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Daniel 12:1

ESV “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
NIV At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.
NASB Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
CSB At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time. But at that time all your people who are found written in the book will escape.
NLT At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued.
KJV 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.

What does Daniel 12:1 mean?

The angel Daniel saw in a vision at the Tigris River (Daniel 10:1) continues to speak. He has delivered a series of prophecies, recorded in Daniel chapter 11. Those predicted many of the major historical events happening around Judea in the fourth through second centuries BC. Near the end, the angel's predictions shifted, to look much further in the future. Here, the angel speaks in extremely broad terms. This begins a short passage which touches on some of the most important themes in Christian theology.

Michael is one of only two angels named in Scripture. The other is Gabriel (Daniel 8:15–16; 9:21–22; Luke 1:26), who is probably the one giving this information to Daniel (Daniel 10:18–21; 11:2). Michael is described as "the archangel" (Jude 1:9). His role seems to involve leadership over the armies of heaven (Revelation 12:7). Earlier, Michael was said to be involved in a supernatural battle with a "prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Daniel 10:13), likely a fallen angel of some kind. That demon was apparently primarily concerned with that region of the world; Michael seems to be the angel most directly concerned with Israel.

What the angel describes here corresponds with a time often called "the great tribulation." This is often associated with the second half of a seven-year "tribulation" during the end times. Jesus also commented on this era (Matthew 24:9–26). Most interpreters believe this series of events will involve the beasts of Revelation (Revelation 13:1–4, 11–17) and some type of treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). According to this view, the midpoint of this seven-year period will include "the abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15), triggering this time of unprecedented suffering.

Some interpreters believe the start of this "great tribulation" corresponds to the war mentioned in Revelation, where Michael and the other angels drive Satan and his demons onto earth. Satan then vengefully attacks the Jewish people (Revelation 12:7–12). This will be the worst persecution of Israel's entire existence. After a series of supernatural events and disasters, Christ will return to earth (Revelation 19:11–15), to rule a kingdom including those Israelites who survived (Zechariah 13:8–9).

This verse also notes a "book." This does not seem to be a literal paper-and-ink object, but a reference to God's record of those who have been saved. This idea is used often when speaking of salvation and God's knowledge of who is a true believer (Exodus 32:32–33; Ezekiel 13:9; Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 20:12).
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