After Daniel received a message dealing with the time of the Greeks, and what they would do in the lands north and south of Israel, and what the Greeks would do to Israel, the prophet then said,
Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12.5–7).
There had been three talking with Daniel, and two were angels, but the One above the waters is Jesus before His earthly sojourn.
He held up both His hands, not just His right, as we might do if we are swearing by heaven, but with all authority and power He declared the time, showing that He is in control of the times and events.
How long? Angels are greater than men, yet, they defer questions to the Lord, because even they did not know all the Lord’s plans.
Ephesians 3 reveals that eventually the angels did learn even as men learn by the unfolding of God’s plan. The church makes known to angels the wisdom of God (Ephesians 3.10).
The time shall be three and a half. This expression in various forms occurs throughout Scripture. This pictures perfectly the time that Antiochus would do his evil in Jerusalem, from 168 BC to 165 BC.
The power of the holy people would be completely shattered. Antiochus would go right into the temple, stop all the Jews’ practices, have total control over them, and put his abomination of desolation right in the temple.