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Daniel chapter 12

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New International Version

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King James Version

What does Daniel chapter 12 mean?

This concludes an extensive prophecy given to Daniel (Daniel 10:1) in 536 BC. While standing near the Tigris River, Daniel sees an angelic figure (Daniel 10:4–6) who begins summarizing events which would occur between the fourth and second centuries BC. At the end of the prior chapter, those prophecies were transitioning towards a much longer view, reaching into the end times.

The celestial being, probably the angel Gabriel (Daniel 8:15–16; 9:21–22; Luke 1:26) makes another mention of Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21). He implies that Michael is the angel primarily concerned with the nation of Israel. His predictions involve a time of unprecedented hardship. This echoes remarks made by Jesus, and others, with respect to the "tribulation" and "great tribulation" at the end of history (Matthew 24:9–26). Some will follow God and find eternal life; others will reject God and experience everlasting shame. Daniel, for his part, is told to safeguard what he's been told, knowing that as the end comes closer, mankind's understanding will improve (Daniel 12:1–4).

Daniel then notes two more beings, probably human-like in appearance, and likely angels. A voice asks about the timing of the recently predicted events. The celestial being refers to "a time, times, and half a time." This is generally taken to mean three-and-one-half years (Daniel 7: 25; Revelation 12:6, 14; 13:5). Daniel asks for more clarity but is told to go back to his daily life. What has been given is all the information God would provide at that time. However, the angel's words are encouraging. He reassures Daniel that he will be resurrected and restored after death (Daniel 12:5–13).
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