Unsealing Daniel

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

Open Bible Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
At the close of his visions, an angel commanded Daniel “
to close the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” But in Revelation, the scroll is opened to reveal its contents to the “servants of God.” Daniel was told to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded explicitly NOT to do so. The verbal parallels between the two incidents are deliberate - [Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash].

The very first word of the book is apokalupsis, which means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” God has given it to Jesus to show His “servants what things are going to come to pass.” Its visions are intended to disclose previously hidden information, not to mystify its readers.
  • (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 COME TO PASS with speed… For THE SEASON IS NEAR.” – (Also, Revelation 22:10).
The purpose of the book is declared in its opening paragraph: To “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon” In the immediate context, “servants” refers to the members of the “seven churches of Asia.” The paragraph concludes with promised blessings for those who heed the prophecy.

The book’s first verse alludes to the interpretation of the dream of a golden great image given by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar:
  • There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries and has shown the king WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS in latter days” - (Daniel 2:26-28).
The Greek clause in the Septuagint version is an exact match to the one recorded in Revelation, except “latter days” is changed to “soon.” What was once in the distant future is imminent for the “churches of Asia.”

THE SEASON is near.” The clause echoes 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, set time” - (Strong’s - #G2540). As before, Revelation changes the time reference from “the end” to “near” or engus, a term for something “near, imminent; that is at hand” - (Strong’s - #G1451).

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

In Revelation, Jesus is the “faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”  He was the “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 reign (“ruler of the kings of the earth”). In him, the time of the end, the “latter days,” had commenced, including his sovereignty over the kingdom of God. And, by his blood, he made his saints a “kingdom of Priests” - (Revelation 1:17-18, 3:21, 5:5-10, Exodus 19:5).

The summons made to Ancient Israel finds its fulfillment in the men and women from every nation who have been “loosed from sin” by the death of the “Lamb.” They are, present tense, “kings and priests” that reign with him “on the earth.”

From its very beginning, the book’s visions 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 previously “sealed scroll.”


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