Daniel Unsealed




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Preface: Knowledge Shall Be Increased … page 1
Chapter One: I, Daniel, Understood … page 5
Chapter Two: Then Shall the Sanctuary Be Cleansed (Daniel 8:1-27) … page 11
Chapter Two: What Shall Be The End of These Things? (Daniel 12:8-12) … page 27
Chapter Three: For a Time, Times, and an Half (Daniel 12:5-7) … page 37
Chapter Four: That Which Shall Not Be Destroyed (Daniel 7:1-28) … page 45
Chapter Five: What Shall Befall Thy People (Daniel 10:1-12:4) … page 61
Chapter Six: Seventy Weeks Are Determined (Daniel 9:1-27) … page 83
Chapter Seven: He Shall Confirm the Covenant (Daniel 9:24-27) … page 99
Conclusion: The Wise Shall Understand … page 123

Excerpt – Preface: Knowledge Shall Be Increased

The first edition of this book was released in 2010. I assumed that the world of biblical scholarship and expository preaching would welcome a new commentary offering an updated treatment of the chrono-specific predictive prophecies in the Book of Daniel. The interpretations that it set forth back then were faithful to both the biblical text and secular history, but, unlike interpretations found in older commentaries, they incorporated insights gained from recognizing that the Danielic prophecies had been unsealed by divine providence in 1967 in modern Israel.

I was hopeful that Bible scholars would recognize such a 21st-century exposition as a step forward, but was disappointed to find that incurious homage paid to older expositions, most of which were formulated in the 19th century using pseudo-history that has yielded only approximate fulfillments, too often prevented this commentary from being taken seriously. Proponents of traditional Christian interpretations remained loyal to the work done by past expositors, in essence endorsing their outdated interpretations as sacrosanct. On those occasions when this commentary was given consideration, the evaluation was usually perfunctory at best, with its exposition being treated as nothing more than an impertinent challenge to the expository status quo. By dismissing this commentary as sciolistic, it became difficult for Bible scholars to give its new interpretations based on increased knowledge resulting from fulfillment events occurring in modern Israel … events that essentially unsealed the Danielic prophecies for understanding as prophesied … a merit-based hearing.

By now you are probably attributing the above observations to pique on my part, but that is only partially true. The bold assertion that my new exegesis of the prophecies in Daniel is superior to that of past Christian expository giants can be better explained, not by pique or hubris, but instead by my insistence on taking at face value what God said about the prophecies being sealed. In the final chapter of Daniel, the God of Israel, speaking through his angel, said without ambiguity, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4) … and then it was repeated for emphasis, “And he [the angel of God] said, Go thy way, Daniel: the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:9).

Seeing that God said that the prophecies were to remain sealed until the time of the end, then it follows that showing that the specified “time of the end” has arrived in history must be considered a fundamental requirement that has to be addressed before any attempt can be made to interpret the prophecies. But, alas, for more than two-hundred years, the list of expositors who have ignored the time constraint ordained by God to prevent the prophecies from being prematurely understood has been growing, and includes such luminaries as Matthew Henry, Albert Barnes, John Nelson Darby, C. I. Scofield, Sir Robert Anderson, Arno C. Gaebelein, Clarence Larkin, H. A. Ironside, John F. Walvoord, and Leon J. Wood, to name but a few who are well-known among conservative Bible believers.

All of the above expositors were gifted Bible scholars, of course, and each one prided himself on his Daniel exposition. But, to a man, they all made the same mistake. They did not wait for the prophecies in Daniel to be unsealed by God so that they could interpret them correctly. By not recognizing the need to wait for the prophecies to be unsealed before attempting their exposition, they jumped the exegetical gun. With the best of intentions, they were nevertheless trying to do the impossible, and that is why all of them produced interpretations of the prophecies that are inherently flawed. Jewish scholars have done likewise.

In Daniel 12:4, after commanding that the prophecies be sealed, God made a promise to the future about their unsealing when he said: “knowledge shall be increased.” That promise by God has now been fulfilled by recent events in Israel that allow us to recognize the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel, chapter 8, which was made manifest on June 7, 1967, during the Six-Day War. As the world watched, Old City Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were liberated from Gentile control and restored to Jewish sovereignty precisely as foretold in verse 14: “And he [the angel] said to me [Daniel], ‘For 2,300 evenings and mornings [evening-until-morning time periods, or nights, in this case Passover nights]. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state [returned to Jewish sovereignty]’ ”

Prior to the restoration of Old Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to Jewish sovereignty in 1967, it was not humanly possible for anyone to accurately and fully interpret the chrono-specific predictive prophecies in Daniel that God had said would remain sealed until the time of the end. After all, who could unseal what God had sealed before God’s appointed time of unsealing had arrived? But, now that we have seen in history the event that unsealed for our understanding the prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel, this commentary can begin where all past expositions of the prophecies in Daniel should have begun, by explaining how God used the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel, chapter 8, to signal to this generation that all of the prophecies he had commanded the prophet Daniel to seal against premature understanding are now unsealed for our end-time spiritual edification.

—Dan Bruce, Author