Time of the End: Interpretation of Daniel 11:31-45; 12:1-13
Why Daniel 11?
Daniel 11 is often a neglected piece of prophecy, but it contains pivotal truths for students of prophecy of the last generation. It sets a specific starting point for the "time of the end" period like no other chapter in the book of Daniel. For example, the statue of the kingdoms in Daniel 2 ends with the toes (representing the Roman empire and extending all the way to the European Union). But when did the "toes' stage" start? About 1600 years ago. This is too generic a timeframe for setting the timeframe of the last power! How can we prove from the book of Daniel that there will not be an additional 1600 years before the end? Daniel 11...
Besides setting the timeframe for the period of the "time of the end", Daniel 11 helps focus attention on world powers which are key players in the events transpiring to the "end of time". Much like a compass, Daniel 11 is an indispensible study that points us in the right direction, tying in perfectly with historical developments and other chapters of prophecy in the book of Revelation, namely Revelation 17.
The part that was sealed in the book of Daniel is that part which relates to the last days (Dan. 12:4). "In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of the book of Daniel. One is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days. The angel commanded, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end. Daniel 12:4." [Acts of the Apostles, EGW 585.1] This is yet another reason for the significance of studying Daniel 11 and 12 as these two chapters are one connected chain of events stretching from the powers in Daniel's time all the way to the end.
An Overview of the Four Basic World Powers in the Book of Daniel
A comparative study of the world powers foreshadowed in the book of Daniel, chapters 2, 8, and 9, reveals that the last power is always Rome (the papacy). Compare (Dan. 2:41-43; 7:19-21; 8:20-25).
Keeping in mind that the last power referred to in Daniel 2, 8, and 9 is always Rome, it stands to reason that this is also the case with Daniel 11. Throughout the book of Daniel, the same story is told again and again, but every time it is told, additional characters are involved and new truths are embedded. With each repetition, there is expansion and elaboration. Nothing is needlessly repeated.
Comments on Daniel 11:31-35
As with previous chapters, major world powers are identified. This time, Babylon was left out since Daniel 11 was written during the reign of the Medo-Persians. An overview of Dan. 11:1-30 reveals that these verses address distinctive historical events pertaining to the Medo-Persian empire, the Greeks, and Rome (pagan then papal), which are not relevant to present or future applications. With the papacy (papal Rome) as the last power in Daniel 11, we will start from verse 31:
- 11:31 - "And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." The abomination of desolation, as mentioned in connection with the removal of the daily ("sacrifice" is a supplied word), refers to state-mandated laws prohibiting obedience to one's conscience (the law and truth of Yahuwah). This will take place as the eighth king/pope of Revelation 17 (Rev. 17:12-14) emerges from the bottomless pit and makes war with "the Lamb" in the person of true believers.
- 11:32 - "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their Elohim shall be strong, and do exploits." The papacy, even during the Protestant reformation, often resorted to flattery and bribery to silence its opponents and win supporters.
- 11:33 - "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days." Rome was opposed by "they that understand...". The reformers during the middle ages took upon themselves the duty of instructing the people, though persecution by sword and captivity lasted many days.
- 11:34 - "Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen [aided] with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries." Few were willing to come to the aid of the reformers.
- 11:35 - "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." Verse 35 is a key verse in this chapter. Here we learn that the persecution referred to in the earlier verses would last during a period (538 A.D.-1798 A.D.) when the wise would fall or stumble, but this stumbling of the saints would be "even to the time of the end." However, this is not the end of the story; persecution would resume its force again "because it is yet for a time appointed." This "time appointed" is preceded by "the time of the end" and falls in the near future. So, the point at which persecution ceases is the starting point for "the time of the end". This is the NIV rendering of the verse: "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time".
- In 1773, Pope Clement XIV disbanded the Jesuit Society under pressure from Catholic kings and princes who grew weary of Jesuits' excessive political influence and meddling with their societies.
- In 1776, burning at the stake (a method of capital punishment widely used by Catholics against "heretics") came to an end. This was the year persecution ceased as foretold by Yahushua: "...except those days...[of persecution] should be shortened," (Matt. 24:22) in anticipation of the deadly wound that was inflicted on the papacy in 1798.
- In 1798, a French army occupied Rome, abolished the papal government, and exiled Pope Pius VI to Valence. This event marked the official beginning of the “time of the end” as defined by Daniel 11:35. The term "time of the end" should be distinguished from "the end of time", the former being a period of time extending from the "Deadly Wound" to the eve of the Second Coming.
- 11:36 - "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every el, and shall speak marvellous things against the El of els, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done." The blasphemies of the Catholic church need no further comment, so much so that the pope claims divine titles...
- 11:37 - "Neither shall he regard the Eloah of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any eloah: for he shall magnify himself above all." Here are more identifying features of this entity: it changes eloahs, it shows pretended hatred of women (no priesthood for women, mandated priests' celibacy etc.)
- 11:38 - "But in his estate shall he honour an eloah of forces: and an eloah whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things." Catholicism endorses veneration of the saints with their statues of gold and silver.
- 11:39 - "Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange eloah, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain." He takes care of those who are loyal to Him.
- 11:40 - "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over." This is a significant point: we have the timeframe for the fulfillment of this verse as the late 1700s, starting officially in 1798 with the deadly wound inflicted on Pope Pius VI.
Papal Persecution Periods: Pre and Post 1798
Comments on Daniel 11:36-45
- King of the South engages in battle with "him". Of course, the "him" here is the same focal power mentioned before, namely the papacy. And this takes place after 1798. Which world power gave Catholics a really hard time after 1798? Communism! Communists killed the monks, outlawed religion, etc.
- Then the King of the North comes to the aid of "him" (that is, the papacy) against the King of the South. By outspending the Soviet Bloc militarily, western countries led by the U.S.A. succeeded in dealing a decisive blow to Soviet economies. This in turn led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the end of the King of the South, as prophesied in Daniel 11. So, who is that King of the North who played a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union? The U.S.A.-led western bloc! As a matter of fact, the fall of communism is attributed to the joined efforts of the U.S.A. and the papacy.
Comments on Daniel 12
- The term "that time" here is a reference to "time of the end" mentioned in the previous chapter and identified as taking place after 1798. Keep in mind that Daniel chapters 10, 11, and 12, are one vision.
- Believers shall be delivered from sin despite persecution (11:35). Yahwah would not allow the saints to die during the plagues, yet many will fall as martyrs before (the fifth seal, Rev. 6:9-12).
- The time of trouble in this verse lasts for 3 years and a half, during which some of trumpets will be sounded, as we'll see later, and they will culminate in the Seven Last Plagues.
- Ellen White, commenting on the time of trouble when Michael stands up [A Word to the Little Flock, pp. 12], identified the last power in Daniel 11 as the papacy:
- The verse says that many of them that sleep in the dust, and not all of them.
- As we know, there are two resurrections, one for the righteous and one for the wicked, one thousand years apart. But in this verse, both parties seem to be resurrected at the same time. This is a special resurrection which includes those who died faithfully giving the three angels' messages, those who gave the loud cry message, all who opposed His people in a remarkable way, and those who pierced the Saviour and crucified him (Rev. 1:7).
- This is the knowledge of the unsealed portion of the book of Daniel
- The part of Daniel's prophecy which related to "the time of the end" would be understood in the period of "the time of the end".
- Daniel was concerned about the fulfillment of the 70-year prophecy of Jeremiah 25. He saw that the 70 years were about to end but still nothing was happening. He was eager to know when his people would return to their homeland. Sure enough, he could not understand that "time of the end" would start in 1798 A.D., and that another people (the last generation of saints) would be the focus of prophecy in chapters 11 and 12.
- There is a great spiritual lesson for us from the experience of Daniel. He was the greatest prime minister of his time, yet he was humbly willing to learn from Jeremiah, a contemporary prophet, who prophesied in Jerusalem before and during the Babylonian exile.
1. The exact length of that part of the year.
2. The starting point for that time period "a time, times, and half a time".
- In his second answer, Yahushua adds extra details for our sake.
- The period in (Dan. 12:7), is the same as the period in (Dan. 12:11). Yahushua gave the same answer with more clarifications.
- The starting point for the wonders (troubles of the saints) is marked by an attempt from Satan to remove something of continuous nature (the Sabbath as calculated by the luni-solar Biblical calendar...) and exalt in its place an abomination to Yahuwah in such a way that criminalizes the obedience to the precepts and commandments of the Creator (the Sabbath of the fourth commandment).
- Now the length of the period of troubles would be 1290 days. Persecution is one aspect of "the troubles" and lasts for 1260 days as attested to in (Rev. 11:2, 3, 7)
- This leaves 30 days for the seven last plagues (Rev. 16). Jacob's trouble lasts for 3 and a half days, as identified in (Rev. 11:11). These 3 and a half days come at the end of the 30 days for the plagues. In fact, Revelation 11 starts with the Investigative Judgment. John is told to measure the temple of Yahuwah, that is, to determine who will be saved (the temple is His people, Heb. 3:6; 2 & Thess. 2:4). The command to John to 'measure the temple' is a symbolic command of the work of judgment which is carried out by the Court of Heaven prior to close of probation.
- The 1290-day period ends at the voice of Yahuwah which delivers the saints from all troubles (Rev. 16:17).
- At the start of this 45-day period, the special resurrection will take place.
- The resurrected wicked shall see the honor Yahuwah bestows on the faithful ones who preached the Three Angels' Messages and on those who gave the Loud Cry message. This means, even the martyrs during the 1260-day period of persecution will be resurrected as well, and they will be glorified, along with the 144,000. The angels will serve the righteous during this period.
- It is in this period that the wicked will bow at the saints' feet will take place (Rev. 3:9). Ellen White referred to this group when she wrote, "...In the "hour of temptation," which is yet to come, to show out every one's true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saints' feet." [Word to the Little Flock, 12.2]
- The 1335-day period cannot be a separate period by itself as this will add to the 1290-day period another period of 1335 days (three more years and more), thus delaying the date of the second coming (even after the close of probation). Yahuwah does not want to prolong the waiting period after the close of probation as He eagerly wants the redeemed of the earth to be re-united with the family of Heaven.
Time Periods in Daniel 12 & Relation to the Book of Revelation
* Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for chetsiy (Strong's 2677)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 9 Feb 2011.http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2677&t=NKJV