Daniel – Chapter 12

The End

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

This chapter concludes the angel’s explanation of Daniel’s visions.

At the end time, Michael (the “guardian angel” of Israel) will arise. There will be a time of unprecedented trouble, as never before. Israel will be saved and everything predicted in this Book will come to pass. Many (but not all) of those who have been dead and buried will arise and be judged. Some will be sent to everlasting life, while others will be sent to eternal shame. The wise, who occupied themselves with Torah, will shine like the heavens, and those who increased charity like stars.

“But you, Daniel,” said the angel, “are to obscure these matters and ‘seal’ your Book until the end time comes. Many will try to figure out all the details, coming up with abundant theories.”

Then, Daniel saw two additional angels, standing on either side of the river. (Remember, Daniel was on the bank of the river Chidakel when the angel – presumably Gabriel – appeared in chapter 10.) They asked the angel who had been explaining Daniel’s visions how long it would be until the end time. Daniel’s angel lifted his hands towards Heaven and swore “in a time, times, and a half, after breaking the hand of the holy people.” (We already had the phrase “a time, times, and a half” in chapter 7 and it’s fairly ambiguous without know how long that period of time is. “Breaking the hand of the holy people” refers to a time when Israel has lost all power and given up hope.)

Daniel didn’t understand this, so he asked for clarification. The angel told him to leave it alone. “The matter is hidden and sealed until The End. There will be many calculations and theories. The wicked who try to figure it out will fail. They will be unable to see their errors, but the wise will understand things when the time comes. From the time the daily sacrifice was interrupted and the idol was placed in the Temple, 1,290 years. Fortunate is the one who waits 1,335 years. And you, Daniel, will pass away, but you will be among those who arise to your reward at The End.”

I’m not even going to touch those calculations. Suffice it to say that allusions to the Revival of the Dead are made throughout Tanach, but nowhere is it made more clear than in this chapter.

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