Summary: Part 16 of a series on the prophecies found in the book of Daniel. Study on Chapter 12.
The Prophecies of Daniel
Part 16: The Last 42 Months (Daniel 12)
We are now sixteen weeks into our studies on the prophecies found in the Old Testament book of Daniel. We have gone further and covered so much more then I ever thought we would when we started this series back in January. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t have even begun to imagine that there was so much information hidden in this text.
Well, today we are in the home stretch. We’ve finally reached the last chapter of the book of Daniel, chapter 12. I hope you had a chance to read this chapter over before this morning. And if you did, I also hope that by now you’ve been starting to think prophetically and have at least a basic interpretation or understanding of what this chapter is telling us about the future.
Chapter 12 is a continuation of the vision Daniel began receiving back in chapter 10. Chapter 10 is the introduction to this vision. In chapter 11 the first half of the chapter covered the immediate future concerning the Persian and Greek Empires. And the last half of the chapter was the prophecy concerning the distant future or the time of the end. It showed us the rise of the Antichrist, where he will come from, how he will gain his power and wealth, what countries would fall under his control, and when he would take over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. All these events will occur during the first 42 months of the seven-year Tribulation period.
In chapter 12 we continue this vision. We pick up where we ended in chapter 11, at the midpoint of the Tribulation period. And chapter 12 then is going to be giving us a more general overview of the last 42 months, which is a time of trouble and distress like this world has never known.
Let’s begin by reading verse 1. Daniel 12:1 (NIV), “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as had not happened from the beginning of the nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone who is found written in the book – will be delivered.”
Okay, there are some interesting things to point out from this verse. The first thing is the phrase “at that time.” At what time? When will Michael arise? Since this is a continuation of the vision from chapters 10 and 11, and chapter 11 ended at 3 ½ years, then this first event of chapter 12 is happening at the midpoint of the Tribulation.
That leads us to the next question, who is this Michael who is a chief prince who protects Daniel’s people? Back in chapter 10:13 Michael was mentioned as coming to the aid of the angel Gabriel who was trying to bring this vision to Daniel. In that verse Michael came to fight the Prince of Persia who was delaying Gabriel from his mission. This Michael is the archangel Michael who is called a chief prince because of his high rank and power.
We are told here that Michael is the archangel who is in charge of protecting the Jewish people. And at the midpoint of the Tribulation he is going to arise. Now what does that mean? What is he going to do? Well, the answer is found in Revelation 12.