James Nisbet Commentary - Daniel 12:6 - 12:6

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James Nisbet Commentary - Daniel 12:6 - 12:6

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘How long shall it be?… Blessed is he that waiteth.’

Dan_12:6; Dan_12:12

It is evident that in this chapter Daniel passes from the political resurrection of the Jews under the Maccabees to the literal resurrection, which will ensue on the final overthrow of Antichrist at the coming of the Lord. The ‘time of trouble,’ similarly, is applicable not only to the days of Antiochus, who was pre-eminently the persecutor of the Chosen People and the subverter of their religion, but to the last times, when the saints of God shall suffer as never before (Mat_24:21).

I. Whatever tribulations may await the Church, there is one clear issue to which we may all devote ourselves, namely, the turning of men from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.—For this the blood of the Cross was shed, and the Spirit given, and for this we are continued in the world. This work of soul-winning needs wisdom of the highest order, which can only be communicated by the Saviour Himself, Who is made unto us wisdom.

II. It is not within our power to explain the references of these epochs, which are herein described.—For my part, I believe that the ‘time, times, and a half,’ refers to the rule of Mohammed over the Holy Land (Rev_11:2-3; Rev_11:9). Whilst the 11th verse definitely refers to the tyrannous outrage of Antiochus on the Holy City, it has probably an ulterior reference to the reign of Antichrist, which shall overlap the long desolations to which the Mohammedan rule has subjected the Chosen Race. But at the best, we can only guess at the meaning of these words, which will be made plain when the Church comes to need them. Our duty is clear to go on doing the will of God, and looking for the blessed hope, when we shall stand ‘in our lot,’ at the end of the days.

III. Let us gather two lessons.—(1) Whatever we do, let us make sure of our part in the First Resurrection. May we live ever in the light of ‘that blessed Hope.’ (2) Let the glory of our reward stimulate to all patience and energy—‘to shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars’ (Rev_11:3)!


(1) ‘Two periods (at least), of supreme suffering and final deliverance are here alluded to: (1) The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphenes (about 148 b.c.); and (2) Israel’s crowning sorrow yet to come from the Antichrist. “Michael, the great prince, which standeth for the children of thy people” (Rev_11:1)—not the Lord, but Israel’s Archangel guardian (Jud_1:9). Again we see that in each case “the transactions on earth affecting God’s people have their correspondencies in heaven in the conflict between good and bad angels.” “And many of them that sleep,” etc. (Jud_1:2)—Tregelles translates, with the support of Jewish commentators: “Many from among the sleepers … these shall be unto everlasting life; but those,” i.e.—the sleepers who do not awake—“shall be unto shame.” The righteous only shall arise (Rev_20:3; Rev_20:5-6; 1Co_15:23; and 1Th_4:16). “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (1Th_4:4). This refers, not to modern locomotion and science, but to the deepened interest in prophecy, and fresh insight into it, that will come as the end draws near. They will “run to and fro” in their eagerness—which is very much what we are seeing to-day.’

(2) ‘For however brightly and powerfully the Gospel moves, and however strong the Church may be, there must still be heretics and false teachers to prove her, in order that the approved ones may be manifest; and these same heretics are fond of taking sides with kings and great lords. Consequently the heretics will continue to the end.… But to the godless he (the prophet, or, rather, his prophecy) is of no service, as he himself remarks: the wicked shall remain wicked, and not regard it. For this prophecy and similar ones were not written that we might (beforehand exactly) know history and the troubles of the future, so as to feed our curiosity as with an item of news; but that the pious might comfort themselves and rejoice over them, and that they should strengthen their faith and hope in patience, as those that see and hear that their wretchedness shall have an end, and that they, delivered from sin, death, the Devil, and every evil, shall come to Christ in heaven, in His blessed eternal kingdom.’

(3) ‘Luther’s comment on 1Th_4:1, is as follows: “This does not signify physical sufferings, which were far greater at the destruction of Jerusalem, in Rome, and in many other cities and countries; but the suffering of souls, or the spiritual affliction of the Church, as prefigured by the sufferings of Christ. For physical sufferings are temporary, and cease with the body. But the question here is whether the Church shall fall or stand, which the Devil had attacked in two directions through the agency of Antichrist: on the one hand, by an Epicurean contempt for the sacraments and the Word of God, on the other, by the terrors and despair of conscience, in which no proper comfort of the graces (was found), but only wretched tortures, which vexed men with the sufficiency of their own doings and with their works (of which, however, the Epicureans and heathen know nothing); hence, that it was time that Michael should arouse himself, and not suffer Christendom to be destroyed at its last gasp, but to comfort and collect it again by his beneficent word of grace.” ’