Daniel 12 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Daniel 12)

Verse 1

[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.

For the children — The meaning seems to be, as after the death of Antiochus the Jews had some deliverance, so there will be yet a greater deliverance to the people of God, when Michael your prince, the Messiah shall appear for your salvation.

A time of trouble — A the siege of Jerusalem, before the final judgment. The phrase at that time, probably includes all the time of Christ, from his first, to his last coming.

Verse 4

[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.

Seal the book — The book was command to be sealed, because it would be long before the words would be fulfilled, whereas those that were shortly to be fulfilled, were forbidden to be sealed.

Shall run — Shall diligently search these prophecies; and they shall know the signs of the times, and wait upon God in the way of his judgments: he means chiefly in gospel-times.

Verse 5

[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.

Other two — Two angels waiting on Christ.

Verse 6

[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?

To the man — To Christ, who seemed to stand in the air above the waters, or upon them.

Verse 7

[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.

He held up his right hand — He held up both hands to heaven, for the more sure and solemn confirmation of it; and to denote the unchangeableness of God's decrees both for good to the church, and for evil to her enemies.

By him — By God the father, and by himself that liveth for ever, to shew the eternal God only knew that decreed it, and would bring it to pass.

And an half — That is, a year, two years and half a year. We meet with this in the revelation, under the title, some times of three days and an half, put for three years and an half, sometimes, forty two months, sometimes, twelve hundred and sixty days.

Shall be finished — Which reaches to the calling of the Jews upon the destruction of antichrist.

Verse 8

[8] And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

What shall be the end — What is the meaning of all this?

Verse 9

[9] And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

And sealed — They shall not be clearly understood, 'till the event make them good.

Verse 10

[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.

And tried — The afflictions of the church are to prepare them, by taking away their filth, for the bridegroom, as gold and silver are tried and refined.

Verse 13

[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.

But go thou — I have revealed to thee these things, that thou and thy people, might be prepared for sufferings, and yet not without hope of a glorious deliverance.

For thou shalt rest — In which hope thou shalt die, and rest from trouble, 'till the resurrection of the just. It ought to be the great concern of every one of us, to secure a happy lot in the end of the days, and then we may well be content with our present lot, welcoming the will of God.

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