Unsealing Daniel

OVERVIEW - Unlike the book of Daniel, in Revelation, the scroll is unsealed. With the Resurrection of Jesus, the time of fulfillment had arrived

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash
At the close of his visions, an angel commanded Daniel “
to shut up the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” In contrast, in Revelation, the scroll is opened to reveal its contents to the “servants of God,” beginning with John. While Daniel was told to “seal the scroll,” John was commanded explicitly NOT to do so. The verbal parallels between the two incidents are deliberate - [Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash].
  • (Daniel 12:4) – “But, you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall abound.
  • (Revelation 1:1-3) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST NEEDS COME TO PASS with speed. And he showed them by signs, sending through his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatsoever things he saw. Blessed is he that reads, and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things therein written, for THE SEASON IS NEAR.
  • (Revelation 22:10) – “And he says to me, Do not SEAL UP THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS SCROLL, for THE SEASON IS NEAR.
The very first word of Revelation is apokalupsis or “revelation,” which means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” God gave it to Jesus to show His “servants what things were about to come to pass.” The visions of the book are intended to disclose previously hidden information, not to mystify us.

The first paragraph declares that the purpose of the book is to “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon” In the immediate context, His “servants” refers to the “seven churches of Asia.” The paragraph concludes with promised blessings for the ones who heed the prophecy, for “THE SEASON is near” - (Revelation 1:1-3).

The opening verse 1 alludes to the interpretation Daniel gave to King Nebuchadnezzar of his dream of a golden great image:
  • There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries and has shown the king WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS in latter days.”
The Greek clause in the Septuagint version is an exact match to the one in Revelation, except “latter days” has been changed to “soon” - What was once in the distant future is imminent for the “churches of Asia”:
  • (Daniel 2:26-28) – “Daniel answered before the king, and said, The mystery which the king has asked, the wise men, the magicians, the sacred scribes, the astrologers are not able to declare to him; but there is a God in the heavens who reveals mysteries and has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall come to pass in later days.
  • (Revelation 1:1) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST NEEDS COME TO PASS soon.
THE SEASON is near.” The clause is derived from the angel’s instructions to Daniel in the closing section of his book - “But, you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the season of the end In both passages, “season” represents the Greek noun kairos, meaning “season, the opportune time, set time.” As before, Revelation changes the time reference from “the end” to “near” or engus, a term for something “near, imminent, at hand.”

At the conclusion of Revelation, an angel commanded John NOT “to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE SEASON IS AT HAND.” This is a deliberate contrast to the words of the angel who commanded Daniel to “close up the words and seal the book.” What Daniel was told to seal until a distant future John was told not to seal, for the time of disclosure had arrived - (Revelation 22:10).

The prologue of Revelation includes greetings to the churches of Asia from Jesus:
  • The faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth, who loosed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.”
Thus, in Revelation, the status of Jesus as sovereign over the earth is presented as an accomplished fact. He is the one who bore “faithful witness” in his death, the “firstborn of the dead” through his resurrection, and therefore, his Death and Resurrection form the basis of his present and very real reign. In him, the time of the end, the “latter days,” had commenced.
  • (Revelation 1:17-18) – “Do not fear! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One, and I became dead; and behold, I am living unto the ages of ages, and have the keys of death and of hades.
  • (Revelation 3:21) – “He that overcomes, I will give him to take his seat with me in my throne, as I also overcame and took my seat with my Father in his throne.
  • (Revelation 5:5-10) – “And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb, standing, showing that it had been slain…And he came and at once took the scroll out of the right hand of him that was sitting upon the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp and bowls of gold full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sing a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, BECAUSE you were slain and redeemed for God by your blood men out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, And made them for our God a kingdom and priests, and they reign on the earth.
Thus, the summons made first to Israel, finds its fulfillment in the men and women from every nation who have been freed by the sacrificial death of the “Lamb.” They are, present tense, “kings and priests” that reign with him “on the earth.”

From its very beginning, the visions of the book are anchored in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Following his enthronement, he began to unveil what was previously veiled. In him, the “season” of fulfillment has dawned, the time to unseal and open the formerly “sealed scroll."


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