Dan. 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
“appointed” = “a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication, a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship):—appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war(-fare).”
This vision is Daniel’s last vision. This time Daniel understands that the vision is real/true, and includes a great/exceeding time of war and hardship concerning his people.
Dan. 10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
Dan. 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
This vision so distresses Daniel that he goes into mourning for three full weeks. He couldn’t eat or drink, and he didn’t refresh himself at all.
Dan. 10:4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
Dan. 10:5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
Dan. 10:6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
The Hiddekel is another name for the Tigris River. Daniel is evidently on the banks of the Tigris when he looks up and sees a “certain man.” This man is clothed in linen, has a golden belt, his body is like the beryl (probably a golden tanned skin; the word also has reference to a Persian and Israelite), his face is bright, his eyes are like lamps of fire, and his arms and feet look like polished brass (another reference to a golden color), and his words/voice is rich and resonant.
Although there are differences, there are also similarities to two descriptions in Revelation, both of which I believe are references to Jesus. The comparisons are certainly thought provoking.
Revelation 1:13-15 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
The above verses describe someone clothed to the feet, but his golden belt is around his breast. The belt being around the breast is comparable to that of the high priest, and could be indicative of the change in Jesus’ position after His resurrection.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Both beings have eyes of fire and feet of brass. Both have powerful voices.
Revelation 10:1-3 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
The “angel” (messenger) in the above verses has a very bright face, as does the man in Daniel. Feet of pillars of fire could equate with the brilliance of polished brass. Again, both beings have a powerful voice.
The biggest argument I can see against this being a preincarnate Jesus is the fact that he requires the help of Michael in his battle with the prince of Persia (v13).
Dan. 10:7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Daniel was not alone by the Tigris, but he was the only one who saw the vision. Whatever the others saw scared them to death, and they ran away to hide.
Dan. 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Dan. 10:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
The vision of this man was enough to drain Daniel of his strength; he doesn’t say he was afraid, but he was obviously incapacitated. He didn’t pass out immediately, because he heard the voice of his words. After hearing his words, he fell into a deep sleep with his face toward the ground.
Dan. 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
Dan. 10:11 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.
Daniel became aware that a hand had touched him and lifted him to his hands and knees. Again, Daniel is given the message that he is “greatly beloved” by God. He encourages Daniel to listen with understanding to what he is about to say and to stand up like a man. Daniel obeyed, but with trembling (the Hebrew indicates great trembling).
Dan. 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
The man tells Daniel not to be afraid and begins to address him regarding his thoughts and questions pertaining to the vision that had so troubled him. Evidently, Daniel had a general understanding of the vision, but he wanted to understand more. His heart was so disturbed that he was possibly blaming himself in some way for what was to come. The word for “chasten” includes many things—“to depress, abase self, afflict(-ion, self), chasten self, deal hardly with, humble (self), submit self, weaken.”
The key point to me is that God knows what is happening in our hearts. He sent a messenger in specific response to Daniel’s thoughts.
Dan. 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
In verses 2-3 we were told that Daniel was in mourning for three full weeks. The messenger was dispatched on the first day of Daniel’s response to the vision; but he was detained for 21 days, three full weeks, by the prince of the kingdom of Persia. Then we are told that Michael, one of the chief princes, came to his aid. In Daniel 12:1 we are told that Michael is “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” The Hebrew implies that Michael is first in rank among the chief princes. In Jude Michael is identified as “the archangel,” and no other archangel is identified in scripture.
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
So we have a messenger from God detained by a prince of Persia, and Michael, the prince of Israel, coming to the aid of the messenger. Already this speaks of spiritual forces—not mere humans. Putting all these thoughts together tells me that these are the angelic forces of good and the fallen angelic forces of evil in battle concerning events occurring on planet earth. Paul references these forces in the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:12 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.
It would seem that there are spiritual forces, both good and evil, assigned to specific nations as well as at least some individuals.
Why are we told that he “remained” there with the kings of Persia? When I looked up the word remained, it emphasized the idea of excelling and preserving. I think this is saying that the messenger stayed with Michael until they had achieved victory. We learned in chapter 2 (v21), that it is God who sets up kings. It would seem that these rulers in Persia were being preserved until they accomplished God’s purpose for the nation of Israel—i.e., authorization and provision for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple. In contrast, Satan uses and destroys.
Dan. 10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
The messenger is clarifying to Daniel that he is going to help him understand what will happen to “thy people,” the Jews, in the latter days—end times is the thought from the Hebrew. In other words, what you saw in the vision is not to occur for a long time yet. I think this wording makes it clear that the events about to be described will happen after the time of Daniel and extend to the “end times” when Israel’s relationship with God will be restored at the end of the seventy weeks as detailed by Gabriel in chapter 9.
Dan. 10:15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
When Daniel heard the message from God, he looked toward the ground and was unable to speak—he was speechless.
Dan. 10:16 And, behold, one like the similitude 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, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
Dan. 10:17 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.
The “man” touches Daniel’s lips and Daniel is again able to formulate words. He tells the man that he is overcome with sorrow and feels weak and helpless because of the vision. Daniel had a great love for his people and the city of Jerusalem.
Daniel then identifies himself as a servant (bond servant, servant by choice) of the man, though there is no indication of worship. He again states that he is overwhelmed by this vision and doesn’t know what to say in response.
As I read these verses again, it occurs to me that there may be reference to more than one “man” or messenger. Possibly these verses reference the being of verses 5-6 and the following verses the accompanying messenger. The wording of verses 16 & 18 seem to be implying two different beings.
Dan. 10:18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
Dan. 10:19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Again, Daniel is touched by a being resembling a man, and this touch imparts strength to Daniel. Daniel is again told that he is “greatly beloved” and that he should not be afraid. He is told to have peace (rest, be happy, safe, prosper) and be strong (courageous, encouraged). Daniel was encouraged by the words of the messenger and declared himself ready to listen.
Dan. 10:20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
The messenger seems to want to affirm that Daniel comprehends all that has transpired during their encounter. (Evidently, Daniel nods or something in affirmation.) The messenger explains that his fight with the evil power of the prince of Persia is to continue and will be followed by a struggle with the evil power of the prince of Greece. I’m sure that is something that very few of us think about—battles continually being waged between supernatural forces of good and evil regarding the events on planet earth. It also indicates that the Lord’s armies or at least the leaders of His angelic armies are aware of upcoming battles and future events.
Dan. 10:21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
This is a very interesting verse. I’ve never isolated it like this before. The messenger seems to be saying that he is going to explain to Daniel the things in the written record of certain and true events/facts. The messenger tells Daniel that only Michael, the strong spiritual force for good that acts for God’s people of Israel, stands strong with him in these matters.
This is a very thought-provoking verse to me. When researching the scripture on the book of life, I found reference to many written records in heaven. Because God knows all and has known all before the foundation of the world, it wouldn’t surprise me to know that there is a written record in heaven of man’s history on planet earth—especially as it pertains to His plan and purpose. More interesting to me is the fact that only Michael and Daniel’s messenger are responsible for preserving these truths on behalf of the Jews and Jerusalem. I believe that is the right context since Daniel is being shown events as they pertain to his people, the Jews, the nation of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem.