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Gabriel tells Daniel in Daniel 8:19:

"I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end." (NASB)

Is "the end" referring to the time right before Jesus's coming?

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What is “the end” in Daniel 8:19?

Gabriel tells Daniel in Daniel 8:19:

"I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end." (NASB)

"Time of the end"

"Time of the end" of what? This expression refers to to the end of the present earthly wicked system of the world and human-kind that is alienated from God. The prophecy as foretold at Daniel 11:29 refers to the final stages of the struggle between the king of the north and the king of the south. (Daniel 11:40)

Daniel 11:40 NASB

40 “And at the end time the king of the South will wage war with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them, and pass through.

Does the rivalry between the two kings continue indefinitely? No. The angel told Daniel:

Daniel 11:44-45 NET [ "him" refers to the king of the north] entered in verse by me for clarification.]

44 But reports will trouble him [king of the north] from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas[a] toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.

The events mentioned in Daniel 11:44-45 are yet future, the rivalries between the king of the north and the king of the south are still continuing, how the prophecy will be fulfilled is not yet certain. The prophecy (Dan. 45b) says with regards to the king of the north:"But he will come to his end, with no one to help him". This means that the king of the north does not come to his end at the hands of his rival the king of the south.

Similarly, the king of the south is destroyed;"not by human hands"(Daniel 8:25) but by God's Kingdom. (Daniel 2:44)

Daniel 8:25 NRSV

25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind, he shall be great Without warning he shall destroy man and shall even rise up against the Prince of princes. But he shall be broken, and not by human hands.

Daniel 2:44 NRSV

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever;

So in this verse, God shows us that he purposes to remove all kingdoms of this world and replace these kingdoms with his kingdom under the direction of his Son Jesus Christ. Following the removal of these earthly kingdoms, peace and justice will prevail.(Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus said: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NASB)

Isaiah 9:6-7 NASB [Child will be born = Jesus]

6 For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us, And the government will [a]rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace On the throne of David and over [b]his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.

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The "time of the end" and similar phrases occur in two different forms but before examining them, we have an allusion to the this time of the end in three places in Dan 8, namely V17 & V19 "time of the end"; V23 "latter part of their reign"; V26 "distant future".

"Time of the end" phrases occur referring to two separate events in the Bible. Specifically, "last days" often refers to the time after Jesus' resurrection:

  • Acts 2:17 – Peter calls the day of Pentecost the “last day” in fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel. Compare v29-32.
  • 2 Tim 3:1 – perilous times in the “last day” which Paul discusses as already at his time.
  • Heb 1:2 – “These last days” God is revealed in Jesus.
  • James 5:3 – warning against rampant materialism and worship of money in the “last day”, that is, the time of James himself.
  • 1 Peter 1:5 – Christians reveal God and are miraculously preserved in the “last time”.
  • 1 Peter 1:20 – Jesus revealed in these “last times”.
  • 2 Peter 3:3 – Peter writes about his time as the fulfilment of that spoken by the ancient prophets about the “last days”.
  • 1 John 2:18 – Twice, John calls his time the “last hour”.
  • Jude 18 – Jude describes his time as the fulfilment of ancient prophecies about the “last time”.
  • Rev 2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20 – Jesus says, “I am coming soon/quickly”.
  • Even in a passage like John 6:39, 40, 54 where Jesus refers to the resurrection at the “last day” (see below) that time began with His death, Matt 27:50-53.

However, while the last days begin with Jesus’ resurrection, they will also be terminated with Jesus’ return, or Second Advent. This terminus is also called the “end of time” (Dan 11:35), or “that day” (Matt 24:36, Mark 13:32), “the day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:10-13), “end of the age” (Matt 24:3, 28:20), “the last day” (Luke 10:12, John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, 11:24, 12:48, Heb 6:2), etc. The short period just before the end of time is called the “time of the end” (Dan 11:40, 12:4, 9).

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  • Thank you for this answer! So in this case, does “the end” in the Daniel verse refer to Jesus’s resurrection? I ask because the angel goes on to describe the kingdoms and they are ancient ones (Persia, etc.) so I am confused as to whether the verse is speaking to end times of Daniel’s time in history or something way in the future.
    – Gremosa
    Nov 11 '20 at 23:38
  • @Gremosa - as stated above, "last days" refers to the period between the two advents of Jesus. "Time of the end" refers to time just before Jesus returns the second time.
    – Dottard
    Nov 12 '20 at 3:25
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Let's see the context.

Daniel 8:17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; and he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.”

18Now while he was talking with me, I was dazed with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand at my place. 19And he said, “Behold, I am going to inform you of what will occur at the final period of the indignation, because it pertains to the appointed time of the end.

20The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

The end here specifically refers to the ending period of the indignation. It includes kings of Media, Persia, and Greece. It does not refer to the ultimate last day.

Cambridge Bible interprets it this way:

The ‘indignation’ is the Divine wrath implied in Israel’s subjection to the nations: the persecution by Antiochus is the last stage of this indignation

Daniel refers to it again in 11:36

“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt himself and boast against every god and will speak dreadful things against the God of gods; and he will be successful until the indignation is finished, because that which is determined will be done.

Pulpit expresses similar sentiments

We have here the reference to the end, as in ver. 17 it is not the end of the world that is in the mind of the writer, but the "end of the indignation." The Jews, while maintaining their gallant struggle against Epiphanes, have need of being assured that the battle will have an end, and one determined before by God, The angel has to make Daniel know the end of the indignation.

Is "the end" referring to the time right before Jesus's coming?

I would think so.

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