DANIEL CHAPTER 12

Greetings Fellow Eschatologists! We’re about to begin the last series pertaining to the book of Daniel. We have come to the last chapter of Daniel, the chapter containing the closing statements to Daniel’s last vision concerning the coming end time war with Antichrist. In spite of it being only 13 verses long, we learn a couple of very important revelations. First, we learn about a clue that points to a period when the “time of the end” will occur, the time of the great tribulation. Second, we learn what the length of the great tribulation will be in terms of days! If you’re interested, keep reading!

DANIEL CHAPTER 12

First in a Four-Part Series
By Karen Thompson

The Archangel Michael

Dan. 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Verse one begins by telling us about Michael: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” Michael is a great prince, or someone with authority. We know from Jude 1:9 that Michael is an archangel. Verse one goes on to say about Michael that “at that time,” meaning the time of this future great war, he will be there to help the “children of thy people,” or the offspring of the Jewish people in the distant future. And, indeed, we see in Revelation 12:7 that Michael is mentioned in the happenings of this great end time war when he fights the dragon, who is Satan, and his army of fallen angels. The end result is that Satan loses his place in the heavens over earth and is cast down to the earth. Michael and the heavenly angels take control over the heavens above the earth.

The heavenly messenger goes on to tell Daniel this war would be a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” The messenger is telling Daniel this time of trouble that the Jewish people will face during the end times will be “a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (NIV). In other words, the violence and destruction of this war will be unprecedented.

Imagine how those words must have impacted Daniel. So devastating! However, the messenger didn’t leave Daniel altogether devastated. He reassured Daniel with the words, “thy people shall be delivered.” Even though the children of Israel would face their worst time in all their history, they would be delivered. In fact, Romans chapter 11 confirms to us that all Israel will be saved: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Rom. 11:26–27). When will Israel be saved? When the Deliverer comes. The Deliverer is Jesus the Messiah!

The prophet Jeremiah said the Lord will save Israel from Jacob’s trouble. “Jacob’s trouble” is a reference to the end time tribulation: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7). Did you notice that Jeremiah is saying the same thing as Daniel when he described the end time trouble as “none is like it”? Daniel said Israel will experience a war like they’ve never experienced before. And Jeremiah is saying the same thing when he says, “none is like it.” The Jewish people will have never experienced a war like this in all their history.

The name “Jacob” is a term that refers to both kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the whole twelve tribes of Israel, not just the southern tribe of Judah, meaning the Jewish people. In Jeremiah chapter 30, the Lord prophesies through Jeremiah that He will bring both kingdoms of Israel and Judah back together as one. And He will save both kingdoms from the trouble that is to come at the end of time during Jacob’s trouble.

What Does “All Israel” Really Mean?

The messenger said to Daniel that his people would be delivered, but then he qualified that statement saying, “every one that shall be found written in the book.” The ones that will be delivered will be those whose names are found written in the book of life. The only people who get in the book of life are those who are believers. Nonbelievers are not in the book of life.

Some have read those verses about all Israel being saved and erroneously interpreted them to mean that every Jewish person alive in Israel will come out of the time of unparalleled distress alive and unharmed. However, this idea does not harmonize with other end time prophesies. Daniel’s other visions express the exact opposite. Remember, Daniel prophesied in chapter seven that the little horn, the future end times Antichrist, “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (v. 21). Antichrist will “wear out the saints of the most High … and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (v. 25). Antichrist will be successful in his attack against Israel. Presently, Israel has to continually guard against terrorist attacks from groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, and sometimes Jewish people are killed from their attacks. So it doesn’t make sense to say that during Israel’s greatest end time war that no one will be killed.

Daniel chapter eight also confirms that the little horn will destroy Daniel’s people, the Jews. The little horn will cast down some of the stars and stamp on them (vv. 9–10). Later, the angel interpreted this statement to mean the little horn “shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (vv. 23–24). The “holy people” are the Jewish people. Sadly, there will be many Jewish people that will lose their lives in this great end time war.

But those Jews who believe in God and who put their faith and trust in Him will be delivered out of the most terrible time in their nation’s history! They will make it through to the end of the great tribulation, and just as the book of Romans and the prophet Jeremiah tell us, they will all be saved in one day.

At this point, you might be wondering, Why does God allow the Jews in Israel to be cut off? Why doesn’t He divinely protect all of them? Ezekiel 20:34–38 is a portion of scripture that deals with the end time future tribulation period. In this passage, we find out why many of them will be cut off: “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel prophesied that God would gather His people out of the countries where they were scattered and bring them back to Israel. That has happened and is happening still. Jewish people from all over the world are moving back to Israel. Then Ezekiel prophetically jumped forward to the time when the Jews will have fled from Antichrist into the wilderness (Rev. 12). This will be their time in the wilderness when God will plead His case with them “face to face,” just like He pled with their ancestors when they were in the wilderness after He delivered them out of Egypt.

Since He will plead with them like He pled with their ancestors, let’s read about Israel’s first wilderness experience in Exodus 19:4–8:“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” 

God chose Israel to be His special set-apart nation, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. Moses relayed to them God’s proposition about being that holy set apart nation, and they agreed to be that holy set apart nation, a light to the Gentile nations. The Jews that will be alive during the end of the great tribulation will again be presented with God’s plan for them as a nation. He will ask them to make a decision to be a holy nation, a nation of kings and priests. When this happens, Israel will have completed another full circle.

The phrase, “I will make you pass under the rod” in Ezekiel 20:37 is a reference to a shepherd counting his sheep as they pass under his staff. Those that pass under the Lord’s rod will be those who have made a decision to follow Him. They must take a stand for God and be counted as belonging to Him.

Then in Ezekiel 20:38, it says He will “purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me.” Those who refuse to follow Him will be somehow purged from among them. They will not reenter Israel. Those that decide to follow the Lord will be saved out of the time of distress, the time of Jacob’s trouble.

In conclusion, when Romans 11:26–27 says all Israel will be saved, it’s talking about those who have made a decision to follow Him. Their names will be found in the book of life. They will make it through the time of the great tribulation and they will all be saved. All others, the rebels, will be purged.

In our next post, we’ll study verses two and three; verse two is about dead people, whereas verse three is about alive people. It’ll be quite interesting. 

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