Daniel 12:1 says, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book” (NKJV). This very important verse deserves our careful attention, so let’s break it down.

“At that time”: We see that phrase TWICE in this verse; so what “time” is it referring to? We believe it should be linked with the phrase “the TIME of the end” that we see in Daniel 11:35 & 40 and 12:4 & 9, which is speaking of “the end of the Jewish age.” In Matthew 24:3 Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of THE END OF THE AGE?” They were well acquainted with Daniel’s great prophecy of 70 weeks (see Daniel 9:24) which would end with their Messiah’s coming to establish His kingdom on earth and in our verse we have the last week, consisting of seven years, before us.

“Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands over the sons of your people”: This is none other than “Michael the archangel” (Jude 9). He is spoken of here as “the great prince” who is also called “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13. Here we learn that he is “Israel’s prince” (see also Daniel 10:21 where he is called “your prince”) because he will “stand up” for them and do battle against all that are against them.

“There shall be a TIME OF TROUBLE”: We have already said that this verse is speaking of “the time of the end” and that it is a period of “seven years.” But we learn elsewhere that the seven years is divided into two periods (Daniel 9:27). Our Lord’s answer to His disciples in Matthew 24 defines those two periods. After describing some of the signs that would herald His coming and the end of the age Jesus said, “All these are THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS” (verse 8). That would be the FIRST 3 ½ years. Later, in verses 15 & 24 He said this, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of the Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place….then there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” The LAST 3 ½ years will be the “great tribulation” which Daniel calls a “time of trouble.” It will especially be difficult for the nation of Israel and thus Jeremiah the prophet refers to it as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It begins when an image of a man is placed in the Temple in Jerusalem and all are called upon to worship it (see Revelation 13:14 & 15, along with 2nd Thessalonians 2:4). This is the “abomination of desolation” that will signal the GREAT TRIBULATION.

“At that time YOUR PEOPLE SHALL BE DELIVERED, everyone who is found written in the book”: There will be a remnant in Israel who turns to the Lord during this “time of trouble” in true repentance and faith. The Lord spoke of them and their deliverance in Matthew 24:13, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” They are God’s elect whose names are recorded in the Book of Life and the Lord Jesus is their Deliverer. Romans 11:26 speaks of this: “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” He will deliver them from their enemies and gather them back to the land of Israel for blessing. Matthew 24:31 declares, “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (264.3) (DO)