Do not worry (Dan 12:9-12:12)

“He said.

‘Go your way!

Daniel!

The words are

To remain secret.

They are to be sealed

Until the time of the end.

Many shall be

Purified,

Cleansed,

Refined.

But the wicked

Shall continue

To do wickedly.

None of the wicked

Shall understand.

But those who are wise

Shall understand.’”

The man in the linen clothes told Daniel not to worry.  Daniel was to go on his way.  These words were secret.  Thus, they would be sealed up until the end times.  Many had to be purified, cleansed and refined until then.  The wicked would continue to do wicked things, since they have no understanding.  However, the wise ones understand what is going on.  This is a kind of back handed slap at Daniel, since he claimed he did not understand what the angel had been telling him.

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The disputes and the resistance (Dan 11:32-11:35)

“He shall seduce,

With flattery,

Those who violate

The covenant.

But the people

Who are loyal

To their God

Shall stand firm.

They shall take action.

The wise among the people

Shall give understanding

To many.

For some days,

However,

They shall fall

By the sword,

By the flame.

They shall suffer

Captivity,

As well as plunder.

When they fall victim,

They shall receive

A little help.

Many shall join

Them insincerely.

Some of the wise

Shall fall.

Thus,

They may be

Refined,

Purified,

Cleansed,

Until the time

Of the end.

There is still an interval

Until the time appointed.

As indicated in 1 Maccabees, chapter 2, King Antiochus IV seduced some of the Hellenizing Judeans to abandon the covenant. However, there were many who remained loyal to their God. They stood firm and sided with the wise ones of Jerusalem. However, they also fell by the sword and the flames. They suffered captivity and plunder, but they received a little help. Some of these people were insincere. Even some of the wise ones fell, so that they could be refined, purified, and cleansed until the end times. Nevertheless, there was going to be an interval until this appointed time came.

The burnt sin offerings of various animals (Ezek 43:22-43:24)

“On the second day,

You shall offer

A male goat

Without blemish

For a sin offering.

The altar

Shall be purified,

As it was purified

With the bull.

When you have finished

Purifying it,

You shall offer

A bull

Without blemish.

You shall offer

A ram

From the flock

Without blemish.

You shall present them

Before Yahweh.

The priests

Shall sprinkle salt

On them.

They will offer them up

As a burnt offering

To Yahweh.”

After the first day of consecrating the altar, the following day they were to offer an unblemished male goat as a sin offering. However, the altar had to be purified as it had been the previous day. Then, they were to offer another unblemished bull, as well as an unblemished ram. These burnt offerings were to be offered to Yahweh. The priests should sprinkle salt on them, before they were offered up to Yahweh.

David wants purification (Ps 51:6-51:9)

“You desire truth in the inward being.

Therefore teach me wisdom

In my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop!

Then I shall be clean.

Wash me!

Then I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness!

Let the bones that you have crushed rejoice!

Hide your face from my sins!

Blot out all my iniquities!”

David wanted to be purified. He wanted wisdom in his heart. He wanted to be purged or purified with some ritual that involved a hyssop, a ceremonial plant that was used to sprinkle water in a cleansing ritual. The hyssop was used in cleansing lepers in Leviticus, chapter 14. This cleansing hyssop was more explicit in Numbers, chapter 19, as the main tool used in sprinkling water to ritually clean things. He wanted to be clean, whiter than snow. There was a mention of some crushed bones. He wanted to be joyful, not with broken bones. He wanted his sins hidden and blotted out. He wanted a clean slate.

The prayer of the priests in Jerusalem (2 Macc 14:34-14:36)

“Having said this, he went away. Then the priests stretched out their hands toward heaven. They called upon the constant defender of our nation, in these words.

‘O Lord of all,

Although you have need of nothing,

You were pleased

That there should be a temple for thy habitation among us.

So now,

O holy One,

Lord of all holiness,

Keep undefiled forever this house that has been so recently purified.’”

When Nicanor left the Temple, the priests stretched out their hands to heaven and began to pray. They prayed to the defender of their nation. They realized that God, the Lord of all, did not need anything. However, he had been pleased by this Temple so that he could live among them. Now they were asking him, the holy one, the Lord of all holiness, to keep this Temple or house of the Lord undefiled since it had been so recently purified.

The Sabbath at Adullam (2 Macc 12:38-12:38)

“Then Judas Maccabeus assembled his army. They went to the city of Adullam. As the seventh day was coming on, they purified themselves according to the custom. They kept the Sabbath there.”

Judas Maccabeus brought his army to Adullam, which was northeast of Marisa. There, instead of fighting, they purified themselves and kept the Sabbath as a day of rest.

Purification of the Temple (2 Macc 10:1-10:4)

“Now Judas Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city. They tore down the altars which that had been built in the public square by the foreigners. They also destroyed the sacred precincts. They purified the sanctuary. They made another altar of sacrifice. Then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices. After a lapse of two years, they burned incense. They lighted lamps. They set out the bread of the Presence. When they had done this, they fell prostrate. They implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes. If they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations.”

This purification of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus took place earlier in 1 Maccabees, chapter 4, about a year before the death of King Antiochus IV. Here it is 2 years after the desecration of the Temple. In fact, the description in 1 Maccabees was more elaborate, but pretty much the same as here. There was no lamentation and mourning for the city and the Temple here. The Lord led them on here as the altars were in the public square. In 1 Maccabees, they saved the old stones. Here they just made another altar. They offered sacrifices, burned incense, lighted lamps, and set out the bread of Presence as in 1 Maccabees. Here there is a prayer to be more lenient next time if they do sin.