Daniel 12:2 Index
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Research Material

"...many shall awake..."

  • [The first] resurrection precedes Christ's second advent. "All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message" will arise at that time. In addition [a special resurrection for] those who beheld with mockery Christ's crucifixion, and those who have most violently opposed the people of God, will be brought forth from their graves to see the fulfillment of the divine promise and the triumph of truth (GC 637; Revelation 1:7) (4BC 878)
  • This verse reveals the importance of the standing up of Michael, or the beginning of the reign of Christ, for at this time there shall be a resurrection of the dead. Is this the general resurrection which takes place at the second coming of Christ? Or is there to intervene between Christ's reception of the kingdom and His revelation to earth in all His advent glory (Luke 21:27) a special resurrection answering to the description here given? (US 305-306)
    • Why may it not be the former, or the resurrection which occurs at the last trump? - Because only the righteous, to the exclusion of all the wicked, have pat in that resurrection. Those who sleep in Christ then come forth, but the rest of the dead live not again for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:5). The general resurrection of the whole race, then, is divided into two great events - first, of the righteous exclusively at the coming of Christ; second, of the wicked exclusively a thousand years thereafter. The general resurrection is not a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked at the same time. Each of these two classes is set off by itself, and the time which elapses between the respective resurrections is plainly stated to be a thousand years. (US 306)
  • In the resurrection brought to view in the verse before us, however, many of both righteous and wicked come up together. It cannot therefore be the first resurrection, which includes the righteous only, nor the second resurrection, which is as distinctly confined to the wicked. If the test read, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake to everlasting life, then the "many" might be interpreted as including all the righteous, and the resurrection be that of the just at the second coming of Christ. But the fact that some of the many are wicked, and rise to shame and everlasting contempt, bars the way to such an application. (US 306)
  • Is there, then, any place for a special, or limited, resurrection? Is there elsewhere any intimation of such an event, before the Lord appears? The resurrection here predicted takes place when God's people are delivered from the great time of trouble with which the history of this world terminates, and it seems from Revelation 22:11, that this deliverance is given before the Lord appears. The awful moment arrives when he this is filthy and unjust is pronounced still, and he that is righteous and holy is pronounced holy still. Then the cases of all are forever decided. When this sentence is pronounced upon the righteous, it must be deliverance to them, for then they are placed beyond all reach of danger or fear of evil. But the Lord has not at that time made His appearance, for He immediately adds, "Behold, I come quickly." (Revelation 3:11) (US 306-307)
    • The utterance of this solemn fiat seals the righteous to everlasting life and the wicked to eternal death. A voice goes forth from the throne of God, saying, "It is done!" (Revelation 16:17). This is evidently the voice of God, so often alluded to in descriptions of the scenes connected with the last day. Joel speaks of it, and says:
      • "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." (Joel 3:16). The margin reads instead of "hope," "place of repair, or harbor." Then at this time, when God's voice is heard from heaven just previous to the coming of the Son of man, God is a harbor for His people, or, which is the same thing, provides them deliverance.
    • The last stupendous scene is about to open upon a doomed world. God gives to the astonished nations another evidence and pledge of His power, and raises from the dead a multitude who have long slept in the dust of the earth. (US 307)
  • Thus we see that there is a time and place for the resurrection of Daniel 12:2. A verse in the book of Revelation makes it clear that a resurrection of this kind must take place.
    • "Behold, He cometh with clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every eye shall see Him [of the nations then remaining on the earth], and they also which pierced Him [those who took an active part in the terrible work of His crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." (Revelation 1:7).
    • Those who crucified the Lord, would, unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in their graves until the end of the thousand years and come up in the general assembly of the wicked at that time. But here it is stated they behold the Lord at His second advent. There must, therefore, be a special resurrection for that purpose. (US 307-308)
  • It is certainly most appropriate that some who were eminent in holiness, who labored and suffered for their hope of a coming saviour, but died without seeing Him, should be raised a little before, to witness the scenes attending His glorious epiphany; as, in like manner, a goodly company came out of their graves at His resurrection to behold His risen glory (Matthew 27:52, 53), and to escort Him in triumph to the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high (Ephesians 4:8, margin). There will be also some, eminent in wickedness, who have done most to reproach the name of Christ and injure His cause, especially those who caused His cruel death upon the cross, and mocked and derided Him in His dying agonies, who will be raised, as part of their judicial punishment, to behold His return in the clouds of heaven, a celestial victor, in great majesty and splendor unendurable to them. (US 308)

"...everlasting contempt."

  • ...a word that appears in the Bible elsewhere only in Isaiah 66:24. It is related to the Arabic word "dara'" "to repel," and has the sense of "abhorrence." After witnessing the awfulness of sin during the millenniums of the great controversy, the inhabitants of the universe will regard sin with a feeling of strong revulsion. When the controversy is finished and God's name is fully vindicated, a mighty abhorrence of sin and of all it has contaminated will sweep through the universe. It is this abhorrence that makes possible the assurance that sin will never again mar the harmony of the universe. (4BC 878)
  • What is here said is supposed by some to furnish good evidence of the eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, because those of this character who are spoken of come forth to shame and everlasting contempt. How can they forever suffer shame and contempt, unless they are forever conscious? It has already been stated that same implies their consciousness, but it will be noticed that this not said to be everlasting. This qualifying word is not inserted until we come to the contempt, which is an emotion felt by others toward the guilty, and does not render necessary the consciousness of those against whom it is directed. Shame for their wickedness and corruption will burn into their very souls as long as they are conscious. When they pass away, consumed for their iniquities, their loathsome characters and their guilty deeds excite only contempt on the part of all the righteous, as long as they hold them in remembrance. The text therefore furnishes no proof of the eternal suffering of the wicked. (US 308)