WAS DANIEL 12:2 FULFILLED IN MATTHEW 27:51-52 – #3
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 third installment of a brief series on this subject.
I have been asked to comment on the (supposed) correlation between Daniel 12 and Matthew 27:52. 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.
Notice that Daniel 12: specifically says that those to be resurrected would be raised to everlasting life– or, in the case of the wicked – everlasting shame. (This is, of course, a total refutation of “universalism,” is it not?) Those who suggest that Daniel was fulfilled in the events of Matthew 27:52 are putting the horse before the cart, so far as I can determine. Here is why.
Note that Daniel was told that he would not receive his reward until the time of the end. He would receive that reward, according to Revelation 11:15f at the time of the resurrection. Likewise, the time of the rewarding of the prophets was to occur at the end of the age (Daniel 12:2-4). So, when we put these pieces of the puzzle together we find the following:
The resurrection is the time when the prophets– Daniel included– would receive their reward (Daniel 12:2-13).
The prophets would receive their reward at the time of the resurrection (Revelation 11:15-18).
The time of the resurrection and the time of the rewarding of the prophets was to occur at the judgment of the city “where the Lord was slain” (Revelation 11:8-18).
Therefore, the resurrection for the rewarding of the prophets – Daniel 12:2 — occurred at the judgment of the city “where the Lord was slain” (Revelation 11:8-18).
To suggest that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 is different from the resurrection at the end of the age in Daniel 12:12-13 demands contextual proof. There is no such proof. The resurrection of v. 2 would be at the time of the end; the resurrection of v. 13 would be at the time of the end. Daniel 12 does not contain a prediction of two different “ends” and two different resurrections. There is one resurrection at the time of the end, and Revelation posits that at the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem. Matthew 27:52 does not satisfy the demands of the text.
There is something else here.
In Matthew 13:43, Jesus echoed Daniel 12:3, the prediction that the righteous would shine in the kingdom at the end of the age. Jesus applied Daniel to the harvest, which he said would be ‘at the end of this age” (Matthew 13:39-4). But, he posited that end of the age at his coming, not at the cross. The events of Matthew 27 were clearly not occurring at the coming of Christ, the time of the harvest, at the end of the age and the judgment. More acould be said on the problems that Matthew 13 present for the application of Daniel 12 to Matthew 27 but this should suffice.
Be sure to get a copy of my book Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection for more on Daniel 12 and the resurrection.