Summary: Here is where the mystery is described but not explained. One moment we are decades before Christ's first coming, the next, we are at the second coming. Dig deep. Find the truth of this passage!
11:35a “And some of those of understanding shall fall,”
Even the most righteous, most helpful, most zealous, will be slain. Here is a warning for us today not to assume anything about church members undergoing persecution for the Lord. He takes home whom He will, when He will, for His own purposes.
Before the story ends, the Maccabean record records the painful deaths of all the sons of Mattathias.
11:35b “to refine them, purge them, and make them white”
That which is happening to Israel , shall, according to 12:10, happen to all of God’s people. Here the suffering is placed before the phrase “time of the end”, but there, after. We are being told that it shall always be the lot of those who know their God, those who do exploits for God, those who understand, to go through the refining processes that produce pure gold.
11:35c “until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time”
The purpose of this vision all along has been to tell what will happen to Daniel’s people in the last days, 10:14. The angel begins, however , in the days that are Daniel’s present lot.. Slowly and methodically he leads him, and us with him, to the final stages of history, and now we are there. It is so critical to this study to see that we have indeed arrived at the last generation by the end of verse 35, as he goes from the purgings of Antiochus and with a grand sweep covers also the purgings of Titus in AD 70, and Hitler in our own day, and any other purging of Jews or Christians.
We include Christians in this discussion because Daniel does. He speaks of the resurrection and the judgment in chapter 12. Certainly this is not an event limited to Jews. Thus, Daniel’s people must include the people specifically related to Daniel’s God. Those who have been grafted into the tree called Israel are Daniel’s people and will share in the blessings of Abraham just as surely as he.
6: The Man of Sin and the end of all things 11:36-12:3
The rest of the angel’s prophecy does not compare easily to anything in history. To make sense of it, it is necessary to compare it to other parts of Daniel and even New Testament writers Paul and John. In that context it fits exactly. To explain further the notion that Daniel
11:36 and following does not refer to Antiochus Epiphanes or any known history, I offer the following reasoning:
As indicated above, verses 35 and 36 are connected to the end of the book in such a way
as to make them one thought. In fact the phrase “time of the end” joins this passage to Daniel
7:11-13 and 25-27. Here , the coming of the man described in chapter 11 is tied to the coming of Jesus as it is in chapter 11 tied to the resurrection. The pattern is strikingly similar also in chapter 8, which states specifically that the “little horn” will come in the “time of the end.” (8:17, 19, 23-25).
By the way, there is no reason to think in terms of two “little horns” in Daniel. The one mentioned in Daniel 7 is seen in a Roman context, and the one in 8 is in Alexander’s Kingdom, which came before. If the ten-toed Kingdom is the common market, and the successor nations are still with us today, we need simply to find a place where they overlap. If the antichrist were to appear today, for example, he would come out of Greece, for this is the only Common Market country that is also a successor nation. Turkey is under consideration by the Market, and should be by us, too.
You will see this end-time idea in 10:1, 10:14, 11:35, 11:40, 12:4, 12:9, 12:13. Antiochus Epiphanes does not bring us to the time of “the end” , but the man of sin does.
11:36. “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify him- self above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.” Even though Antiochus is the next “king” that reigns over the Seleucid Kingdom,
Daniel never calls him a king. Perhaps to avoid confusion with verse 36, where the man spoken of is called a king. And in 8:23, this same man is described by the same title.
“Then” of verse 36 refers directly back to verse 35, “the time of the end.” The scene that
follows, of a much exalted Epiphanes cannot be found in his life following the Maccabean wars. Antiochus is on his way down at this time.