History's Coming Climax
Verse 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.
A definite time is specified in this verse, not a particular year or month or day, but a time made definite by the occurrence of a certain event with which it is connected. "At that time." What time?--The time to which we are brought by the closing verse of the preceding chapter--the time when the king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain. When this event takes place, he is to come to his end; and then, according to this verse, we look for the standing up of Michael, the great Prince.
Michael Stands Up.--Who is Michael, and what is his standing up?-- Michael is called the "archangel" in Jude 9. This means the chief angel, or the head over the angels. There is but one. Who is he?--He is the one whose voice is heard from heaven when the dead are raised. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16.) Whose voice is heard in connection with that event?--The voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 5: 28.) Tracing back the evidence with this fact as a basis, we reach the following conclusion: The voice of the Son of God is the voice of the Archangel; the Archangel, then, must be the Son of God. But the Archangel is called Michael; hence Michael must be the name given to the Son of God. The expression in verse 1, "the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people," is sufficient alone to identify the one here spoken of as the Saviour of men. He is the "Prince of life," and "a Prince and a Saviour." Acts 3: 15, 5: 31. He is the great Prince. He "standeth for the children of thy people." He condescends to take the servants of God in this poor mortal state, and redeem them for the subjects of His future kingdom. He stands for us who believe. His people are essential to His future purposes, an inseparable part of the purchased inheritance. They are to be the chief agents of that joy which Christ foresaw, and which caused Him to endure all the sacrifice and suffering which have marked His intervention in behalf of the fallen race. Amazing honor! Be everlasting gratitude repaid Him for His condescension and mercy to us! Be His the kingdom, power, and glory, forever and ever!
We now come to the second question, What is the standing up of Michael? The key to the interpretation of this expression is given us: "There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;" "A mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion." Daniel 11: 2, 3. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of these expressions in these instances. They signify to take the kingdom, to reign. This expression in the verse under consideration, must mean the same. At that time Michael shall stand up, shall take the kingdom, shall begin to reign.
But is not Christ reigning now?--Yes, associated with His Father on the throne of universal dominion. (Ephesians 1: 20-22; Revelation 3: 21.) But this throne, or kingdom, He gives up at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15: 24.) Then begins His reign, brought to view in the text, when He stands up, or takes His own kingdom, the long-promised throne of His father David, and establishes a dominion of which there shall be no end. (Luke 1: 32, 33.)
The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom "of our Lord and of His Christ." His priestly robes are to be laid aside for royal vesture. The work of mercy will be finished and the probation of the human race ended. Then he that is filthy is beyond hope of cleansing; and he that is holy is beyond the danger of falling. All cases are forever decided. From that time on until Christ comes in the clouds of heaven, the nations are broken as with a rod of iron, and dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel, by an unparalleled time of trouble. There will be a series of divine judgments upon men who have rejected God. Then shall the Lord Jesus Christ be revealed from heaven, "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel." 2 Thessalonians 1: 8. (See also Revelation 11: 15; 22: 11, 12.)
Momentous are the events introduced by the standing up of Michael. He stands up, or takes the kingdom, some length of time before He returns personally to this earth. How important, then, that we have a knowledge of His position, that we may be able to trace the progress of His work, and understand when that thrilling moment draws near which ends His intercession in behalf of mankind, and fixes the destiny of all forever.
But how are we to know this? How are we to determine what is taking place in the sanctuary above? God has been so good as to place in our hands the means of knowing this. He has told us that when certain great events take place on earth, important decisions which synchronize with them are being made in heaven. By these things which are seen, we thus learn of things that are unseen. As we "look through nature up to nature's God," so through terrestrial phenomena and events we trace great movements in the heavenly kingdom. When the king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, then Michael our Lord stands up, or receives from His Father the kingdom, preparatory to His return to this earth. Or it might be expressed in words like these: Then our Lord ceases His work as our great High Priest, and the probation of the world is finished. The great prophecy of the 2300 days gives us the definite beginning of the final division of the work in the sanctuary in heaven. The verse before us gives us data whereby we can discover approximately the time of its close.
Time of Trouble.--In connection with the standing up of Michael, there occurs a time of trouble such as never was. In Matthew 24: 21 we read of a period of tribulation such as never was before it, nor should be after it. This tribulation, fulfilled in the oppression and slaughter of the church by the papal power, is already past; while the time of trouble of Daniel 12: 1 is still future, according to the view we take. How can there be two times of trouble, many years apart, each of them greater than any that had been before it, or should be after it?
To avoid difficulty here, let this distinction be carefully noticed: The tribulation spoken of in Matthew is tribulation upon the church. Christ is there speaking to His disciples, and of His disciples in coming time. They were the ones involved, and for their sake the days of tribulation were to be shortened. (Matthew 24: 22.) The time of trouble mentioned in Daniel is not a time of religious persecution, but of international calamity. There has been nothing like it since there was--not a church, but--a nation. This is the last trouble to come upon the world in its present state. In Matthew there is reference made to time beyond that tribulation; for after it is past, the people of God shall never go through another period of suffering like it. But there is no reference here in Daniel to future time after the trouble here mentioned, for it closes this world's history. It includes the seven last plagues of Revelation 16, and culminates in the revelation of the Lord Jesus, coming in clouds of flaming fire, to visit destruction upon His enemies. But out of this tribulation everyone shall be delivered who shall be found written in the book--the book of life; "for in Mount Zion . . . shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." Joel 2: 32.
Verse 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
This verse reveals the importance of the standing up of Michael, or the beginning of the reign of Christ, for at this time shall be a resurrection of the dead. Is this the general resurrection which takes place at the second coming of Christ? Or is there to intervene between Christ's reception of the kingdom and His revelation to earth in all His advent glory (Luke 21: 27) a special resurrection answering to the description here given?
Why may it not be the former, or the resurrection which occurs at the last trump?--Because only the righteous, to the exclusion of all the wicked, have part in that resurrection. Those who sleep in Christ then come forth, but the rest of the dead live not again for a thousand years. (Revelation 20: 5.) The general resurrection of the whole race, then, is divided into two great events--first, of the righteous exclusively a thousand years thereafter. The general resurrection is not a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked at the same time. Each of these two classes is set off by itself, and the time which elapses between the respective resurrection is plainly stated to be a thousand years.
In the resurrection brought to view in the verse before us, however, many, of both righteous wicked come up together. In cannot therefore be the first resurrection, which includes the righteous only, nor the second resurrection, which as distinctly confined to the wicked. If the text read, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake to everlasting life, then the "many" might be interpreted as including all the righteous, and the resurrection be that of the just at the second coming. But the fact that some of the many are wicked, and rise to shame and everlasting contempt, bars the way to such an application.
Is there, then, any place for a special, or limited, resurrection? Is there elsewhere any intimation of such an event, before the Lord appears? The resurrection here predicted takes place when God's people are delivered from the great time of trouble with which the history of this world terminated, and it seems from Revelation 22: 11 that this deliverance is given before the Lord appears. The awful moment arrives when he that is filthy and unjust is pronounced unjust still, and he that is righteous and holy is pronounced holy still. Then the cases of all are forever decided. When this sentence is pronounced upon the righteous, it must be deliverance to them, for then they are placed beyond all reach of danger or fear or evil. But the Lord has not at that time made His appearance, for He immediately adds, "Behold, I come quickly.,"
The utterance of this solemn fiat seals the righteous to everlasting lift and the wicked to eternal death. A voice goes forth from the throne of God, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16: 17. This is evidently the voice of God, so often alluded to in descriptions of the scenes connected with the last day. Joel speaks of it, and says: "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3: 16. The margin reads instead of "hope," "place of repair, or harbor." Then at this time, when God's voice is heard from heaven just previous to the coming of the Son of man, God is a harbor for His people, or, which is the same thing, provides them deliverance. The last stupendous scene is about to open upon a doomed world. God gives to the astonished nations another evidence and pledge of His power, and raises from the dead a multitude who have long slept in the dust of the earth.
Thus we see that there is a time and place for the resurrection of Daniel 12: 2. A verse in the book of Revelation make it clear that a resurrection of this kind must take place. "Behold, He cometh with clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every eye shall see Him [of the nations then living on the earth], and they also which pierced Him [those who took an active part in the terrible work of His crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." Revelation 1: 7. Those who crucified the Lord, would, unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in their graves until the end of the thousand years and come up in the general assembly of the wicked at that time.
But here it is stated that they behold the Lord at His second advent. There must, therefore, be a special resurrection for that purpose.
It is certainly most appropriate that some who were eminent in holiness, who labored and suffered for their hope of a coming Saviour, but died without seeing Him, should be raised a little before, to witness the scenes attending His glorious epiphany; as, in like manner, a goodly company came out of their graces at His resurrection to behold His risen glory (Matthew 27: 52, 53), and to escort Him in triumph to the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high (Ephesians 4: 8, margin). There will be also some, eminent in wickedness, who have done most to reproach the name of Christ and injure His cause, especially those who caused His cruel death upon the cross, and mocked and derided Him in His dying agonies, who will be raised, as part of their judicial punishment, to behold His return in the clouds of heaven, a celestial victor, in great majesty and splendor endurable to them.
What is here said supposed by some to furnish good evidence of the eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, because those of this character who are spoken of come forth to shame and everlasting contempt. How can they forever suffer shame and contempt, unless they are forever conscious? It has already been stated that shame implies their consciousness, but it will be noticed that this is not said to be everlasting. This qualifying word is not inserted until we come to the contempt, which is an emotion felt by others toward the guilty, and does not render necessary the consciousness of those against whom it is directed. Shame for their wickedness and corruption will burn into their very souls as long as they are conscious. When they pass away, consumed for their iniquities, their loathsome characters and guilty deeds excite only contempt on the part of all the righteous, as long as they hold them in remembrance. The text therefore furnishes no proof of the eternal suffering suffering of the wicked.
Verse 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
A Glorious Inheritance.--The margin reads "teachers" in the place of "wise." "They that be teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament." That is, of course, those who teach the truth, and lead others to a knowledge of it just previous to the time when the events recorded in the foregoing verse are to be fulfilled. As the world estimates loss and profit, it costs something to be teachers of truth in these days. It costs reputation, ease, comfort, and often property. It involves labors, crosses, sacrifices, loss of friendship, ridicule, and not infrequently, persecution.
The question is often asked, How can you afford to keep the true Sabbath, and perhaps lose a situation, reduce your income, or even hazard your means of support? Oh, what shortsightedness, to make obedience to what God requires a matter of pecuniary consideration! How unlike is this to the noble martyrs who loved not their lives unto death! When God commands, we cannot afford to disobey. If we are asked, How can you afford to keep the Sabbath, and do other duties involved in rendering obedience to the truth? we have only to ask in reply, How can you afford not to do them?
In the coming day, when those who have sought to save their lives shall lose them, and those who have been willing to hazard all for the sake of the truth and its divine Lord, shall receive the glorious reward promised in the text, and be raised up to shine as the firmament, and as the imperishable stars forever and ever, it will then be seen who have been wise, and who, on the contrary, have made the choice of blindness and folly. The wicked and worldly now look upon Christians as fools and madmen, and congratulate themselves upon their superior shrewdness in shunning what they call their folly, and avoiding their losses. We need make no response, for those who now render this decision will soon themselves reverse it, and that with terrible though unavailing earnestness.
Meanwhile, it is the Christian's privilege to dwell upon the consolations of this marvelous promise. A conception of its magnitude can be gathered only from the stellar worlds themselves. What are those stars, in the likeness of which the teachers of righteousness are to shine forever and ever? How much of brightness, and majesty, and length of days, is involved in this comparison?
The sun of our own solar system is one of these stars. If we compare it with this globe upon which we live (our handiest standard of measurement), we find it an orb of no small magnitude and magnificence. Our earth is neatly eight thousand miles in diameter, but the sun's diameter is eight hundred sixty-four thousand miles. In size it is one million three hundred thousand times as large as our globe. In the matter of its substance, it would balance three hundred thirty-two thousand worlds like ours. What immensity is that!
Yet this is far from being the largest or the brightest of the orbs in the heavens. The sun's proximity, only some ninety-three million miles from us, gives him with us a controlling presence and influence. But far away in the depths of space, so far that they appear like mere points of light, blaze other orbs of vaster size and greater glory. The nearest fixed star, Proxima Centauri, in the southern hemisphere, is found to be about twenty-five million million miles away. But the polestar system is about a hundred times as remote, or two thousand five hundred trillion miles; and it shines with a luster equal to that of 2500 of our suns. Others are also more luminous, as, for instance, Arcturus, which emits light equivalent to one hundred fifty-eight of our suns; Capella, one hundred eighty-five; and so on, until at last we reach the great star Rigel, in the constellation Orion, which floods the celestial spaces with a brilliance fifteen thousand times that of the ponderous orb which lights and controls our system!  Why, then, does it not appear more luminous to us? Ah, its distance is equivalent to thirty-three million diameters of the earth's orbit; and the latter is one hundred eighty-six million miles! Figures are weak to express such distances. It will be sufficient to say that its glowing light must traverse space as only light travels--one hundred eighty-six thousand miles a second--for a period of more than ten years before it reaches this world or ours. There are many other stars which are hundreds of light-years from our solar system.
Some of these monarchs of the skies rule singly, like our own sun. Some are double; that is, what appears to us like one star is found to consist of two stars--two suns with their retinue of planets, revolving around each other. Other are triple, some are quadruple, and one at least sextuple.
Besides this, they show colors of the rainbow. Some systems are white, some blue, some red, some yellow, some green. In some, the difference suns belonging to the same system are variously colored. Says Dr. Burr: "And, as if to make that Southern Cross the fairest object in all the heavens, we find in it a group of more than a hundred variously colored red, green, blue, and bluish-green suns, so closely thronged together as to appear in a powerful telescope like a superb bouquet, or piece of fancy jewelry." 
A few years pass away, and all things earthly gather the mold of age and the odor of decay. But the stars shine on in their glory as in the beginning. Centuries and cycles have gone by, kingdoms have risen and slowly passed away. We go back beyond the dim and shadowy horizon of history, go back even to the earliest moment when order was evoked out of chaos, and "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38: 7)--even then the stars were on their stately marches. How long before this we know not. Astronomers tell us of nebulae lying on the farthest outposts of telescopic vision, whose light in its never ceasing flight would consume five million years in reaching this planet. Yet their brightness is not dimmed, nor their force abated. The dew of youth still seems fresh upon them. No faltering motion reveals the decrepitude of age. These shine on in undiminished glory through all eternity.
Thus shall they shine who turn many righteousness. They shall bring joy even to the heart of the Redeemer. Thus shall their years roll on forever and ever.
Verse 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Book of Daniel Sealed.--The "words" and "book" here spoken of doubtless refer to the things which had been revealed to Daniel in this prophecy. These things were to be shut up and sealed until the time of the end; that is, they were not to be specially studied, or to any great extent understood, until that time. The time of the end, as has already been shown, began in 1798. As the book was closed up and sealed to that time, the plain inference is that at that time, or from that point, the book would be unsealed. People would be better able to understand it, and would have their attention specially called to this part of the inspired word. Of what has been done on the subject of prophecy since that time, it is unnecessary to remind the reader. The prophecies, especially Daniel's prophecy, have been under examination by all students of the word wherever civilization has spread abroad its light upon the earth. So the remainder of the verse, being a prediction of what should take place after the time of the end, begins, "Many shall run to and fro." Whether this running to and fro refers to the passing of people from place to place, and the great improvements in the facilities for transportation and travel made within the past century, or whether it means, as some understand it, a turning to and fro in the prophecies, that is, a diligent and earnest search into prophetic truth, the fulfillment is certainly and surely before our eyes. It must have its application in at least one of these two ways, and in both of these respects the present age is very strongly marked.
Increase of Knowledge.--"And knowledge shall be increased." This must refer either to the increase of knowledge in general, the development of the arts and sciences, or an increase of knowledge in reference to those things revealed to Daniel, which were closed and sealed to the time of the end. Here, again, apply it which way we will, the fulfillment is most marked and complete. Look at the marvelous achievements of the human mind, and the cunning works of men's hands, rivaling the magician's wildest dreams, which have been accomplished within the past hundred years or more. Within this time more advancement has been made in all scientific attainments, more progress has been made in human comforts, in the rapid transaction of business among men, in the transmission of thoughts and words from one to another, and in the means of rapid transit from place to place and even from continent to continent, than all that was done for three thousand years previously.
Harvesting Machinery.--Compare the harvesting methods of our day with the old method of hand reaping which was in use in the days of our grandfathers. Today one machine cuts and gathers, threshes, and sacks the grain ready for the market.
Modern Battleships and Mechanized Warcraft.--Modern warfare uses naval armored surface and underseas boats and fighting and bombing airplanes undreamed of at the middle of the past century. Tanks and motor trucks, motorized guns, and other equipment replace the animals and battering-rams of the ancients.
The Steam Railway.--The first American-build locomotive was made at the West Point Foundry, New York, and put into service in 1830. In the present day, improvements have made possible speeds of more than one hundred miles an hour by streamlined trains.
Ocean Steamships.--After little more than a century of steam-powered ships, the largest ocean liners built can cross the Atlantic in four days, and supply every luxury found in the finest hotels.
Television.--Then came wireless, a miracle, in 1896. By 1921, this discovery had developed into radio broadcasting.
Now television--the wireless transmission of sight and sound, the sending forth of motion pictures on air waves--is a household reality.
The Automobile.--Only a few years ago the automobile was unknown. Now the entire population of the United States could ride at one time, and racing cars have made speed of more than three hundred miles an hour. Huge passenger buses span the continents, and in the large cities double-decked buses have largely replaced electric streetcars.
The Typewriter.--The first model of the modern typewriter was put on the market in 1874. Now speedy and noiseless machines, in both office and portable style, are adapted to every type of writing and tabulation, and have become an indispensable part of general business and office equipment everywhere.
The Modern Printing Press.--Contrast the hand printing press of Benjamin Franklin with the high-speed rotary printing press, capable of printing news at more than twice the speed of machine-gun fire.
The Photographic Camera.--The first sunlight picture of a human face was made by Professor John William Draper of New York, in 1840, by an improvement of the process of Daguerre, the French pioneer in photography. since 1924, by means of improved lenses, photographs have been taken from great distances, over wide areas, and from airplanes high in the sky. Photographs can be taken of objects invisible to the eye by means of X rays and infrared rays. Color photography has made vast advances. Beginning 1895, the motion picture has become a mighty influence in the lives of millions. Movie and color cameras have been perfected and made cheap enough for use by multitudes.
Air Navigation.--Man's conquest of the air was achieved by the airplane in 1903. It is one of the most noteworthy triumphs of any age. Regular transoceanic passenger and mail service between North and South America and Europe and the Orient has been established.
The Telephone.--The first patent on the telephone was granted Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Since then intricate networks of telephones have been spread over the continents to link all people together.
Typesetting Machines.--These have worked a revolution in the art of printing. The first machine to set type mechanically was patented in England in 1822 by Dr. William Church. Out of many kinds introduced, those chiefly used at the present are the type-casting machines, such as the Linotype, invented by Mergenthaler in 1878, and the Monotype, invented by Lanston in 1885.
The Teletypesetter.--By a combination of the telegraph and line-casting machines, it is now possible for one operator at a central station simultaneously to operate type-casting machines by telegraph at any distance or in as many places as are in connection. This puts news into type at an increase in speed of from 50 to 100 per cent.
The Suspension Bridge.--The first suspension bridge of note in this country was built across the Niagara River in 1855. The Golden Gate Bridge across the entrance to San Francisco Bay, finished in 1937 at a cost of $35,000,000, has the longest single span in the world, 4,200 feet. Similar accomplishments in bridge construction have been attained in all progressive countries of the world.
The following is a partial list of advances in knowledge since the time of the end began in 1798:
Gas lighting, 1798; steel pens, 1803; friction matches, 1820; electrotyping, 1837; sewing machine, 1841; anesthesia by ether and by chloroform, 1846, 1848; ocean cable, 1858; Gatling gun, 1861; Monitor warship, 1862; automatic air brakes on trains, 1872; seismograph, 1880; steam turbine, 1883; X ray, 1895; radium, 1898; transcontinental telephone, 1915.
What a galaxy of wonders to originate in a single age! How marvelous the scientific attainments of the present day, upon which all these discoveries and achievements concentrate their light! We have truly reached the age of the increase of knowledge.
To the honor of Christianity let it be noted in what lands and by whom, these discoveries have been made which have done so much to add to the facilities and comforts of life. It is in Christian lands, among Christian men. Not in the Dark Ages, which furnished only a travesty on Christianity; not to pagans, who in their ignorance know not God, nor to those who in Christian lands deny Him, is the credit of this progress due. Indeed, it is the very spirit of equality and individual liberty inculcated in the gospel of Christ when preached in its purity, which unshackles human limbs, unfetters human minds, invites them to the highest use of their powers, and makes possible such an age of free thought and action in which these wonders can be achieved.
Increase of Bible Knowledge.--But it we take the other standpoint, and refer the increase of knowledge to an increase of Bible knowledge, we have only to look at the wonderful light which within the past one hundred and fifty years has shone upon the Scriptures. The fulfillment of prophecy has been revealed in the light of history. The use of a better principle of interpretation has led to conclusions showing beyond dispute that the end of all things is near. Truly the seal has been taken from the book, and knowledge respecting what God has revealed in His word, is wonderfully increased. We think it is in this respect that the prophecy is more especially fulfilled, but only in an age of unparalleled facilities like the present could the prophecy be accomplished.
That we are in the time of the end is shown by Revelation 10: 1, 2, where a mighty angel is seen to come down from heaven with a little book open in his hand. Then the book of this prophecy should be no longer sealed. It was to be opened and understood. For proof that the little book to be opened is the book here closed and sealed when Daniel wrote, and that that angel delivers his message in this generation, see comments on Revelation 10: 2.
Verse 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
How Long to the End?--The question, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" undoubtedly has reference to all that has previously been mentioned, including the standing up of Michael, the time of trouble, the deliverance of God's people, and the special resurrection of verse 2. The answer seems to be given in two divisions: First a specific prophetic period is marked off, and then an indefinite period follows before the conclusion of all these things is reached, just as we have it in Daniel 8: 13, 14. When the question was asked, "How long . . . the vision . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot?" the answer mentioned a definite period of 2300 days, followed by an indefinite period in the cleansing of the sanctuary. So in the text before us, there is given the period of a time, times, and a half, or 1260 years, and then an indefinite period for the continuance of scattering of the power of the holy people, before the consummation.
The 1260 years mark the period of papal supremacy. Why is this period here introduced?--probably because this power is the one which does more than any other in the world's history toward scattering the power of the holy people, or oppressing the church of God. But what shall we understand by the expression, "When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people"? To whom does the pronoun "he" refer? According to the wording of this scripture, the antecedent would at first seem to be "Him that liveth forever," or Jehovah; but, as an eminent expositor of the prophecies judiciously remarks, in considering the pronouns of the Bible we are to interpret them according to the facts of the case, and hence must frequently refer them to an antecedent understood, rather than to some noun which is expressed. So here, the little horn, or man of sin, after being introduced by the particular mention of the time of his supremacy, 1260 years, may be the power referred to by the pronoun "he." For 1260 years he had grievously oppressed the church, or scattered its power. After his supremacy is taken away, his disposition toward the truth and its advocates still remains, his power is still felt to a certain extent, and he continues his work of oppression as far as he is able, until when?--Until the last of the events brought to view in verse 1, the deliverance of God's people. When they are thus delivered, persecuting powers are no longer able to oppress them, their power is no longer scattered, the end of the wonders prescribed in this great prophecy is reached, and all its predictions are accomplished.
Or without particularly altering the sense, we may refer the pronoun "he" to the one mentioned in the oath of verse 7, as "Him that liveth forever;" that is, God, since He employs the agency of earthly powers in chastising and disciplining His people, and in that sense may be said Himself to scatter their power. By His prophet He said concerning the kingdom of Israel, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, . . . until He come whose right it is." Ezekiel 21: 27. Again, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21: 24. Of like import is the prophecy of Daniel 8: 13 "How long . . . the vision . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" Who gives them to this condition?--God. Why?--To discipline, to "purify and make white" His people. How long?--Until the sanctuary is cleansed.
Verse 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
The Book Sealed Until the Time of the End.--By Daniel's solicitude to understand fully all that had been shown him, we are forcibly reminded of Peter's words where he speaks of the prophet's inquiring and searching diligently to understand the predictions concerning the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow; as also of the fact "that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister." 1 Peter 1: 12. How little of what they wrote were some of the prophets permitted to understand! But they did not therefore refuse to write. If God required it, they knew that in due time He would see that His people derived from their writings all the benefit that He intended.
So the language here used to Daniel was the same as telling him that when the right time should come, the wise would understand the meaning of what he had written, and profit thereby. The time of the end was the time in which the Spirit of God was to break the seal of this book. Consequently this was the time during which the wise should understand, while the wicked, lost to all sense of the value of eternal truth, with hearts callous and hardened in sin, would grow continually more wicked and more blind. None of the wicked understand. The efforts which the wise put forth to understand, the wicked call folly and presumption, and ask in sneering phrase, "Where is the promise of His coming?" Should the question be raised, Of what time and what generation does the prophet speak? the solemn answer would be, Of the present time, and of the generation now before us. This language of the prophet is now receiving a most striking fulfillment.
The phraseology of verse 10 seems at first sight to be rather peculiar: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried." How, it may be asked, can they be made white and then tried (as the language would seem to imply), when it is by being tried that they are purified and made white? The language doubtless describes a process which is many times repeated in the experience of those, who, during this time, are being made ready for the coming and kingdom of the Lord.
They are purified and made white, as compared with their former condition. Then they are again tried. Greater tests are brought to bear upon them. If they endure these, the work of purification is thus carried on to a still greater extent until they attain to a purer character. After reaching this state, they are tried again, and further purified and made white. Thus the process goes on until characters are developed which will stand the test of the day of judgment and a spiritual condition is reached which needs no further trial.
Verse 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
The 1290 Prophetic Days.--We have here a new prophetic period introduced, 1290 prophetic days, which according to Bible authority would denote the same number of literal years. From the reading of the text, some have inferred that this period begins with the setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papal power, in A.D. 538, and consequently extends to 1828. We find nothing in the latter year to mark its termination, but we do find evidence in the margin that it begins before the setting up of the papal abomination. The margin reads "To set up the abomination." With this reading the text would stand thus: "From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away to set up [or in order to set up] the abomination that maketh desolate, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
The Year A.D. 508.--We are not told directly to what event these 1290 days reach; but inasmuch as their beginning is marked by a work which takes place to prepare the way for the setting up of the papacy, it would be natural to conclude that their end would be marked by the cessation of papal supremacy. Counting back, then, 1290 years from 1798, we have the year 508. This period is doubtless given to show the date of the taking away of the daily, and it is the only one which does this. The two periods, therefore, the 1290 and the 1260 days, terminate together in 1798, the latter beginning in 538, and the former in 508 thirty years previous. In support of the date A.D. 508 the following historical quotations are given:
Baptism of Clovis.--"As to the writings of Anastasius, . . . there is one from him to Clovis, king of the Franks, congratulating that prince on his conversion to the Christian religion. For Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, was baptized on Christmas Day 496, the very day, according to some, on which the pope was ordained." 
Thomas Hodgkin says:
"The result of this ceremony was to change the political relations of every state in Gaul. Though the Franks were among the roughest and most uncivilized of the tribes that had poured westwards across the Rhine, as Catholics they were now sure of a welcome from the Catholic clergy of every city, and where the clergy led, the 'Roman' provincials, or in other words the Latin-speaking laity, generally followed. Immediately after his baptism Clovis received a letter of enthusiastic welcome into the true fold, written by Avitus, Bishop of Vienne, the most eminent ecclesiastic of the Burgundian kingdom." 
Clovis the First Catholic Prince.--"It is observable, that Clovis was, at this time , the only Catholic prince in the known world, as the word Catholic was then understood. Anastasius, Emperor of the East, was a professed Eutychian. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy; Alaric, King of the Visigoths, master of all Spain, and of the third part of Gaul; the kings of the Burgundians, Suevians, and Vandals, in Gaul, Spain, and Africa; were all zealous followers of Arius. As for the other kings of the Franks settled in Gaul, they were still pagans. Clovis was not only the sole Catholic prince at this time in the world; but the first king that ever embraced the Catholic religion; which has procured to the French king the title of the 'most Christian,' and that of 'the eldest son of the Church.' But were we to compare the conduct and actions of Clovis, the Catholic, with those of the Arian King Theodoric, such a comparison would no ways redound to the honor of the Catholic faith."  Popes Endangered by Arian Princes.--Ephraim Emerton, former professor of history at Harvard University, say:
"By the time of the Franks had fought the battle of Strassburg the bishops of the city of Rome had come to be looked up to as the leaders of the Church in what had been the Western Empire. They had come to be called popes, and were trying hard to govern the Church of the West just as a king might govern his people. We have seen how much respect a venerable pope like Leo could command even from such rude destroyers as Attila and Gaiseric. Now the popes had always been devoted Catholics, opposed to Arianism wherever it appeared. At the moment of the Frankish conversion they were in constant danger from the Arian Ostrogoths who had just got a firm hold upon Italy. Theodoric had not distributed the religion of Rome, but a new king might arise who should try to force Arianism upon the whole of Italy. The pope was therefore overjoyed to hear that the newly converted Franks had taken his form of the Christian belief. He was ready to bless every undertaking of theirs as the work of God, if only it might be against the worse than heathen Arians. Thus began as early as the year 500 an understanding between the Roman Papacy and the Frankish kingdom which was to ripen into an intimate allegiance and to do very much towards shaping all the future history of Europe." 
Clovis's Conversion a Check on the Arians.--"The event which intensified the fears of all the Arian kings, and which left to each one little more than the hope that he might be the last to be devoured, was the conversion to Catholicism of Clovis, the heathen king of the Franks." 
Barbarian League Against Clovis.--"The kings of the barbarians were . . . invited to join in a 'League of Peace,' in order to check the lawless aggressions of Clovis which threatened danger to all." 
"To form such a confederacy and to league together all the older Arian monarchies against this one aspiring Catholic state which threatened to absorb them all, was now the main purpose of Theodoric." 
Clovis Launches a Religious War.--"The diplomatic action of Theodoric was powerless to aver the war; possible even it may have stimulated Clovis to strike rapidly before a hostile coalition could be formed against him. At an assembly of his nation (perhaps the 'Camp of March') in the early part of 507, he impetuously declared: 'I take it grievously amiss that these Arians should hold so large a part of Gaul. Let us go and overcome them with God's help, and bring the land into subjection to us.' The saying pleased the whole multitude, and the collected army marched southward to the Loire." 
Clovis Defeats the Visigoths.--"The next campaign of the Frankish king was one of far greater importance and success. He was set on trying his fortune against the young king of the Visigoths, whose personal weakness and unpopularity with his Roman subjects tempted him to an invasion of Aquitaine. It would seem that Chlodovech [Clovis] carefully chose as a casus belli the Arian persecutions of the Alaric, who, like his father Euric, was a bad master to his Catholic subjects. . . . In 507 Chlodovech declared war on the Visigoths ."
"Why the explosion was delayed until the year 507 is unknown. That the king of the Franks was the aggressor is certain. He easily found a pretext for beginning the war as a champion and protector of Catholic Christianity against the absolutely just measures which Alaric took against his treacherous orthodox clergy. . . . In the spring of 507 he [Clovis] suddenly crossed the Loire and marched toward Poitiers. . . .
Ten miles from Poitiers, the Visigoths had taken up their position. Alaric put off beginning battle because he was waiting for the Ostrogoth troops, but as they were hindered by the appearance of a Byzantine fleet in Italian waters he determined to fight instead of beating a retreat, as it would have been wise to do. After a short engagement the Goths turned and fled. In the pursuit the king of the Goths was killed, it was said by Clovis's own hand (507). With this overthrow the rule of the Visigoths in Gaul was ended forever." 
"It is evident, from the language of Gregory of Tours, that this conflict, between the Franks and Visigoths was regarded by the Orthodox party of his own and preceding ages as a religious war, on which, humanly speaking, the prevalence of the Catholic or the Arian creed in Western Europe depended ." 
"A.D. 508. A short time after these events, Clovis receive the titles and dignity of Roman patricius and consul from the Greek emperor Anastasius; who appears to have been prompted to this act more by motives of jealousy and hatred towards Theodoric the Ostrogoth, than by any love he bore for the restless and encroaching Frank. The meaning of these obsolete titles, as applied to those who stood in no direct relation either division of the Roman Empire, has never been sufficiently explained. . . . The sun of Rome was set, but the twilight of her greatness still rested on the world. The German kings and warriors received with pleasure, and wore with pride, a title which brought them into connection with that imperial city, of whose universal dominion, of whose skill in armies and arts, the traces lay everywhere around them." 
"In 508 Clovis received at Tours the insignia of the consulship from the eastern emperor, Anastasius, but the title was purely honorific. The last years of his life Clovis spent in Paris, which he made the capital of his kingdom." 
End of Arian Resistance.--This disposed of the Visigothic kingdom, but there yet remained the league of Arian powers under Theodoric. Alaric had counted on the assistance of Theodoric, but the latter failed him. The next year, A.D. 508, however, Theodoric came against Clovis and gained a victory, after which he unaccountable made peace with him, and the resistance of the Arian powers was at an end. 
Significance of Clovis's Victories.--The eminence which Clovis had attained in the year 508, and the significance of his victories to the future of Europe and the church were so great that historians cannot forbear commenting on them.
"Nor was his a temporary conquest. The kingdom of the West Goths and the Burgundians had become the kingdom of the Franks. The invaders had at length arrived, who were to remain. It was decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms." 
"Clovis was the first to unite all the elements from which the new social order was to be formed,--namely, the barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilization, to which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and of consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church, with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his successors." 
Paved the Way for Alliance of Church and State.--"In him [Clovis] met two religions, and two ages of the world. At his birth the Roman world was still a power; his death marks the dawn of the Middle Ages. He stepped into the vacant place of the Eastern emperor, and paved the way for what Charlemagne perfected--the fusion of Roman and German civilization, the alliance of church and state." 
Clovis Saved the Church From Paganism and Arianism.--"He [Clovis] had on all occasions shown himself the heartless ruffian, the greedy conqueror, the bloodthirsty tyrant; but by his conversion he had led the way to triumph of Catholicism; he had saved the Roman Church from the Scylla and Charybdis of heresy and paganism, planted it on a rock in the very center of Europe, and fixed its doctrines and traditions in the hearts of the conquerors of the west." 
Foundations of the Medieval Church.--"the results of their [the Franks'] occupation of Gaul were so important, the empire which they founded, their alliance with the church, their legal notions and political institutions were all of such decisive influence upon the future that their history deserves separate treatment. . . . It is to them that the political inheritance of the Roman Empire passed; to them came the honor of taking up and carrying on, roughly, to be sure, and far less extensively and effectively, but nevertheless of actually carrying on the political work which Rome had been doing. They alone represent that unity which Rome had established, and so far as that unity was maintained at all as a definite fact, it is the Franks who maintained it. . . It is only at the end of the fifth century that their career really begins, and then, as so often in similar cases, it is the genius of one man, a great leader, which creates the nation. . . . Clovis . . . appears as one of the great creative spirits who give a new direction to the currents of history. . . . A third step of great importance in this process of union was also to be taken by Clovis. On institution, produced in the ancient world before the Germans entered it, had continued with vigorous life and wide influence, indeed, with slowly increasing power, through all the changes of this chaotic period. It was to be in the future a still greater power and to exert an influence even wider and more permanent than that of the Franks. . . . This was the Roman Church. It was to be the great ecclesiastical power of the future. It was therefore a most essential question whether the Franks, who were to grow on their side into the great political power of the future, should do so in alliance with this other power or in opposition to it. . . .
"This question Clovis settled, not long after the beginning of his career, by his conversion to Catholic Christianity. . . . In these three ways, therefore, the work of Clovis was of creative influence upon the future. He brought together the Roman and German upon equal terms, each preserving the sources of his strength, to form a new civilization. He founded a political power which was to unite nearly all the continent in itself, and to bring the period of the invasions to an end. He established a close alliance between the two great controlling forces of the future, the two empires which continued the unity which Rome had created, the political empire and the ecclesiastical." 
Thus in A.D. 508 terminated united resistance to the development of the papacy. The question of supremacy between Frank and Goth, between the Catholic and the Arian religions, had then been settled in favor of the Catholics.
Verse 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
The 1335 Prophetic Days.--Still another prophetic period is here introduced, denoting 1335 years. Can we tell when this period begins and ends? The only clue we have to the solution of this question, is the fact that it is spoken of in immediate connection with the 1290 years, which began in 508 as shown above. From that point there shall be, says the prophet, 1290 days. The very next sentence reads, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days." From what point?--
From the same point, undoubtedly, as that from which the 1290 date, namely, A.D. 508. Unless they are to be reckoned from this point, it is impossible to locate them, and they must be excepted from the prophecy of Daniel when we apply to it the words of Christ, "Whoso readeth, let him understand." Matthew 24: 15. From this point they would extend to 1843, for 1335 added to 508 makes 1843. Beginning in the spring of the former year, they ended in the spring of the latter.
But how can it be that they have ended, it may be asked, since at the end of these days Daniel stands in his lot, which is by some supposed to refer to his resurrection from the dead? This question is founded on a misapprehension in two respects: First, that the days at the end of which Daniel stands in his lot are the 1335 days; and second, that the standing of Daniel in his lot is his resurrection, which also cannot be sustained. The only thing promised at the end of the 1335 days is a blessing to those who wait and come to that time; that is, those who are then living. What is this blessing? Looking at the year of 1843, when these years expired, what do we behold? We see a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy in the great proclamation of the second coming of Christ. Forty-five years before this, the time of the end began, the book was unsealed, and light began to increase. About the year 1843, there was a grand culmination of all the light that had been shed on prophetic subjects up to that time. The proclamation went forth in power. The new and stirring doctrine of the setting up of the kingdom of God shook the world. New life was imparted to the true disciples of Christ. The unbelieving were condemned, the churches were tested, and a spirit of revival was awakened which has had no parallel since.
Was this the blessing? Listen to the Saviour's words: "Blesses are you eyes," said He to His disciples, "for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Matthew 13: 16. Again He told His followers that prophets and kings had desired to see the things which they saw, and had not seen them. But "blessed," said He to them, "are the eyes which see the things that ye see." Luke 10: 23, 24. If a new and glorious truth was a blessing in the days of Christ to those who received it, why was it not equally so in A.D. 1843?
It may be objected that those who engaged in this movement were disappointed in their expectations; so were the disciples of Christ at His first advent, in an equal degree. They shouted before Him as He rode into Jerusalem, expecting that He would then take the kingdom. But the only throne to which He then went was the cross, and instead of being hailed as king in a royal palace, He was laid a lifeless form in Joseph's new sepulcher. Nevertheless, they were "blessed" in receiving the truths they had heard.
It may be objected further that this was not a sufficient blessing to be marked by a prophetic period. Why not, since the period in which it was to occur, the time of the end, is introduced by a prophetic period; since our Lord, in verse 14 of His great prophecy of Matthew 24, makes a special announcement of this movement; and since it is still further set forth in Revelation 14: 6, 7, under the symbol of an angel flying through midheaven with a special announcement of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth? Surely the Bible gives great prominence to this movement.
Two more questions remain to be noticed briefly: What days are referred to in verse 13? What is meant by Daniel's standing in his lot? Those who claim that the days are the 1335, are led to that application by looking back no further than to the preceding verse, where the 1335 days are mentioned; whereas, in making an application of these days so indefinitely introduced, the whole scope of the prophecy should certainly be taken in from Daniel 8. Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 are clearly a continuation and explanation of the vision of Daniel 8; hence we may say that in the vision of chapter 8, as carried out and explained, there are four prophetic periods: the 2300, 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. The first is the principal and longest period; the others are but intermediate parts and subdivisions of this. Now, when the angel tells Daniel at the conclusion of his instructions that he shall stand in his lot at the end of days, without specifying which period was meant, would not Daniel's mind naturally turn to the principal and longest period, the 2300 days, rather than to any of its subdivisions? If this is so, the 2300 are the days intended. the reading of the Septuagint seems to look plainly in this direction: "But go thy way and rest; for there are yet days and seasons to the full accomplishment [of these things]; and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days." This certainly carries the mind back to the long period contained in the first vision, in relation to which the subsequent instructions were given.
The 2300 days, as has been already shown, terminated in 1844, and brought us to the cleansing of the sanctuary. How did Daniel at that time stand in his lot? In the person of his Advocate, our great High Priest, as He presents the cases of the righteous for acceptance to His Father. The word here translated "lot" does note mean a piece of real estate, a "lot" of land, but the "decisions of chance" or the "determinations of Providence." At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was to be cast. In other words, a determination was to made in reference to those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly inheritance. When Daniel's case comes up for examination, he is found righteous, stands in his lot, is assigned a place in the heavenly Canaan.
When Israel was about to enter into the Promised Land, the lot was cast, and the possession of each tribe was assigned. The tribes thus stood in their respective "lots" long before they entered upon the actual possession of the land. The time of the cleansing of the sanctuary corresponds to this period of Israel's history. We now stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, and decisions are being made, assigning to some a place in the eternal kingdom, and barring others forever. In the decision of his case, Daniel's portion in the celestial inheritance will be made sure to him. With him all the faithful will also stand. When this devoted servant of God, who filled up a long life with the noblest deeds of service to his Maker, though cumbered with the weightiest cares of this life, shall enter upon his reward for well-doing, we too may enter with him into rest.
We draw the study of this prophecy to a close, with the remark that it has been with no small degree of satisfaction that we have spent what time and study we have on this wonderful prophecy, and in contemplating the character of this most beloved of men and most illustrious of prophets. God is no respecter of person, and a reproduction of Daniel's character will secure the divine favor as signally even now. Let us emulate his virtues, that we, like him, may have the approbation of God while here, and dwell amid the creations of His infinite glory in the long hereafter.
 James H. Jeans, The Stars In Their Courses, p. 165.
 Enoch Fitch Burr, Ecce Caelum, p. 136.
 Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 295.
 Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 190, 191.
 Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 296, footnote. See also Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity , Vol. I, pp. 381-388.
 Ephraim Emerton, Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages, pp. 65, 66.
 Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, p. 186.
 Ibid., pp. 198, 199.
 Ibid., p. 194.
 Ibid., p. 199.
 Charles Oman, The Dark Ages, p. 62.
 The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. I, p. 286. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
 Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 85.
 Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., art. "Clovis," Vol. VI, p. 563.
 See Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 202, 203; Nugent Robinson, A History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 75-79, 81, 82.
 Richard W. Church, The Beginning of the Middle Ages, pp. 38, 39.
 Victor Duruy, The History of the Middle Ages, p. 32.
 Julius von Pflugk-Harttung, in A History of all Nations, Vol. VII, p. 27.
 Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 97.
 George Burton Adams, Civilization During the Middle Ages, pp. 137-144.