Chapter 10 is an introduction to Daniel’s fourth and final
vision. Daniel’s fourth vision is spans chapters 10 to 12.
This section of Daniel takes place in the final stage of
Daniel’s life, when Daniel is well into his 80’s.
The structure of this fourth vision, built on the earlier
parts of Daniel, is a prophetic map of future events surroundingJerusalem, Israel
and the Jews. There are four parts to this fourth vision,
Chapter 10 through the first verse of Chapter 11 is an
introduction, the second part, 11:2-35 deals with the immediate
future, the third part 11:36-12:4 deals with the far future and
the fourth and final part, concluding remarks are in 12:5-13.
Chapter 10 also removes the veil off the angelic and demonic struggle for
nations. Here we see the power of prayer in conjunction with
God’s plan and purpose. The “Prince of Persia” is demonic force
preventing a message from arriving to Daniel, who has been
praying for 21 days. The message, which follows is Daniel11:2 to
Introduction to Chapter 10
Daniel’s fourth vision
DA 10:1 In the
third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to
Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was
true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the
message, and had understanding of the vision.
Third year of Cyrus: The timing of this fourth revelation takes place in 536 B.C.,
the third year of Cyrus. Cyrus defeated Babylon in 539 B.C., with the fall of the city (Daniel 5). This is
seventy years after Daniel’s Babylonian captivity, taken captive
in 605 B.C., Daniel is now about 84 to 85 years old.
Appointed time: The time surrounding this message is long, having in view
the whole scope of this age until, “the end of days”(Daniel12:13),
at that time Daniel will be resurrected. The Hebrew words
translated “Appointed” “time” are abcTsaba' meaning that which goes forth, army or host,
andlwdgGadowl, meaning great or large. This has been translated literally
as “Great task” or “Great warfare”.
The vision to follow concerns a great struggle or long struggle
concerning his people and city. Daniel’s people are in focus in
these events, because God’s words and covenants are irrevocable,
Israel, God will accomplish his purpose.
for the vision
DA 10:2 In
those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.
DA 10:3 I ate
no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I
anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Those days: Prior to receiving this message Daniel was in prayer and
mourning, more then likely Daniel was mourning about the
situation taking place in Jerusalem and
the state of his people. Cyrus had allowed the Jews to return
and Temple construction to begin but by the second year only the
foundation was laid, the problem is the people who were living
in the land opposed the returning Jews from rebuilding. Word of
these events filtered back to Daniel.
Then the people
of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They
troubled them in building,
counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days
of Cyrus king of Persia,
even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Three full weeks: Prior to this
fourth vision, Daniel had been praying and mourning for 21 days,
literally, “three weeks of days”. The Hebrew specifies the
weeks being “Days” here as compared to Daniel 9:24, (Seventy
Weeks). The word ~wy Yowm means day and is translated “full” vs. 2 and “whole” in vs.
3. The meaning is “Three Weeks of Days” or 21 days.
During this 21-day period, Daniel fasted from any celebratory foods and
maintained a meager diet. Similar to chapter 9, Daniel was in
state of prayer and mourning, prior to his vision.
3 Then I set my
face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and
supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
Daniel’s prayer also corresponded with the time of Passover, which began
on the 14th day of the first month, and lasted until
the 21st day of the month, the month Nisan (Exodus
12). This vision takes place in the first month (Vs. 4).
Week…fulfilled: Daniel had set
aside this 21-day period, to mourn and pray. This period
included Passover week, but Daniel’s period preceded Passover by
two weeks. Daniel went beyond what God required, because Daniel
was someone who sought to understand and know God.
DA 10:4 Now on
the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side
of the great river, that is, the Tigris,
DA 10:5 I
lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in
linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!
DA 10:6 His
body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning,
his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished
bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a
Twenty-fourth: Following Daniel’s 21-day period of prayer and mourning,
either a few days after or the next day is not clear. The
vision begins on the 24th day, the third day after
First month: The first month of the Jewish year is Abib, the same as Nisan
according to Exodus 12. On the 14th day of the first
month, Passover week began and ended on the 21st day
of the month. This event occurred in the first month of the
Jewish year, corresponding with March/April of our calendar.
Tigris is also known as Hiddekkel, the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers are separated by 35 miles, thirty five miles
north of Babylon. The Tigris starts in the Taurus Mountains
in Eastern Turkey and flows 1150 miles to the south. The Tigris
and the Euphrates river join and become one river north ofBasra. The name Mesopotamia means land of “Two rivers”, the Euphrates and
Daniel was an official of Persian, government and did not return with the
captives in Ezra 1. Daniel stayed behind in Persia
rather then returning. Daniel in position of power and influence
with the new Persian government and could be of more use to his
people in Persia, then in Jerusalem.
My eyes: Daniel is not having a dream, but seeing a vision. Daniel is
Tigris River, accompanied by some men. Who are they? We don’t
know, they could be Daniel’s prayer partners or government
officials accompanying Daniel.
A certain man: The identity of
this person who has appeared to Daniel has been the subject of
much debate. The debate is whether the individual described
here is an angel or a theophany (Appearance of God).
Those who argue this is an angel point to verse 13, and make the case
that God would not need the help of angels to overcome the
demonic force known as the Prince of Persia (10:20).
Those who argue this is theophany or christophay (Appearance of
pre-incarnate Christ) point to the description in Revelation
1:13-15 of the glorified Christ. The problem with this view is
verse 13, when the angel in there describes his inability to
overcome the demonic force over Persia without
the aid of the angel Michael.
Defending the person as a theophany or christophany, Walvwoord
distinguishes between the person in Daniel 10:5-6 from the angel
in Daniel 10:10-14 which talks to Daniel.
is room for debate even among conservative scholars, the
evidence seems more in favor of considering this a theophany. In
this case, the man of 10:5-6 is be distinguished from the angel
of 10:10-14 as well as Michael mentioned in 10:13. Although
mighty angels are frequently difficult to distinguish from God
Himself, as in other visions such as those described in Ezekiel
and Revelation, the similarity between the man described in
10:5-6 and the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:13-15 has led
conservative expositors such as Young and Keil to consider the
man a genuine theophay or an appearance of Christ as the Angel
like the Son of Man
clothed in linen
clothed with a garment
whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz
girded about the chest with a golden band
like the appearance of lightning
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as
eyes like torches of fire
His eyes like a flame of fire;
arms and feet like burnished bronze in color
His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a
sound of his words like the voice of a multitude
His voice as the sound of many waters
Clothed in linen: Probably like a white linen which characterized the garments
of the priests (Exodus 28:39-43) Linen is also seen by other
heavenly visitors, (Ezekiel 9:2-3,11; 10:2,6-7). The angels at
the tomb of Christ are described as having long shining garments
Lk. 24:4, Jn 20:12, Acts 1:10.
Girded with gold: The linen was surrounded by a golden belt similar to what the
High-priest was required to wear in Temple service.
"They shall take
the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen,
6 "and they
shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread,
and fine woven linen, artistically worked.
7 "It shall have
two shoulder straps joined at its two edges, and so it shall be
The purpose of the sash or girdle was to hold the breast plate with 12
stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The
High Priest would go before God, bearing the tribes of Israel on
Face…lightening: The description of the face and eyes is similar to the
description found in Ezekiel 1:
26 And above the
firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in
appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne
was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.
27 Also from the
appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color
of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and
from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were,
the appearance of fire with brightness all around.
28 Like the
appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the
appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the
appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. So when I
saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.
effect on Daniel
DA 10:7 And I,
Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did
not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that
they fled to hide themselves.
Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no
strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in
me, and I retained no strength.
DA 10:9 Yet I
heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his
words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the
The vision: Daniel alone saw the vision, the other men were in a state of
terror and fled the scene. This vision was not a dream, but an
actual event witnessed only by Daniel. The scene is similar to
Paul’s on the road to Damascus (Acts
9:7). They heard the voice but saw no one in Acts. Here in
Daniel, the men overcome by fear and fled the scene. The terror
of God’s presence came over them even if they did not see
anything. Daniel was left alone to see the vision.
I retained no strength: The appearance of this “Certain man” drained all of
Daniel’s strength he fell prostrate on the floor.
My vigor: Daniel as Isaiah was saw his own corruption and sin in the
presence of this individual. He, became aware of his sinful
human nature. The Hebrew word translated here ‘Vigor” is dwhHowd
meaning splendor, majesty, vigor. Daniel’s physical and
spiritual strength were lost. He was totally dependent upon God
for his strength. Isaiah when he saw God declared saw his own
sin and human frailty.
5 So I said:
"Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my
eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts."
I heard: Daniel could only hear the words of the “Certain man”, but
they were as if Daniel was dreaming and he was in a deep sleep.
Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees
and on the palms of my hands.
DA 10:11 And he
said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words
that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent
to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood
Suddenly: Here there is break in the events, a transition between the
“Certain man” seen in verse 5 and 6, and the angel who is giving
Daniel strength to stand in his presence so Daniel can
understand the message. First, Daniel raises to his knees and
palms Daniel was given strength stand trembling.
He said: In chapter 9, Gabriel refers to Daniel as “Man greatly
beloved”, here in verse 10 and in verse 19 Daniel is referred to
as “greatly beloved”. From what we see in Chapters 9 and 10,
Daniel cultivated a relationship with God over the years. Daniel
was a consistent man, one who prayed and sought God on the
behalf of others. Daniel pursued righteousness even when their
were easier routes. Instead, of fasting for 7 days on Passover,
Daniel fasted 21 days. Daniel mourned for his people and their
plight. Daniel is an example for all of us who want to be part
of God’s battle.
Daniel could be used by God because he made himself available. Here the
angel who strengthened Daniel out of his sleep is about to
deliver a message to Daniel. This does not appear to be the
same as the “Certain man” in Daniel 10:5-6.
The purpose of
the angel’s visit
DA 10:12 Then
he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that
you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before
your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your
DA 10:13 "But
the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one
days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to
help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of
DA 10:14 "Now I
have come to make you understand what will happen to your people
in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to
He said: The angel explains the reason Daniel is “Greatly beloved”.
Do not fear:
Daniel was beloved in heaven because he was sincere with God.
From the first
day: The angelic messenger gives the reader, an understanding of
the unique quality that made Daniel a man “beloved” in heaven.
We find from the first day Daniel sought to understand and
humble himself before God, his words were heard. These same
words which apply to Daniel, apply to us. Daniel was someone who
sought to know and understand God, humbled himself and made
himself available. We can do the same.
His relationship to God might have started as a young
boy in Jerusalem, from a converted parent who instructed his son who was
being handed over to the Babylonians to seek the Lord with all
his heart. Daniel first test came when he was to meat and drink
sacrificed to the idols of Babylon. Under
the trail of Babylon we saw Daniel life blossom, as God him to
help his people understand the plan God had for them.
God is the same today as he was yesterday (Heb.
13:8). If we choose to humble ourselves and understand Him, God
can use us.
The answer came because Daniel prayed. The angel came in
response to the prayer because Daniel sought God. Daniel had a
relationship with Heaven.
Prince of the
kingdom of Persia: This explanation by the angel unveils the spiritual
realms and how believers are involved in the struggle for
nations and souls. Daniel is an ordinary man who had an
extraordinary relationship with God. He cultivated his
relationship with God by prayer and righteous living.
Through Daniel’s prayer, God responded in the
spiritual realms. This portion of Daniel allows us to see how
prayer and events in the physical realms are related. Daniel at
this point had prayed for 21-days, mourning and fasting. What
Daniel had been praying about we are not entirely sure, but the
answer given by the angel hints at the reason of Daniel’s
The angel explains to Daniel why it took 21-days for
Daniel to receive an answer to his prayer. He refers to the
“prince of the kingdom of
Persia”, who withstood him for 21 days. Daniel had been praying
for 21-days, the angel explains from the first day Daniel’s
prayer was heard but their was opposition. Who is the “prince
of the kingdom of Persia”?, is a topic of much discussion.
The Prince of Persia is not referring to Cyrus or any
earthly ruler because the opposing force is spiritual. The
angel is spirit and he is being resisted in the spiritual
realms. The angel is talking about a fallen angel who rules
over the kingdom of
Persia. The book of Ephesians explains this about the world we
1 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against
the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not
wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The “Flesh and blood” world is the result of spiritual battle, between
heavenly forces, played out in the spiritual realms. Through
our prayer and involvement God’s will is accomplished in the
physical world. God allows his people to be part of his plan.
Daniel 21-day period of prayer coincided with the spiritual
resistance. A breakthrough came when Michael came to the aid of
Michael:, intervened against the rulers of Persia in the
spiritual realms. Michael is only mentioned three times in the
Old Testament (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1). Michael role is to watch
over the descendents of Israel.
When Michael intervened, this angel was freed to answer Daniel
Make you understand: The angel came to help Daniel what would happen to his
people. From the context of the answer, we can deduce Daniel’s
prayer was for the situation of his people.
Daniel, probably discouraged by news coming back from Jerusalem about
opposition the returning Jews were receiving, mourned and prayed
to God. The angel was sent to reveal to Daniel God’s plan and
the eventual success of his people, the Jews and Israel.
Latter days: This phrase is used throughout the Old Testament meaning time
at the end. The Hebrew words tyrxa 'achariyth means after part, hindermost and ~wyYowm means days.
This phrase for the most part refers to the time of redemption
of Israel. (See Numbers 24:14, Deut. 4:30, 31:29, Isaiah 2:2,
Jer. 23:20; 30:24; 48:47; 49:39; Ezekiel 38:8, Daniel 2:28,
Hosea 3:5, Micah 4:1)
16 "You will
come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the
land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you
against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am
hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."
days…come: This prophecy deals with the end days of Israel in the
strengthened second time
DA 10:15 When
he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the
ground and became speechless.
DA 10:16 And
suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my
lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood
before me, "My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have
overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.
DA 10:17 "For
how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for
me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in
He spoken: Daniel is
overwhelmed by this message and again begins to collapse under
the power of the message and his own frail condition.
Sons of men: We find as keep reading this section of Daniel there are at
least three angels involved in this vision. (Daniel 12:5-7).
Daniel was overwhelmed by this great vision and the seriousness
of it meaning. Daniel had just enough strength to confess his
strengthened third time
DA 10:18 Then
again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and
DA 10:19 And he
said, "O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be
strong, yes, be strong!" So when he spoke to me I was
strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak, for you have
Likeness of a man: Daniel is strengthened a third time, by either the same angel
in verse 10 and 16 or by another angel. The angel then
encourages Daniel to be strong in spite the harshness of the
Throughout scripture, angels appear in of human likeness, we see this in
Revelation where John is overwhelmed by the vision and falls at
the foot of an angel to worship. The angel tells John that he is
merely a ‘Fellow servant”
Greatly beloved: The angel encourages Daniel, “to not fear”. Even though
Daniel at this point in his life experienced several angelic
appearances including Gabriel in chapter 9, and the angel in the
lions den chapter 6, Daniel was succumbing to fear and the
serious nature of this vision.
Let my lord speak: This third strengthening by the angel gives Daniel the
ability to remain until the end of the vision at the end of the
DA 10:20 Then
he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must
return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone
forth, indeed the prince of Greece
DA 10:21 "But I
will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one
upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.
Why I have
come: The angel asks
Daniel, if he understands why he is there with Daniel? The
angel had arrived to assure Daniel of God’s plan for his people,
so Daniel would understand there is a great struggle from now
until the time of the end.
This angel was relieved from his struggle with the
Prince of Persia, by Michael, so he could explain to Daniel the
Fight with the
prince of Persia: This angel is personally involved in the struggle of
nations along with Michael against the enemies of Israel. This
struggle with Persia would last from 536 B.C. to 333 B.C. whenGreece
would finally defeat Persian king Darius III at Nineveh.
There is an angelic battle-taking place in the
spiritual realms; this section of scripture illustrates the war
hidden from our eyes. The events such as World War I and II are
more spiritual then most realize. This picture of the Mufti of
meeting with Hitler prior to the Holocaust is a precursor to the
struggle the Jews would face in the coming years in Germany and
Jerusalem. We could imagine the spiritual forces behind these
struggles similar to the ones by this angel against the Prince
truth: Literally, the
“writing of firmness”, what the angel is about to tell Daniel is
scripture, “God’s word”. Therefore, the angel was about tell
Daniel what is recorded or inscribed.
Michael the arch angel is only mentioned 5 times in the Bible,
three times in Daniel and 2 times in the New Testament (Jude
1:9, Rev. 12:7).
One of Michael responsibilities is to watch over the
children of Israel,
he is called “Prince” or rXSar meaning ruler over the house of Israel. In the
end of days Michael will lead the angels in the final assault
Satan’s access to Heaven. Satan will be cast to earth where he
will make his final stand in this age against God, culminating
in the battle known as Armageddon.