The Eschatological time of trouble of Daniel 12:1 : an intertextual analysis and theological implications
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Although scholars are in a consensus to see the presence of the time of tribulation provided in Dan 12:1, they have various interpretations on the historical settings of the time of trouble in its historical stage. There is an obvious deficiency in the investigation of the theological significance of the time of tribulation in Dan 12:1 and its reciprocal contributions to the major theological themes in the book. There is also a need to establish the relationship between the time of trouble given in Dan 12:1 and some other NT passages. Chapter 1 provides the various available opinions of scholars. The major concerns here are in regard with the historical settings of the time of tribulation of Dan 12:1 such as the time, agents, scope, location, nature of the issue, purpose, and duration. Chapter 2 offers an exegetical study of the time of tribulation in Dan 12:1. Before presenting it, this study provides three principles of interpretation that are important to this study. Following these steps, this study determines the basic historical settings of the time of tribulation in Dan 12:1. Chapter 3 investigates the major theological implication of the time of tribulation of Dan 12:1 to the major theological themes of the book. Chapter 4 discusses the similar expression time of trouble found in the NT passages. Finally, the summary and conclusion of this study bring some major findings. Based on the evidences submitted in this work, it can be concluded that the time of tribulation given in Dan 12:1 is still in the future. To be more specific, it is before the end of the history of the world at the second coming of Jesus. The location is not limited to the land of Palestine; instead, it will transpire around the world. The agents of the time of tribulation are both Michael who is Jesus Christ and the end-time wicked people. The time of tribulation which is instigated by Michael involves the angels and even natural resources. The scope of this time of tribulation is also both upon the end-time God’s people and the end-time wicked people; and thus, it is universal. The nature of the issue of the time of tribulation is a religious matter rather than a political controversy. The duration this time of tribulation is relatively short; it is between the closing work of the heavenly evaluative judgment and the final destruction of the wicked that gives a way for the final deliverance of God’s people. The theological study of the time of tribulation passage in Dan 12:1 exhibits that the time of trouble is directly related to some other major theological themes of the book of Daniel. Both of the theological theme of the time of trouble and some other theological themes of the book play an important role to the overall theology of the book. It is found that all major theological themes of the book of Daniel meet together in Dan 12:1 to make this passage becomes the core and even the climax of the theology of the book. Thus, Dan 12:1 is the clearest text in the OT that reveals the future eschatological time of trouble. The counterpart of the time of tribulation passage in Dan 12:1 is found in the NT in Rev 7:14. The former gives it in a more general manner while the latter prepares it in a more detailed way. It is evident that almost all of the major historical settings of Dan 12:1 are found also in Rev 7:14. Thus, the two texts are parallel and the clearest passages in the OT and NT in explaining the approaching time of tribulation.