A Note on the Time of the End

What is the meaning of the expression "the time of the end" in Dan.11: 40; 12:4 and 9, etc., and to what period in history does it apply?


The phrase is found only in the Book of Daniel and denotes the culmination of the prophetic fore views of the book, the final conversion of Israel and the setting up of the Kingdom of God upon earth. Daniel himself was primarily interested in the welfare of his own people and the realisation of their destiny; it is obvious that he had no conception of the length of time that intervenes between his own day and that event. There is not much doubt that he looked to the imminent release from Babylonian captivity as the decisive step in that direction and in this he was not so very different from many Christians of almost every century in this Era who have expected and looked for the coming of the Lord and His Kingdom each in his own day and generation. Dan.11:40 leads closely up to the events which mark the change of sovereignty from the kingdoms of this world to that of God; the "king" there pictured is the last great evil power to oppose the incoming Kingdom and hence is pictured as arising "at the time of the end". In Dan.12:4 and 9 the revealing angel tells the prophet, in effect, that his words are "sealed" until the Time of the End and this means that having once been uttered and written they remain true and certain of realisation even although in the intervening time they will be more or less uncomprehended and lost to sight. Daniel was to reconcile himself to a long wait; he would not see the golden vision fulfilled in his own time but would "rest", i.e., sleep in death, in the grave, and "stand his lot at the end of the days", (Dan.12:13) i.e., come forth in the resurrection to inherit the place in God’s purposes for which he had prayed and waited so long.

AOH 1968