Chapter 10 is essentially a repeat, or perhaps better stated, a reminder of chapter 8. Don’t stop here though. In chapter 9 the gravity of “sealing up” the information given to Daniel in chapter 8 overwhelms him. *Chapter 11 and 12 continue this Hebrew concern but all four of these chapters add to our understanding. In a sense it is like all (most?) speech instructors tell students is the center to good speech arrangements. Tell whomever what it is what will be discussed therefore setting the stage (chapter 10). Then tell the basics of what is the purpose and content of the speech or lecture (chapter 11). Finally, step three is to remind the listener what was said (chapter 11). More on this as we proceed through the remainder of Daniel.
RE-Chapter 8: For those who missed this article in ahabiblemoments chapter 8 is about Daniel being in Susa, a ram with two horns; one came later but grew larger. Then out of the west comes a goat with ONE HORN and whose feet do not touch the ground. It breaks the two horns of the ram. Soon the significant single horn of the goat out of the west is itself broken. In its place grow 4 smaller horns. These are the historical events of Greece (Macedonia; Alexander the Great) breaking the stranglehold of the Medo-Persia Empire. When Alexander dies, his world empire is broken into four smaller kingdoms. Eventually the two dominant offshoot general/kings from Alexander’s world conquest become embattled with each other; i.e. the example of end time king of the north and king of the south.
However, in chapter 8 Daniel is told to seal up this vision” for the time being. Why? The latter or ending portion of chapter 8 essentially shifts gears from near future to End Time events. It becomes a prophecy about the end of time and the anti-Christ. Even though Daniel is told to “seal up the vision” we get an insight or introduction to the End Time (Jacob’s Trouble).
Daniel in chapter 10 is walking along or standing on the banks of the Tigris River. He is not alone as other men are with him. In other bible passages this same river is called the Hiddekel in Hebrew.
*JIV: For the curious bible student, this same general location or as noted in Exodus is where the four river heads identify the location of the Garden of Eden.
*JIV (Jim’s Introspective View)
Daniel 10:1 gives the setting:
- The third year of King Cyrus of Persia (not the king of Babylon; a satrap-ruler governs there and is subject to the King of Persia; i.e. Cyrus)
- Daniel receives this information
- There was (will be) a great conflict; personal and global (Chapter 11)
- Daniel understood the meaning
- V2 Daniel goes into mourning and becomes sick over vision.
JIV: At this point we have a plethora of theological opinions. Some look at verses 5 & 6 as describing a great angel. After years of thought and study, this author no longer subscribes to the opinion that it is Jesus before his New Testament re-appearance as the Messiah. More likely if is a very high-ranking angel of great significance from heaven. We provide evidence of this toward the end of this article. It matters not so much as to who it is that appears on the river bank, but to the message presented to Daniel of a time yet to come. Again, later in this article it is explained why this “man-like being” is probably an angel.
Daniel 10:7 tells us that Daniel was not alone. Men were with him. They sensed something that brought fear to their hearts and being but did NOT HEAR or see the vision. They feared so much that they fled the area in a panic. In a way this is repeated in Acts 9; Paul’s road to Damascus. Oddly and as reported by 1967 news media, the Israeli Six Day War against its Arab and Muslim neighbor countries of Jordan, Egypt and Syria and early in the conflict, similar overwhelming fear overcame the Egyptian armed forces in the Sinai Peninsula in 1967. So much so that they fled on foot abandoning armament, running tanks, and artillery.
“Israel’s losses in the battles with Egypt were 275 soldiers killed and 800 wounded, very high for a country of only 2 million, but comparatively light considering the size of the battles and the magnitude of the victory. Egypt’s losses were much higher — according to statements by President Nasser more than 11,500 soldiers were killed, and independent estimates put the number of wounded as high as 50,000.” (Barker, p 76)
Of course Daniel is not writing about a war of great fear but he does state in verse one, “it was a great conflict” in his vision. This could be a personal conflict of Daniel’s or the ones that Daniel 11 discusses. Verse 8 in chapter 10 reflects or parallels this article’s reference to the Six Day War between Arabs, Egypt specifically, and the fear that overwhelmed the Egyptians. We use this comparison only to help the reader assimilate or grasp Daniel’s fear when he was probably looking at the Holy One’s personal representative; a high ranking angel. The men with Daniel had fled.
Daniel 10:8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. [ESV]
The purpose of an appearance of this angelic being was to help Daniel understand the signs and things of the future. Daniel 10:14 clearly states that he came to make him (Daniel) understand “WHAT IS TO HAPPEN TO YOUR PEOPLE IN THE LATTER DAYS.”
The argument against this strikingly dressed man-like being as possibly describing Jesus in verses 5 and 6 is Daniel 10:11. It is highly doubtful that whoever is the *(bad guy) angel of Persia, he could not hold Jesus back for 21 days.Jesus would not require the assistance of the angel Michael. [See Daniel 10:12 and 13]
There is one to consider regarding Christians today and our prayer life. This is the fact that the three-times-a-day prayer life of Daniel still required a wait of 21 days before hearing back from God. This gives us insight as to the two powers of today; God and Satan. How many times have we prayed expecting an answer from God on our timetable, not God’s? This means that Daniel did not stand up from his prayer beginning in Daniel 9:3, go for a walk along the river banks (chapter 10) that afternoon or evening and find his prayer answer and understanding.
Daniel 9:16 is very telling. Daniel states to the angel or messenger… “Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength.” [ESV]. Daniel must have seen more than his physical body and mind could handle. He was “LEFT WITHOUT STRENGTH.”
We close this article with a bit of insight or perhaps theological speculation. Our motto at ahabiblemoments is: We Teach – You Decide. It is up to the reader to challenge one’s self as to his or her bible knowledge and this following connection.
The “manlike being” asks Daniel if he understood. Daniel does not answer. This “angel” is about to depart to assist angel Michael in the battle with the evil and Satanic “prince of Persia.” So what is the connection? The Jews who remained in Babylon and did not return to Jerusalem when released by King Cyrus, were not now going to be without challenges against their very existence. This takes us to the Book of Esther. Esther, Mortdecai, King Ahasuerus often identified in history identified as king Xerxes I (reigned 486–465 BCE) and Haman the Agagite. In short, the angel of the Israel is Michael [Daniel 12:1] who is holding back the evil angel of Persia at this time in Daniel [10:13], but he will require help for a very near future event and continuing for well over 2500 years to this present day.
NOTE: King Ahasuerus and Esther appear on the scene within 50 years of this event in Daniel 10. Daniel had remained in Babylon after the departure of some Judeans back to Jerusalem (536ish B.C.). The overlap of Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah all fall within this time period in history. They very possibly knew each other and Esther knew of them.
We do not know who is the “manlike being” who appeared in Daniel 10. The evil angel of Persia withstood him from coming to Daniel to address his chapter 9 prayer for 21 days. This unknown being then returns to continue this angelic fight. The evidence is that the battle between Israel and Persia, today’s Iran, still exists. Iran and those like Haman of Persia vow(ed) to drive Israel into the sea. The battles in the heavens above and upon this earth over God’s Holy City of Jerusalem are present to this very day. The hate of Satan against the People (God’s chosen) of Israel has not retreated.
Chapter 11 is very far-reaching in history and history yet to be played out. By necessity of these prophesied future events (chapter 11) will be broken down into several articles. It is one of the most challenged and challenging prophetic chapters of the bible. We will as best can be done, name names as these historical and end time events are foretold in Daniel 11.
Rev Dr. Jstark