
between North and South America and Europe and the Orient has been
The Telephone.--The first patent on the
telephone was granted Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Since then
intricate networks of telephones have been spread over the continents to
link all people together.
Typesetting Machines.--These have worked a
revolution in the art of printing. The first machine to set type
mechanically was patented in England in 1822 by Dr. William Church. Out
of many kinds introduced, those chiefly used at the present are the type-casting
machines, such as the Linotype, invented by Mergenthaler in 1878, and
the Monotype, invented by Lanston in 1885.
The Teletypesetter.--By a combination of the
telegraph and line-casting machines, it is now possible for one operator
at a central station simultaneously to operate type-casting machines by
telegraph at any distance or in as many places as are in connection.
This puts news into type at an increase in speed of from 50 to 100 per
The Suspension Bridge.--The first suspension
bridge of note in this country was built across the Niagara River in
1855. The Golden Gate Bridge across the entrance to San Francisco Bay,
finished in 1937 at a cost of $35,000,000, has the longest single span
in the world, 4,200 feet. Similar accomplishments in bridge construction
have been attained in all progressive countries of the world.
The following is a partial list of advances in
knowledge since the time of the end began in 1798:
Gas lighting, 1798; steel pens, 1803; friction
matches, 1820; electrotyping, 1837; sewing machine, 1841; anesthesia by
ether and by chloroform, 1846, 1848; ocean cable, 1858; Gatling gun,
1861; Monitor warship, 1862; automatic air brakes on trains, 1872;
seismograph, 1880; steam turbine, 1883; X ray, 1895; radium, 1898;
transcontinental telephone, 1915.
What a galaxy of wonders to originate in a single
age! How marvelous the scientific attainments of the present day, upon
which all these discoveries and achievements concentrate
their light! We have truly reached the age of the
increase of knowledge.
To the honor of Christianity let it be noted in what
lands and by whom, these discoveries have been made which have done so
much to add to the facilities and comforts of life. It is in Christian
lands, among Christian men. Not in the Dark Ages, which furnished only a
travesty on Christianity; not to pagans, who in their ignorance know not
God, nor to those who in Christian lands deny Him, is the credit of this
progress due. Indeed, it is the very spirit of equality and individual
liberty inculcated in the gospel of Christ when preached in its purity,
which unshackles human limbs, unfetters human minds, invites them to the
highest use of their powers, and makes possible such an age of free
thought and action in which these wonders can be achieved.
Increase of Bible Knowledge.--But it we take
the other standpoint, and refer the increase of knowledge to an increase
of Bible knowledge, we have only to look at the wonderful light which
within the past one hundred and fifty years has shone upon the
Scriptures. The fulfillment of prophecy has been revealed in the light
of history. The use of a better principle of interpretation has led to
conclusions showing beyond dispute that the end of all things is near.
Truly the seal has been taken from the book, and knowledge respecting
what God has revealed in His word, is wonderfully increased. We think it
is in this respect that the prophecy is more especially fulfilled, but
only in an age of unparalleled facilities like the present could the
prophecy be accomplished.
That we are in the time of the end is shown by
Revelation 10: 1, 2, where a mighty angel is seen to come down from
heaven with a little book open in his hand. Then the book of this
prophecy should be no longer sealed. It was to be opened and understood.
For proof that the little book to be opened is the book here closed and
sealed when Daniel wrote, and that that angel delivers his message in
this generation, see comments on Revelation 10: 2.
Verse 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there
stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the
other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man
clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall
it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in
linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right
hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for
ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall
have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these
things shall be finished.
How Long to the End?--The question, "How
long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" undoubtedly has
reference to all that has previously been mentioned, including the
standing up of Michael, the time of trouble, the deliverance of God's
people, and the special resurrection of verse 2. The answer seems to be
given in two divisions: First a specific prophetic period is marked off,
and then an indefinite period follows before the conclusion of all these
things is reached, just as we have it in Daniel 8: 13, 14. When the
question was asked, "How long . . . the vision . . . to give both
the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot?" the answer
mentioned a definite period of 2300 days, followed by an indefinite
period in the cleansing of the sanctuary. So in the text before us,
there is given the period of a time, times, and a half, or 1260 years,
and then an indefinite period for the continuance of scattering of the
power of the holy people, before the consummation.
The 1260 years mark the period of papal supremacy.
Why is this period here introduced?--probably because this power is the
one which does more than any other in the world's history toward
scattering the power of the holy people, or oppressing the church of
God. But what shall we understand by the expression, "When he shall
have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people"? To whom
does the pronoun "he" refer? According to the wording of this
scripture, the antecedent would at first seem to be "Him that
liveth forever," or Jehovah; but, as an eminent expositor of the
prophecies judiciously remarks, in considering the pronouns of the Bible
we are to interpret them according to the facts of
the case, and hence must frequently refer them to an
antecedent understood, rather than to some noun which is expressed. So
here, the little horn, or man of sin, after being introduced by the
particular mention of the time of his supremacy, 1260 years, may be the
power referred to by the pronoun "he." For 1260 years he had
grievously oppressed the church, or scattered its power. After his
supremacy is taken away, his disposition toward the truth and its
advocates still remains, his power is still felt to a certain extent,
and he continues his work of oppression as far as he is able, until
when?--Until the last of the events brought to view in verse 1, the
deliverance of God's people. When they are thus delivered, persecuting
powers are no longer able to oppress them, their power is no longer
scattered, the end of the wonders prescribed in this great prophecy is
reached, and all its predictions are accomplished.
Or without particularly altering the sense, we may
refer the pronoun "he" to the one mentioned in the oath of
verse 7, as "Him that liveth forever;" that is, God, since He
employs the agency of earthly powers in chastising and disciplining His
people, and in that sense may be said Himself to scatter their power. By
His prophet He said concerning the kingdom of Israel, "I will
overturn, overturn, overturn it, . . . until He come whose right it
is." Ezekiel 21: 27. Again, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Luke 21: 24. Of like import is the prophecy of Daniel 8: 13 "How
long . . . the vision . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to
be trodden under foot?" Who gives them to this condition?--God.
Why?--To discipline, to "purify and make white" His people.
How long?--Until the sanctuary is cleansed.
Verse 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then
said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said,
Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time
of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but
the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand;
but the wise shall understand.
The Book Sealed Until the Time of the End.--By
Daniel's solicitude to understand fully all that had been shown him, we
are forcibly reminded of Peter's words where he speaks of the prophet's
inquiring and searching diligently to understand the predictions
concerning the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow; as
also of the fact "that not unto themselves, but unto us they did
minister." 1 Peter 1: 12. How little of what they wrote were some
of the prophets permitted to understand! But they did not therefore
refuse to write. If God required it, they knew that in due time He would
see that His people derived from their writings all the benefit that He
So the language here used to Daniel was the same as
telling him that when the right time should come, the wise would
understand the meaning of what he had written, and profit thereby. The
time of the end was the time in which the Spirit of God was to break the
seal of this book. Consequently this was the time during which the wise
should understand, while the wicked, lost to all sense of the value of
eternal truth, with hearts callous and hardened in sin, would grow
continually more wicked and more blind. None of the wicked understand.
The efforts which the wise put forth to understand, the wicked call
folly and presumption, and ask in sneering phrase, "Where is the
promise of His coming?" Should the question be raised, Of what time
and what generation does the prophet speak? the solemn answer would be,
Of the present time, and of the generation now before us. This language
of the prophet is now receiving a most striking fulfillment.
The phraseology of verse 10 seems at first sight to
be rather peculiar: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and
tried." How, it may be asked, can they be made white and then tried
(as the language would seem to imply), when it is by being tried that
they are purified and made white? The language doubtless describes a
process which is many times repeated in the experience of those, who,
during this time, are being made ready for the coming and kingdom of the
They are purified and made white, as compared with
their former condition. Then they are again tried. Greater tests are
brought to bear upon them. If they endure these, the work of
purification is thus carried on to a still greater extent until they
attain to a purer character. After reaching this state, they are tried
again, and further purified and made white. Thus the process goes on
until characters are developed which will stand the test of the day of
judgment and a spiritual condition is reached which needs no further
Verse 11 And from the time that the daily
sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate
set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
The 1290 Prophetic Days.--We have here a new
prophetic period introduced, 1290 prophetic days, which according to
Bible authority would denote the same number of literal years. From the
reading of the text, some have inferred that this period begins with the
setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papal power, in A.D.
538, and consequently extends to 1828. We find nothing in the latter
year to mark its termination, but we do find evidence in the margin that
it begins before the setting up of the papal abomination. The margin
reads "To set up the abomination." With this reading the text
would stand thus: "From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be
taken away to set up [or in order to set up] the abomination that maketh
desolate, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
The Year A.D. 508.--We are not told directly
to what event these 1290 days reach; but inasmuch as their beginning is
marked by a work which takes place to prepare the way for the setting up
of the papacy, it would be natural to conclude that their end would be
marked by the cessation of papal supremacy. Counting back, then, 1290
years from 1798, we have the year 508. This period is doubtless given to
show the date of the taking away of the daily, and it is the only one
which does this. The two periods, therefore, the 1290 and the 1260 days,
terminate together in 1798, the latter beginning in 538,
and the former in 508 thirty years previous. In
support of the date A.D. 508 the following historical quotations are
Baptism of Clovis.--"As to the writings
of Anastasius, . . . there is one from him to Clovis, king of the
Franks, congratulating that prince on his conversion to the Christian
religion. For Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, was
baptized on Christmas Day 496, the very day, according to some, on which
the pope was ordained." 
Thomas Hodgkin says:
"The result of this ceremony was to change the
political relations of every state in Gaul. Though the Franks were among
the roughest and most uncivilized of the tribes that had poured
westwards across the Rhine, as Catholics they were now sure of a welcome
from the Catholic clergy of every city, and where the clergy led, the
'Roman' provincials, or in other words the Latin-speaking laity,
generally followed. Immediately after his baptism Clovis received a
letter of enthusiastic welcome into the true fold, written by Avitus,
Bishop of Vienne, the most eminent ecclesiastic of the Burgundian
Clovis the First Catholic Prince.--"It is
observable, that Clovis was, at this time , the only Catholic
prince in the known world, as the word Catholic was then understood.
Anastasius, Emperor of the East, was a professed Eutychian. Theodoric,
King of the Ostrogoths in Italy; Alaric, King of the Visigoths, master
of all Spain, and of the third part of Gaul; the kings of the
Burgundians, Suevians, and Vandals, in Gaul, Spain, and Africa; were all
zealous followers of Arius. As for the other kings of the Franks settled
in Gaul, they were still pagans. Clovis was not only the sole Catholic
prince at this time in the world; but the first king that ever embraced
the Catholic religion; which has procured to the French king the title
of the 'most Christian,' and that of 'the eldest son of the Church.' But
were we to compare the conduct and actions of Clovis, the Catholic, with
those of the Arian King
Theodoric, such a comparison would no ways redound to
the honor of the Catholic faith."  Popes Endangered by Arian
Princes.--Ephraim Emerton, former professor of history at Harvard
"By the time of the Franks had fought the battle
of Strassburg the bishops of the city of Rome had come to be looked up
to as the leaders of the Church in what had been the Western Empire.
They had come to be called popes, and were trying hard to govern the
Church of the West just as a king might govern his people. We have seen
how much respect a venerable pope like Leo could command even from such
rude destroyers as Attila and Gaiseric. Now the popes had always been
devoted Catholics, opposed to Arianism wherever it appeared. At the
moment of the Frankish conversion they were in constant danger from the
Arian Ostrogoths who had just got a firm hold upon Italy. Theodoric had
not distributed the religion of Rome, but a new king might arise who
should try to force Arianism upon the whole of Italy. The pope was
therefore overjoyed to hear that the newly converted Franks had taken
his form of the Christian belief. He was ready to bless every
undertaking of theirs as the work of God, if only it might be against
the worse than heathen Arians. Thus began as early as the year 500 an
understanding between the Roman Papacy and the Frankish kingdom which
was to ripen into an intimate allegiance and to do very much towards
shaping all the future history of Europe." 
Clovis's Conversion a Check on the Arians.--"The
event which intensified the fears of all the Arian kings, and which left
to each one little more than the hope that he might be the last to be
devoured, was the conversion to Catholicism of Clovis, the heathen king
of the Franks." 
Barbarian League Against Clovis.--"The
kings of the barbarians were . . . invited to join in a 'League of
order to check the lawless aggressions of Clovis
which threatened danger to all." 
"To form such a confederacy and to league
together all the older Arian monarchies against this one aspiring
Catholic state which threatened to absorb them all, was now the main
purpose of Theodoric." 
Clovis Launches a Religious War.--"The
diplomatic action of Theodoric was powerless to aver the war; possible
even it may have stimulated Clovis to strike rapidly before a hostile
coalition could be formed against him. At an assembly of his nation
(perhaps the 'Camp of March') in the early part of 507, he impetuously
declared: 'I take it grievously amiss that these Arians should hold so
large a part of Gaul. Let us go and overcome them with God's help, and
bring the land into subjection to us.' The saying pleased the whole
multitude, and the collected army marched southward to the Loire."
Clovis Defeats the Visigoths.--"The next
campaign of the Frankish king was one of far greater importance and
success. He was set on trying his fortune against the young king of the
Visigoths, whose personal weakness and unpopularity with his Roman
subjects tempted him to an invasion of Aquitaine. It would seem that
Chlodovech [Clovis] carefully chose as a casus belli the Arian
persecutions of the Alaric, who, like his father Euric, was a bad master
to his Catholic subjects. . . . In 507 Chlodovech declared war on the
"Why the explosion was delayed until the year
507 is unknown. That the king of the Franks was the aggressor is
certain. He easily found a pretext for beginning the war as a champion
and protector of Catholic Christianity against the absolutely just
measures which Alaric took against his treacherous orthodox clergy. . .
. In the spring of 507 he [Clovis] suddenly crossed the Loire and
marched toward Poitiers. . . .
Ten miles from Poitiers, the Visigoths had taken up
their position. Alaric put off beginning battle because he was waiting
for the Ostrogoth troops, but as they were hindered by the appearance of
a Byzantine fleet in Italian waters he determined to fight instead of
beating a retreat, as it would have been wise to do. After a short
engagement the Goths turned and fled. In the pursuit the king of the
Goths was killed, it was said by Clovis's own hand (507). With this
overthrow the rule of the Visigoths in Gaul was ended forever."
"It is evident, from the language of Gregory of
Tours, that this conflict, between the Franks and Visigoths was regarded
by the Orthodox party of his own and preceding ages as a religious war,
on which, humanly speaking, the prevalence of the Catholic or the Arian
creed in Western Europe depended ." 
"A.D. 508. A short time after these events,
Clovis receive the titles and dignity of Roman patricius and consul from
the Greek emperor Anastasius; who appears to have been prompted to this
act more by motives of jealousy and hatred towards Theodoric the
Ostrogoth, than by any love he bore for the restless and encroaching
Frank. The meaning of these obsolete titles, as applied to those who
stood in no direct relation either division of the Roman Empire, has
never been sufficiently explained. . . . The sun of Rome was set, but
the twilight of her greatness still rested on the world. The German
kings and warriors received with pleasure, and wore with pride, a title
which brought them into connection with that imperial city, of whose
universal dominion, of whose skill in armies and arts, the traces lay
everywhere around them." 
"In 508 Clovis received at Tours the insignia of
the consulship from the eastern emperor, Anastasius, but the title was
purely honorific. The last years of his life Clovis spent in
Paris, which he made the capital of his
End of Arian Resistance.--This disposed of the
Visigothic kingdom, but there yet remained the league of Arian powers
under Theodoric. Alaric had counted on the assistance of Theodoric, but
the latter failed him. The next year, A.D. 508, however, Theodoric came
against Clovis and gained a victory, after which he unaccountable made
peace with him, and the resistance of the Arian powers was at an end.
Significance of Clovis's Victories.--The
eminence which Clovis had attained in the year 508, and the significance
of his victories to the future of Europe and the church were so great
that historians cannot forbear commenting on them.
"Nor was his a temporary conquest. The kingdom
of the West Goths and the Burgundians had become the kingdom of the
Franks. The invaders had at length arrived, who were to remain. It was
decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future
destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not
Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms." 
"Clovis was the first to unite all the elements
from which the new social order was to be formed,--namely, the
barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilization, to
which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and of
consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church,
with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his
Paved the Way for Alliance of Church and State.--"In
him [Clovis] met two religions, and two ages of the world. At his birth
the Roman world was still a power; his death marks the dawn of the
Middle Ages. He stepped into the vacant place of the Eastern emperor,
and paved the way for what Charle-
magne perfected--the fusion of Roman and German
civilization, the alliance of church and state." 
Clovis Saved the Church From Paganism and Arianism.--"He
[Clovis] had on all occasions shown himself the heartless ruffian, the
greedy conqueror, the bloodthirsty tyrant; but by his conversion he had
led the way to triumph of Catholicism; he had saved the Roman Church
from the Scylla and Charybdis of heresy and paganism, planted it on a
rock in the very center of Europe, and fixed its doctrines and
traditions in the hearts of the conquerors of the west." 
Foundations of the Medieval Church.--"the
results of their [the Franks'] occupation of Gaul were so important, the
empire which they founded, their alliance with the church, their legal
notions and political institutions were all of such decisive influence
upon the future that their history deserves separate treatment. . . . It
is to them that the political inheritance of the Roman Empire passed; to
them came the honor of taking up and carrying on, roughly, to be sure,
and far less extensively and effectively, but nevertheless of actually
carrying on the political work which Rome had been doing. They alone
represent that unity which Rome had established, and so far as that
unity was maintained at all as a definite fact, it is the Franks who
maintained it. . . It is only at the end of the fifth century that their
career really begins, and then, as so often in similar cases, it is the
genius of one man, a great leader, which creates the nation. . . .
Clovis . . . appears as one of the great creative spirits who give a new
direction to the currents of history. . . . A third step of great
importance in this process of union was also to be taken by Clovis. On
institution, produced in the ancient world before the Germans entered
it, had continued with vigorous life and wide influence, indeed, with
slowly increasing power, through all the changes of this chaotic period.
It was to be in the future a still greater
power and to exert an influence even wider and more
permanent than that of the Franks. . . . This was the Roman Church. It
was to be the great ecclesiastical power of the future. It was therefore
a most essential question whether the Franks, who were to grow on their
side into the great political power of the future, should do so in
alliance with this other power or in opposition to it. . . .
"This question Clovis settled, not long after
the beginning of his career, by his conversion to Catholic Christianity.
. . . In these three ways, therefore, the work of Clovis was of creative
influence upon the future. He brought together the Roman and German upon
equal terms, each preserving the sources of his strength, to form a new
civilization. He founded a political power which was to unite nearly all
the continent in itself, and to bring the period of the invasions to an
end. He established a close alliance between the two great controlling
forces of the future, the two empires which continued the unity which
Rome had created, the political empire and the ecclesiastical."
Thus in A.D. 508 terminated united resistance to the
development of the papacy. The question of supremacy between Frank and
Goth, between the Catholic and the Arian religions, had then been
settled in favor of the Catholics.
Verse 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to
the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy
way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the
end of the days.
The 1335 Prophetic Days.--Still another
prophetic period is here introduced, denoting 1335 years. Can we tell
when this period begins and ends? The only clue we have to the solution
of this question, is the fact that it is spoken of in immediate
connection with the 1290 years, which began in 508 as shown above. From
that point there shall be, says the prophet, 1290 days. The very next
sentence reads, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335
days." From what point?--
From the same point, undoubtedly, as that from which
the 1290 date, namely, A.D. 508. Unless they are to be reckoned from
this point, it is impossible to locate them, and they must be excepted
from the prophecy of Daniel when we apply to it the words of Christ,
"Whoso readeth, let him understand." Matthew 24: 15. From this
point they would extend to 1843, for 1335 added to 508 makes 1843.
Beginning in the spring of the former year, they ended in the spring of
But how can it be that they have ended, it may be
asked, since at the end of these days Daniel stands in his lot, which is
by some supposed to refer to his resurrection from the dead? This
question is founded on a misapprehension in two respects: First, that
the days at the end of which Daniel stands in his lot are the 1335 days;
and second, that the standing of Daniel in his lot is his resurrection,
which also cannot be sustained. The only thing promised at the end of
the 1335 days is a blessing to those who wait and come to that time;
that is, those who are then living. What is this blessing? Looking at
the year of 1843, when these years expired, what do we behold? We see a
remarkable fulfillment of prophecy in the great proclamation of the
second coming of Christ. Forty-five years before this, the time of the
end began, the book was unsealed, and light began to increase. About the
year 1843, there was a grand culmination of all the light that had been
shed on prophetic subjects up to that time. The proclamation went forth
in power. The new and stirring doctrine of the setting up of the kingdom
of God shook the world. New life was imparted to the true disciples of
Christ. The unbelieving were condemned, the churches were tested, and a
spirit of revival was awakened which has had no parallel since.
Was this the blessing? Listen to the Saviour's words:
"Blesses are you eyes," said He to His disciples, "for
they see; and your ears, for they hear." Matthew 13: 16. Again He
told His followers that prophets and kings had desired to see the things
which they saw, and had not seen them. But "blessed," said He
to them, "are the eyes which see the things
that ye see." Luke 10: 23, 24. If a new and
glorious truth was a blessing in the days of Christ to those who
received it, why was it not equally so in A.D. 1843?
It may be objected that those who engaged in this
movement were disappointed in their expectations; so were the disciples
of Christ at His first advent, in an equal degree. They shouted before
Him as He rode into Jerusalem, expecting that He would then take the
kingdom. But the only throne to which He then went was the cross, and
instead of being hailed as king in a royal palace, He was laid a
lifeless form in Joseph's new sepulcher. Nevertheless, they were
"blessed" in receiving the truths they had heard.
It may be objected further that this was not a
sufficient blessing to be marked by a prophetic period. Why not, since
the period in which it was to occur, the time of the end, is introduced
by a prophetic period; since our Lord, in verse 14 of His great prophecy
of Matthew 24, makes a special announcement of this movement; and since
it is still further set forth in Revelation 14: 6, 7, under the symbol
of an angel flying through midheaven with a special announcement of the
everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth? Surely the Bible
gives great prominence to this movement.
Two more questions remain to be noticed briefly: What
days are referred to in verse 13? What is meant by Daniel's standing in
his lot? Those who claim that the days are the 1335, are led to that
application by looking back no further than to the preceding verse,
where the 1335 days are mentioned; whereas, in making an application of
these days so indefinitely introduced, the whole scope of the prophecy
should certainly be taken in from Daniel 8. Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12
are clearly a continuation and explanation of the vision of Daniel 8;
hence we may say that in the vision of chapter 8, as carried out and
explained, there are four prophetic periods: the 2300, 1260, 1290, and
1335 days. The first is the principal and longest period; the others are
but intermediate parts and subdivisions of this. Now, when the angel
tells Daniel at the
conclusion of his instructions that he shall stand in
his lot at the end of days, without specifying which period was meant,
would not Daniel's mind naturally turn to the principal and longest
period, the 2300 days, rather than to any of its subdivisions? If this
is so, the 2300 are the days intended. the reading of the Septuagint
seems to look plainly in this direction: "But go thy way and rest;
for there are yet days and seasons to the full accomplishment [of these
things]; and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days."
This certainly carries the mind back to the long period contained in the
first vision, in relation to which the subsequent instructions were
The 2300 days, as has been already shown, terminated
in 1844, and brought us to the cleansing of the sanctuary. How did
Daniel at that time stand in his lot? In the person of his Advocate, our
great High Priest, as He presents the cases of the righteous for
acceptance to His Father. The word here translated "lot" does
note mean a piece of real estate, a "lot" of land, but the
"decisions of chance" or the "determinations of
Providence." At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was to
be cast. In other words, a determination was to made in reference to
those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly
inheritance. When Daniel's case comes up for examination, he is found
righteous, stands in his lot, is assigned a place in the heavenly
When Israel was about to enter into the Promised
Land, the lot was cast, and the possession of each tribe was assigned.
The tribes thus stood in their respective "lots" long before
they entered upon the actual possession of the land. The time of the
cleansing of the sanctuary corresponds to this period of Israel's
history. We now stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, and
decisions are being made, assigning to some a place in the eternal
kingdom, and barring others forever. In the decision of his case,
Daniel's portion in the celestial inheritance will be made sure to him.
With him all the faithful will also stand. When this devoted servant of
God, who filled up a long life with the noblest deeds of service to his
though cumbered with the weightiest cares of this
life, shall enter upon his reward for well-doing, we too may enter with
him into rest.
We draw the study of this prophecy to a close, with
the remark that it has been with no small degree of satisfaction that we
have spent what time and study we have on this wonderful prophecy, and
in contemplating the character of this most beloved of men and most
illustrious of prophets. God is no respecter of person, and a
reproduction of Daniel's character will secure the divine favor as
signally even now. Let us emulate his virtues, that we, like him, may
have the approbation of God while here, and dwell amid the creations of
His infinite glory in the long hereafter.
 James H. Jeans, The Stars In Their Courses, p.
 Enoch Fitch Burr, Ecce Caelum, p. 136.
 Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol.
I, p. 295.
 Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 190, 191.
 Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol.
I, p. 296, footnote. See also Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin
Christianity , Vol. I, pp. 381-388.
 Ephraim Emerton, Introduction to the Study of the
Middle Ages, pp. 65, 66.
 Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, p. 186.
 Ibid., pp. 198, 199.
 Ibid., p. 194.
 Ibid., p. 199.
 Charles Oman, The Dark Ages, p. 62.
 The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. I, p. 286.
By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
 Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First
Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 85.
 Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., art.
"Clovis," Vol. VI, p. 563.
 See Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 202,
203; Nugent Robinson, A History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 75-79, 81, 82.
 Richard W. Church, The Beginning of the Middle
Ages, pp. 38, 39.
 Victor Duruy, The History of the Middle Ages, p.
 Julius von Pflugk-Harttung, in A History of all
Nations, Vol. VII, p. 27.
 Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First
Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 97.
 George Burton Adams, Civilization During the
Middle Ages, pp. 137-144.