But go thou thy way till the end be - Here is proper advice for every man.
Number of verses in this book, 357
Middle verse, Daniel 5:30;
Masoretic sections, 7
Finished correcting for the press, March 1st, 1831. - A. C.
But go thou thy way until the end be - See Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9. The meaning is, that nothing more would be communicated, and that he must wait for the disclosures of future times. When that should occur which is here called “the end,” he would understand this more fully and perfectly. The language implies, also, that he would be present at the development which is here called “the end;” and that then he would comprehend clearly what was meant by these revelations. This is such language as would be used on the supposition that the reference was to far-distant times, and to the scenes of the resurrection and the final judgment, when Daniel would be present. Compare the notes at Daniel 12:2-3.
For thou shalt rest - Rest now; and perhaps the meaning is, shalt enjoy a long season of repose before the consummation shall occur. In Daniel 12:2, he had spoken of those who “sleep in the dust of the earth;” and the allusion here would seem to be the same as applied to Daniel. The period referred to was far distant. Important events were to intervene. The affairs of the world were to move on for ages before the “end”‘ should come. There would be scenes of revolution, commotion, and tumult - momentous changes before that consummation would be reached. But during that long interval Daniel would “rest.” He would quietly and calmly “sleep in the dust of the earth” - in the grave. He would be agitated by none of these troubles - disturbed by none of these changes, for he would peacefully slumber in the hope of being awaked in the resurrection. This also is such language as would be employed by one who believed in the doctrine of the resurrection, and who meant to say that he with whom he was conversing would repose in the tomb while the affairs of the world would move on in the long period that would intervene between the time when he was then speaking and the “end” or consummation of all things - the final resurrection. I do not see that it is possible to explain the language on any other supposition than this. The word rendered “shalt rest” - תנוּח tânûach - would be well applied to the rest in the grave. So it is used in Job 3:13, “Then had I been at rest;” Job 3:17, “There the weary be at rest.”
And stand in thy lot - In thy place. The language is derived from the lot or portion which falls to one - as when a lot is cast, or anything is determined by lot. Compare Judges 1:3; Isaiah 57:6; Psalm 125:3; Psalm 16:5. Gesenius (Lexicon) renders this, “And arise to thy lot in the end of days; i. e., in the Messiah‘s kingdom.” Compare Revelation 20:6. The meaning is, that he need have no apprehension for himself as to the future. That was not now indeed disclosed to him; and the subject was left in designed obscurity. He would “rest,” perhaps a long time, in the grave. But in the far-distant future he would occupy ills appropriate place; he would rise from his rest; he would appear again on the stage of action; he would have the lot and rank which properly belonged to him. What idea this would convey to the mind of Daniel it is impossible now to determine, for he gives no statement on that point; but it is clear that it is such language as would be appropriately used by one who believed in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and who meant to direct the mind onward to those far-distant and glorious scenes when the dead would all arise, and when each one of the righteous would stand up in his appropriate place or lot.
At the end of the days - After the close of the periods referred to, when the consummation of all things should take place. It is impossible not to regard this as applicable to a resurrection from the dead; and there is every reason to suppose that Daniel would so understand it, for
(a) if it be interpreted as referring to the close of the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes, it must be so understood. This prophecy was uttered about 534 years b.c. The death of Antiochus occurred 164 b.c. The interval between the prophecy and that event was, therefore, 370 years. It is impossible to believe that it was meant by the angel that Daniel would continue to live during all that time, so that he should then “stand in his lot,” not having died; or that he did continue to live during all that period, and that at the end of it he “stood in his lot,” or occupied the post of distinction and honor which is referred to in this language. But if this had been the meaning, it would have implied that he would, at that time, rise from the dead.
(b) If it be referred, as Gesenius explains it, to the times of the Messiah, the same thing would follow - for that time was still more remote; and, if it be supposed that Daniel understood it as relating to those times, it must also be admitted that he believed that there would be a resurrection, and that he would then appear in his proper place.
(c) There is only one other supposition, and that directly involves the idea that the allusion is to the general resurrection, as referred to in Daniel 12:3, and that Daniel would have part in that. This is admitted by Lengerke, by Maurer, and even by Bertholdt, to be the meaning, though he applies it to the reign of the Messiah. No other interpretation, therefore, can be affixed to this than that it implies the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and that the mind of Daniel was directed onward to that. With this great and glorious doctrine the book appropriately closes. The hope of such a resurrection was fitted to soothe the mind of Daniel in view of all the troubles which he then experienced, and of all the darkness which rested on the future, for what we most want in the troubles and in the darkness of the present life is the assurance that, after having “rested” in the grave - in the calm sleep of the righteous - we shall “awake” in the morning of the resurrection, and shall “stand in our lot” - or in our appropriate place, as the acknowledged children of God, “at the end of days” - when time shall be no more, and when the consummation of all things shall have arrived.
In reference to the application of this prophecy, the following general remarks may be made:
I. One class of interpreters explain it literally as applicable to Antiochus Epiphanes. Of this class is Prof. Stuart, who supposes that its reference to Antiochus can be shown in the following manner: “The place which this passage occupies shows that the terminus a quo, or period from which the days designated are to be reckoned, is the same as that to which reference is made in the previous verse. This, as we have already seen, is the period when Antiochus, by his military agent Apollonius, took possession of Jerusalem, and put a stop to the temple worship there. The author of the first book of Maccabees, who is allowed by all to deserve credit as an historian, after describing the capture of Jerusalem by the agent of Antiochus (in the year 145 of the Seleucidae - 168 b.c.), and setting before the reader the widespread devastation which ensued, adds, respecting the invaders: ‹They shed innocent blood around the sanctuary, and defiled the holy place; and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away: the sanctuary thereof was made desolate; her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach, and her honor into disgrace;‘ Daniel 7:24-28. But in determining even this, it was necessary to wait until the time and course of events should disclose its meaning; and in reference to the other two periods, doubtless still future, it may be necessary now to wait until events, still to occur, shall disclose what was intended by the angel. The first has been made clear by history: there can be no doubt that the others in the same manner will be made equally clear. That this is the true interpretation, and that this is the view which the angel desired to convey to the mind of Daniel, seems to be clear from such expressions as these occurring in the prophecy: “Seal the book to the time of the end,” Daniel 12:4; “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased,” Daniel 12:4; “the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end,” Daniel 12:9; “many shall be made white,” Daniel 12:1-13: 10; “the wise shall understand,” Daniel 12:10; “go thou thy way until the end be,” Daniel 12:13. This language seems to imply that these things could not then be understood, but that when the events to which they refer should take place they would be plain to all.
(4) Two of those events or periods - the 1290 days and the 1335 days - seem to lie still in the future, and the full understanding of the prediction is to be reserved for developments yet to be made in the history of the world. Whether it be by the conversion of the Jews and the Gentiles, respectively, as Bishop Newton supposes, it would be vain to conjecture, and time must determine. That such periods - marked and important periods - are to occur in the future, or in some era now commenced but not yet completed, I am constrained to believe; and that it will be possible, in time to come, to determine what they are, seems to me to be as undoubted. But where there is nothing certain to be the basis of calculation, it is idle to add other conjectures to those already made, and it is wiser to leave the matter, as much of the predictions respecting the future must of necessity be left to time and to events to make them clear.
Let me add, in the conclusion of the exposition of this remarkable book: -
(a) That the mind of Daniel is left at the close of all the Divine communications to him looking into the far-distant future, Daniel 12:13. His attention is directed onward. Fragments of great truths had been thrown out, with little apparent connection, by the angel; hints of momentous import had been suggested respecting great doctrines to be made clearer in future ages. A time was to occur, perhaps in the far-distant future, when the dead were to be raised; when all that slept in the dust of the earth should awake; when the righteous should shin e as the brightness of the firmament, and when he himself should “stand in his lot” - sharing the joys of the blessed, and occupying the position which would be appropriate to him. With this cheering prospect the communications of the angel to him are closed. Nothing could be better fitted to comfort his heart in a land of exile: nothing better fitted to elevate his thoughts.
(b) In the same manner it is proper that we should look onward. All the revelations of God terminate in this manner; all are designed and adapted to direct the mind to far-distant and most glorious scenes in the future. We have all that Daniel had; and we have what Daniel had not - the clear revelation of the gospel. In that gospel are stated in a still more clear manner those glorious truths respecting the future which are fitted to cheer us in time of trouble, to elevate our minds amidst the low scenes of earth, and to comfort and sustain us on the bed of death. With much more distinctness than Daniel saw them, we are permitted to contemplate the truths respecting the resurrection of the dead, the scenes of the final judgment, and the future happiness of the righteous. We have now knowledge of the resurrection of the Redeemer, and, through him, the assurance that all his people will be raised up to honor and glory; and though, in reference to the resurrection of the dead, and the future glory of the righteous, there is much that is still obscure, yet there is all that is necessary to inspire us with hope, and to stimulate us to endcavour to obtain the crown of life.
(c) It is not improper, therefore, to close the exposition of this book with the expression of a wish that what was promised to Daniel may occur to us who read his words - that “we may stand in our lot at the end of days;” that when all the scenes of earth shall have passed away in regard to us, and the end of the world itself shall have come, it may be our happy portion to occupy a place among the redeemed and to stand accepted before God. To ourselves, if we are truly righteous through our Redeemer, we may apply the promise made to Daniel; and for his readers the author can express no higher wish than that this lot may be theirs. If the exposition of this book shall be so blessed as to confirm any in the belief of the great truths of revelation, and lead their minds to a more confirmed hope in regard to these future glorious scenes; if by dwelling on the firm piety, the consummate wisdom, and the steady confidence in God evinced by this remarkable man, their souls shall be more established in the pursuit of the same piety, wisdom, and confidence in God; and if it shall lead the minds of any to contemplate with a more steady and enlightened faith the scenes which are yet to occur on our earth, when the saints shall reign, or in heaven, when all the children of God shall be gathered there from all lands, the great object of these studies will have been accomplished, and the labor which has been bestowed upon it will not have been in vain.
To these high and holy purposes I now consecrate these reflections on the book of Daniel, with an earnest prayer that He, from whom all blessings come, may be pleased so to accept this exposition of one of the portions of his revealed truth, as to make it the means of promoting the interests of truth and piety in the world; with a grateful sense of his goodness in allowing me to complete it, and with thankfulness that I have been permitted for so many hours, in the preparation of this work, to contemplate the lofty integrity, the profound wisdom, the stern and unyielding virtue, and the humble piety of this distinguished saint and eminent statesman of ancient time. He is under a good influence, and he is likely to have his own piety quickened, and his own purposes of unflinching integrity and faithfulness, and of humble devotion to God strengthened, who studies the writings and the character of the prophet Daniel.
Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1
As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. PK 547.2
From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld,—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring,—how completely has it passed away! As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. PK 548.1Read in context »
We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the word of God . Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking. TM 114.1
If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth's history. TM 114.2
When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. TM 114.3Read in context »
Each actor in history stands in his lot and place; for God's great work after His own plan will be carried out by men who have prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil. In opposition to righteousness, men become instruments of unrighteousness. But they are not forced to take this course of action. They need not become instruments of unrighteousness, any more than Cain needed to.... CC 371.2Read in context »
Satan invents unnumbered schemes to occupy our minds, that they may not dwell upon the very work with which we ought to be best acquainted. The archdeceiver hates the great truths that bring to view an atoning sacrifice and an all-powerful mediator. He knows that with him everything depends on his diverting minds from Jesus and His truth. GC 488.1
Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour's mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days. GC 488.2
All who have received the light upon these subjects are to bear testimony of the great truths which God has committed to them. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ's work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects and be able to give an answer to everyone that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them. GC 488.3Read in context »