Unsealing the Scroll

At the close of his visions, an angel commanded Daniel “to close the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” In contrast, in the Book of Revelation, the “scroll” is unsealed from the Book’s first paragraph, thus revealing its contents for all to see. Daniel was told to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to seal it. The verbal parallels are deliberate and telling.

The first word in the Greek text of Revelation is apokalupsis (Strong’s - #G602). It means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” And so, God gave the visions of the Book to Jesus so he would show His “servants what things must come to pass soon.” The visions in the Book disclose previously hidden information. They are not intended to veil information or to mystify its readers.

Scripture Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
[Scripture Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash]

At the end of his vision, Daniel “
wondered but none understood” his vision. Its significance remained a mystery even to the prophet. In contrast, anyone who hears and heeds the “prophecy” of Revelation is pronounced “blessed” since in it the “things that must come to pass soon” are disclosed, at least to those who have “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies.”


  • (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.” And these “things” include the various events depicted in the visions received by John while he was “on the isle of Patmos.”

In the immediate context, the plural noun rendered “servants” refers to the “seven congregations of Asia,” and the first verse of the Book alludes to the interpretation of the dream of the “great image with a head of gold” provided by the prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon:

  • 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).

In the Septuagint version, the Greek clause is an exact match to the one recorded in the Greek text of Revelation, only the original term “latter days” is changed to “soon.” In other words, what was in the distant future for Daniel is now imminent for John and the “assemblies of Asia.”

The declaration that “THE SEASON is near” echoes the angel’s instructions to Daniel: “But, you, Daniel, close the words and seal the book until the SEASON of the end.

In both Daniel and Revelation, the English term “season” represents the Greek noun kairos (Strong’s - #G2540), meaning “season, a set time.”

As before, the commandment given to John changes the time reference from “end” in Daniel to “near” or engus in Revelation (Strong’s - #G1451). The latter is a Greek term for something that is “near, imminent, proximate; that which is at hand.”

In other words, what was in a remote future for Daniel is imminent if not already underway for the readers of the Book of Revelation.


At the conclusion of Revelation, the angel tells John NOT “to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE SEASON IS AT HAND.” This is a deliberate contrast to the command given to Daniel. That which the latter was commanded to seal, John is ordered explicitly NOT TO SEAL. Thus, the time of disclosure has arrived - (Revelation 22:10).

And 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 he has been the “Ruler of the kings of the Earth” since his consequent exaltation to the throne of God.

Thus, with his death, resurrection, and exaltation, the “last days” have commenced in earnest. And this is, in part, why the “Dragon” and his earthly agents, the “Beast from the Sea,” the “False Prophet,” and “Babylon” expend all their energies waging war on the saints. Satan is enraged, knowing that he has only a “short time” remaining.

What was hidden and enigmatic in Daniel’s visions becomes clear following the resurrection and enthronement of Jesus. In fact, his first act upon arrival before the throne is to take the “Sealed Scroll” and to break open its “Seven Seals” - (Revelation 1:17-18, 3:21, 5:5-10).

In him, the “season” of the “end” has dawned, the time to unseal the “words of the scroll” that were sealed centuries ago by Daniel. In Jesus, the era of fulfillment, the “last days,” has arrived in earnest and is now well underway.