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.
And at that time shall Michael stand up — Michael was Israel’s guardian angel, “Michael your prince” (Daniel 10:21). And he “stood up” to “deliver” the people of God.
There shall be a time of trouble — Refers to the three-and-a-half year Great Tribulation, the Roman-Jewish War from the spring of AD 67 to September 70.
Such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time — Jesus refers to Daniel 12:1 in Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor shall ever be.”
At that time thy people shall be delivered — The first century Christians did not go through the Great Tribulation. In Luke 21:20-22, Jesus warned his disciples to flee Jerusalem, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all the things which are written be fulfilled.”
Every one that shall be found written in the book — At the time of the Roman-Jewish war from AD 67 to 70, God’s people were delivered — that is, those who were found written in the book. Those who believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, persevered because they were “found written in the book” of God’s decrees. This was the remnant of believers living in the nation of Judea, the early Christian Church.
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.
Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake — This refers primarily to the Gospel being preached and the New Birth that comes with faith in Jesus Christ. Many who sleep in the dust, both Jews and Gentiles, shall be awakened by the preaching of the Gospel out of their heathenism. It has a secondary application to a future resurrection when the multitude that sleep in the dust shall awake; many shall arise to life, and many to shame.
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.
They that be wise shall shine — There is glory reserved for all the saints in the future state, for all that are wise, wise for their souls and eternity (Matthew Henry Commentary).
They that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever — Those who turn others to righteousness, who turn sinners from the errors of their ways, and help to save souls from death (James 5:20) will share in the glory of those they have helped to heaven.
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.
Shut up the words, and seal the book — Daniel is commanded to seal the book of his prophecy until the time when it will be fulfilled. Compare this commandment with the commandment of the angel in Revelation: “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10).
The time of the end — The time when these prophecies shall be fulfilled.
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.
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.
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 abomination that maketh desolate — Jesus refers to this in Matthew 24:15,16, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” – “whoso readeth” is a reference to Daniel 12:11.
Luke 21:20 further defines the nature of “the abomination that maketh desolate” – “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” According to Luke’s parallel passage, the presence of the Roman armies is what made the Temple sacrifices “desolate.”
Thousand two hundred and ninety days — This is roughly three-and-a-half years. This refers to the Roman-Jewish War and the Siege of Jerusalem from spring of AD 67 to the destruction of the Temple in September of 70. Vespasian entered the Land in spring of 67, then Jerusalem fell in 70.
12. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Thousand three hundred and five and thirty days — This is another 45 days beyond the time of trouble. Those who survived the holocaust were Christians living in Jerusalem who had been forewarned by Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation. Jesus added the warning to flee the city to the hills of Judea in order to wait out the siege (Matthew 24:16; Luke 21:21).
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 end of the days — The end of the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. This does not refer to the “end times” in an eschatological sense as many have supposed.