WAS DANIEL 12:2 FULFILLED IN MATTHEW 27:51-52 – #2
Don K. Preston D. Div.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2).
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised” (Matthew 27:51-52)
This is the second installment of a brief series on this subject.
I have been asked on numerous occasions to comment on the (supposed) correlation between Daniel 12 and Matthew 27. I have been asked recently to specifically address the question of whether Daniel’s prediction of the resurrection (12:2) was fulfilled in the awesome events recorded in Matthew 27. There are some who believe that the resurrection of the saints in Matthew was in fact the direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. I do not, and will offer a few reasons in a brief series of articles, as to why I reject that suggestion.
In the first installment we noted that the resurrection of Daniel 12 is inextricably linked to the Great Tribulation of v. 1. There is no contextual way to dichotomize these two events into two separate times. The resurrection would come at the climax of the Tribulation. Or, at the very least, at the time of the Tribulation. Since the Great Tribulation was not in process at the time of Matthew 27:52 this serves as prima facie demonstration that the resurrection of Matthew 27 was not the fulfillment of Daniel’s prediction.
Notice now Daniel 12:3. Clearly, verse 3 is tied to verse two thematically as well as contextually. What happens in verse 3? It is the arrival of the kingdom, per Jesus’ interpretation and application of verse 3
Daniel 12:3 tells us that at the time of the resurrection, “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament… like the stars forever.” Notice the direct correlation of the resurrection to everlasting life in verse 2, to the shining as the brightness of the firmament and stars forever.”
So, the resurrection of verse 2 leads to the righteous shining forth. Notice now Jesus’ application of Daniel’s prophecy.
In Jesus’ famous parable of the wheat and tares, Jesus gave his interpretation of the parable, as well as lending his comment on Daniel 12: 41-43: “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Take note that Jesus directly cites Daniel 12:3 in v. 43. And, he Daniel would be fulfilled at the coming of the Son of Man, at the end of the age, the time of the harvest. Without doubt, the harvest at the coming of the Lord at the end of the age is the time of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2.
So, that leads us to this:
The harvest of Matthew 13:41-43 is the resurrection age of Daniel 12:2.
But, the harvest of Matthew 13:41-43 occurs at the coming of the Lord at the end of the age (Matthew 13:41-43).
Therefore, the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 occurs at the coming of the Lord at the end of the age.
Jesus said that at the time of the harvest the kingdom would be present, and the righteous would shine in the kingdom. Did the kingdom arrive in Matthew 27:52? Did those who were raised in Matthew 27 begin to shine in the kingdom? If so, how? Again, per Jesus, that kingdom would arrive in power and greatly glory at his parousia (Matthew 16:27-28; 25:31f).
Patently, the events of Matthew 27:52 did not occur at the coming of the Lord with the angels at the end of the age.
Those who claim that Daniel 12 foretold the events of Matthew 27 must provide some powerful, substantive, contextual evidence to show that Daniel 12:2 can be cut out and divorced from verse 1 and verse 3 temporally. There is simply no contextual support for doing so, and when we accept Jesus’ application of Daniel 12 to his parousia at the harvest, this falsifies any application of Daniel 12 to Matthew 27.
For more on the resurrection– and the correlation between Daniel 12 and Matthew 13– see my book Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection.
More to come.