Daniel was commanded to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to seal the scroll – “for the season is at hand.”
At the close of his visions, the angel commanded Daniel “to close the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” However, in Revelation, the “scroll” is unsealed and opened to reveal its contents. Daniel was told to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to do so. The verbal parallels are quite deliberate.
The first word in the book of Revelation is apokalupsis (Strong’s #G602), which means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” God gave it to Jesus to show His “servants what things must come to pass soon.”
The visions of Revelation disclose previously hidden information. They are not intended to mystify the reader. At the end of his vision, Daniel “wondered but none understood it.” Its significance remained a mystery to the prophet. In contrast, the man who hears and heeds the prophecy of Revelation is pronounced: “blessed.”
- (Daniel 12:4) – “But you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall abound.”
- (Revelation 1:1-3) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST COME TO PASS with speed… For THE SEASON IS NEAR.”
The purpose of Revelation is declared in its opening paragraph – To “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon” In the immediate context, “servants” refers to the “seven churches of Asia.” This first verse alludes to the interpretation of the dream of a “great image” given by Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar:
- “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries and has shown the king WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS in latter days” – (Daniel 2:26-28).
The Greek clause in the Septuagint translation of Daniel is an exact match to the clause in Revelation, except “latter days” has been changed to “soon.” In other words, what was previously in the distant future was now imminent for the seven “churches of Asia.”
“THE SEASON is near” echoes the angel’s instructions to Daniel at the close of his book: “But, you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the season of the end. In both passages, “season” represents the Greek noun kairos (Strong’s #G2540), meaning “season, set time.”
As before, Revelation changes the time reference from “end” to “near” or engus (Strong’s #G1451) a Greek term for something that is “near, imminent, proximate; that which is at hand.”
At the conclusion of the book, the angel commanded John NOT “to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE SEASON IS AT HAND,” a deliberate contrast to the command given to Daniel. What the latter was commanded to seal, John was ordered not to seal. The time of disclosure had arrived – (Revelation 22:10).
In Revelation, Jesus is the “faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” He became the “faithful witness” in his death, the “firstborn of the dead” through his resurrection, and therefore he is now the “ruler of the kings of the earth.”
Thus, with the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ, the “last days” commenced, including his present sovereignty over the kingdom of God and the earth. What was hidden and mystifying in the visions of Daniel becomes clear with the resurrection and enthronement of Jesus, the “slain Lamb”- (Revelation 1:17-18, 3:21, 5:5-10).
Revelation’s visions are anchored in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Following the enthronement of the “slain Lamb,” he began to unveil what was previously veiled. In him, the “season” of the “end” has dawned, the time to unseal and open the “words of the scroll” sealed centuries ago by the prophet Daniel.