A Commentary on Daniel Chapter 10

God of Answered Prayer

537 B.C.


Daniel mourned over the state of the nation. They had left Babylon but were still in Persia.  For twenty-one days he fasts and prays.  On April 24th. 537 B.C. he had a heavenly visitor.  Daniel shook like a reed in a strong wind.  He hears some reassuring words: Gabriel said that Michael had come to help him with the prince of Persia.  Somehow the prince of Persia was trying to thwart heavens plans.  Gabriel assures Daniel that his prayer had been heard but he had to attend a more urgent matter and now he had come to Daniels aid. Upon the news of what would befall his people in the latter days Daniel becomes weak and fell on the ground.  The angel strengthened Daniel and encouraged him to be strong.  The angel said he had to go and fight with the prince of Persia for the prince of Greece shall come.  You will not need a master’s degree to figure this out. Here is a hint:  The prince of Greece is Alexander the Great, the goat man who comes against the prince Persia. More details are waiting for you in the exposition.


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.

The vision is true.  Its meaning will unfold through this chapter.    The time appointed was long, that is, it stretched out over a long period of time.  It was about events in the distant future.  Only God knows the future.  Daniel is writing in the third person and says that he understood the thing. The vision was clear to him as concerning its meaning.

2    In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.

Daniel was sad and troubled over the state of affairs that his Nation was in.  Although they had left captivity they were still in Persia and the city of Jerusalem was still in ruins. Plans were being made for their return but there lay hardships ahead as they traveled over the land to reach their destination.

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.

For the next 3 weeks Daniel will be fasting and praying.   He had been accustomed to the best of food prepared by the top chiefs of Persia, but now he chooses to eat only the course and disagreeable food.  His personal appearance was also neglected during this period.  It was a dry climate and oils were used on the skin to prevent dry skin. He doesn’t use any moisturizers during this period.

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;

On the twenty forth day of the first month or corresponding to our calendar this would be April 24th 537 B.C.  Daniel was beside the river Hiddekel (later known as the Tigris which flows into the  Persian Gulf).

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.

The clothes that he was wearing indicated the importance of the mission and the dignity of the person.  In the book or Revelation we have a similar description.  (Rev. 1:14,15).     The description here and in the book of Revelation is nowhere applied to angels or mortals.

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 vision or revelation about to be given and which will occupy this chapter and the next chapter is conveyed to Daniel by the person so described in this verse.  His body was like beryl, that is, it glistened like topaz.  Beryl is a “mineral of great hardness, occurring in green and bluish-green six-sided prisms. His face was like lightening:  Compare this to the mount of transfiguration in Mt. 17.  His arms and feet were like the color of polished brass.  And the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.  I suppose this to mean that the voice was strong, clear and distinct.

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.

I am not sure who was with Daniel, but whoever they were they were afraid and ran away and hid.  Daniel was the only one to see the vision.

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.

Daniel had turned the color of death and his strength had deserted him.

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.

Daniel was laying face down on the ground, in a senseless position.

10  And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms   of my hands.

Compare this with Revelation 1:17.  At this point he was probably trembling and too tottery to stand up.  He will gradually get enough strength back to stand upright.

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.

These are the reassuring words that Daniel needed to hear. However, he wants Daniel to listen carefully and intently to what he has to say.  He further instructs him to stand upright and when he stood up he was shaking like a leaf.

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.

“Fear not,” are the favorite words of Jesus.  The heavenly being says, “I heard you 24 days ago and have now come to answer your prayer.”  He was 24 days late and just on time! I am come for “thy words,” implies that Daniels supplication and prayer was heard.  Weeks and months and years may lapse but the prayer of the righteous avail much. When Daniel started his fasting and praying he had no idea that it would end like this way.  Can you imagine what he would have been like if he had known that he would have a heavenly visitor?  No one knows how or when God will answer.  Delay may seem long, but the answer will be sweet.

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.

For 21 days he was withstood by the Prince of the kingdom of Persia.  Listen carefully. It was not the prince of heaven, but the prince of Persia that withstood the heavenly messenger.  The word prince means  a leader, commander, chief or a person of noble estate.  It could mean a prime minister or one who has authority within the kingdom of Persia.  This prince was working in opposition to the plans of God and therefore it was necessary to counteract his plans.  During the prayer of Daniel, a Persian prince was making plans contrary to the will of God.  Somehow the councils of Persia were preventing the plans that Heaven had in mind from going forward.

So Michael, the Archangel, comes to aid Gabriel in the matter. Exactly how they worked through the governing process is not revealed.  It is evident that resistance was coming from all quarters.  It was necessary, therefore, that the minds of these men be secured for God’s divine purposes about the return of the exiles to their homeland, and rebuilding of Jerusalem.  I am going to sum it all up by saying, “victory was obtained, minds were changed in the council chamber, God prevailed and the exiles return on schedule.”  It must have been a “hard sell” during this protracted period of time.  I am not going to engage into too much supposition regarding how the angels changes the minds of these councilors, but we continually see decisions  made in accordance with prophecy, and we are certain that God had a hand in the affairs of that nation.

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 answer to Daniel’s prayer extended far beyond what he had been praying for.  It extended far into the future, as we will  discover in the next two chapters.

15  And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

Daniel was completely overcome with the understanding of the events that were to happen.   If God were to lay the future of this nation before you and cause you to understand it minute detail you would set your face toward the ground and become speachless. You would probably fall flat on the ground and never say a word.

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.

Remember that in verse ten a hand touched him and set him upon his knees, now a hand touches his lips.  Remember that he was so stricken that he couldn’t talk.  He speaks of retaining no strength.  No doubt his vital signs changed. His blood pressure rose.  He was terrified by the presence of Gabriel. It was like a sword in his heart. He was pale as a corpse and weak as water.

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.

Even though his lips have been touched, he feels incapable of speaking in the presence of such a holy one.  He recognized his lowly condition and his rank in the presence of one from heaven.  Picture Daniel so overcome that he has shortness of breath and weakness of body.

18  Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,

This is the third time that he has been touched, but this time the touching is to reinvigorate Daniel.  When Jesus was in garden of  Gethsemane he received strength from an angel.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  Luke 22:43

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 he repeats what he had said in verse eleven, but adds the words, “fear not, be strong, yea, be strong.”  It was a touch and encouraging words that restored Daniel’s strength. It gave him courage and  restored his heart.

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.

Now you know why I came to you.  He had told him in verse fourteen “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days.”  The angel says he still has to fight with the Persian prince and then he would have to prepare to do battle with the prince of Greece. History has revealed that the two nations of Persia and Greece met in battle.

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.

The scripture of truth is the only place you can find what will be in the future.  Soothsayers, necromancers, magicians, etc. cannot reveal the future.  Only God knows the future.  Gabriel tells Daniel that No one else knows these things, but Michael your prince.  In other words none holds the truths, or knows anything about them, except Michael.  No other angel, no prophet, no priest, nor king, and no book on earth written or about to be written has the truth about these things except the “Scripture of Truth.”