0 The end of the world (Dan 9-12)

Episode 217: The end of the world (as we know it)

Daniel 9-12

9 1-2 In the first year of the reign of King Darius, I, Daniel, saw that the number of years Jeremiah said Jerusalem would be desolate was seventy years.

3 So I put on sackcloth and ashes and began to pray.

Gabriel flies by and talks to Daniel

21 While I was praying, the man Gabriel flew by and touched me. 22 He said to me,

I'm here to give you skill and understanding.

24 Your people will suffer seventy weeks for their sins, to seal the vision and prophecy and anoint the most holy.

25 From the time that Jerusalem is rebuilt to the Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks.

26 After sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off, and the people of the prince will destroy the city. Then there'll be a flood that will last until the end of the war.

27 He'll confirm the covenant for one week, while he stops sacrifices, and spreads abominations and desolation until the consummation is poured out on the desolate.

A man in linen

10 1 In the third year of King Cyrus, a thing was revealed to Daniel (aka Belteshazzar), and the thing was true. And he understood the thing.

2 In those days, I [Daniel] was mourning for three weeks.

3 For three weeks, I ate no bread or flesh, drank no wine, and didn't anoint myself.

4-5 Later, while I stood on the bank of the Tigris River, I saw a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold.

6 His body was like beryl, his face like lightning, his eyes like fire, his arms and feet like brass, and his voice like a crowd of people.

7 The men who were with me couldn't see this man, but then an earthquake came and they ran away.

8 So I was left alone with the vision.

9 I fell asleep on my face when the man started speaking.

10-11 He touched me and said, “Stand up, Daniel.” So I stood trembling.

13 He said,

Don't be afraid. Michael, one of the chief princes, is here to help me.

14 I'm here to make you understand what will happen in the latter days.

15 After he said this, I put my face on the ground and became dumb.

16 Then one of the many who looked like sons of men touched my lips.

And I said, "I am sad and weak."

18-20 Then someone who looked like a man said,

Do you know where I came from? Now I'm going to fight with the prince of Persia. When I'm gone the prince of Greece will come.

21 And I'll show you what is written in the scripture of truth. Michael is your prince.

The man in linen shows Daniel the truth

11 1-45 The man in linen continued to explain things to Daniel

The end of the world

12 1 The man in linen continued talking to Daniel, saying:

At that time, Michael will stand up. And there'll be trouble like that world has never seen before. But those whose names are written in the book will be OK.

2 Many will rise from the dead, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt.

3 And the wise will shine like stars.

4 But you, Daniel, must shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end, when many will run to and fro and knowledge will increase.

5 Then I saw two others, one on this side of the river and the other on the other side.

6 One of them said to the man in linen, "When will all this happen?"

7 The man in linen, who was standing on the water holding up his hands, swore to God, saying, "The end will come after a time, times, and a half."

8 I heard what he said, but I didn't understand it. So I said, "So when will the end come?"

9 He said,

Go away, Daniel. The words are sealed until the time of the end.

10 Many will be purified and made white. Wicked people will do wicked things and won't understand. But the wise will understand.

11 From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolations is set up, there will be 1290 days.

12 Blessed are they that wait 1335 days.

13 So live your life until the end happens. You'll rest and stand when the world ends.

A few more words about this episode

In the first year of the reign of King Darius (9:1)
This king (Darius the Mede) is a fictional character. There is no evidence for his historical existence.
The number of years Jeremiah said Jerusalem would be desolate was seventy years. (9:2)
See Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10
Your people will suffer seventy weeks for their sins (9:24)

Gabriel explains that the "seventy years" of Jerimiah was actually meant to be seventy weeks of years - or 490 years. (Everyone makes mistakes.) This was necessary since Jeremiah's prophecy of seventy years didn't turn out as predicted. The land of Israel was conquered again, instead of the Jews living forever in peace.

The seventy weeks in Daniel 9 form the basis of much speculation and prediction of the end of the world. See the Wikipedia article - The Prophecy of Seventy Weeks

In the third year of King Cyrus (10:1)
This would be 536 BCE - seventy years after the story of Daniel began in verse 1:1.
I saw a man clothed in linen. (10:5)

Daniel is visited by a man whose loins were girded with gold, face that looked like lightning, eyes of fire, arms and feet made of brass. Must have been Jesus. Nobody dresses like Jesus!

I John ... was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega ... And I turned to see the voice that spake with me ... one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass. Revelation 1:9-15

There is also a man in linen in Ezekiel 9, remember him? He was the guy who killed everyone in Jerusalem, except for those with a mark on their foreheads.

One man among them was clothed with linen ... And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations ... And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark ... And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. Ezekiel 9:4-11 (Episode 201)

The men who were with me couldn't see this man. (10:7)
Paul claimed to have a similar vision of Jesus, where he saw a light, but the men with him didn't.

As he [Paul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? ... And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. Acts 9:5-7

The man in linen continued to explain things to Daniel. (11:1-45)
The man in linen tells Daniel about things that he (and we) have already been told several times in previous chapters of the book of Daniel. I'd skip it if I were you.
Many will rise from the dead, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt. (12:2)
This is one of the few (the only?) references to the resurrection of the dead in the Hebrew scriptures. In the biblical books that were written earlier (which was all of them, since Daniel was the last book to be written), the dead went to a poorly-defined place called Sheol - whatever their deeds may have been. But here, some are are given an everlasting reward and while others are given an everlasting punishment.
A time, times, and a half (12:7)

This is usually understood to mean three and a half years, 1260 days, or 42 months - which then, using the day-year principle - becomes 1260 years.

The phrase (or an equivalent) is used seven times in the Bible. (Daniel 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14, 13:5)

This has been used by believers to predict about everything you could think of. (See Wikipedia: 1260 year prophecy)

1290 vs 1335 days (12:11-12)

So shoot! Is the end (or whatever) going to happen in 1260, 1290, or 1335 days (or years)?

Here's what the SBL Study Bible says about it: "The contradictory numbers reflect an attempt to recalculate the time of the end when the first calculation failed."

All of these numbers were meant to predict (or postdict) when the temple would be restored by Judas Maccabees after it was desecrated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. According to First Maccabees, this was 3 years - or 1095 days. (See 1 Mac 1:54, 4:52)

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