The Scripture of Truth: 6

Daniel 12  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
“AND at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people [the Jews without doubt]; 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” (ver. 1).
But notoriously since the time of the Babylonish captivity, no matter what trouble may have come upon them (and how many and varied their trials!) they have never been delivered. Nebuchadnezzar's blows were heavy, and at length he carried them into captivity. Still more severe was it when Titus the Roman destroyed the city and sanctuary, and sold or scattered over all the western world in particular those whom he was weary of slaying. From another authority we have the retributive fact that Titus crucified the Jews (who had crucified their own Messiah), until there was not wood left capable of torturing another Jew. Then indeed they became the dispersed of Judah to the four corners of the earth. They attempted a stand in the days of Hadrian the Roman emperor and again they were slaughtered without mercy, instead of being delivered. And so it has been since. But it remains to be verified in their last and sorest tribulation, “At that time thy people shall be delivered.” Can there be a doubt to any believer that Daniel reveals a deliverance never yet accomplished? Not, it is true, for the mass but for the godly remnant, “thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” This is assuredly before them. There may be only a little remnant left; but “the little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation: I, Jehovah, will hasten it in its time,” according to the words of Isaiah. The word of God ought to silence all difficulties. It is only the righteous who will then be delivered. But it is a deliverance by publicly displayed power in the earth, and in no way by the gospel, when the mass of the Jews shall be destroyed, only those delivered, who are then under the holy banner of God's Messiah. At that time, as God says by Isaiah; “Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever.” Is this not Israel?
But we have more of detail here. The Jews in the land are the persons spoken about hitherto; but what about their brethren that were away and lost to their knowledge. Here we have a striking description of them—and an end put to that anomalous state. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to ever lasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” It appears that up to that time their resurrection as a nation had not taken place. From the days of Hosea, and Isaiah, the figure of death had been used, and their rising again promised. So we find it elaborately in Ezek. 37. Many have applied this to the literal resurrection of the body, but when viewed in its connection, it will be found to be only a figure of Israel re-appearing after a long slumber of death. In Ezekiel we hear of the valley filled with dry bones, and of the graves being opened, with other metaphors. It is the same truth as here; not the literal dead raised, but Israel coming up again and standing on their feet, an exceeding great army, whom Jehovah brings into the land of Israel. How could all this describe men rising from the dead? God will bring them out of their utter inaction and impenetrable obscurity.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” Those who learn of God, and such as labor for God, shall not lose their reward. They shall shine as the stars, instead of changing like the moon. But it is “the many,” or wicked Jews, that are here intended, who are not really turned to righteousness. So that the true fact is, “they that instruct the mass in righteousness"; and they are rewarded for their fidelity, whatever the result may be.
In conclusion let it be observed, that it was the eleventh verse of this chapter our Lord referred to in Matt. 24:1515When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15): not 11:31 which had long before been accomplished, but a future act of similar kind which will bring down divine judgment signally, “And from the time that the continual [or 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 days here are, I believe, so many literal days. Three times and a half, or one thousand, two hundred, and sixty days, had been spoken of in ver. 7, and in chap. 7:25, as occupied with the evil wrought by the Beast or Roman Prince. To this thirty days are here added. The Lord draws particular attention to the facts as calling for understanding on the part of the reader. It is not the Roman siege already accomplished according to Luke 21 as far as ver. 24, though the times of the Gentiles are not yet exhausted. From ver. 25 all is future. And the final siege will divide into two parts. The first shows us the king of the north partially successful. The second is marked by utter destruction; and no wonder. For the Lord will have taken His place at the head of His people, and sends the rod of His power out of Zion. “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand, three hundred, and five and thirty days” (ver. 12).
This is blessing on the earth; but at the same time there is better still. For those saints like Daniel that have fallen asleep are not forgotten in that great day. “But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel, like all the dead that are Christ's, will then obtain “a better resurrection.” “He hath swallowed up death” forever. Christ's victory is ours for the heavens, as His victory triumphs over Israel's enemies for the earth.