Home   About Us   Holiness Library   Bible Prophecy   Listen to Sermons  History of the Holiness Movement   Early English Bibles   Bible Studies   Links









Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” (Daniel 12:5–6)


The prophecy of the Kings of the South and North began in chapter 10. Daniel was standing by the side of the Tigris River where he saw a vision of Christ, who gave him the prophecy. Now, at the end of the prophecy, Daniel mentally comes back to where his is standing by the river and he sees two other, one standing on the one side of the river and the other standing on the other side. There is no indication of who these others are but it is likely they are angels that accompanied Christ on His visit to Daniel. We see in chapter 10, verse 7, that some men were with Daniel at this time; but, they did not see the vision and they fled in terror from what was happening. Furthermore, the physical situation of these others does not appear to fit the circumstance of the men that had been with Daniel. So, it is most likely these others were in fact angels.




Christ appears in linen and is standing suspended over the water of the river. Someone speaks to him asking the question, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” It is not perfectly clear who is the one that speaks. Both the Septuagint and the Revised Standard Version have “I said,” indicating that it is Daniel asking the question. The Masoretic Text has “he said,” which is ambiguous, but may suggest it is one of the angels that asks the question. Other versions, including our New King James Version, have “one said,” and some other versions have “one of them said.” The scene portrayed in these verses seems to make it more likely that it was Daniel that asked the question. In any case, it is Daniel who records the conversation and it is not essential to the prophecy who asked the question.

The question is, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Why would angels be interested in knowing when the prophecy would be fulfilled” In one sense, it is meaningless to them as they are only messengers ministering God’s will. Time is irrelevant to them. It seems more likely that Daniel would have an interest in the answer. During his lifetime he received several prophecies and was given some understanding as to what they meant. He just had been given this last prophecy in which he saw more of the awful destruction Antiochus Epiphanes would bring on Judea and the religion of the Jews, specifically, the desecration of the temple. In the verses immediately preceding the question, his thoughts had been projected to the time of Messiah and the work of salvation He would bring. As a Jew, He would be looking for a connection between the desecration of the temple and Messiah’s work of redemption. It seems likely his question concerns the time when the temple would be cleansed to so that Messiah could have a place from which to work.




Christ does not hesitate to answer the question and goes straight to the point giving in verse 7 an answer with two points, “it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”

The time reference of a time, times, and half a time is first seen in the prophecy of the Four Beasts, Daniel 7:25, referring to Herod the Great. “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.” There, the Hebrew word for time is id-dawn, meaning a set time, technically a year. The word for time is a different word in this chapter; it is mo-ade, which contains essentially the same meaning. James Strong in his Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible gives the definition as, “properly an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year.” There are other uses for the word that do not apply here.

The first part of Christ’s answer is that these things will be fulfilled in a time, times, and half a time, or three and one-half years.

The second part of the answer, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered,” refers to what we have already seen of Epiphanes making the Jewish religion illegal, profaning the temple by setting up idols, and putting to death those who continue to worship God according to the truth.

While Antiochus Epiphanes and Herod the Great are not interchangeable personalities, there were certain similarities in the impact each had on the people of Judea that is warranted using the symbol of the “little horn” to denote each of them; Herod the Great in the prophecy of the Four Beasts and Antiochus Epiphanes in the prophecy of the Ram and the Male Goat. It is also coincidental that the time reference of the 3½ is involved in the prophecies relating to them.




Daniel makes the statement in verse 8 that he heard but did not understand and he asks the question again. His mind may have drifted back to the prophecy of the Four Beasts when he heard about the time, times and half a time and became confused as it did not seem to apply to the same person in the present prophecy. This is rather unlikely. It may be that Daniel was stunned by the direct answer to the question. He asks the question again, perhaps just to be sure he heard correctly. Christ does not repeat the answer; instead He tells him the prophecy is sealed to the time of the end.

Notice the last phrase in what Christ said, “to the time of the end.” Earlier, in verse four, it was said that the prophecy was sealed to the end of time and here Christ says the prophecy is sealed to the time of the end. The expression “time of the end” was applied to Epiphanes in Daniel 8:15–27, the prophecy of the Ram and the Male Goat. Christ’s use of the expression here focuses His answer on the time of the end for Epiphanes.

The second part of Christ’s answer concerned shattering the power of the holy people. In verse 10 that shattering appears to be cured. “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” This appears to be related to what was said in verses two and three concerning the deliverance Messiah would bring.

Ultimately, the defeat and destruction of Antiochus Epiphanes prepared the stage for the Romans to take over Palestine. Under their rule the elements which would surround the ministry of Messiah were put in place. It was only matter of time until that star shone over a lowly stable in Bethlehem and Jesus of Nazareth, the unlikely Messiah, would come preaching the gospel of salvation from sin that would purify the souls of all who would receive it, making them white and refined before God. However, the wicked will reject the gospel and continue to do what they do—wickedness. Their desire for their own wickedness will prevent them from understanding the gospel.




And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11).


To those of us living at the “end of time,” there is no mystery here. As the 3½ years mentioned in verse 7 are actual years, the 1290 days are actual days. Allowing thirty days per month, 1290 days is 3½ years.

The sacrifice was taken away and the desolation set up on the 15th of Kislev, 167 b.c. The temple was cleansed and the daily sacrifice restored under the Maccabees 3½ years later in 164 b.c.

Christ provides one more detail in verse 12 that figuratively drives a nail into the coffin of Antiochus Epiphanes. “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” 1335 days minus the 1290 days leaves 45 days. It was a wonderful thing to learn that the temple would be restored; it is remarkable that just 45 days after its restoration Antiochus Epiphanes died ending his reign of terror and preserving the sanctity of the temple and the faith of the Jews until the coming of Messiah.




But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13).