Vision of a Glorious Man
Daniel, Chapter 10
Lorraine Day, M.D.
Daniel, Chapters 10, 11, and 12 are one unit. Chapter 10 is the introduction leading to the events of Chapters 11 and 12. The chapter separations in Daniel, as well as the rest of the Bible, are somewhat arbitrary and were added centuries after the Bible was written, not by the inspired authors of the Bible. Many scholars believe the chapters and verses of the Bible were added about the 12th Century, A.D.
1 (a) In the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, a message was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar:
Counted from the fall of Babylon, this would be 536/535 B.C. Daniel was approximately 88 years old, considering he was 18 when he was taken captive in 605 B.C.
Cyrus is given the title “King of Persia,” which implies that the whole empire was ruled by the Persians, as contrasted with the more limited title, king over the realm of the Chaldeans,” ascribed to Darius in Chapter 9, verse 1.
The name Daniel means “God is my judge.” When Daniel and his 3 friends were all taken captive to Babylon as young men, the king gave them new names. Daniel’s name was change to Belteshazzar, meaning prince of Bel, or Bel protect the king. Bel means Baal another name for Satan.
1(b) and the message was true, but the time appointed (more properly translated the time of struggle or warfare) was long: and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision.
In contrast with the three other visions (chs. 2; 7; 8-9), which were given in highly symbolic terms, this final revelation was given largely in literal language. The angel stated specifically that he had come to make Daniel “understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days” (Ch 10:14).
This is the subject matter of Chapters 11 and 12. It is not until near the end of this vision (Ch 12:8) that Daniel encounters a revelation concerning which he confesses, “I heard, but I understood not.”
2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.
Daniel does not state why he was mourning. Some think it was because so few Israelites had returned with Ezra from exile. Others believe it was because Ezra faced severe opposition in rebuilding the temple and because of the false reports sent by the Samaritans to the court of Persia, in an attempt to stop the building operations.
Daniel did not go back with Ezra’s group of exiles because he was about 88 years old at this time. Daniel could serve the exiles better from his high position in government than he could with them in Jerusalem.
3 I ate no desirable food, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
During Daniel’s period of fasting, he took only the simplest of food, sufficient only to maintain his strength.
Anoint myself. The use of oils for the skin and hair had great popularity among ancient peoples, especially among those who lived in countries where the climate was very hot and dry. During his period of fasting and prayer, the prophet saw fit to forgo this personal luxury.
It is important to note that all during this 3 week period of prayer and fasting by Daniel, the angel of God was struggling against the “prince of the kingdom of Persia (vs 13).
4 And in the 24th day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel (Tigris river):
5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with find gold of Uphaz
6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as torches of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to burnished brass, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.
This appears to be a description of Jesus, as we see it is remarkably similar to what John saw in Revelation 1:12-16
Daniel 10:4-6 Revelation 1:12-16Clothed in linen Clothed with a garment
Waist girded with gold Girded about the chest with a golden band
Body was like beryl
Face like. . . lightning Head and hair were white like wool
Eyes like torches of fire Eyes like a flame of fire
Feet like burnished bronze Feet were like fine brass
Sound of his worlds like the Voice as the sound of many waters
voice of a multitude
7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
The revelation was given only to the Lord’s chosen servant, the one who knew the Lord, yet the effect of the presence of this being from heaven was felt by those who were with Daniel. Compare the experience of Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus with his companions (Acts 9:3-7; 22:6-9). Paul’s companions also were afraid, and they didn’t see Jesus as Paul did.
Also compare the experience at Sinai with Moses, the Israelites, and God. Moses knew God, so he wasn’t fearful of Him. However, the Israelites were terrified of God precisely because they did NOT know Him!
8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my vigor was turned into frailty, and I retained no strength.
Obviously, it is an overwhelming experience to stand in the presence of the Lord.
9 Yet I heard the sound of his words: and when I heard the sound of His words, then I was in a deep sleep on my face, and my face was toward the ground.
Daniel was clearly in a trance state. He could hear the words, yet he felt like he was asleep, having a dream.
10 And behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
When the hand touched Daniel, he had enough strength to get up on his hands and knees. This hand appears to belong to a second individual, not Jesus Christ, because we see in verse 13 that this individual says, “Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me.”
Since we can see that “Glorious Man” in Dane 10:6 has all the attributes of Jesus Christ, and we can see from other passages (below) that “Michael” appears to be the “angel form” of Jesus Christ, then it makes no sense for “Michael” to be coming to help Jesus Christ, because they are one and the same. Furthermore, Jesus Christ wouldn’t need any help from anyone when struggling with the forces of evil.
This second individual is likely the angel, Gabriel, who appears to be the Chief among the angels (other than “Michael” Jesus Christ). Gabriel had been sent by God to help Daniel “understand the vision” both in Dan 8:16 and Dan 9:21.
And in Luke 1:19, the angel Gabriel was sent to tell Elizabeth and Zacharias, to inform them that even though they were very old, Elizabeth would give birth to a son who would be named “John” John, the Baptist.
Six months later, this same angel, Gabriel was sent to tell Mary she would give birth to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
“Michael” appears to be the “angel form” of Jesus Christ. God chooses to appear to His creatures in the form that He created them. “Jesus” is God in human form. “Michael” appears to be God in angel form.
The other Bible passages where “Michael” appears are:
Daniel 12:1 “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands watch over the children of thy people:
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael, the archangel, when disputing with the devil he discussed about the body of Moses, did not bring against him (the devil) a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.’
Rev 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon (the devil): and the dragon fought and his angels. . . and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Continuing with Daniel 10:11, presumably Gabriel is speaking to Daniel:
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Even though Daniel was strong enough to stand upright, he was still so overcome by the experience that he was trembling.
This was the second time that Daniel had been so wonderfully reassured of God’s love for him (see Ch. 9:23).
12 Then he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for (because of) your words (prayers).
These words undoubtedly encouraged Daniel personally as he stood in the presence of the angel “trembling.” These words also reassured Daniel that even though he had been praying for three weeks without an apparent answer, yet from the very first God had heard his prayer and set Himself to answer it. And Daniel did not need to fear for his people because God had heard him, and God was in control.
God responded to Daniel’s prayer the very moment he made his request known. Daniel had been in serious prayer for three full weeks.
“I have come because of your words: God sent an angel because of Daniel’s prayer. This reassures us that prayer matters. God responds to our prayers, although He may test our faith by not answering immediately. Remember that when God called Moses to lead the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, He told Moses:
“Thou shalt come unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us; and now let us go, we beseech thee, three day’s journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.
“And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no not by a mighty hand.” Ex 3:18,19
Here God told Moses to ask Pharaoh to release the Israelites, but God told Moses that Pharaoh would NOT let the Israelites go. Why?
Because if Pharaoh had allowed the Israelites to leave at once, there would have been no need for the ten escalating plagues, and the wonders that God performed through them, making this historical event one of the greatest in the history of the world.
God has a plan, even when He delays the answer to our prayers.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days (3 weeks the exact time Daniel had been praying); but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
The word “prince” in the Bible refers to a ruler or one with authority, such as the commander of an army. Since this prince is able to oppose the angelic messenger to Daniel, we know this is more than a man. Satan is referred to as the “prince of this world” (John 12:3; 14:30; 16:11).
This fits in well with the New Testament idea that angelic ranks including demonic forces are organized and have a hierarchy (Ephesians 1:21; 6:12. Col 1:16; 2:15). Apparently this was a demon of high rank that opposed the answer to prayer, and because Michael (Jesus Christ) had to help Gabriel, it most likely is referring to Satan, himself who was tempting Cyrus to acquiesce to the Samaritans request, and forbid the Israelites to continue building the Temple.
14 Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the vision refers to many days to come.
What follows in Daniel, Chapters 12 and 13 appears to be, at least in part, a dual prophecy, as is apparent in Matthew, Chapter 24. In Matt. 24, when the disciples brought to the attention of Jesus, the beautiful buildings of the temple, Jesus said unto them:
See ye not all these things? Verily, I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? (When shall the temple be destroyed?) and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world? (end of the age = end of the eon, referring to the Second Coming of Christ)
When Jesus responded, He discussed not only the coming destruction of the Temple that occurred in 70 A.D. (near future events), but also the signs of His Second Coming (events FAR into the future), thus a “dual” prophecy.
Jacob used the term “last days” in reference to the ultimate fortune of each of the twelve tribes in the land of Canaan (Gen 49:1); Balaam applied the term to the first advent of Christ (Num 24:14); Moses used it in a general sense of the distant future, when Israel would suffer tribulation (Deut 4:30). The expression may, and often does, refer directly to the final events of history (Isa 2:2).
So the term “latter days” in Dan 10:14 can refer to “near” future events as well as events far into the future. Daniel, Chapters 11 and 12 comprise events in both of those time frames, thus appear to be a “dual” prophecy as we see in Matthew 24.
15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I turned my face toward the ground, and I became speechless.
Daniel started on the ground (vs. 10:9), then stood up (vs 10:11), and now is back on his face again. Clearly, Daniel is overwhelmed by seeing the vision of Christ Himself, and understanding that Christ and Gabriel have come directly to answer Daniel’s prayer!
16 And behold, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, because of the vision my sorrows have come upon me, and I have retained no strength.
17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? For as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
Gabriel veiled his brightness and appeared in human form.
The ancient Hebrew word translated “sorrows” has the though of writhing pain. It is used in several places for labor pains in childbirth. Daniel is so severely affected by this vision that he is in pain and can barely breathe.
When Daniel was touched by God, through the angel Gabriel, some of his strength returned, so he could talk. It is the touch of God that brings strength.
18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong, yes, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou has strengthened me.
20 Then said he, Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, indeed, the prince of Greece shall come.
It seems certain that the angel is here speaking of further conflict between himself and the “prince of Persia.” This struggle did continue long after the time of Daniel’s vision as is shown by Ezra 4:4-14. The forces of the enemy were held in check all the days of Cyrus, and all the days of his son Cambyses, who reigned about seven and a half years.
The angel had told Daniel that he was returning to continue the struggle with the powers of darkness that contended for control of the mind of the king of Persia. Then he looked further toward the future and indicated that when he finally would withdraw from the struggle, a revolution would ensue in world affairs.
As long as God’s angel held at bay the evil forces seeking to dominate the Persian government, that empire stood. But when divine influence was withdrawn and the control of the leaders of the nation was left entirely to the powers of darkness, ruin for their empire quickly followed. Led by Alexander, the armies of Greece swept over the world and quickly extinguished the Persian Empire.
The truth stated by the angel in this verse throws light on the revelation that follows. The ensuing prophecy, a record of war upon war, assumes greater meaning when understood in the light of what the angel has here observed. While men struggle with one another for earthly power, behind the scenes, and hidden from human eyes, an even greater struggle is going on between Jesus Christ the Light of the World, and the Devil the prince of darkness, for the hearts of mankind.
As God’s people are shown to be preserved throughout their troubled history recorded prophetically by Daniel so it is sure that in that greater struggle, the legions of light will have the victory over the powers of darkness.
21 But I will show you that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
The probable meaning of this passage is that Christ and Gabriel assumed the special work of contending with the hosts of Satan who attempted to secure control of the empires of this earth.
Your prince. The fact that Michael is spoken of specifically as your (the Hebrew pronoun is plural) prince, places Him in sharp contrast with the “prince of Persia” (vs. 13,20) and “the prince of Grecia” (v. 20). Michael was the champion on God’s side of the great controversy.
Excerpts from the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary and www.eduringword.com/commentaries