Sam Frost: Daniel 12:2 (2012)

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“Jesus is trumping that time, saying that the coming desolation of the Temple in A.D. 70 will be worse, and he is using the language of Daniel. He is not, then, saying, “this is that”, but “this will be worse than that.” ”Great tribulation” is a term, interestingly enough, that is related throughout Israel’s history. In Judges 2:15; 10:9; Nehemiah 9:37 we find the same phrase “


Daniel 12:2

By Samuel Frost, Th.M.
2012


Eminent Scholar James Barr commented on Dan 12.2 stating, “The resurrection of the dead is not seen as universal here” (Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, p. 602).  James B. Jordan notes, “The resurrection of Israel is in view here” (Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on Daniel, p. 619).  He interprets the passage much like Philip Mauro (The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation), thinking that the “resurrection” spoken of here is the spiritual application of Christ’s resurrection to the believer.  This certainly has merit to it, though it is not commonly held.  Kiel, Young, representing a good majority of conservative scholars, take it to refer to the “general resurrection” at the last day.  Albert Barnes noted the issues (and debate) surrounding the word “many”, which some take at face value, and others take as meaning “all”.  This debate continues to this day (Barnes wrote in the 19th century).  He also mentioned those scholars who, referring the book as a whole to the Maccabean period, take the verse to mean an “arousing of the Hebrew people in the time of Maccabees” (Notes, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical on the Old Testament: Daniel, 259).  Of course, this arousing would be seen not as a literal raising of the dead, but a figurative trope denoting spiritual awakening.  Barnes continued, “It might, indeed, be applied to an arousing from a state of lethargy and inaction” (260).  Barnes does not, in the end, take it to mean that, but it is of interest that he noted the possibility of such an interpretation (and that some in his day took it that way).

Tom Wright forthrightly states, from Collins, that there is a “virtually unanimous agreement among modern scholars” that the Prophet here is speaking of bodilyresurrection (Resurrection of the Son of God, 109-111).  From my studies as well, this appears to be the case. The problem, however, is one of timing.  In the context, Dan 12.2 is connected directly to 11.45: “And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.”  This is followed immediately with, “At that time, Michael, the Great Prince, shall arise…”  The question now becomes, what time is the action of 11.45, and who is the subject?  Wright notes (again, with the great majority of scholars) that 11.45 is the time of the Maccabees and the fall of Antiochus Epiphanes.  ”…[A]t the time of Antiochus’ fall, [is] a time of unprecedented anguish for Israel (12.1)” (Wright, 113).  The resurrection of the dead does not happen at that time, but the context affords the promise that those who suffered valiantly during those times (the martyrs) are promised life from the dead at the end of the days (i.e., the last day).  In other words, the timing of the resurrection of the dead is not addressed, other than to say it is promised.

From a syntactical point of view, it is possible to interpret the passage in this manner.  ”At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”  Michael shall arise to defend Israel at the time of the king in 11.45.  It will be a time of trouble.  However, God will deliver the elect, those written in the book (and often occurring theme from Moses onward).  Then we read, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”  There is no “time” indicator here.  If it read, “at that time many of those who sleep shall awake” we would have a different issue.  But it doesn’t.  ”And” (waw) can be seen as a simple connector.  Those who suffered will be delivered, and, by the way, they are also promised to awake unto eternal life.  A good number of scholars take this approach.

Calvin appears to have taken the same interpretation:  ”The angel seems here to mark a transition from the commencement of the preaching of the gospel, to the final day of the resurrection, without sufficient occasion for it. For why does he pass over the intermediate time during which many events might be the subject of prophecy? He unites these two subjects very fitly and properly, connecting the salvation of the Church with the final resurrection and with the second coming of Christ. Wheresoever we may look around us, we never meet with any source of salvation on earth. The angel announces the salvation of all the elect. They are most miserably oppressed on all sides, and wherever they turn their eyes, they perceive nothing but confusion. Hence the hope of the promised salvation could not be conceived by man before the elect raise their minds to the second coming of Christ. It is just as if the angel had said, God will be the constant preserver of his Church, even unto the end; but the manner in which he will preserve it must not be taken in a carnal sense, as the Church will be like a dead body until it shall rise again. We here perceive the angel teaching the same truth as Paul delivers in other words, namely, we are dead, and our life is hidden with Christ; it shall then be made manifest when he shall appear in the heavens. (Colossians 3:3.) We must hold this first of all, God is sufficiently powerful to defend us, and we need not hesitate in feeling ourselves safe under his hand and protection. Meanwhile it is necessary to add this second point; as long as we fix our eyes only on this present state of things, and dwell upon what the world offers us, we shall always be like the dead. And why so? Our life ought to be hid with Christ in God. Our salvation is secure, but we still hope for it, as Paul says in another passage. (Romans 8:23, 24.)”

In other words, the timing of the resurrection is not found in this verse, but the promise is.  Calvin’s remark, very similar to Wright’s, notes that the “angel” skips over from the timeMichael arises to the time of the resurrection of the dead.  How many years separates them is left unstated.  James B. Jordan notes Wright’s interpretation, “N.T. Wright has suggested that verse 2 is a promise of eventual resurrection” (Jordan, 616).  Jordan dismisses this, however, because of that tricky word, “many”.  However, his dismissal is not convincing (even though, for a time, I flirted with his interpretation).  Eminent scholar Moses Stuart (1850, founder of Society of Biblical Literature), understood, like Wright, that the timing of the deliverance is under Antiochus’ onslaught and eventual fall.  Stuart asked the question: “Does it relate to a period immediately succeeding the death of Antiochus, or to a subsequent and undefined period?” (A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 361).  Stuart comes down explicitly in favor of what Wright (and Calvin) proposed: “Verse 2 and 3, I regard, therefore, as having reference to the Messianic period and its ultimate results.  No notation of time, however, is here made, at the beginning of the second verse.  The prophetic vision looks forward to the distant future, but it is undefined as to any particular time” (Stuart, 362).  The Messianic kingdom is set up “in the days of those kings” (Dan 2.44), i.e., the kings of the fourth world empire, and an undefined notation of time (again, Stuart) is hinted at in the word, “and it became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (2.35).  The Messianic arrives in the days of those kings, and it gradually fills the whole world, consuming all the nations.

What Daniel, then, saw, when it is all put together, was the coming of three great world empires (he was living in the first one, Babylon, to be followed by three others).  He foresees the coming of a Syrian king (Antiochus) and his fall.  He also foresees that the exiles of Babylon will return under the edict of Cyrus, the Persian.  The city will be rebuilt, and, will be destroyed.  He foresees the coming of a Messianic figure, one like a “son of man coming on clouds” (which probably refers to Jesus’ Ascension).  He foresees a coming time of “tribulation” (which, perhaps, refers to the Maccabees), which might be in referencthe “great tribulation” spoken of by Jesus in Mt 24.

On Mt 24, Jesus alludes to Daniel specifically in 24.13.  He is not saying that this is the prophecy of Daniel (most take the “abomination of desolation” in reference to, again, Antiochus), but can be understood as saying, the thing that is considered an abomination, one that Daniel spoke of in the past, let the reader understand, will happen again (or, he could be alluding to Dan 9.27).  The problem is that Dan 8.23-25 speaks of Antiochus (all agree, virtually) setting up an “abomination”.  Thus, there appear to be two “abomination” acts that lead to desolation.  The same can be said for what appears to be an echo of Dan12.1 in Mt 24.21.  The angel spoke of a time when Michael would arise in the days of the King of the North (11.45), and there would be “great tribulation” for the people at that time, such as has not happened before.  Jesus is trumping that time, saying that the coming desolation of the Temple in A.D. 70 will be worse, and he is using the language of Daniel.  He is not, then, saying, “this is that”, but “this will be worse than that.”  ”Great tribulation” is a term, interestingly enough, that is related throughout Israel’s history.  In Judges 2:15; 10:9; Nehemiah 9:37 we find the same phrase “great tribulation” or “great distress” in the Greek Septuagint.  Jesus, then, is simply saying that another time of “great distress” is coming upon the temple and Israel, such that has happened before under the Babylonians, but this time will be far worse than that, even worse than the time of the Maccabeans.

Finally, Daniel foresaw, and was himself promised, resurrection (12.13).  From Babylon, to Antiochus to Messiah and the growth of the kingdom throughout the world, to the resurrection of the dead at the last day – Daniel foresaw the entire span of human history.  The author of the Gospel of John used the phrase “the last day” for the resurrection, borrowing from the language, it appears, of Dan 12.2 (John 5:28,29).  Paul appears to have this in mind as well (Act 24.15).  Daniel was told to “go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”  The last phrase is an equivalent to “the last day” and resurrection is to occur on that day.  Bodily resurrection.  The first phrase, however, is the end of Daniel’s life.  Obviously, for the angel is not telling Daniel to “go your way” until “the time of the end”! (note the Septuagint in loc).  Neither is the “end of the days” referring to the 1,290 or 1,335 days.  The “end of the days” is in reference to Dan 12.2, the resurrection of the dead.  Daniel, who will eventually die (reach his end) is promised participation in the resurrection.  No notation of time is given for that time other than “the last day” or “end of the days” of history (which was thoroughly common in Second Temple Judaism).

Now, why say all of this?  Because I am primarily known as a former prominent leader and teacher of what I now denounce as heresy, Hyper Preterism, many among that group, and I was one of them, confidently felt secure that by comparing the passages mentioned above, and noting certain scholars, we had a lock solid, air tight, iron clad argument that provedthat the resurrection of the dead took place in A.D. 70.  However, having read the above, that is not the case.  At all.  At least two attractive views are out there, one noted by James B. Jordan (and Kenneth Gentry, recently) and the other noted by Calvin, Wright and Stuart, which has a considerable scholarly consensus.  I lean towards the latter (although I endorsed the former before).  Both are attractive.  Both survive exegetical scrutiny.  Both are fully compatible with the affirmation of the bodily resurrection of the dead.  When one is so certain, like the Hyper Preterist often thinks he or she is, one does not entertain any other views, except with an eye to demolish them.  In a more academic mentality, several views can be appreciated, noting that the details are often left out of the Scripture which leads to several “possible” understandings of a given text(s).  This is a more sober approach.  Thank you for your time in reading.


  • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

    I should note the work of Duncan McKenzie, who is sort of a hybrid Hyper Preterist, but not entirely HP. Nonetheless, he has impressively documented how “Titus” is the “king of the north” in Dan 11:36-45, making the arising of Michael in 12.1 concomitant with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (see his, Volume 1: Daniel and 2 Thessalonians; The Antichrist and the Second Coming. A Preterist Commentary – Xulon Press, 2009, pp.167-ff.). As stated, McKenzie does make a good case, and if one were to grant his hypothesis (that Titus was antichrist, with a spiritual, demonic ruler behind him), it still would not overturn the interpretation of Wright, Calvin or Stuart. That McKenzie throws in the resurrection at the time of A.D. 70 is made plain in his book (pp.172-173), and this, I believe, is the fatal flaw of his overall thesis. Nonetheless, there is a good deal of well documented scholarly (truly scholarly) materials from reputable sources. I would recommend the book on that score alone.

  • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

    And, also, let me note James B. Jordan’s work (cited above) stemming from Philip Mauro (1944) and James Farquharson (1838) who argued for Herod as the king of the north in Dan 11:36-45. My point is, one can take a classic Preterist position here without seeing a problem with the resurrection of the dead occurring at the end of history.

    • http://preterismreview.com/ James Metzger

      Thanks Sam. Fun stuff. I’m encouraged by the scholarly trajectory.

      As you noted, Jordan, “… argued for Herod as the king of the north in Dan 11:36-45.” Interestingly, he argues the same concerning Daniel 8 and the ‘little horn’ as (the line of) Herod (pp409-440; e.g. “He is not Anitochus Epiphanes.” (p.415)). Quite an odd position, given your accurate assessment,

      The problem is that Dan 8.23-25 speaks of Antiochus (all agree, virtually) setting up an “abomination”.

      One can find these fringe perspectives within orthodoxy, one has to dig deep (usually centuries). (To McKenzie’s credit, he does not assume this tact on Dan 8, last I remember.)

      As always, thanks for your work.

    • http://preterismreview.com/ James Metzger

      Thanks Sam. Fun stuff. I’m encouraged by the scholarly trajectory.

      As you noted, Jordan, “… argued for Herod as the king of the north in Dan 11:36-45.” Interestingly, he argues the same concerning Daniel 8 and the ‘little horn’ as (the line of) Herod (pp409-440; e.g. “He is not Anitochus Epiphanes.” (p.415)). Quite an odd position, given your accurate assessment,

      The problem is that Dan 8.23-25 speaks of Antiochus (all agree, virtually) setting up an “abomination”.

      One can find these fringe perspectives within orthodoxy, but find them if you dig deep (usually centuries). (To McKenzie’s credit, he does not follow this tack on Dan 8, last I remember.)

      As always, thanks for your work.

  • PaulG

    Sam,

    Are you claiming that John Calvin, N.T. Wright, and Moses Stuart among others recognized the judgment of Dan 12 does not necessarily coincide with the resurrection of the dead in Dan 12:2? Evidently these learned scholars disagree with “everyone and their grandmother”. LOL, so much for another misrepresentation by the opposition to the Christian paradigm! Why does the opposition continue to “kick against the pricks!”?

    BTW, from what I understand, you ought to add to this list early church
    fathers like, Barnabas, Clement of Alexander, Origen, Tertullian along with
    Athanasius, who all also held to the resurrection of the body in the future. From what I gather, all these early scholars held AD70 as the end of the Jewish age, but understood the purpose of God’s redemptive plan for His people was not the Gnostic view of escape and release or transmigration of the soul. Indeed Tertullian wrote a fierce apologetic against the views held by the “Christian” Gnostics of his day, which is very similar to the view advanced by the hyprererpreterist community. What this clearly demonstrates, in addition to N. T. Wright, Calvin and Stuart there is evidence of early scholarship regarding the point of view. Gee, I wonder if Dr. T was writing for the second century fathers? Evdiently Tertullian was a “Talboite”!

    BTW, great article demonstrating once again why there is no compelling reason for the opponents of the Christian paradigm as declared in Scripture to deny the propositional truth claims of the inspired text. Indeed, God will redeem His people as full complete human beings, not “something that is spirit”, as the hyperpreterist would have us all believe.

    God Bless,

    • http://www.facebook.com/robin.l.elliott Robin L Elliott

      May be that you have not totally under stood 1 Cor. 15:50
      What part of this; Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of
      God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Don’t you get? Corruption being dead stinking bodys. Won’t inherit Incorruption!

      • PaulG

        Maybe you haven’t understood the Biblical doctrine of glorification. What pat of this, “the Lord Jesus Christ,…will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” Phil 3:20,21, don’t you get?

        Oh ye of little faith, what is your grounds to suggest the body of Christ Jesus which rose from the dead was “stinking”? Did His body “inherit” corruption? How can you deny, “this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality,” 1 Cor. 15:53

        Perhaps v. 53 was redacted from your bible, eh?

        • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

          It’s like saying, “this catepillar won’t become a butterfly, because butterflys have wings.”

  • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

    I posted this on Facebook as well, where there are many more comments.

  • Larry Siegle

    Sam
    While I appreciate much about your considerable research and the various interpretations provided by scholars and theologians, it is always somehow disappointing to reach the end of an article and hear the conclusion is a ‘definite perhaps’. The fact is that a variety of interpretations of any passage are certainly possible, there can only be one that is the correct interpretation. Otherwise, one is left with a logical contradiction. It is impossible for two opposing views to both be the correct interpretation of a passage.

    I have heard ALL of the various views on the passage. The purpose of Bible study is to follow the Law of Rationality which states: “one should only draw such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence.” I read articles such as yours to follow the logical progression of thought in order to arrive at the proper conclusion–not the typical “some say this” and “some say that.” What does the passage mean?

    • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

      In seminary, under many learned men (and women), we learned what you were saying, and we also got something else: what a passage DOES NOT mean (negative argument). I can tell you the basic meaning, but I can tell you what it DOES NOT mean, and it does not mean what the Full Preterist wants to wrestle out of it. In other words, it’s not a proof text for you. BECAUSE there are varied VALID interpretations (I have come to view Wright’s as the most plausible, but I can tip the hat to the others), to come at it as the FP does and say, “this, and this only, is the meaning” would be false. In other words, HUMILITY counts for something in interpretation and it also safegaurds against error that seeks to says “this and this only” is the meaning. Now, we certainly believe in the perspicuity of Scripture, and in this passage, we have an affirmation of resurrection from the dead. If we went on the consensus (another good measurment, though, again, not absolute), the FP view wouldn’t stand a chance. One is left with a “logical contradiction”, Larry, ONLY if they insist that two opposing views are BOTH true. No. One can say, “this one appears to be the best, and these other two are also attractive” without contradiction. One simply has deliberation (choice). If you are wanting to know all the mysteries of the Bible and believe that you have arrived at the settled truth in all matters of biblical interpretation, please, write that commentary!

  • http://thereignofchrist.com Sam

    I love reading where the hyper preterists think they are making “inroads” into mainstream Christianity. I used to exaggerate these claims myself. I was used when I went to Whitefield at the time, too (notice, on House Divided, they list that, since Mathison and Gentry went there, and Preston noted it as well). But, now, ooops, Whitefiled is a trash seminary….rofl. I heard other things from Criswell that did not bode well, either….You will never get these top notched scholars to accept the ridiculous idea of a “corporate body” resurrection in 1 Cor 15…….what they see as basic Preterism, sure….classic Preterism is a good deal…..Hyper Preterism? An extreme heresy.

  • Larry Siegle

    Sam
    Telling people what a verse does not mean is only half the story. Giving other possible explanations does provide a reasonable solution either. But I understand the concept:
    I can look across the street at a woman and I may not know who she IS, but I do know who she is NOT. She is not my sister. She is not my wife. She is not my neighbor. ETC. I could go on an list 3 billion other people this woman is NOT.
    However, by approaching the person and asking the proper questions, I CAN ascertain who she IS. It is poor exegetical principles and lack of sound hermeneutics that prevents one from ‘drawing only such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence.’ (Law of Rationality). Every precisely stated proposition is either true or false. Logic dictates that through the use of both inductive and deductive principles correctly applied, the true meaning of the text can be ascertained.
    This is not one of those questions such as: “Why did Nicodemus visit Jesus at night?” where it opens the door to speculation simply because the text is silent about that question. What the text states clearly is that he came to Jesus “at night.” The conclusions drawn are based upon what the text actually says, not only what one may or may not infer. We must INFER what God IMPLIES.
    To say that there are several ‘reasonable’ explanations of what Dan. 12 may teach would also depend upon the particular framework from which the chapter is approached, thus based upon certain exegetical presuppositions that are not explicitly stated in the text itself. What one carries into the text itself detemines the conclusions that are drawn.
    Did you not do any work in the text when you were a FP? Of course you did. Why then are your conclusions different today then they were five years ago? Not because Daniel 12 has changed, but rather because your exegetical principles have been influenced by other presuppositions that may or may not pertain.to what the text actually says.

    All of us have certain choices we must make in our attempts to be honest with the Scriptures. Do we lead with our preconceived notions, or do we allow the meaning of what God’s Word says arise from the text itself. The whole of the Bible is one united message that constitutes “all truth” and the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It is “the faith” which was once for all time delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
    If we both agree that the Bible is the starting point from which “all truth” regarding faith and practice may be ascertained, then why is it necessary to quote from a variety of scholars, none of whom are able to agree on various aspects of doctrine and who hold to a variety of opinions on countless other subjects? Is this an appeal to “authority” where there is none?
    While I may respect the work of N.T. Wright or other theologians, is it necessary for me to agree with their stance on every issue? Must I bow before Calvin, Luther, or other Reformers whose views may or may not be accurate on every Biblical subject? Ultimately every believer is responsibility to study for himself what the text actually says (II Tim. 2:15).
    Go back to the text. Tell us what it means and not what it does not mean.

    • PaulG

      Larry,

      Where is it taught in the O.T. disembodied bliss is the destiny of God’s redeemed people? Where is it taught in the O.T. the migration of the spirit from the body of ones birth to a new body is the destiny of God’s redeemed people? In fact, where is it taught in the O.T. the human body will not be redeemed? Show me the text that supports your premise.

  • http://thereignofchrist.com/ Jason L Bradfield

    The resurrection of the dead did not take place in ad70. Plain and simple.

    How’s that for dogmatism, Larry?

    • Larry Siegle

      Jason
      Thanks for you help in this regard. How about…
      John 5:25 and Eph. 2:1-6? Anyone “dead” there that was “resurrected” before, during or after A.D. 70? Or is the fulfillment of these passages “yet future” also? Just asking
      Larry

      • http://thereignofchrist.com/ Jason L Bradfield

        Larry, you’re playing games now. You know exactly what i am referring to. Being “raised” has various denotations.

      • PaulG

        Larry,

        Have you found any O.T. text that supports either of the two options hyperpreterism claims is the destiny of God’s redeemed? Just asking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.l.elliott Robin L Elliott

    Top nothed Scholars? Huh. Pee brains is more like it. And your giving up all, to try and get somewhere in the unholy mess of futurism. I listened Sunday to a group of 4 PHDs on day of discovery quote verses from Isa. that were clearly Messianic prophecies about the times of the Messiah, and these genius’s tried to apply all these to 1948 when the unholy state was invented. What a joke from you so-called scholars. I curse everyone of you and wait for the day God will be vendicated in his word.

    • http://thereignofchrist.com/ Jason L Bradfield

      Yes…yes. Brilliant response from a non-pee-brain. Take the wrongful application of Scripture by a few men and throw ALL of us in with them, though we did no such thing…brilliant response Robin.

      Bug off.

    • KenPalmer

      Robin, how do you substantiate cursing someone, when that power from God had its end in 70 CE? Blessings or curses ceased. A difficult question, that you must come to terms with.

  • Ernie Laurence, Jr.

    A question to those who are partial preterists here, what was the nature of the resurrection spoken of in Revelation if not a literal resurrection as Christ was literally and bodily resurrected?


    Todd Dennis

    Frost “I should note the work of Duncan McKenzie, who is sort of a hybrid Hyper Preterist, but not entirely HP. Nonetheless, he has impressively documented how “Titus” is the “king of the north” in Dan 11:36-45, making the arising of Michael in 12.1 concomitant with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (see his, Volume 1: Daniel and 2 Thessalonians; The Antichrist and the Second Coming. A Preterist Commentary – Xulon Press, 2009, pp.167-ff.). As stated, McKenzie does make a good case, and if one were to grant his hypothesis (that Titus was antichrist, with a spiritual, demonic ruler behind him), it still would not overturn the interpretation of Wright, Calvin or Stuart. That McKenzie throws in the resurrection at the time of A.D. 70 is made plain in his book (pp.172-173), and this, I believe, is the fatal flaw of his overall thesis. Nonetheless, there is a good deal of well documented scholarly (truly scholarly) materials from reputable sources. I would recommend the book on that score alone.”

     

    October 12, 2012 at 10:06pm

     


    Sam Frost
     Thanks, Todd. Blessings!

    October 13, 2012 at 2:23am

     


    Kurt Simmons

    I would disagree that Titus is the king of the North in Daniel Eleven. I think that Pompey the Great is the more accurate and defensible figure and that the king of the South was Mithridates of Pontus. These were the two great powers of the day, just before Jerusalem came under Roman control. To skip from Antiochus Epiphanes in Daniel 111:30-39 to Titus in AD is a huge jump, omitting the rise of Rome entirely. How plausible is that? The better view is that Dan. 11:40 transitions to Pompey vs. Mithridates of Pontus, which brought the east including Jerusalem into Roman power (v. 41), followed by Julius Caesar, Caesar’s conquest of Egypt (v. 42), his settlement of the government in Judea upon Sextus Caesar and his sudden, untimely assassination (v. 45). Nero then occurs in Dan. 12:1 with the great tribulation, and destruction of Jerusalem in the verses following. The taking away of the daily sacrifice I see in reference to the refusal of the Jews to honor Caesar’s daily offerings at the temple, which precipitated the war with Rome (Dan. 12:11, 12).

    October 13, 2012 at 9:59am

     


    Duncan McKenzie

    This is from volume I of the Antichrist and the Second Coming. It is a brief look at Mauro’s position. It should be noted that Jordan’s position is Mauro on Steroids. He tries to tie many sections of Daniel to Herod that Mauro does not (i.e., Dan. 7 & 8 ).

    THE DIFFICULT TASK OF PRODUCING A PRETERIST CANDIDATE FOR ANTICHRIST
    Dispensational scholar Randall Price notes correctly that “only the futurist school has been able to develop a self-consistent interpretation of the Antichrist concept from the scriptural witness of the two testaments.”32 This sounds impressive at first, but futurists have a much easier task than preterists do. Because futurists say the Antichrist will come in the future, they do not need to provide any historical fulfillment. All that futurists have to do is provide a reasonable futuristic scenario of Antichrist’s actions and harmonize it with the relevant Scripture passages. Preterists, after harmonizing the Scriptures, have to show how they were fulfilled in history—a much more demanding task.

    The present work provides a concept of Antichrist that is both consistent with the Old and New Testaments and is unified in one historical figure (Titus) and one three-and-a-half-year period (AD 67-70), cf. Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 13:5. This is a next to impossible task unless one is on the exact right track. Consider the difficulties Bible expositor Phillip Mauro has in providing a historical fulfillment related just to Daniel 11:36-45.

    Mauro applies the description of the king of the North in Daniel 11:36-39 to Herod the Great (37-4 BC). He immediately runs into problems, however. Because Daniel 11:36 says that the king of the North would prosper until God’s wrath against the Jews was accomplished (i.e., AD 70; cf. Dan. 9:26-27), Mauro has to show that the reign of the king of the North extended up to AD 70. Since Herod the Great died around the time of Jesus’ birth (c. 4 BC), Mauro is forced to say the king of the North does not just refer to Herod but to his dynastic successors as well—Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II.33 Thus, in his exposition of just one verse, Mauro already needs four rulers to produce a historical fulfillment for the king of the North. Needless to say, he is off to a rocky start!

    Mauro continues his exposition in Daniel 11:40-43. Because the actions of the king of the North in these verses do not fit Herod, or even his successors, Mauro insists that Daniel 11:40-43 is speaking about Caesar Augustus and the time of the battle of Actium (31 BC).34 Mauro then insists that the identity of the king of the North in Daniel 11:44-45 returns to Herod the Great and the time of Jesus’ birth (c. 4 BC).35

    In a span of just ten verses relating to the king of the North (Dan. 11:36-45), Mauro’s theory requires five rulers and a span of more than one hundred years to show a historical fulfillment! Daniel 11:36-45 represents only a small portion of the Scriptures dealing with Antichrist, and Mauro cannot even come close to applying it to one person or one three-and-a-half-year period.36 I say this not to criticize Phillip Mauro but to show how difficult a preterist exposition of Antichrist truly is. Clever exegesis is not enough. Unless there is an inherent fit between one’s position and Scripture, a preterist unification of all the Scripture verses related to Antichrist is impossible.
    Below is Daniel 11:36-45 with a brief summary of my position (for a more complete discussion see chapter 5 of this work).

    36. Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself 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. 37. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. 40. At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand; Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
    Continued below

    October 14, 2012 at 12:25pm

     


    Duncan McKenzie

    Daniel 11:36-45 is an intricate prophecy; the ten verses in this section describe a number of very specific events. The following is my proposed fulfillment of this section:

    In response to an attack by the Jews on occupying Roman soldiers (vv. 40-41),Nero sent Vespasian and Titus to Judea to subdue the Jewish nation. They led a massive invasion of the Holy Land in AD 67. The campaign was going well until Nero died in mid-AD 68. Nero’s death plunged the Roman Empire into civil war as various factions struggled to determine who would rule in Rome. In AD 69, Vespasian and Titus entered this fray. To finance their takeover of the Empire, they needed the “precious things” of Egypt (vv. 42-43); they also planned to block Egypt’s grain shipments to starve Rome into submission, if necessary. Thus, the Flavians first secured Egypt in their bid for the Empire and then turned their attention toward Rome (note, the family name of Vespasian and Titus was Flavius).37 At this time (mid AD 69), Titus was granted sole authority over both Judea and Syria, possessing sovereignty over the domain of the king of the North (i.e., Syria).

    From Egypt, Titus invaded Judea a second time (his second coming if you will) in the spring of AD 70 (vv. 43-45) while his father waited to sail to Rome. At Passover of AD 70 Titus resumed his attack on Jerusalem; the city and Temple would fall five months later (cf. Dan. 9:26-27). Thus, God allowed Titus to prosper in his destruction of the Jews during the three-and-a-half-year period of March/April of AD 67 to August/September of AD 70, the time until God’s wrath against the Jews was accomplished (Dan. 11:36; Luke 21:20-24). This was the time of the “great tribulation” (Dan. 12:1) which resulted in the shattering of the Jewish nation’s power (Dan. 12:7).

    Elevating himself above every god, Titus was worshiped in the Temple shortly before it was destroyed (Dan. 11:36-37; cf. 2 Thess. 2:4). The foreign god that assisted Vespasian and Titus in their victory (v. 39) was the Greco-Egyptian deity Sarapis (see Tacitus, The Histories, 4, 81-82). In response to this, the Flavians advanced Sarapis’ glory as they added him to the pantheon of Roman gods. At the AD 70 destruction of the Jewish nation, the land of Israel was divided up and sold for profit (Dan. 11:39; see Josephus, The Jewish War, 7, 6, 6).

    The king of the North meets his end at the time of his attack on Jerusalem (v. 45). This does not seem to apply to Titus, as he did not die at AD 70. The ruler who met his end at this time, however, was not the man Titus but the demonic king of the North working through Titus. Just as the kings in Daniel 10:13 and Revelation 17:8-11 ultimately refer to demonic rulers, so the king of the North was demonic. It was the demonic ruler from the abyss (cf. Rev. 11:7; 17:8) who met his end and was cast into the lake of fire at the parousia in AD 70 (Rev. 19:20; cf. Dan. 7:11, 21-22). Thus, it was the spiritual dominion Titus possessed that came to an end at this time (cf. Dan. 7:23-27; 1 Cor. 2:6).

    Endnotes:
    32. Randall Price, “An Overview of the Antichrist.” World of the Bible Ministries, http://www.worldofthebible.com/Bible…/antichrist.pdf.
    33. Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (Swengel, PA: Reiner Publications, 1975), 140-142.
    34. Ibid., 150-157.
    35. Ibid., 157-162.
    36. Despite the glaring difficulties of Mauro’s position regarding the king of the North of Daniel 11:36-45, James Jordan has adopted it. In his book The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2007), Jordan tries to apply Mauro’s position on the king of the North to the little horn of Daniel 7 (something even Mauro did not attempt). While Jordan is a very intelligent man, I find his commentary on Daniel to be quite esoteric and unconvincing. He sees the first ten horns on Daniel 7’s fourth beast as representing the first ten Caesars, Julius to Vespasian. I agree with him on that. He sees the eleventh little horn of the fourth beast, however, as not being a Roman power but a Jewish power. He says the little horn represents the line of the Herods as well as the Jews who rejected Jesus (p. 387). I find many of Jordan’s interpretations in Daniel to be fanciful; often the scriptural connections he makes are tangential and do not hold up.
    For a devastating critique of Mauro’s position, see Thomas A. Howe, Daniel in the Preterist’s Den: A Critical Look at Preterist Interpretations of Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), 537-597. I agree with many of Howe’s criticisms of preterist interpretations of Daniel; I think his futuristic solutions are off-track, however.
    37. The family name of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian was Flavius. They are referred to as the Flavian dynasty.

    October 14, 2012 at 12:57pm