(1) At that time—i.e., in the times spoken of in Daniel 11:45, previous to the overthrow of the king. During the tribulation which precedes his overthrow, Michael (see Daniel 10:13) comes to stand up in aid of the people.
A time of trouble.—This is the tribulation spoken of in Matt. in Matthew 24:21-22, which follows, as it does in the Book of Daniel, the wars, rumours of wars, and uprisings of sundry nations. (See Matthew 24:6-7.) It should be observed that the mere presence of Michael does not avert the times of trouble. He helps God’s people during the time of their trouble. On the mode in which the intensity of the tribulation is described, comp. Jeremiah 30:7.
Written in the book.—Comp. Daniel 7:10; Philippians 4:3; and see Note on Exodus 32:32.
Shame and everlasting contempt.—The latter word occurs only in this passage and Isaiah 66:24, where see the Note. For the use of the word “shame,” comp. Jeremiah 23:40.
Many shall run to and fro.—The verb “to run” is used in Jeremiah 5:1 of searching after knowledge. In this sense it is used of “the eyes of the Lord” (Zechariah 4:10; comp. Amos 8:12). In the same sense it is used in this verse. Many will anxiously search in this book for knowledge of the manner of God’s dealings with His people, and will derive comfort and understanding therefrom.
The river—i.e., the Hiddekel, as in Daniel 10:4, though a different word for “river” is used, which is generally employed to designate the Nile. For the reason of the choice of this word, see the next Note.
How long . . . end.—The end is that which has been frequently spoken of (Daniel 11:40 to Daniel 12:3). The question asks, “How long will the end of these wonders continue? The end always appears to be at hand, yet it never comes. How long will this continue?”
A time, times . . .—See Note on Daniel 7:25; and observe that any reference to the period of the persecution under Antiochus is impossible, on account of the difference between the measures of time. (See Daniel 7:14.)
To scatter.—The ancient versions (not the LXX., however) appear to have understood this to mean the dispersion of Israel (see Deuteronomy 7:6), and seem to have connected the “end,” of which Daniel speaks, with the cessation of the dispersion of Israel, or, in other words, to have regarded it as a prediction of the re-gathering of Israel, which would immediately precede the coming of Elias. (See the remarks of Theodoret on the passage.) But by the “holy people” are meant, more probably, those who shall suffer in the last days (comp. Daniel 7:25, “the saints”), and the word “scatter” means to break in pieces, as Psalm 2:9, &c. So that the words imply that the end will not come till “the shattering of the power of the saints” has been accomplished, or till persecution appears to have stamped out all that remains of godliness. This makes the prophecy accord with Daniel 7:25 and the parallel passages in the New Testament.
What shall be the end?—Daniel refers to the “wonderful things” mentioned in Daniel 12:6, and using a different word for “end,” asks which of these wonders is to be the last—i.e., which of them is to come immediately before the end of all things.
Closed up and sealed.—To be explained as in Daniel 12:4. The book is to be carefully preserved till the end of time.