115-111 Daniel Chapter 10
Being that this is the third year of the rule of Cyrus it is noted that Daniel had not returned with the exiles of Judah and Jerusalem.
Again Daniel receives a vision from God by His word. God’s Word is truth and Daniel emphasized this point by identifying himself by the name that he was known by in the kingdom, Belteshazzar. This would allow the readers of what Daniel had written to be received with the authority of a high ranking official in the kingdom.
God revealed to Daniel the vision of great warfare. The warfare that Daniel saw was a supernatural war that parallels with the warfare on earth. Daniel also states that he was able to understand this vision without the insight of angelic assistance.
We do not know why Daniel was mourning. Perhaps he had heard of the terrible times the exiles were having upon their return to the home land of Judah. Or he may have still been upset over the previous vision of Chapter 9 and was praying that God would show His great mercy upon the people. Whatever is was and serious as his prayer and fasting was it lasted for three whole weeks. Daniel avoided meeting with other people and his diet was of plain food along with water. With the emphasis on the foods that he avoided we know that he did not go completely without nourishment.
He we may have another glimpse into why Daniel was involved in prayer and fasting. The first month would have been Passover season and Daniel may have been upset because he was not able to observe the festival. Probably because the facilities were not available. The Passover would have been over on the 21st day and now it was the 24th day meaning that the Passover was finished.
Walking by the rivers seemed to be a past time with Daniel as we have seen previously in Chapter 8. Now we see him walking along the banks of the Tigris River. While walking Daniel lifted his eyes to see a man clothed in linen whose loins were girded with pure gold. This same man also appeared to Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 9:2-3) We also see him appear in the Gospel of Mark at the time of the resurrection. (Mark 16:5) This is a being of great authority an angel of high rank. Compare the description of this beginning with that of the Son of man in Revelation. “And in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.” (Revelation 1:13-15) The descriptions are similar but not exact and therefore, this was a high ranking angel but not of the authority of Michael or Gabriel. His voice was that of great power, as a roar and crescendo and had great impact.
The men with Daniel may not have seen the vision but the fact that they ran in fear means that they saw something. The sight of which caused them to flee. Because of their unwillingness to stand with Daniel they missed the great vision that he received.
Daniel was left alone to stand in the presence of this mighty being. Certainly a heavenly being as he made Daniel to realize how corrupt he was. This the Prophet Isaiah experienced when in the presence of God and felt completely undone. (Isaiah 6:5) Daniel as well lost all strength in the presence of such holiness.
Daniel had fallen to the ground as the man began to speak with the sound of the roar of the spirits voice. Daniel went into the unnatural swoon of a deep sleep. Daniel was overwhelmed by the presence of the spirit.
Daniel was then taken by the spirit and lifted to his hands and knees but the power of the holiness of the spirit prevented him from being able to stand. Daniel was too weak to stand and was before the spirit on all fours as a beast. This was a position of complete humility.
The spirit exalted Daniel and told him to rise and at his command Daniel was able to rise although still trembling. In the exhortation of the angel Daniel was told that he was greatly beloved by God. This would be the highest honor that a man could receive from God.
In Daniel’s three weeks of fasting and prayer he most likely spent time to consider the full meaning of the vision that he had already seen. This along with prayers for God’s mercy upon the people. This was a time in which Daniel humbled himself before his Almighty God. Daniel was told that from the first day of his prayers he was heard. God never fails to hear the prayers of the righteous when they approach Him in humility.
We must note here that there is a period of time between the prayer and the answer to that prayer. It may be a short period or a long period but God will answer our prayers according to His time. We cannot think like God and our simple solutions are never as grand as His. We pray and live in our short vision but the God we pray to is eternal and His vision is eternal. The answers to our prayers will always be accordance to the plan and purpose of God.
God had sent the angel immediately to Daniel with His word but there had been a delay. The angel had been delayed by another angel who may have been watching over Persia and thought the word sent to Daniel was not helpful to him. The angel sent from the Lord though delayed persevered and now had arrived to speak with Daniel.
Prayer is our most powerful and effective tool. We are not to misuse prayer as Jesus warned that its use is not for our personal gain but for the expansion of God’s work. Jesus told us that we do not need to ask for our needs as God knows our needs even before we do. (Matthew 6:8) There are a lot of prayers offered that are selfish in intent and motive. Our command is to love God and our fellow man and our prayers are to be of praise towards God and that which benefit the community of man. Our prayers, if we are praying with the vision of the Kingdom of God, will have a larger vision. When Jesus prayed it was for the exaltation of His Father’s name, the advancement of the Kingly rule, and fulfilling the will of the Father here on earth as it is in heaven. We all would do well to follow His example.
We also learn from this verse that there is much angelic activity in the world about us that we know little or nothing about. There are those who pray to angles and even worship them. But this is foolishness on their part. Angels are God’s instruments and heed his voice only. We also see that the angels of the beast are at work against the heavenly angels of God. It is there purpose to oppose all that is contrary to God’s plan and purposes. They are angels who follow Satan and are busy in encouraging man to live in a sinful manner. But there are angels of God who support the purposes of God and also support the children of God behind the scenes. We are told of in the book of Hebrews of the work of the ministering spirits. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? “ (Hebrews 1:14)
We must not read too far into this verse that every nation has an angel administering to it. As most nations and the world are evil. But, God does send his angels to minister to the righteous mission of His will. Satan will send his angels to minister to the defeat of all righteousness.
As we see here that Satan had sent an angel to ensure that Persia behaved as he wanted. Satan is the prince of this world and it was for this reason that he could offer Jesus the nations if He would bow down and worship him. (Matthew 4:9) This was not just an idle boast of Satan, as the nations of the world are evil. Satan exercises power and control over the nations through the use of his angels, as the minds and hearts of man are pointed in that direction. The gods and false idols they worship are tempted and guided by the minions of Satan. (1 Corinthians 10:20) The spiritual war rages in the heavenly places and have through all of time. (Ephesians 6:12)
These evil forces do not have total control over the nations of the world. God the Creator is the supreme deity as all was created by him. Even Satan himself has to obey God’s Word. From this mighty angel that is speaking to Daniel we learn was helped by the Arch Angel Michael who sent this one on his way. He was delayed by an angel of Satan and Michael came to his aid. Therefore in the power of God Michael was able to set right Satan’s evil attempts to divert the purposes of God in Persia. There are some who believe that this angel that visited Daniel was the angel of the Lord but this cannot be so as he had limited power and needed the assistance of Michael. The Apostle Paul tells us that Satan’s angels work to blind the eyes of men to the truth of God’s Word. Because of this men cannot see the glory of God through His creation and result to worshipping idols made by the hand of man. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The purpose of this angel is to make Daniel understand the vision he had received. The vision concerned the later days of the fourth kingdom and continues to the end of time. Daniel is assured that this is not immediate but will happen in time to come. When the exiles returned to Israel their hopes were high that they had finally had found peace. This vision was a warning that this would not be a lasting peace for the Israelite nation.
We first see an implication of the latter days in the book of Genesis when Jacob warned his sons of the events to come. (Genesis 49:1) We are not told the length of the later days only that it will approach at a distant time.
Daniel immediately felt the impact of the angel’s word. He was unable to speak and he bowed his head. The angel had the appearance of a man but he was not a man but a messenger of God. Throughout the visions of Daniel he has made it clear that he was dependent upon the help of the messenger. As the messages that he received took a toll on Daniel physically and mentally. Therefore Daniel needed the touch of the angel to give him strength to speak.
Again the angel touched Daniel and he was renewed. The angel reaffirmed that Daniel was beloved by God and told him not to be afraid. Again the angel told Daniel to be strong, a repeat from before for greater emphasis. He told Daniel that he would need to be very strong. As the angel spoke Daniel’s strength returned to him. Daniel asked the angel to give him the message that God had sent him with.
The angel asks questions to get Daniel’s thinking in order to receive the vision that is about to come. It is also necessary for Daniel to know that there are greater powers at work accomplishing the purposes of God. As well there are powerful forces to thwart the plans of God. Daniel is told that once the message has been delivered the angel will return to battle against the evil forces working in Persia. The angel must also after his work in Persia go to Greece and battle the evil forces there. These visions, the ones before and the one to follow will also involve great battles in the heavenly places.
The prince of Persia and the prince of Greece are minions of Satan and they work to ensure that these nations behave as the beast that they are. This mighty angel and the Arch Angel Michael are working to thwart the plans of Satan and his minions. Their efforts are to aid the returning exiles to aid in the rebuilding of the Temple and cause the enemies of this project to stumble. They will also give aid to Nehemiah in defending the city of Jerusalem and rebuilding the walls. They will give aid to all the people of Israel both in the north and the south. And they will give aid in the fight against Antiochus.
Now Daniel understands that there is help for the people of Israel to guard against their enemies. There is help for the people of God to accomplish the purposes of God for them. Now Daniel knows that God is in control and he has sent his forces to protect His people. With this knowledge Daniel will be better able to understand how the people of God will be affected by this powerful spiritual activity.
Against the angel there is none who can make strong against him and Michael. It is supposed by this statement the he and Michael have legions of angels at their command. Michael is the great prince who stands for the protection of the true people of God. Not all Jews were true in the following of God but to those who were they were the responsibility of the Archangel Michael.