Sunday Evening Bible Study

November 5, 1995

Daniel 12:5-13


We are finishing up a look at a vision given to Daniel from an angelic visitor.

The visitor came to give Daniel an incredible prophecy detailing things that were to happen to Daniel's people, Israel.

We have seen the prophecy going into the near future to talk about a person we know as the antichrist.

The direct prophecy is now finished, and the vision is coming to an end.

:5-13  The Time Schedule

:5   there stood other two

Now, beside the original angel who gave the prophecy to Daniel, two more angels appear.

Possibly to keep the concept established in scripture of having two or more witnesses to establish a point.

This is a very solemn moment.

:5  the bank of the river

It's been a long time, but the vision came while Daniel was by the banks of the "Hiddekel" river, which is the Tigris river.

»Daniel 10:4-5  And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5  Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

:6  the man clothed in linen

This is apparently the same person as Daniel saw in 10:5,6

We decided then that this probably was not Jesus, but was a strong angel sent to give Daniel the vision.

:6  How long shall it be ...

I think that question is asking about how long it will be from the events mentioned in 12:1 until the end when Jesus comes back.

»Daniel 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.

:7  he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him

Ordinarily in swearing an oath, only one hand was raised.  The fact that both hands were raised signifies an extremely important, solemn oath.

:7  for a time, times, and an half

Each "time" refers to a period of time.

"time" equals one period, "times" equals two more, and an half .

This adds up to three and a half "times".

We believe that it specifically means 3 1/2 years.


The Times of the Tribulation Period

The overall time span of the Tribulation period is found with Daniel:

»Daniel 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

We don't want to take the time to rehash old stuff, but the "week" is a period of seven years which have not yet been fulfilled out of the "70 weeks" of Daniel.

The antichrist will make a 7 year covenant with Israel.

In the midway point (3 1/2 years), he commits the "abomination of desolation"

This is what Jesus said of that time:

»Matthew 24:15-21  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

A number of Scriptures detail more specifics of what happens during this last 3 1/2 years.

1.  The antichrist is given the ability to persecute the "saints", or, the nation Israel:

»Daniel 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

2.  Jerusalem will be over-run by Gentiles:

»Revelation 11:2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

3.  It will be the time of the Two Witnesses (Moses and Elijah):

»Revelations 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

4.  During this time, Israel will be hiding out in the wilderness, namely in southern Jordan.

»Revelation 12:6  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

»Revelation 12:14  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

5.  The antichrist will rage and continue his blasphemies for the last 3 1/2 years.

»Revelation 13:5  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

:7  to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

»NAS:   "as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed."

When the time of persecution of the Jews is complete...

:8  And I heard, but I understood not

If you have problem with this prophecy stuff, so did Daniel!

Aren't you glad Daniel admitted this?


Don't be afraid to say "I don't know".

I get bothered by people who attempt to pretend that they know all the answers.

In reality, you aren't going to be able to know everything.

That doesn't mean there aren't answers.

But you don't have to always know them all the time.

Like Chuck Smith says,

Put it in your folder marked "Waiting for further information".

:9   And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

In other words, "Daniel, don't worry about it!"

You don't have to know everything.

:10   purified, and made white, and tried ...

The words used are interesting:

purified - barar - to purify, select, polish, choose, purge, cleanse or make bright, test or prove

made white - laban - to make white, become white, purify; to become white, be purified (ethical)

tried - tsaraph - to smelt, refine, test

It's almost as if this horrible Tribulation period is going to help people.

Keep in mind, this is all part of the "Seventy Weeks".

There are several purposes for the tribulation period.

It is not only a time of God's wrath upon the earth, but also a special time for the Jews:

»Daniel 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Part of God's reasoning in allowing the tribulation is to bring the Jews back to Himself.

He's getting their attention.


Tribulation refines us.

We may not be going through the "Great Tribulation", but we will be going through "tribulations".

»John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Jesus is still in control, He isn't going to give us more than we can handle:


Warren Wiersbe noted that when God permits his children to go through the furnace, he keeps his eye on the clock and his hand on the thermostat.

"Tribulations" actually are good for us, and produce good results in our lives.

»Romans 5:1-5  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings (tribulations - KJV), because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4  perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Trials actually work to make us more valuable:


A $5 bar of steel cut into ordinary horseshoes is worth $10.

A $5 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350.

That same bar of steel cut into delicate springs for watches becomes worth $250,000.

Next time you get discouraged at what God is putting you through, think of that bar of steel!

Trials help to refine and build our faith

»1Peter 1: 6-7  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:


In February 1862, President Lincoln's son Willie died, and his son Tad became seriously ill.  A Christian nurse attending the sick child recalled that the President watched by his bedside and often paced, saying, "This is the hardest trial of my life.  Why is it?  Why is it?" 

She told him that she was a widow and that her husband and two children were in heaven.  She saw the hand of God in it all and never loved Him so much as she did after her great trials.

"How is that brought about?" inquired Lincoln.

"Simply by trusting in God and knowing that He does all things well," she replied. 

"Did you submit fully under the first loss?" he asked.  "No," she answered, "not fully.  But as blow came upon blow, and all were taken, I could and did submit." 

Lincoln replied, "I'm glad to hear you say that -- I will try to go to God with my sorrows."  After a few days, she asked him if he could trust God. 

He replied, "I think I can.  I will try.  I wish I had that childlike faith you speak of, and I trust he will give it to me."

:10  but the wicked shall do wickedly

Rather than repent during the tribulation period, there will just be an increase in wickedness.

:11  from the time ... there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

The problem here is that we've made a specific point to say that the latter half of the tribulation will be three and a half prophetic years, or 1260 days.  Even Rev.12:6,14 says specifically it will be 1260 days.  So what's the extra 30 days doing here?


We're entering into the realm of pure speculation here!

Anyone who tries to tell you that they have the numbers of the next two verses all figured out and proven is probably trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge as well.

Cartoon:  Ziggy is on the analyst's couch, talking, "Not only did I buy the brooklyn Bridge ... somebody talked me into getting aluminum siding for it!"


1.  Some suggest that the extra thirty days goes beyond the Tribulation to allow for the judgement of Israel and the nations.

Some further suggest the idea of purging out the kingdom from "all stumbling blocks ..."

»Matthew 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

2.  Some have suggested that there will be some kind of announcement 30 days before the abomination of desolation, saying that it's going to be coming.  This extra 30 days is then included in this figure of 1290 days.

:12  the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days

On top of that here's another 45 days to account for!

One idea:

When Jesus comes back, there will be a time of judging the nations (Matt.25:31-46) where Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats.  This will be a judgement on all those still alive at the end of the tribulation.  There will also be a regathering and judgement of Israel (Ez.20:34-38).

This is all going to take time!  There are billions of people in the world.  Even if two billion people (less than half the population) were lucky enough to make it through the tribulation, that would leave only .0032  seconds for God to judge each person, let alone set up His millenial rule on the earth.

Another idea:

Maybe it's to celebrate the Feast of the Booths (though it's a bit long to do that)

»Zechariah 14:16  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

:13  thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days

Referring to Daniel's death and resurrection.

:13  stand in thy lot at the end of the days