Daniel 10


This chapter poses some problems and mysteries. It falls into three parts.

1. Daniel’s state of mind as he reacts to this final vision of the book.

2. He has an awesome vision of a dreadful man.

3. Daniel is comforted.

This final vision of Daniel is extensive taking up thee chapters. It is dated “in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia.”

We learn from verse 4 that it took place by the banks of the Tigris river. It was on the 24th day of the month Nisan and two years after the decree of Cyrus for the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

‘In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.’ Daniel 10:1-3

In Daniel 1:21 it is stated that “Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus.”

This does not imply he died at this time. It would seem that he retained his position of authority until then. He may have retired from the court after the accession of Cyrus.

The vision made known was a great truth that would certainly come to pass. There was no doubt in his mind that it would happen. It was evidently to be a great and long warfare.

The expression, “But the time appointed was long,” has been rendered and interpreted in a variety of ways. Some of the best scholarships seem to feel that it relates to a great warfare with many calamities to be endured. Many feel this is the warfare to come at the end of the seventy weeks related in Daniel 9:24-27 which would be the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

We also know that there were a series of wars during the period between the Old and New Testaments. Also after their return from captivity, the Jews encountered difficulties in rebuilding the walls of the city so they had to arm themselves for protection as they engaged in their work. Whatever it was it had to do with Daniel’s people and it pertained to “the latter days” Daniel 10:14

It was to be terminated when the “holy people” had their power broken Daniel 12:7. It would seem the evidence is strongly in favour of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. While we do not know for certain the meaning Daniel did know. He was so upset by the vision he could not eat or anoint himself. He entered into three weeks of mourning and prayer.

‘On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So, I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.’ Daniel 10:4-8

On the 24th of the month Nisan which would roughly correspond to our month April, Daniel was standing by the Tigris River. Why he was at this location we do not know. He saw an awe-inspiring vision of a man clothed in linen. As it turns out the man is an angel. In Revelation 15:6 linen is represented as the raiment of angels. He had a girdle of fine gold.

Beryl is a mineral that is green or bluish-green. His face was brilliant like lightning. His eyes were like lamps of fire thus keen and penetrating. His arms and feet were like polished brass. His voice sounded s a multitude of people, strong and loud.

Daniel was accompanied on this occasion by some men but they did not see the vision but something happened to cause them to run away in fear. Daniel is alone and sees the vision. He was completely overcome and became very weak. His countenance became pale. A similar thing happened to John on Patmos, Revelation 1:17.

‘Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.’ Daniel 10:9-11

The angel speaks to Daniel and upon hearing his voice Daniel sinks prostrate and senseless upon the earth. The angel touches Daniel and caused him to be raised to his knees and hands. He still does not have the strength to stand erect.

The angel speaks to Daniel and calls upon him to pay attention to what has been said. He commands Daniel to stand up. Daniel was greatly beloved in heaven and this is why the angel has been sent. Daniel now stands erect trembling.

‘Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.’ Daniel 10:12-14

Daniel is told not to be fearful. From the very day, he had started his prayer and fasting the angel had been dispatched to come to him to answer his prayers but had been detained from coming to Daniel.

The reason for this delay was that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” had detained him. It is believed that this was an opposing or evil angel, one who was influential over the government of Persia trying to influence it toward an unfavourable attitude toward the Jews.

As this angel offered resistance to the angel sent to Daniel, Michael another angel of God came to his assistance. Why was this resistance offered by the evil angel?

We know from the previous chapter that Daniel was concerned about the return of his people from captivity.

So much depended upon the attitude of the Persian government. It was important that they be favourable toward the Jews as they went about rebuilding the city and walls in Jerusalem and the raising of the temple.

If the prayer of Daniel on behalf of his people was to be answered some influence favouring the position of the Jews with the removal of any obstacles which might impede their progress had to be manifested. The dispatched angel had run into opposition. With the help of Michael, this angel had been able to overcome the unfavourable influence of the evil angel and secure a favourable attitude on the part of the Persian government.

After a delay of twenty-one days, the angel arrives to inform Daniel of what would happen not only immediately but even down to the “latter days” which was at that time a long way off.

‘While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.’ Daniel 10:15-17

It seems Daniel is overcome by all this and laid his face on the ground becoming speechless and exhausted. It would also seem he was filled with grief.

‘Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’ Daniel 10:18-19

Daniel is now encouraged to be comforted, yet to be strong. He has nothing to fear but must be strong so as to bear the message the angel brings to him.

‘So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come.’ Daniel 10:20

The angel tells Daniel that he has his own warfare to carry on. The conflict in Persia has not yet been completed. He must return to complete arrangements which had been commenced. It would seem that the difficulties were not yet completely overcome thus it was desirable for him to return to exert further influence at the Persian court so that the desired objectives might be accomplished.

After this, there would be another conflict with the prince of the kingdom of Greece. Some think just the opposite is meant, that with the coming of the king of Greece things would be on a different footing and they would have the favour of Alexander the Great. History seems to indicate that Alexander was favourable toward the Jews.

‘But first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.). Daniel 10:21

Michael was the supporter of the angel dispatched from God. Due to his help, this angel was able to tell Daniel what was inscribed in “the writing of truth.” This book of God contained all His plans, purposes and decrees regarding the future.


Angelology, the study of angels, is a most fascinating subject. We do not know all that we would like to know about angels. It is clear from what is stated in this chapter that in the spirit realm there are dominions and principalities just as we have in our own realm here on earth.

Paul refers to this wicked realm in Ephesians 6:12 when he says, “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 wickedness in the heavenly places.”

This spiritual host of wickedness is headed by the devil. Jesus calls him “the prince of this world,” a title which shows he has unusual power and authority.

Paul calls him “the god of this world.” Wicked angels who sinned and were cast down to hell, 2 Peter 2:4 / Jude 6, are subject to Satan their prince. They evidently have rank and authority among themselves. They seem to thrive on world rulers influencing them to a great degree, Luke 4:6.

The warfare between God’s angels and the angels of the devil is symbolically described in Revelation 12:7. John writes, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought.”

The Jews in Daniel’s time had powerful opponents, but they also had powerful allies in the angels dispatched by God. Would not the same be true of God’s people today? Hebrews 1:14.

Let us be careful that Satan does not overcome us. We must fight hard but at the same time, it seems we will have the help of angels.

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