Translating Daniel 12:4


Many times I have seen American writers quote Daniel 12:4 saying:”many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” I am from Holland and I read the Dutch translation, where it says something like: “Many will study it and [their] knowledge shall be increased”. This second part of this verse is about the book of Daniel. It is saying that people will go ‘to and fro’ thru the book of Daniel searching for the knowledge that is in the book of Daniel.

The Dutch translation of 1634 and ALL other translations, even the German are saying this is what is meant by Daniel 12:4. Only the King James has people running to and fro and general knowledge being increased. This discovery came as a shock to me…because it seems more logical to see this verse in the light the Dutch translators put it.

But that would mean this verse is not about travel or science-knowledge, which means all people using KJV are wrong speculating we are in the end-times because of this verse being true now!

This question has been bothering me for quite a while, so I hope you can help me out here, especially because English is your native language. Many thanks in advance.


It’s not so important what the Dutch or English or any other translations say, but what the Hebrew says. The Hebrew word shuwt is translated run to and fro in the King James and has a sense of physical movement about it, as in roving about. To me this means more than just studying through the Book of Daniel. The word for knowledge is daath and it can also mean perception, understanding, and wisdom.

Daniel 12 is the conclusion of a vision which began in chapter 10 and has to be seen in that context. So the knowledge to be gained has to do with the repeated references to the Kings of the North and South. Our understanding of these Kings has been increased through archeology and the study of history, and could not have come just by studying the Book of Daniel.

So far, there have been over 100 historically verified prophecies fulfilled in the vision, more by far than any other comparable passage of Scripture. Seeing the advance of time in the progressive fulfillment of these prophecies is what helps us conclude that we’re in the last days because for our generation, history ends and the future begins in Daniel 11:36 with the introduction of the anti-Christ, a figure yet to be revealed.