In Dan,10:21, the angel (most likely Gabriel) starts to tell Daniel about the writing of truth and of his very close association with Michael (the Archangel), in fighting the angelic forces, prevailing at the time of telling, and proceeds to relate yet future narrative regarding the nations of Persia, Greece, Egypt and Syria, from the likes of Xerxes, and Alexander the Great, and through to the life and death of Antiochus IV.

Then, in Dan, 12:1, we learn that Michael, that great prince, who stands guard over the sons of Daniel's people, will arise. A time of great distress will ensue and at that time Daniel's people ...everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

The following verse then goes on to say:-

"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt." Dan, 12:2 NASB.

Now we, ourselves, in this modern day, know that Daniel's people experienced extreme distress in and around 70 AD, not long after the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus.

Let us now look at Matthew 27:52,53 NASB

... and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

After Jesus yielded up His spirit and the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, come these verses 52 and 53. Now we have both Daniel and Matthew referencing a resurrection of peoples, which may well refer to the same point in time. One referring to the time where we note the arise of Michael, the great prince, and the other referring to the time of that other great prince, namely Jesus, and Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection. He being the "firstfruits" of them that slept.

What are we to truly discern here? For one thing:- Could Michael (meaning - Who is like God) and Jesus (who is the Son of God) be one and the same? When answering, one should be keeping in mind that the bible only talks of two great resurrections, the resurrection of Lazarus aside. Please also note the following:-

"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement." John 5:28,29 NASB. Compare Rev, 20:4-15.

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    I think you have answered your own question - the latter part of Dan 11 and early part of Dan 12 is nothing to do with Antiochus Epiphanes.
    – Dottard
    Sep 11, 2023 at 11:42
  • @Dottard - I used to think the same way, for the longest time even, and still have doubts about the latter part of Dan 11 referring and even ending with Antiochus Epiphanes, until I listened to one professor James Tabor, who is presently doing a series on the book of Daniel. Then I was surprised to further learn that many of the old guard on Biblehub actually promoted the possibility. I never said that Dan,12:1 had anything to do with AE, and by close proximity, I mean within 200 years. As for answering my own Q. I was just trying to give you guys enough material to aid the answering thereof. Sep 11, 2023 at 14:02
  • AE was a military failure who attacked the God of Jerusalem. From v36, Daniel describes a successful military tyrant who denies ALL gods. Sep 13, 2023 at 6:22
  • @StephenDisraeli - I'm inclined to go with Barnes. In the end Antiochus denied ALL gods and was successful til he wasn't, which would/may mean that Dan, 11:45 pertains to 164 BC, the same year as the rededication of the Jewish Temple. How fitting for the end of the 11th ch., an "End Time" indeed. Then we move on some 200 years, to the next "End Time", i.e. death, but more importantly, resurrection of Jesus, in 33 AD, the end of the "70 Weeks" prophecy IMO. Then, of course, we have the destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD. All accomplished from Dan, 11:21 thru and inc' Dan, 12:3. Sep 14, 2023 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


From Benson Commentary on Daniel 12:1

At that time - When the troubles are the greatest; shall Michael stand up - The word Michael signifies, Who is like God? which name, with the title here given him, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people, manifestly points out the Messiah, and cannot properly be understood of a created angel. The angel (Gabriel) had told (Daniel 10:21), what a friend Michael was to the church of God, and he now informs him that he should interpose in a singular way, and work out deliverance for her. If this have any reference at all to the respite from trouble, and the deliverance wrought out for the Jews, after the death of Antiochus; yet that cannot be the primary intention of the prediction. It evidently relates to the incarnation of the Son of God, which was to take place soon (within 200 years) after the days of Antiochus; in order to the eternal salvation of God's people. As if the angel had said, as after the signal judgement of God upon Antiochus, that persecutor of his people, they shall have some deliverance from their calamities; so there will be a yet far greater salvation wrought out for them, when Michael your prince shall appear for you. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, etc ...

This is not only applicable to, but evidently primarily intended of the calamities suffered by the Jews, before and during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans; calamities brought upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of their own Messiah. Of this time of trouble Christ speaks in similar language, (Matthew 24:21), when he says:- ...then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to that time, no, nor ever shall be. Of which, see the notes on Deuteronomy 28:50-63. Of this the angel had spoken much, Daniel 9:26-27; and it happened soon after the time in which Christ set up his gospel kingdom in the world.

After relating Daniel 12:1, to the 1st Century AD, at least in the first instance, and also after identifying Michael with Jesus, Benson then goes on to say:-

It may refer, however, also to the dreadful judgements which shall be executed on all antichristian powers, to make way for the universal spread of the gospel, and the final conversion and restoration of the Jews. Concerning which awful judgements, see Revelation 16:18-21; Revelation 19:17-21. The prediction may include likewise the judgements of the great and last day, the day that shall burn as an oven, when all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and shall be consumed; that will be such a day of trouble as never was, to all those against whom Michael our prince shall stand. and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one found written in the book - By those found written in the book, or, as it is expressed, (Isaiah 4:3), written among the living in Jerusalem, may be understood, firstly, the pious Jews, who should be preserved from the mischief and ruin designed them by Antiochus; but more especially, secondly, such as should believe in Christ when he appeared, embrace his gospel, and become his true disciples, who should escape both the temporal calamities coming on their countrymen, and obtain spiritual and eternal salvation through him. it includes, thirdly, those who should be converted in the latter days, and restored to their own land; and lastly, all that should be found written in the book of life at the day of final judgement, that is, all truly justified, regenerated, and pious persons.

As to the second part of my question, and in particular Daniel 12:2, one would do well to read Benson's Commentary on that verse too, to which I don't feel I need to add. I may, however, feel compelled to further use the "Comments" section, if needs be.


On the further studying of Matthew 27:52-53, it would appear that while Jesus was undoubtedly the "firstfruit", when it comes to the initial resurrection to eternal life, it is worth noting what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, here quoted:-

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming.

Firstfruits is in the plural. When the graves were opened and many, not all, saints were brought back to life, and appeared to other peoples already living, they must have been the plural aspect. Now some of these were to be judged adversely, just as they will be at Christ's second coming, but the others most likely - even though the Bible is not clear on this - ascended, with Christ, into heaven, to be always with him, in eternity. The First Resurrection.

  • @OldeEnglish-Usually, SE prefers Answers that are not just quotations from a book. Who or what is Benson's Commentary? Provide exposition that explains your opinions.
    – ray grant
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:53
  • Benson is one of the highly respected "Biblehub" commentators, along with the likes of Barnes; Ellicott; Matthew Henry; Gill; Keil and Delitzch and others, which Dottard, Nigel and others, including myself, on this site quote exponentially when it comes to opinion based theology, in order to avoid too much of one's own "opinion based" theology, which as you must know is frowned upon on this site. How can you not know this?? It's second only to our quoting of actual scriptures. Sep 14, 2023 at 23:58
  • @OldeEnglish-Pardon me! I either have the commentaries or access to the commentaries in hand in my library or the college's library, which are listed in Biblehub. However the old commentary by Joseph Benson (1857) is neither in my or the college's library. Hence my asking about it..."Opinions-based theology" is not cherished as much as hermeneutically-based deductions based on exegesis of the original languages, that are commonly accepted by scholars, we would fully agree....I have read comments by other moderators that have admonished about merely using quotes as an answer!
    – ray grant
    Sep 16, 2023 at 23:14
  • @raygrant - biblehub.com/interlinear/daniel/12-2 ... and then hit "comment". Sep 17, 2023 at 11:28
  • @OldeEnglish it would be beneficial to all users if you are quoting from an online source that the link be provided. It would be as easy as formatting [BibleHub](https://biblehub.com/) and showing it as a proper link (BibleHub).
    – agarza
    Sep 21, 2023 at 21:08

Second Temple Era An overview of Daniel 10-12 reveals a history of the Jewish people from the time of the Second Temple construction mentioned in the Book of Ezra unto the Destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. From the Persian to the Grecian to the Roman empires.

I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days. (Daniel 10:14)

This prophecy is so rich in detail that some liberal theologians consider it written after the fact: post eventu, and not a supernatural revelation to Daniel.

Others, more fundamentalist, see the history of the Second Temple up to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. However they stub their toes on this evil person, and fail to continue walking down the path of history unto the end!

There was a lot of real, important history after Antiochus, and so Daniel's prophecies continue by dealing with the Maccabees, then the Herodian dynasty, then the Gospel of the Kingdom era, and finally ending with the Destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Jesus referred to Daniel in the Olivet Discourse, and he described the 30-70 time period in much more vivid detail.

Resurrection It is true that chapter 12 of Daniel occurred long after the era of Antiochus. It deals with the climactic introduction of the Gospel into human history with all its intrigue and struggles. Notice how many times the New Testament--both Jesus and the Apostles--speak of people being resurrected from death to life by the Gospel! The Maccabees, and then the original Pharisees desired to return to the purity of the Divine Covenant. Some of these men were courageous, and some had ulterior motives. But they laid the groundwork for the Jesus Revolution.

Jesus presented the Gospel of the Kingdom, and opened it up to all who were seeking righteousness. He often described believers as those risen from the dead---but He also taught of a future Second Coming resurrection as well. (John 5:1-29) The time is coming, and now is when the dead shall arise.

The Apostles described believers as those who were dead in trespasses and sins, but are made alive in Christ!. They repeated this theme over and over again. (Romans 6:4, 8:10, 11:15, Ephesians 2:1-6, 5:14, Colossians 2:13)

Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you being dead in your sins and the circumcism of your flesh, hath He quickened (resurrected) with Him, having forgiven all trespasses. (Colossians 2:12-13)

So a correct recognition of the continuation of Jewish history in Daniel lays the groundwork for understanding that there is a resurrection available now to Believers (in spirit and soul), and a future resurrection (of the body) at the Second Coming (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). And all this is available because of the resurrecting power of the New Covenant, and the demolition of the Old Covenant (Temple). (book of Hebrews theme)

  • Some errors here Ray!! First of all, Dan 11 starts in 538/7 BC. Temple was not constructed by Ezra, as was completed in 516/5 BC, some 58 years before Ezra started his journey back to Jerusalem, in 458 BC, to help rebuild the city and its walls, which took a further 49 years to complete (first 7 weeks of years, of "70 Weeks" prophecy). As for the dead - we are not talking metaphorically here. We are talking about literally dead people arising and coming out of their memorial tombs and becoming part of the living again, in the 1st Century, but not before Jesus' resurrection-John 5:28,29. Sep 14, 2023 at 4:02
  • @OldeEnglish-See edited Answer.
    – ray grant
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:54
  • You are still talking about the dead metaphorically here. Read Benson's commentary on Dan, 12:1 and 2 (especially 2) and you will find that all bases are covered, which is why I was happy to refer and quote him. Also, John 5:28 & 29 (not John 5:1-29, as you state) would seem to have a 1st Century connotation here, at least in the first instance, as is certainly not unique to the 1st Century alone. Sep 15, 2023 at 0:39

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