Unsealing Daniel

Daniel was commanded to “seal the scroll,” whereas, in Revelation, John was commanded NOT to seal the scroll, “for the season is at hand.” 

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

The first word of Revelation is apokalupsis, meaning an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” God gave it to Jesus to show His “servants what things must come to pass soon.” The book’s 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 NEEDS COME TO PASS with speed… For THE SEASON IS NEAR.
The book’s purpose 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 “seven churches of Asia.” The paragraph concludes with “blessing” promised to those who heed the “prophecy.”

The first verse alludes to the interpretation of the dream of a “great image” given by Daniel to the Babylonian king, 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 translation of the Hebrew Bible is an exact match to the one recorded in Revelation, except that “latter days” has been changed to “soon.” In other words, what was once in the distant future was now imminent for the seven “churches of Asia.”

THE SEASON is near” echoes the angel’s instructions to Daniel at the close 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.” As before, Revelation changes the time reference from the “end” to “near” or engus, a Greek term for something that is “near, imminent; that is at hand.”

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 – what he was commanded to seal, John was ordered 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 became the “faithful witness” in his death, the “firstborn of the dead” through his resurrection, and because of his death and resurrection, he is now the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” Thus, the end-times have commenced, and that includes his present sovereignty over the kingdom of God and the earth - (Revelation 1:17-18, 3:21, 5:5-10).

The visions of Revelation are anchored in the past death and resurrection of Jesus. Following the enthronement of the “slain Lamb,” he began to unveil what was previously veiled. In him, the “season” of the “end” has dawned, the time to unseal and open the “words of the scroll” sealed centuries ago by the prophet Daniel.



Commencement of the Gospel

Number of the Beast