And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I understood not.—He did not understand the answer given in Daniel 12:7. The question did not seem to have had any reply. It had been asked how long the end should continue, and the answer had been only the obscure words, “time, times, and an half.”
What shall be the end?—Daniel refers to the “wonderful things” mentioned in Daniel 12:6, and using a different word for “end,” asks which of these wonders is to be the last—i.e., which of them is to come immediately before the end of all things.Daniel 12:8-9. And I heard, but I understood not — I did not understand what time was allotted for bringing to pass this event, namely, the restoration of the Jewish nation, or the complete overthrow of all antichristian powers. The prophets, it must be observed, did not always receive the interpretation of what was revealed to them, as appears from 1 Peter 1:11-12. “Study and particular application were required, and often an immediate revelation. The evidence which appears to us so clearly, in the greater part of the prophecies which respect Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the church, was under an impenetrable obscurity before the event. It was the same with respect to those which concerned the persecutions of Antiochus. All this was most inexplicable to the Jews, before they saw the completion; and it is pretty nearly the same at present with us respecting some future events foretold by the prophets, particularly in the book of Revelation, which are yet to be accomplished, and which consequently are dark, and difficult to be understood.” — Calmet. And he said, Go thy way, for the words are closed up, &c. — Be content with what has been made known to thee; (see Daniel 12:13;) for the full explication is deferred, till the time of its accomplishment draws near.
Then said I, O my Lord - A term of civil address. The language is such as would be used by an inferior when respectfully addressing one of superior rank. It is not a term that is peculiarly appropriate to God, or that implies a Divine nature, but is here given to the angel as an appellation of respect, or as denoting one of superior rank.
What shall be the end of these things? - Indicating great anxiety to know what was to be the termination of these wonders. The "end" had been often referred to in the communication of the angel, and now he had used an enigmatical expression as referring to it, and Daniel asks, with great emphasis, when the end was to be.
times, time, and half, when they begin and end; and when the enemies of the churches, and the sufferings of the church, shall have their end.
then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? he applied not to the angel that put the above question, but to the man clothed with linen; to Christ, whom he perceived to be a divine Person, a Person of dominion, power, and authority, superior to angels, and his Lord and God; and who only could resolve the question he puts, which is somewhat different from that of the angel's, Daniel 12:6, that respects the length of time, to the accomplishment of these things; this the quality at the end of them, what kind of end they should have; or what the signs, symptoms, and evidences of the end of them, by which the true end of them might be known. Mr. Mede renders it, "what are these latter times?" perhaps it might be rendered better, "what is the last of these things?" (o) what is the last thing that will be done, that so it may be known when all is over?And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. O my lord] Daniel 10:16.
what shall be the closing stage of these things?] i.e. what will be the closing stage of the ‘wonders,’ or extraordinary sufferings, of Daniel 12:6, which may serve as a sign that the actual ‘end’ is not far off? ‘End’ here is in the Heb. אחרית, a different word from ‘end’ in Daniel 12:6 (קץ), and means not the absolute close of a thing, but the closing or latter part of it: see Job 8:7; Job 42:12 (‘latter end’).
8–13. The answer was far from explicit, so that Daniel did not understand it: he accordingly asked for more definite particulars.Verse 8. - And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? The Septuagint rendering differs in a somewhat singular way from the above, "And I heard and understood not, especially about this time; and I said, Lord, what is the solution of this word, and what are those parables?" These variations seem due to glosses and paraphrase. Theodotion is in complete agreement with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta differs only by inserting "Daniel." The Vulgate renders the last clause, Quid erit post haec? "What will be after these things?" Daniel understood the words, but by hypothesis he did not understand the meaning of them. This exhibits the relation of the prophet always to the revelations given - his faculty of understanding was totally independent of the receptive faculty by which he received the revelation. If we assume this as representing a fact, then all arguments which are grounded on the meanings which the prophet himself might see in his words are beside the question. Since he does not understand, he appeals to the angelic messenger, who had declared so much. Revelation 13:5, μεγάλα and βλασφημίαι are distinguished.
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