And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, to everlasting contempt. (Dan 12:2)
Dan. 12:1 And at that time, Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as has not been from the existence of a nation until that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the Book.
Dan 12:2 Many (NIV: Multitudes) who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Traditionally, this translation of Daniel’s verse begins with the word “Many”.
The Hebrew word ‘רַב Rab’ has been translated in some translations, such as NIV and YLT, using the word ‘multitudes’. A more important question is: are both groups receiving a resurrection at the same time? When I think about this, I say that it is possible that it does not require the resurrection to take place simultaneously.
Here Daniel 12: 2 deals primarily with the first resurrection. The remainder of the verse “Others to shame and everlasting contempt” may refer to the coming second resurrection [or resurrection of judgment], which takes place at the end of the millennial kingdom. Rev 20:4-5 Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. – This Revelation verse describes the first resurrection, the same event Daniel describes in verse 12:2. At the end of the description, it is further clarified in Rev 20:5: the others, those who did not participate in the first resurrection, they “did not come to life until the thousand years were completed”.
The Daniel’s description of resurrection divides time into two parts, with a timetable of a thousand years. It is confirmed by chapter 20 of Revelation. From the Bible we know that the first resurrection participants are not so many. Not at all if this “little flock” is compared with the second resurrection, to which all who are in the graves are awakened (John 5:28). The beginning of the verse Daniel 12:2 may well be just ‘many’ and not ‘multitudes’ unless Daniel means to speak of all who are awakened to be condemned.
The Hebrew word “forever”, i.e. ‘owlam עוֹלָם’, is also not definitely and always eternal. I have written a couple of examples in Chapter Last Judgment. It would seem clearer that all the dead would rise up and that the graves would be empty so that they would be filled again during the reign of the millennium. If many is the correct translation, there is a problem to be solved: who do not get out of the graves. Could it be so that in the first resurrection only the righteous will rise up? The rest are sinners who have their turn in the second resurrection. In the time of the Millennial kingdom, judgments will also be given; this is a clear statement in verse 2 Tim 4:1. Isaiah also refers to this in saying how the sinner is cursed at the age of hundred years. Isa 65:20 There shall not still be an infant of days, or an old man that has not filled his days. For the youth shall die the son of a hundred years, but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. Dan 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and those turning many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever. –The group of resurrected ascenders is twofold: Those who are wise and have insight, who love God and Jesus, i.e. obey the will of God and Jesus in their lives, and secondly, those who work to spread God’s Word i.e. the gospel, and to bring others to righteousness.
In verse 1, the events are connected with the coming of Christ, the great tribulation. Many dead will wake up. The time of great tribulation means that most of the mankind will be destroyed. Does this mean that the dead have already been judged if they die during the tribulation time? Jesus condemns humanity both in his coming and during the thousand-year reign of God. 2 Tim 4:1 Then I solemnly witness before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, he is about to judge living and dead at his appearance and his kingdom: – Jesus will judge the living and the dead, in connection with his coming and in the kingdom during the millennial administration and at the end of the resurrection of judgment.
Are the tombs left empty when Jesus has come and the resurrection has taken place? No, because, as Daniel said, many are rising. Who are those who do not rise, but remain in their graves? Unrighteous Christians, yes. But there is another group of people that we often forget: Rom 4:15 says … “where there is no law, there is also no violation”. – What then happens to those dead who have not heard of God or the gospel of Christ, but whose conscience is bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them? (Rom 2:15) They cannot be condemned because they have no law. If they are to wait for the final judgment, they could not be condemned, and on the other hand they could not be saved because they were not born again. May Christ solve this.
These people were the ones who did good in their life, though they did not know the gospel. What about those who did not even know the gospel but were bad. Psa 49:21 “Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Such people are compared to animals: they are “Strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” as Eph. 2:12 indicates. The Bible says what will happen to animals when they die; their spirits simply go in to the ground and that’s all. Would it be so that such people would experience their destiny as animals. They would have no resurrection at all, unlike the good pagans. According to this interpretation, since not all rise from their graves when Christ comes, the graves are left to the bad dead in addition to those who die during the great tribulation and God’s day.
Those who will be resurrected, receive a judgment, either of life (the saints) or damnation, or eternal desolation. The above I was thinking of a solution that only the righteous would participate in the first resurrection. Only in the second resurrection followed by the judgment of all, there would be harsh judgments. Those who have either abandoned their faith or have not even believed and received the gospel that they heard may have a judgment of destruction. According to an interpretation, a believer who renounces his faith in Christ is guilty of the mortal sin, the mockery of the Holy Spirit. Such can no longer receive God’s forgiveness. Such people may well be those mentioned by Daniel who rise to judgment, which is clear: shame and age-lasting abominations (abomination of desolation).
When Jesus appears, there will be people left on earth, subordinate to the kingdom. These could be saved at the last moment (those who called for Jesus’ name) or those who are good pagans whose salvation is based on their conscience. Rom 2:14 For when nations not having Law do by nature the things of the Law, they not having Law are a law to themselves, 15 They show that what the law requires is written in their hearts, a fact to which their own consciences testify, and their thoughts will either accuse or excuse them.
They are given an opportunity to obtain salvation on the basis of faith adopted in the kingdom. After a thousand years, the second resurrection takes place, and after that the so-called last judgment, when all those who lived and died in God’s kingdom awake to judgment. Jhn 5:28 Don’t be amazed at this, because the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done what is good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced what is evil to the resurrection of condemnation.
In verse 24 Jesus says: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. – This is Jesus’ promise of a positive future judgment, provided that, man will “endure to the end”. It also includes a lot more. In the last chapter I will tell you more, but now briefly: the chosen ones will not be judged with the rest of the world. God afflicts them and teaches them already during their lives and they will be prepared to take responsibility with Christ’s leadership of the kingdom of God when they are resurrected.
In the second letter to Timothy, Paul writes that when Christ returns, Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. About himself and their kind who love the coming of Jesus, Paul says: 2 Tim 4:8 For the rest, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me in that Day, and not only to me, but also to all the ones loving his appearance. –
Christ condemns during his millennial kingdom. Judgments are nevertheless distributed only to those who are in the kingdom. Judgments will however be given only to the survivors who are in the kingdom. The new resurrection will have to wait a thousand years.