Daniel 12:3 Index
"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
Research Material

"...they that be wise..."

  • Or "those who are prudent," or "those who teach." The man who truly has insight into the things of God realizes that, by virtue of that very fact, these things must be shared with others. Divine wisdom leads him to be a teacher of that wisdom to others. (4BC 879)
  • The margin reads "teachers" in the place of "wise." "They that be teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament." That is, of course, those who teach the truth, and lead others to a knowledge of it just previous to the time when the events recorded in the foregoing verses are to be fulfilled. As the world estimates loss and profit, it costs something to be teachers of truth in these days. It costs reputation, ease, comfort, and often property. It involves labors, crosses, sacrifices, loss of friendship, ridicule, and not infrequently, persecution. (US 309)
  • The question is often asked, 'How can you afford to keep the true Sabbath, and perhaps lose a situation, reduce your income, or even hazard your means of support?'
    • Oh, what shortsightedness, to make obedience to what God requires a matter of pecuniary consideration! How unlike is this to the noble martyrs who loved not their lives unto the death! When God commands, we cannot afford to disobey. If we are asked, "How can you afford to keep the Sabbath, and do other duties involved in rendering obedience to the the truth?' we have only to ask in reply, 'How can you afford not to do them?' (US 309)
  • In the coming day, when those who have sought to save their lives shall lose them, and those who have been willing to hazard all for the sake of the truth and its divine Lord, shall receive the glorious reward promised in the text, and be raised up to shine as the firmament, and as the imperishable stars forever and ever, it will then be seen who have been wise, and who, on the contrary, have made the choice of blindness and folly. The wicked and worldly now look upon Christians as fools and madmen, and congratulate themselves upon their superior shrewdness in shunning what they call their folly, and avoiding their loses. We need make no response, for those who now render this decision will soon themselves reverse it, and that with terrible though unavailing earnestness. (US 309)

"...shall shine as the brightness of the firmament..."

  • ...for their faithful endeavors... they are rewarded with eternal glory. (4BC 878)
  • Meanwhile, it is the Christian's privilege to dwell upon the consolation of this marvelous promise. A conception of its magnitude can be gathered only from the sellar worlds themselves. What are those stars, in the likeness of which the teachers of righteousness are to shine forever and ever? How much of brightness, and majesty, and length of days, is involved in this comparison? (US 310)
  • The sum of our own solar system is one of these stars. If we compare it with this globe upon which we live (Our handiest standard of measurement), we find it an orb of no small magnitude and magnificence. Our earth is nearly eight thousand miles in diameter, but the sun's diameter is eight hundred sixty-four thousand times as large as our globe. In the matter of its substance, it would balance three hundred thirty-two thousand worlds like ours. What immensity is this! (US 310)
  • Yet this is far from being the largest or the brightest of the orbs in the heavens. The sun's proximity, only some ninety-three million miles from us, gives him with us a controlling presence and influence. But far away in the depths of space, so far that they appear like mere points of light, blaze other orbs of vaster size and greater glory.
    • The nearest fixed star, Proxima Centauri, in the southern hemisphere, is found to be about twenty-five million million miles away. But the polestar system is about a hundred times as remote, or two thousand five hundred trillion miles; and it shines with a luster equal to that of 2500 of our suns.
    • Others areal so more luminous, as, for instance, Areturus, which emits light equivalent to one hundred fifty-eight of our suns;
    • Capella, one hundred eighty-five;
    • and so on, until at last we reach the great star Rigel, in the constellation Orion, which floods the celestial spaces with a brilliance fifteen thousand times that of the ponderous orb which lights and controls our solar system! (James H. Jeans, The Stars in Their Courses, p. 165). Why, then does it not appear more luminous to us? Ah, its distance is equivalent to thirty-three million diameters of the earth's orbit; and the latter is one hundred eighty-six million miles! Figures are weak to express such distances. I will be sufficient to say that its glowing light must traverse space as only light travels - one hundred eighty-six thousand miles a second - for a period of more than ten years before it reaches this world of ours. There are many other stars which are hundreds of light-years from our solar system. (US 310-311)
    • Some of these monarchs of the skies rule singly, like out own sun. Some are double; that is, what appears to us like one star is found to consist of two stars - two suns with their retinue of planets, revolving around each other. Others are triple, some are quadruple, and one at least is sextuple. (US 311)
    • Besides this, they show colors of the rainbow. Some systems are white, some blue, some red, some yellow, some green. In some, the different suns belonging to the same system are variously colored. Says Dr. Burr:
      • "and, as if to make that southern Cross the fairest objects in all the heavens, we find in it a group of more than a hundred variously colored red, green, blue, and blusih-green suns, so closely thronged together as to appear in a powerful telescope like a superb bouquet, or piece of fancy jewelry." (Enoch Fitch Burr, Ecce Caelum, p. 136). (US 311)
  • A few years pass away, and all things earthly gather the mold of age and the odor of decay. But the stars shine on in their glory as in the beginning. Centuries and cycles have gone by, kingdoms have arisen and slowly passed away. We go back beyond the dim and shadowy horizon of history, go back even to the earliest moment when order was evoked out of chaos, and "...the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7) - even then the stars were on their stately marches. How long before this we know not. Astronomers tell us of nebulae lying on the farthest outposts of telescopic vision, whose light in its never ceasing flight would consume rive million years in reaching this planet. Yet their brightness is not dimmed, nor their force abated. The dew of youth still seems fresh upon them. No faltering motion reveals the decrepitude of age. These shine on in undiminished glory through all eternity. (US 311, 313)
  • Thus shall they shine who turn many to righteousness. They shall bring joy even to the heart of the Redeemer. Thus shall their years roll on forever and ever. (US 313)