Online Bible Commentary
Arise to Your Inheritance
Daniel 12:5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?" 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. 8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" 9 And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days." (NKJV)
The time is 536 B.C. Daniel is about 84 years old. In this passage Daniel is treated to yet another vision from the Lord. At the time of this vision Daniel is on the bank of the Tigris River, not far from his home in Babylon.
Some commentators believe that the “man” in the vision is an angel. Others, including myself, believe that the vision is that of a preincarnate visit from Jesus. The description of the “man” in the vision in 10:5-6 appears to match the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-16. Also, the overwhelming power exhibited by the presence of the “man” (10:7-11) seems to exceed the presence exhibited by visits of angels. And, as we see in this passage, the description given in 12:6-8 seems to point to Jesus as the “man”. Either way, since angels are messengers from God and Jesus is God, this vision is from God.
Daniel’s vision has foretold events in the history of Israel from 539 B.C. through the Maccabean revolt of 164 B.C. and the institution of Hanukkah. Now Jesus has skipped over thousands of years to complete the vision with a description of the end times. In this vision, Jesus is foretelling of the end time events as they pertain to the Jewish people.
In his vision, Daniel now sees two angels, one on each side of the river (v. 5). Jesus was hovering above the water in the river (v. 6a). One of the angels asks "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?", referring to the time of intense persecution of the Jewish people during the last half of the seven year tribulation of the end times. (v. 6b).
This does not seem to be a question that an angel could be expected to answer. Angels are messengers from God. They come and deliver a message. This would be more of a question that only God could answer, or choose not to answer. It would also seem odd that one angel would be asking this of another angel. All the more reason for “the man clothed in linen” to be the preincarnate Jesus.
In response to the question, Jesus lifts His hands to heaven and swears by God the Father “that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time”, meaning three and one-half years (v. 7a). At this time the power of the Jewish people will be “completely shattered” (v. 7b). The intense persecution will occur in the last three and one-half years of the seven year tribulation.
Daniel, not understanding, asks "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?", asking when this will happen (v. 8). The Lord then dismisses Daniel’s question, saying that all will be fulfilled at the proper time (v. 9).
Jesus then states that many Jews will be “purified”, will become Christians, at this time as they are “refined” by the persecution. “The wise”, the new Jewish Christians, will understand but “the wicked”, the non Christians, will not understand (v. 10).
Jesus does, however, give Daniel a timeline of events. First, the temple will be destroyed and daily sacrifices will be stopped (v. 11a). Then, thirty days later, the second half of the tribulation will begin, lasting three and one-half years, or 1,260 days. The 30 days plus the 1,260 days equals the “one thousand two hundred and ninety days” of which Jesus speaks (v. 11b).
Those who wait, the new Jewish Christians who endure in the faith through the persecution, for “the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days” will be “blessed” (v. 12). This is the 1,290 days plus 45 days for Jesus to set up His new kingdom.
Jesus ends this vision by comforting Daniel. He explains that after Daniel dies he will “arise” for his “inheritance” at “the end of the days” (v. 13).
The Christian journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. We must endure in our faith until the end. We will have ups and downs along the way, but we must never quit. We must finish the race.
Like the prodigal son, we may get off track during the race, but we must always return to our Father, in Heaven. Then, and only then, will we receive our “inheritance” of eternal life in Heaven. Then, and only then, will you “arise to your inheritance.”