Scripture reading – Daniel 10

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So far, in our study of Daniel 7-12, we have considered three prophetic visions. Daniel 7 recorded a vision of four beasts representing four kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome). Daniel 8 recorded a vision of a ram representing Persia and a “He Goat” symbolizing Greece. The vision of seventy prophetic weeks was recorded in Daniel 9, bringing us to the fourth and final vision recorded in Daniel 10-12.

 

Introduction to the Final Revelation (Daniel 10:1-4)

A transition in leadership is noted in Daniel 10, as “Cyrus king of Persia” (Daniel 10:1) succeeded Darius as king of the Medo-Persian\\Chaldean Empire (there has been debate as to whether or not “Darius” was a name or a title of Persian kings). The “thing” that was “revealed unto Daniel” served as an introduction to Daniel’s fourth and final vision (Daniel 10:1).

Though the setting was during the reign of Cyrus, the vision itself was set far into the future, for “the time appointed was long” (Daniel 10:1b). Notable is the effect the vision had on Daniel, for he mourned saying, “three full weeks…[I] ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint [bathe or anoint] myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled” (Daniel 10:3).

The cause of Daniel’s sorrow is not revealed, but I suspect it was that so few of the Jews elected to return to Jerusalem when Cyrus gave his decree to set the children of Israel at liberty to return home and rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-4). The defeat of the Chaldeans, followed by Cyrus’ decree, provided the children of Israel the long-foretold opportunity to return to Israel.

Tragically, after 70 years in Babylon, the majority of the Jews were Babylonian by nature and birth. So, we find that Daniel fasted and prayed for three weeks, with no word from God in response to his prayers. On the 24thday of the first month (“Nisan,” perhaps April 24), as he was standing by the Tigris River (“Hiddekel,” Daniel 1:4), the LORD gave the prophet a heavenly vision of things yet to be (Daniel 10:5-21).

A Heavenly Vision (Daniel 10:5-6)

A Heavenly Vision (Daniel 10:5-6)

I believe the central figure of Daniel’s vision was Jesus Christ (a theophany, or pre-incarnate appearance of Christ in His heavenly glory, Daniel 10:5-6). Daniel did not see a beast nor an image of a man; he looked up, and we read that he saw “a certain man clothed in linen” (Daniel 10:5). [For further study, you are invited to compare the apostle John’s vision of Christ in Revelation 1:12-16.]

 

The Effect of the Heavenly Vision (Daniel 10:7-9) 

We learn that Daniel was not alone, for there were other men with him at the time of the vision, yet they did not see the man (Daniel 10:1-6). The vision was accompanied by a sudden earthquake that caused those men to flee and “hide themselves” (Daniel 10:7). Thus, Daniel was alone. He gazed upon his heavenly visitor and later wrote, “There remained no strength in me: for my comeliness [majesty; splendor] was turned in me into corruption [countenance appeared as a dead man], and I retained no strength” (Daniel 10:8). In his solitude, Daniel heard the voice of the man, and he fell into “a deep sleep” (Daniel 10:9).

Heavenly Visitors and a Spiritual Battle

Heavenly Visitors and a Spiritual Battle (Daniel 10:10-12, 14-20a, 21)

In his vision, Daniel was awakened when a hand touched him and “set [him] upon [his] knees and upon the palms of [his] hands” (Daniel 10:10). Then the angel addressed Daniel as “a man greatly beloved” (Daniel10:11). The angel messenger commanded Daniel to stand to his feet and told him the LORD had dispatched him to him on the first day he prayed (Daniel 10:12).

Daniel learned that his prayers were heard but not answered immediately because a spiritual battle lasting for twenty-one days was waged between the angel and a demon described as “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). This “prince” of Persia, whom I believe was a demon, was so powerful that “Michael, one of the chief princes [an archangel of heaven], came to help [the angel]; and I remained [i.e., hindered] there with the kings [i.e., rulers] of Persia” (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 12:1; Revelation 12:7; Jude 9).

Take a moment and ponder that revelation: There was a “prince,” whom I believe was a demon attached to the “kingdom of Persia,” who was opposed to God’s angel and served the desires of the devil. Friend, if that were true of Persia, surely all kingdoms would be the same. In other words, the devil has his demons deployed to serve him and oppose the LORD and His people. The apostle Paul revealed the same regarding the rulers of nations when he wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

What an amazing revelation! Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days, waiting for God to answer his prayers. Yet, though the LORD responded to his prophet’s prayers immediately, the angelic messenger was delayed by a great conflict between the angel and a demon (i.e., a fallen angel, Daniel 10:13).

An Angelic Message: The Purpose of the Vision (Daniel 10:14-19) 

God sent His angel to give Daniel greater understanding, saying, “What shall befall thy people [the children of Israel] in the latter days [the end of days]: for yet the vision is for many days” (Daniel 10:14). The vision left Daniel fainthearted and speechless (Daniel 10:15). So the angel touched and revived him a second time (Daniel 10:16a).

Daniel was physically exhausted and emotionally shaken by the sight of Israel’s sufferings and sorrows that were yet to be (Daniel 10:16b). Weakened from his struggle to converse with one much greater than himself (Daniel 10:17), Daniel wrote he was strengthened a third time, and said to the angel, “Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (Daniel 10:18-19).

The Battle with Hellish Foes

The Battle with Hellish Foes (Daniel 10:13-14)

The angel was delayed in his mission to answer Daniel’s prayer, for he battled with a foe identified as the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” (Daniel 10:13a). Persia was the name of ancient Iran (today, Iranians refer to themselves as Persian).

Understanding that no human prince can contend with an angel, we conclude this prince was a demon responsible for Satan’s interests in Persia (as God’s angels are organized into a heavenly host, it seems that Satan has the demons ordered by rank and assignment, Daniel 10:13). The demon had withstood the angel, requiring Michael the Archangel to be dispatched (Daniel 10:13), and help the angel go on his way and complete his mission to Daniel (Daniel 10:14).

 

Closing thoughts (Daniel 10:20-21) 

Several questions come to my mind, with the obvious being the one proposed by the angel: “Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee?” (Daniel 10:20)

Why did God send His angel to Daniel? Why did the demon obstruct the angel’s mission? Rather than answer the question, the angel departed and announced he must return to wage battle against the “prince [demon] of Persia” and the “prince [demon] of Grecia” (Daniel 10:20). Here was revealed that there were two demons that were so powerful that they required not only the opposition of a heavenly angel but the intervention of the Archangel, “Michael your prince” (Daniel 10:21). 

Spiritual Truth – Let us never forget that, though unseen by human eyes, a perpetual war is being waged in the spirit world between God’s holy angels and the fallen angels [demons].

Ephesians 6:1212For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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