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Daniel chapter 10

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

10And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11And 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. 12Then 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. 13But 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. 14Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. 15And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16And, 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. 17For 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. 18Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19And 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. 20Then 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. 21But 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.

What does Daniel chapter 10 mean?

When Daniel was first captured (Daniel 1:1–7) around the year 604 BC, he would have been a young man. What he sees in this passage occurs nearly seventy years later, around 536 BC. By this time, exiles are beginning to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2–3) and endure the hardships of rebuilding their city (Ezra 3:8; 4:4–6). However, Daniel is still in Babylon, now under the control of the Persian Empire. Perhaps he was too old to relocate, or not allowed to leave. It's also possible he chose to remain to continue advocating for the people of Israel.

Daniel sees another vision, this one involving some major conflict. Most interpreters believe this is what shakes Daniel enough to go into mourning. What he saw will be explained in greater detail in chapters 11 and 1. That vision is explained or elaborated on in chapters 11 and 12. Strictly speaking, the specific timing and reason of Daniel's fast it not provided; it could be the vision that caused his mourning or it could be that Daniel was already in mourning when he saw the vision. Whatever the case, he was certainly deeply troubled (Daniel 10:1–3).

Apparently, Daniel's reaction to the vision was to seek God in prayer. While standing near the Tigris river, he is stunned by the sight of a celestial being. The creature looks like a man wearing linen and gold, with brilliantly shining limbs and face, and a voice like the roar of a crowd. Aspects of the description resemble those of Jesus in the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:13–16), making some commentators think this is a preincarnate vision of Christ. However, the person Daniel sees appears to be the same entity who speaks of being delayed by another spiritual power (Daniel 10:13). For this reason, it seems best to think of this being as an angel of high order. It is clearly not Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21). This is most likely the angel Gabriel, who often delivers messages from the Lord (Daniel 8:15–16; 9:21–22; Luke 1:26).Only Daniel sees this; the others with him merely sense the supernatural presence and run away. The encounter is so vivid and powerful that Daniel appears to pass out (Daniel 10:4–9).

Somone or something touches Daniel, restoring him enough to stand back up. Some commentators believe an entirely separate angel touches Daniel and begins to speak to him, but this seems unnatural to the text. More likely is that this is the same being he first saw. The angel reassures Daniel that he's come to answer prayers and explain Daniel's vision of the future. The delay was caused by a conflict with some other being, called "the prince of the kingdom of Persia." This is apparently a demon of some kind, exerting influence over that nation. The angel was unable to break free until aided by the archangel Michael (Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). This information again overwhelms Daniel, who stands with his face down in shock (Daniel 10:10–17).

Once again, Daniel is given strength and encouragement by the touch of his visitor. The angel calls Daniel "greatly loved" (Daniel 9:23) and notes that his visit is meant to explain what Daniel has seen. This interpretation is absolute truth: taken from the "book of truth." This does not mean a paper-and-ink object, but instead represents the perfection and accuracy of God's knowledge (Psalm 56:8; 139:16; 2 Samuel 7:28; Numbers 23:19). The angel prepares Daniel to withstand the intense information which is to come (Daniel 10:18–21).
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