And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people…
Nature is full of types. The leaf is type of the tree. The dawn is a type of the resurrection. The same law that moulds the dew-drop moulded the earth. History likewise is full of types. The banishment from Eden is a type of exclusion from heaven. The redemption of the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage is a type of the redemption of the race by Jesus Christ. Both prosperous and adverse events in human history serve as types. This is the key to the present paragraph in Daniel.
I. RIGOROUS TRIALS FOR ISRAEL APPEAR IN THE VISTA OF THE FUTURE. Not only are great deliverances pre-announced, but great disasters also. It is thought by some persons that it is of no advantage to discern the approach of trial. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Every earthly battle is a symbol of the decisive battle between good and evil - between Christ and Satan. The time of trouble which the angel predicted was a fitting type of the time of trouble which Jesus Christ predicted, viz. the overthrow of Jerusalem. Of each it might truly be said, as each arose to view, "it was a time of trouble," such as had not hitherto been known.
II. SEVERE TRIALS BRING TO LIGHT SUPERIOR SOURCES OF HELP. Had it not been for the captivity and oppression of Israel, Daniel would not have fasted and prayed, and if he had not made his tearful appeal to God, he would not have known of the distinguished beings who were enlisted in Israel's defence. When raised to the eternal home, we shall learn that trials had served on earth our highest good. They drove us near to God. They brought the revelation of his available help. Greater are our champions (if we are friends of truth) than all our foes. "The great Prince standeth for us." Here is type again. Even the Fail shall result in greater elevation. Recovered holiness is a richer acquisition than unmolested innocence.
III. EVERY ACT OF DIVINE DELIVERANCE POINTS ONWARD TO OUR RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION. There is no room for question that the awakening and reappearance of the dead, referred to by the angel, was a resurrection of social and national life under Judas Maccabaeus. A new wave of life was to pass over the people. Those who had been long repressed, trodden in the dust, who had hidden in holes and dens for very life, then reappeared. In very similar language Ezekiel predicted that God would "bring his people out of their graves, and would lead them to their own land." Yet this revival of life under the Maccabaean princes was type of a better resurrection. The language spoken to Daniel had both a near and a remote application. In its fullest signification it will be verified only in the great resurrection at the last day.
IV. RESURRECTION WILL SERVE TO MANIFEST CONTRASTS OF CHARACTER. A sudden accession of prosperity to a man is a good test of his worth or his worthlessness. With our present grossly material natures, it is comparatively easy to dissemble motives, feelings, and intentions before our fellow-men. But it is possible that the resurrection-body will be refined and transparent, so that angels and men may be able to see us through and through. What an incentive have we here to acquire sterling excellence of character! By-and-by no secrets will be permitted: will this be to us a joy or a grief? All varieties of character will be reduced to two. Minor distractions will be obliterated in view of the great distinction. Honour will be life; shame will be death.
V. DISTINCTIONS OF CHARACTER WILL MEET WITH DISTINCTIVE DESTINIES. For the present the coming destinies of men are, in part, concealed. But we may be quite sure that eventually every man will, like Judas, "go to his own place." In all God's arrangements there is admirable and exquisite fitness, and it shall be seen at last that character will gravitate to its proper destination. Those among the sons of men who are truly wise - who love and pursue wisdom - shall gradually gain a clearness and brightness of soul. The hidden excellence shall be at length fully manifested; "they shall shine" as the clear lustre of the eastern sky. Wisdom, that has matured and ripened into benevolence, shall shine as the "stars," and that perpetually.
VI. LARGER UNFOLDINGS OF THE TRUTH ARE RESERVED FOE THE FUTURE, In each succeeding age men have still to say, "We know in part." It is, without question, best for us here that revelation should be gradual, and that attainments of knowledge should be secured by successive steps. It would be lavish waste (such as we see nowhere in God's universe) if God should reveal at once to men all that he intends to make known on earth. The thing would be impossible. There must be an eye to perceive, as well as objects to be presented. We should be blinded with the excess of light. God reveals himself and his redemption through human as well as through angelic agencies. Though every prophet must be in advance of his contemporaries, in order to be a prophet; still he must not be greatly in advance. The stream of revelation must be stayed for a time; "the book must be closed and sealed." Time is allowed to reduce known truth to practical advantage. In later times, teachers shall be multiplied, and truth, unfettered, shall spread through wider and wider circles. "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability" and the glory of future ages. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
WEB: "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.