The preincarnate Christ conveys final instructions for
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.
Since throughout the book, portions of dreams, visions
and prophecies concern the time of the end, “the words of
the scroll” appears to indicate the entire prophecy
(Daniel 2:28-29, 43-45; 7:17-27; 8:17; 9:27; 10:14; 11:35,
45). The double reference predictions, with both near and
distant fulfillments, would have the distant predictions
sealed up until the end. The narrative section (chapters
1-6) is typical, foreshadowing future events in the life
of Christ, the Antichrist and Israel. Certainly, the
typical sections are closed up and sealed until history
unfolds their meaning. There are several ways to
understand the instruction to “close up and seal the words
of the scroll until the time of the end.”
1. “Close up and seal” might mean until the prophecy is
fulfilled or until history unfolds the prophecy, which is
especially true of types.
2. “Close up and seal” might indicate the prophecy is
completed. There is nothing more for Daniel to write.
3. “Close up and seal” might indicate that the
predictions are not to occur until the time of the end. In
Revelation 5-6, the Lamb (Christ) alone is found worthy to
look in the scroll and open its
seven seals. When the
Lamb opens the first seal of the scroll (the title deed to
the earth), the rider on a white horse inaugurates the
4. “Close up and seal” might refer to its safekeeping,
especially from tampering. “Close up” would indicate that
the text is unchangeable and “Seal” would indicate that it
is an official text.
In contrast, the apostle John was
told to do the opposite with the Apocalypse of Jesus
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the
prophecy of this book, because the time is near”
Since the book of Revelation fills in many details of
Daniel’s wide-ranging outline of God’s plan for the end
times, are the prophecies in Daniel now open and unsealed?
If so, in what sense is it open and unsealed? Certainly,
the book has been preserved, even though it has suffered
The Lord gives what appears to be a time marker that
must occur before the unsealing of the prophecies.
Many will go here and there [run to and fro] to
There are several ways to understand this time marker.
1. Does “run to and fro” refer to the fulfillment of
the prophecy? That would be the case with all the
prophecies that have been literally fulfilled from Daniel
to Christ as people “run to and fro”
2. Does “run to and fro” refer to a time when many
travel back and forth and have increased knowledge? (Such
as archeologists who travel the world to discover and
understand the past).
3. Does “run to and fro” refer to searching? The
prophets Amos and Jeremiah use the phrase in the latter
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the
north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek
the word of the LORD, and shall not find it (Amos 8:12,
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and
see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof,
if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth
judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it
(Jeremiah 5:1, KJV).
From the time of Daniel to the destruction of the
Temple in A.D. 70, Bible knowledge had greatly increased.
Think of all the prophecies in chapter eleven of Daniel
that had been revealed and fulfilled. Since the time of
Jerome in A.D. 400, there has been a corresponding
increase in knowledge, due to the rise in archaeological
discoveries of ancient inscriptions and literature,
accompanied by the study of linguistics. Add to all of
these discoveries, Israel’s nationhood in 1948; the daily
flow of Jews from all over the world to the Holy Land; and
the birth of the European Union accompanied by a great
falling away from Christianity in Europe. As we study
Daniel, time passes and knowledge of the Word of God
We understand the scroll better than the prophet Daniel
did! Even so, the fullest understanding of Daniel will not
come until the last half of the Tribulation. Leon Wood
offers a helpful paraphrase of this difficult verse.
Many shall run to and fro in their desire for knowledge
of the last things, and, finding it in Daniel’s book,
because it will have been preserved to this end, their
knowledge shall be increased (A Commentary on Daniel,
During the Tribulation Period, Daniel will become an
open book. Its predictions will be unsealed because of
their fulfillment. The prophecies will become clearest to
those living through the events.