KINGS OF THE SOUTH AND NORTH, PART 7
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)
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.
ASKS THE QUESTION?
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WILL THIS BE FULFILLED?
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).
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.
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.
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
you, go your way till the end;
for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.