Does the Book of Daniel really prophesy an end-time increase in international travel and scientific discovery?
Daniel was told, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased”.
“…many shall run to and fro…”
But could it mean many shall run with, act on, PROPHETIC REVELATION – rather than international air travel?
“…knowledge shall be increased”
Could it mean the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD shall be increased – rather than scientific discovery?
After all the Book of Daniel (and all the Prophets) is more concerned with covenant issues (like knowing God and His plans) rather than themes like international air travel and scientific discovery.
This interpretation would be more consistent with the way other prophets used the same phrases, for example Habakkuk. He was told, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” “Run” didn’t mean jump on an airplane. It meant to heed the prophetic message.
Then Habakkuk wrote: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” That’s the type of knowledge that has covenantal significance – knowing God.
And we know there was a significant time in Israel’s history when the knowledge of God suddenly increased: when the New Covenant came through the preaching of the Gospel by John the Baptist, by the Lord, and by the Apostles, God’s law was written on hearts, and many came to know Him – and this Gospel was preached to every nation under heaven.
“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
That’s why John was able to say (in the first century), “It is the last time”. Daniel’s prophecy (about the knowledge of God increasing at “the time of the end”) was taking place before their very eyes – both in Israel, and in every nation under heaven. That’s why Peter called his day “the last days”. And multitudes have been coming to know the Lord ever since, thanks to the Lord’s longsuffering in delaying His coming.
In any case, even if Daniel was in fact predicting an increase in international travel and scientific knowledge, still no-one can on that basis assert that we are the last generation – because we can only compare the current level of travel and knowledge with the PAST – we can’t compare it with the future. No-one can say there won’t be a future generation where new technology will allow a sudden, even greater level of travel.
Today I heard a preacher claim the current falling US dollar and rising fuel costs are the fulfillment of the Book of Daniel. But there isn’t really any need to look for signs in travel and discovery if you understand Daniel’s sign is already there: the New Covenant was preached to Israel and to the whole world and people have been coming to know God ever since. Therefore we know it is the last time. It was the “last days” on the day of Pentecost and it’s still the last days now. Jesus is coming!
And because you are a Christian, you are one of those who has come to know God, while it is still called “Today”, and you are one of those who is heeding the Good News, which is God’s prophetic Word for these “last days”.