Desolation Of The Temple And Messianic Enthronement In Daniel 11:36-12:3 -- By: Jason Thomas Parry

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 054:3 (Sep 2011)
Article: Desolation Of The Temple And Messianic Enthronement In Daniel 11:36-12:3
Author: Jason Thomas Parry

Desolation Of The Temple And Messianic Enthronement In Daniel 11:36-12:3

Jason Thomas Parry*

* Jason Thomas Parry is a Ph.D. student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40280.

I. Introduction

Although there is a broad consensus that Dan 11:21-35 refers to the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, two mutually incompatible interpretations dominate the commentaries for the subsequent verses 11:36-12:3.1 Most traditional commentators, following in the footsteps of Hippolytus and Jerome, argue that the passage describes a future Antichrist figure (11:36-39), his demise (11:40-45), and the tribulation and final resurrection (12:1-3).2 The typical interpretation of critical scholarship, by contrast, argues that the passage accurately describes Antiochus IV (11:36-39), but erroneously predicts his demise (11:40-45) and a heavenly deliverance and resurrection (12:1-3).3 A third,

less common view, which can be traced at least as far back as John Calvin, argues that the passage describes events in the historical Roman Republic and early Empire (11:36-45), and summarily the church age and final resurrection (12:1-3).4 Although Calvin’s exposition understands 11:36-45 as a rather general description of the rise of Roman power in the East, Gurney has argued more recently that the passage specifically describes Antiochus IV (11:36-39), the successful campaign of Pompey and Scaurus into Syria-Palestine in 65-62 BC and Rome’s annexation of Egypt in 27 BC (11:40-43), and the fatal campaign of Crassus against the Parthians in 54-53 BC (11:44-45).5 Although commentators have given convincing reasons to reject Gurney’s view,6 Calvin’s contention that this passage somehow refers to historical Rome, rather than to Antiochus or the Antichrist, need not be dismissed.

The following argument seeks to demonstrate that Dan 11:36-45 accurately predicts the events of the Jewish revolt against Rome which culminated in the destruction of the temple in AD 70, while Dan 12:1-3 describes the enthronement of the Messiah which accomplishes the new exodus and the resurrection.7 Daniel’s five-kingdom schema...

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