That Which Will Happen Before the End
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In Daniel 12: 4, Daniel is instructed to close and seal a book. This book is not to be opened until the time of the end of the world. Then, he is told something in regard to what will be happening in those final years. As one reads the various versions, a number of translations (or interpretations) can be seen. The complete verse for twenty-four versions is quoted. It is this last part of the verse that is being considered here. A commentary follows the quotations.


Versions Compared

 

AAT An American Translation (Beck) NAB New American Bible
AB Amplified Bible NBV New Berkeley Version
DHB Darby Holy Bible NCV New Century Version
EVD English Version for the Deaf NEB New English Bible
GW God's Word NIV New International Version
HBME The Holy Bible in Modern English NJB New Jerusalem Bible
KJV King James Version NRS New Revised Standard Version
KTC Knox Translation NWT New World Translation
LB Living Bible REB Revised English Bible
LBP Lamsa Bible SGAT An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed)
LXX The Septuagint SISR The Scriptures (ISR)
MNT Moffatt New Translation TEV Today's English Version


Daniel 12: 4
AAT "But you, Daniel, keep these words and seal the book till the last time. Many will seek it thoroughly, and knowledge will grow."
AB But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. [Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously [through the Book], and knowledge [of God's purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be increased and become great. [Cf. Amos 8:12.]
DHB And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book, till the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Footnote: [shall run to and fro] -- Or "shall diligently investigate." See Job 1:7; 2:2.
EVD "But you, Daniel, keep this message a secret until the time of the end. Many people will go here and there looking for true knowledge. And the true knowledge will increase."
GW "But you, Daniel, keep these words secret, and seal the book until the end times. Many will travel everywhere, and knowledge will grow."
HBME "So you, Daniel, conceal the events, and seal the record, until the fixed period, when many will travel and knowledge will be increased."
KJV But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
KTC For thyself, Daniel, keep this revelation locked away; sealed up in the record of it must be until the hour appointed. Leave others to hasten to and fro, in search of knowledge.
Footnote: The last part of this verse cannot be rendered with any certainty.
LB "But Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal it up so that it will not be understood until the end times, when travel and education shall be vastly increased."
LBP But you, O Daniel, seal these words and be silent, and seal this book even to the time of the end; many shall want to know the end, and knowledge shall be increased.
LXX And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book to the time of the end; until many are taught, and knowledge is increased.
MNT And now, O Daniel, keep all this a close secret, till the crisis at the end; ere then many shall give way and trouble shall be multiplied on earth.
NAB "As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase."
NBV "But you, Daniel, keep the message a secret; seal the Book until the final period; many shall investigate and information shall advance."
Footnote: [shall investigate] -- Literally, shall run back and forth.
NCV "But you, Daniel, close up the book and seal it. These things will happen at the time of the end. Many people will go here and there to find true knowledge."
NEB But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and seal the book till the time of the end. Many will be at their wits' end, and punishment will be heavy.
NIV But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.
NJB "But you, Daniel, must keep these words secret and keep the book sealed until the time of the End. Many will roam about, this way and that, and wickedness will continue to increase."
NRS "But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, and evil shall increase."
NWT "As for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about; and the [true] knowledge will become abundant."
REB "But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will rush to and fro, trying to gain such knowledge."
SGAT "And now , O Daniel, bind up the words, and seal the book till the time of the end; for many shall prove disloyal, and troubles shall be many."
SISR "But you, Dani'el, hide the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall diligently search and knowledge shall increase."
TEV He said to me, "And now, Daniel, close the book and put a seal on it until the end of the world. Meanwhile, many people will waste their efforts trying to understand what is happening."


Commentary

 

There appears to be some truth in the footnote in one version. "The last part of this verse cannot be rendered with any certainty." If a person uses only one version of the Scriptures, he/she may see nothing unordinary in the verse, and will accept it as is. He/She may or may not be able to explain what it meant. If a person has about half a dozen versions to check, there may be confusion, depending on the combination. With as many versions as are listed here, it will be seen that there is a variance in translation, but also, the real meaning may be pieced together. It is my intent to try to piece together what this sign of the time of the end is as stated in this verse.

Two points seem to be clear. There will be movement of people in some form and for some purpose and there will be an increase of knowledge or wickedness. These two points must have some relationship with each other. That there will be wickedness in the time of the end is apparent, but is that what is meant here? There seems to be but little connection to the moving about of people. In our times, there is much moving about, but how does it apply here?

There has been a great increase in knowledge in our time. Can this fact have a connection with people going to and fro? A few versions refer to true knowledge. This could mean that much knowledge that we have today is fraudulent. Many people will agree that this is true with what is being taught in schools and universities today. A few versions suggest that there is a movement in search of knowledge. This could mean research for new truths. Students are traveling within their own countries and around the world to study. They are finding much on the Internet, which is worldwide. Some people are satisfied with what they have, while others are constantly seeking for something more advanced or what has been hidden for years, or even centuries. The increase in knowledge over the last forty years has been considered to be greater than the accumulated knowledge for centuries prior.

I am suggesting, after piecing the translations from all these versions together, that the prophet is telling us that in the last days, scholars in many fields will be doing extensive research, resulting in a great flow of knowledge. This will include the correction of false data of the past, suppressed truths, and information that is built on known information. The time is short. We must continue to seek the truths that Yahweh has for us.