The concept of resurrection is complicated in the Bible because the word is used in more than one way. We were raised together with Christ corporately 3 days after the death of Jesus. You and I weren't even alive yet, but we were included in what God did in Christ. 

There is another type of resurrection that takes place in the NT. It is the restoration of Israel into the New Covenant. 

Daniel 12 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. (cf Mt. 23-24) And at that time your people shall be delivered, Everyone who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever."

Who is this About?

Did you notice that it says "the sons of YOUR people", Daniel? And that “your people” would be delivered?” He is speaking of the Jewish Tribulation of AD 70. In fact, Jesus quotes vs 3 about the righteous shining and applied it to the end of the old covenant age, the time of the Jewish tribulation in AD70.  (cf Mt. 13:43)

This is not about an end of the world event. It is an event, spoken in prophetic language to describe what would happen to Judah and Israel in the last days of the Old Covenant. It is about Daniel's people... Israel!

When Would This Take Place?

4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Notice that the angelic messenger dressed in linen doesn't say the end of time, but the time of the end. The end of what? The end of the Old Covenant age. Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom THE ENDS OF THE AGES HAVE COME." Acts 3:24, "Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold THESE days." The days they were living in were the time of the end.

In addition, this verse about knowledge increasing has been completely misinterpreted to mean a time like we live in today when there is an increase in knowledge like science, math, astronomy, technology, etc. In the Hebrew it doesn't say "knowledge shall increase". It says "THE knowledge will increase..."

What is THE knowledge? It is the knowledge of God. Jesus said "this is eternal life (the life of the ages), that you might know him the one true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent." Jesus said no one had seen the Father at any time except the Son. It is the increase in the knowledge of God that would come because of the revelation that Jesus brought. 

5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”

7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, ALL these things shall be finished.

Daniel 12 has a context that provides us with the timing of when all these things would take place. The angelic messenger says that ALL these things will be finished at a certain time in history. It would be the time when the center of power for Judaism was completely shattered... the temple. He also says how long this event would last... times, time and half a time. That is the prophetic equivalent to 3.5 years. (time = 1 year; times = 2 years; half a time= 6 months). Do you know how long the time was that Rome attacked Jerusalem and finally destroyed the temple? It was 3.5 years. 

Here is one more contextual evidence from the words of Jesus. Pay attention to the fact that he is applying Daniel 12 to THIS age. What age was Jesus living in? According to Paul Jesus was "born of a woman, born UNDER THE LAW..." THIS age, to Jesus was the age of the Law. He doesn't say "that age" as some distant one thousands of years later, but rather, the one they were living in at the moment: 

Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of THIS AGE...43 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. 

So we know WHEN Daniel 12 was to take place, so what kind of awakening from the dust is Daniel 12 referring to? It must not be physical at all.


Let’s do some quick definitions.  The word many in Daniel is multitudes. 

Who sleep in the dust of the earth this is a figure of speech used in ancient cultures to describe those who were utterly defeated. That is why in the Garden the language is used of the serpent licking the dust of the earth. That is why Israel is depicted in Ezekiel 37 as being in the Valley of dry bones, in the place of utter defeat, in the dust.  In Genesis 28:14 he describes the children of Israel’s descendants being like the dust in the earth. In this case dust meaning as numerous as specks of dust, but he corporately calls them dust. In 1 Samuel 2:8 (the poor he lifts from the dust) people who live in the dust refers to the poor, and the powerless where he specifically raises them up out of the dust. It means out of their defeat and poverty. 

The word for everlasting, olam,  is very controversial because the way it is used in the Hebrew many many times just means for an age, or a long time. When it applies to God because God stands outside of time, then it has the meaning of eternal, forever, etc. "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." Isaiah 40:28 (NIV). Would this even make any sense if it meant the Lord is the "long time" God?

Sometimes it even means a past period of time and includes that time past

But many times it just means for an unknown period of time. For instance, Ex 12:7 says that the Jews were to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread forever. Yet we know that that ended. Even if you say that it was fulfilled in Christ and so it is still forever, remember that there were specific ways it was to be fulfilled forever, in Jerusalem, etc. But we know the Law ended so it didn’t mean literally forever. 

In Exodus 27:21, Moses told Aaron that his sons were to minister in front of the tent of meeting forever. But the tent of meeting eventually ceased and they built a temple in Jerusalem. 

In Exodus 29:9, the people were told that Aaron and his sons would be priests by statute forever. But now that priesthood has been superseded by Jesus who was not of the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, and was a priest after the order of Melchizedek. So it did not mean forever, eternal.

Jesus appeals to Daniel 12 in John 5:24-28, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–– those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” So then what is this all about?

The Resurrection of Daniel 12

So this is not speaking of a physical resurrection. It is the raising up, regathering of Israel, not bringing Israel back into their physical territory in 1947. We already have the timing of this event as the period of time leading up to the fall of the temple in AD 70. It is the regathering of those who were scattered through the dispersion into Babylon and Assyria, etc. In other words those cast out of the land, many years before, were considered “dead” corporately. Remember the image in Ezekiel 37 of the valley of dry bones? Israel is pictured as dead in terms of covenant, their covenant was broken, and they were pictured as if they were lifeless.

Remember that Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel... the Israel that was sent into captivity. In Acts 2 we find that Jews from all over the world, the scattered ones, were there for Pentecost and so began the re-gathering. 


So what happened in the resurrection of Christ? According to Ephesians 2 ALL were made alive together with him, and ALL were raised together with him. Israel was God's "first born" and as Nicodemus should have known, there was coming a time for all Israel to be reborn (See my article The Born Conspiracy: Is Everyone Born Again?) Spiritually speaking that took place at the resurrection of Christ. An awakening took place. As Jesus said those in the graves, or as Daniel would say it, in the dust of the earth… the defeated poor broken disenfranchised scattered Israelites, would hear his voice and because they were raised together with Christ, they would experience the age of new covenant kingdom life.

That started in the ministry of Jesus but it really blossomed on the day of Pentecost where thousands were gathered together in Jerusalem from the ends of the earth, being regathered into the NC. 

But what about those who did evil?  Did you know that in Hebrews 3:12 the author calls the Jew's unbelief evil? Those who refused to come out of the Law, even though they were in the midst of the greatest awakening in their history, if they refused to believe Jesus, they would die in the fall of Jerusalem. That is why Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. This "saved" is not about going to heaven. It is about them identifying with Christ and being saved from the fall of Jerusalem and its condemnation of the system of Law. 

So some experienced the resurrection out of the dust and the age of life of the New Covenant, while others experienced the resurrection out of the dust, but refused to believe and were caught in the condemnation of the fall of Jerusalem. If you want the "condemnation" of Daniel 12 to be "eternal", even though the word doesn't mean that, one could still come to the same conclusion because the judgment on Jerusalem and on the temple system was a message that is to stand "forever" as a testimony. But Daniel 12 never meant a physical resurrection.