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An exegesis of Daniel Chapter 12v1-13

Discuss about the Theodicy- Exegesis Of Daniel Chapter 12 Verses 1-13 .

The theodicy can be described as the justification of the suffering or evil existence as a divine provision. Exegesis of the book of Daniel 12 verses 1 to 13 shows the divine chances of suffering and the deliverance of the people of God. A clear understanding of the biblical texts shows the reasons for the suffering or evil in the current world or past world with the ultimate end of evil. Moreover, the Bible gives the purpose of the suffering that sometimes befalls the evil or faithful people and the outcome that in some instances attracts price or reward in a more just way. For instance, death and resurrection are presented as course of life with the just judgment being the final event determining the destiny of humanity according to the divine plan.  The following paper explores the theodicy through exegesis of the book of Daniel 12 verses 1 to 13.

The book of Daniel chapter 12 gives theodicy through suffering and deliverance of God’s people through divine providence. The first four chapters (verse 1-4) presents the suffering and deliverance of the people of God originating from divine intervention. The theodicy as presented within these first four verses is based on suffering initiated by Michael the angel and then deliverance is also given to these people after fulfilling the purpose of suffering. Secondly, verses five to seven, on the other hand, gives the length of the suffering of Israel being the example of God's people. The angel gives the expected time of suffering that is presented as time, times, and half a time commonly understood as three and a half years. Thirdly, chapter 12 verses 8 to 13 conclude by giving the outcome of the suffering of the people of Israel. The last section presents the outcome of the wicked and the righteous after suffering and this is through evils striving and the righteous at the same time.

Daniel chapter 12 presents the end of humanity from the divine point of view that gives a clear hope to humanity. Firstly, the chapter gives the role of Michael in the tribulation that will befall the humanity. The chapter sets the divine role within the Christian life especially the forthcoming suffering that will befall the people of God. In verse one, the angel Michael will initiate the suffering of the righteous people yet with the hope of deliverance.

The underlying assumptions

Secondly, the book of Daniel chapter 12 also gives the hope of deliverance of God’s people from evil or tribulation. The chapter presents theodicy through suffering and deliverance of God’s people that is centered in the divine being and the Michael angel. Thirdly, the chapter presents the ultimate destination of the two categories of people the evil and the righteous. The second verse of chapter 12 gives a comparison between the resurrection of the evil people and the righteous people. This verse gives the reward of evil people that will also rise and this will be given the reward of everlasting shame.

The text presents eventual justice of God towards humanity through death and resurrection of God’s people. The eventual justice of God is shown within the text in verses 2 and 10 that show the death and outcome of the character of various people. For instance, verse two gives the description of the resurrection of the dead (asleep) through comparison of both righteous and evil. In addition, the text describes the reward of righteous as shining while the reward for the evil as everlasting contempt. Verse 2 gives the general resurrection of the dead and this is indicated by the term “many” in the verse.

The second underlying assumption is based on the original purpose of God’s creation and suffering in the world. The underlying assumption is the God's purpose with a creation that can be through suffering as opposed to strength. In the book of Daniel chapter twelve verses three give God’s purpose of especially on the righteous people that have been presented as those leading others to righteousness. This shows the divine purpose of God that is based on reward for those good people after suffering. Based on the eschatological nature of verse one, the future suffering of Israel will lead to deliverance as oppose to the general view of deliverance coming through strength.

The twelfth chapter of Daniel gives the divine view of humanity that does not look at the general humanity but considers the character of humanity. The main view of the humanity is based on two categories of people the righteous and apostate. The righteous people are presented as the wise and the apostate as the wicked people. The divine view is based on the obedience to the laws of the God and those people that are not obedient to laws are refers to an apostate. In contrast to the view that looks into the whole human race on earth, the chapter sets two categories of people and their responsibility towards the knowledge of God. For instance, verse 4 and 10 give the difference between those with knowledge and those wicked people without the knowledge of God.

Defend/challenge these assumptions

The assumptions underlying the character of God towards the humanity or the relationship of God with creation is perfectly presented in the text. Firstly, the book of Daniel 12 presents a new view of the eternity that is based on character of humanity towards the laws of God. The two general character of humanity attributes the good reward faithful people and shame to apostate. Secondly, the suffering is part of theodicy of the bible that shows the character of God towards the creation. The just character of God is presented in His creation through allowing both righteous and wicked people to live. At the end the judgment come with the reward for the faithful or obedient people. Thirdly, the assumptions also present the purpose of creation that is exhibited through righteous people and those that turn many to righteous. The assumption of reward for the righteous as presented in the verse 3 of the chapter. The divine purpose of the creation is to remain obedient to God and help others also to attain the state of righteousness.

The book of Daniel chapter 12 presents both new and traditional view of God as opposed to other Old Testament books. The chapter present resurrection as the ultimate outcome of death and the righteous will shine contrary to the wicked will rise to shame. The traditional view of God as presented in OT is based on suffering and deliverance yet in verse 2 give a new version of hope that is based resurrection. The theodicy as given in the twelfth chapter of Daniel presents the hope beyond death or deliverance. This view of God is based on the death resurrection and the final judgment.

The chapter through verses 2 and 9that give the view of death and resurrection of the whole humanity. Verse two present the resurrection of the dead that is fore mention in the book of Isaiah and this is different from the traditional view that is based on the major OT books that give the divine provision for suffering and judgment. In addition, the text gives the ultimate goal of righteousness as a divine plan that will elevate the faithful to the heavenly position. The first part of the chapter gives the general view of God towards the humanity, especially on suffering and deliverance. The resurrection of the dead as shown in the twelfth chapter of the book of Daniel gives hope to those faithful people suffering from eternity.

The traditional view of God is presented in the first verse of the book of Daniel. The verse opens by giving the divinely ordained suffering of righteous or God's people that is also followed by deliverance. Many biblical texts especially the Old Testament gives the view of God as a just God that deliver the obedient or faithful people from suffering and this is similar to the case in verse one. The setting of the chapter opens by showing the divine connection between the suffering that will befall the people of Israel mainly initiated by the Michael Angel. To vindicate God deliverance will also precede the tribulation on the people of God.

In conclusion, exegesis of the book of Daniel 12 verse 1 to 13 shows the suffering and deliverance of the people of Israel as the divine purpose. The text present theodicy in three different way and these include suffering and deliverance as presented in verses 1 to 4, length of suffering through verse 5 to 7 and outcome of the suffering in verses 8 to 13. The chapter presented God both in traditional and new view since he gives the original chance of the existence of suffering and a new resurrection purpose of creation.

Allen, M. The Problem Of Evil. Where the world comes to study the Bible  2012.

Ashley, J.M., Reading the universe story theologically: the contribution of a biblical narrative imagination. Theological Studies, 2010. 71(4).

Book of Daniel. p. 2.

Bible.org. 13. The Hope of Heaven (Daniel 12:1-13). Daniel: Relating Prophecy to Piety  2018.

Crenshaw, J., Old Testament Wisdom. 2010: Westminster John Knox.

Crenshaw, J., Theodicy in the Hebrew Bible. 2018.

Ehrman, B.D., God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer. 2008: HarperCollins Publishers.

Marty, M.T., Charles Dictionary of Philosophy of Religion. 2010, Continuum International Publishing Group.

Muehlenberg, B., On the Book of Daniel. Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day, ed. CultureWatch. Sep 11, 2015: billmuehlenberg.com.

Oord, T.J., The Uncontrolling Love of God. 2015: Intervarsity Academic.

Scott, M.M., Theorising Theodicy in the Study of Religion. 2009: University of Chicago Divinity School.

Woo, B.H., Is God the Author of Sin? – Jonathan Edwards's Theodicy. Puritan Reformed Journal, 2014. 6(1): p. 98.

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