Words are closed up and sealed
In Daniel 12:4 the angel commands the preservation of the words of the vision by closing and sealing the book. Once the original is preserved from changes, unclosed and unsealed copies are made for study (Jer. 32:9-12). “Many will go here and there [throughout the earth looking for answers (compare Amos 8:12; 2 Chron. 16:9; Zech. 4:10), and “the knowledge” shall increase.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up (05640 סָתַם catham) the words, and seal (02856 חָתַם chatham ) the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro (07751 סוּט shuwt), and knowledge shall increase.”
So “the knowledge” shall increase as interpreters go “to and fro” in the “the time of the end” to discover the new meaning old words have. Prior to the End Time Generation, some of the words remain “closed up and sealed.”
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up (05640 סָתַם catham) and sealed (02856 חָתַם chatham ) till the time (06256 עֵת `eth) of the end (07093 קֵץ qets).
10 “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise (07919 שָׂכַל sakal) shall understand. (Dan. 12:4, 8-10 NKJ)
“Closed up” and “sealed” reappear in Daniel 12:9 with a change in meaning, now words in the vision are “obscure” and “mysterious” and there is no reference to literally “shutting up” and “sealing” the book to preserve its words from harm.
End time events “open up” and “unseal” what is “obscure” and “mysterious”, not “special revelation by God’s Holy Spirit.” “The wise (prudent, circumspect) shall understand”. Everyone “critically thinking” on the text and looking “to and fro” in End Time events will discern the meaning of the prophecy.
Until End Time events uncover the new meaning of old words, they remain obscure and mysterious. The prophet Daniel illustrates this perfectly. Daniel and his associates were experts in Jewish customs, its Temple and sacrifices including past interruptions of its Daily Sacrifices. Yet in prophecies which todays interpreters so confidently apply to Antiochus and Antichrist and a third Temple yet to be rebuilt, Daniel and his contemporaries don’t understand the vision at all.
27 And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it. (Dan. 8:27 NKJ)
The events giving new meaning to old terminology had not yet happened in Daniel’s time. It was not until the New Covenant in Christ’s blood we see a new application for old terms like “Temple of God” and “Daily Sacrifice”. The “saints” now include the greater “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:15-16), Jew and Gentile descendants of Abraham’s seed (Gal. 3:27-29). The Temple priesthood and Daily Sacrifice are in the Christian Church. The Church is the Temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21), Christians its priests (1 Pet. 2:5). We offer up “the Daily Sacrifice” (1 Pet. 2:5; Rom. 12:1; Lk. 9:23; Heb. 13:15).
It was impossible Daniel understand his own prophecy even though he was expert in Jewish custom and law and specially gifted by Holy Spirit to interpret visions and enigmas (Dan. 4:8-9, 18; 5:11-12). Without knowledge of these new events, the words remained “closed up” and “sealed.”
As it is “end time events” that “open up and unseal” what is “obscure and mysterious”, special revelation by God is not required for the critical thinker studying the text to know what it predicts. Only those living in the End Time will have all the necessary information to know what Daniel’s prophecy predicts.
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