Daniel 12:8
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)
(8) 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.12:5-13 One of the angels asking how long it should be to the end of these wonders, a solemn reply is made, that it would be for a time, times, and a half, the period mentioned ch. 7:25, and in the Revelation. It signifies 1260 prophetic days or years, beginning from the time when the power of the holy people should be scattered. The imposture of Mohammed, and the papal usurpation, began about the same time; and these were a twofold attack upon the church of God. But all will end well at last. All opposing rule, principality, and power, shall be put down, and holiness and love will triumph, and be in honour, to eternity. The end, this end, shall come. What an amazing prophecy is this, of so many varied events, and extending through so many successive ages, even to the general resurrection! Daniel must comfort himself with the pleasing prospect of his own happiness in death, in judgment, and to eternity. It is good for us all to think much of going away from this world. That must be our way; but it is our comfort that we shall not go till God calls us to another world, and till he has done with us in this world; till he says, Go thou thy way, thou hast done thy work, therefore now, go thy way, and leave it to others to take thy place. It was a comfort to Daniel, and is a comfort to all the saints, that whatever their lot is in the days of their lives, they shall have a happy lot in the end of the days. And it ought to be the great care and concern of every one of us to secure this. Then we may well be content with our present lot, and welcome the will of God. Believers are happy at all times; they rest in God by faith now, and a rest is reserved for them in heaven at last.And I heard, but I understood not - He understood not the full significance of the language employed - "a time, and times, and an half." This would make it probable that there was something more intended than merely three years and a half as the period of the continuation of these troubles. Daniel saw, apparently from the manner of the angel, as well as from the terms which he used, that there was something mystical and unusual in those terms, and he says, therefore, that he could not understand their full import.

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.

8. understood not—Daniel "understood" the main features of the vision as to Antiochus (Da 10:1, 14), but not as to the times. 1Pe 1:10-12 refers mainly to Daniel: for it is he who foretells "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow"; it is he who prophesies "not unto himself, but unto us"; it is he who "searched what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in him did signify." i.e. What is the meaning of all this, of the

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. And I heard, but understood not,.... Daniel heard what Christ said, in answer to the angel, but he did not understand the meaning of it, which he ingenuously confesses; he did not understand what was meant by "time", and "times", and "half a time"; what kind of time this was, and when and how it would end, and which he was very desirous of knowing:

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?

(o) "quid erit novissimum horum?" Munster; "postremum horum?" Calvin.

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. Here a new event is brought under our notice. While continuing to contemplate the horns (the idea of continuance lies in the particip. with the verb. fin.), Daniel sees another little horn rise up among them, which uproots, i.e., destroys, three of the other horns that were already there. He observes that this horn had the eyes of a man, and a mouth which spake great things. The eye and the mouth suggest a human being as represented by the horn. Eyes and seeing with eyes are the symbols of insight, circumspection, prudence. This king will thus excel the others in point of wisdom and circumspection. But why the eyes of a man? Certainly this is not merely to indicate to the reader that the horn signified a man. This is already distinctly enough shown by the fact that eyes, a mouth, and speech were attributed to it. The eyes of a man were not attributed to it in opposition to a beast, but in opposition to a higher celestial being, for whom the ruler denoted by the horn might be mistaken on account of the terribleness of his rule and government; "ne eum putemus juxta quorundam opinionem vel diabolum esse vel daemonem, sed unum de hominibus, in quo totus Satanas habitaturus sit corporaliter," as Jerome well remarks; cf. Hofmann and Kliefoth. - A mouth which speaketh great things is a vainglorious mouth. רברבן are presumptuous things, not directly blasphemies (Hv.). In the Apocalypse, Revelation 13:5, μεγάλα and βλασφημίαι are distinguished.
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