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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 10

Verses 1-21

  1. THE 21 DAY PRAYER (1-3)
    1. Chapter 10 is really an intro to chapters 11 & 12’s prophecies (this is Daniel’s 4th Vision).
      1. Breakdown: 10:1-11:1 Intro; 11:2-35 deals w/immediate future; 11:36-12:4 deals w/far future.
    2. At this time the Jewish exiles have already returned to the land & were rebuilding the temple.
    3. (1) In Cyrus’ 1st year as king of Persia, he gave the Jews permission to return to rebuild their temple. Ezra 1:1-4
      1. Some believe (like Josephus) that Cyrus’ heart was touched by Daniel sharing the Prophecy about himself in the book of Isaiah, 170 yrs before he was even born
        1. Isaiah 44:28-45:1 This prophecy was in 710bc. And Cyrus was born 170 years later.
    4. (2,3) Now 2 years later, 50,000 Jews have returned, The Temple reconstruction is in progress, all is well??? Nope!
      1. You’d think Daniel’s task was over, he’s old now, he was diligent to see the Jews through to getting back to their land.
      2. This seems like a great time to cash in his Prophets 401-k’s. Find himself a little river front shack on the edge of the river Tigris.
        1. Instead he found himself burdened by the harassing of Israel’s ol enemies (Ezra 4:1-5). Also, Daniel grieves for he knows the turmoil that awaits Israel in the future (thoughhe doesn’t know when).
      3. Daniel​​​​​​​ fasts, prays & doesn’t anoint himself for 21 days
        1. Daniel is not undertaking a total fast but abstaining from pastry, meat and wine - thus returning to a more spartan diet.
        2. Anoint - In the absence of showers and deodorants, personal grooming involved the use of perfumed oils. Inattention to such amenities was characteristic of mourning.
      4. 21 days…with no answer…heaven seems Shut!
        1. Ever experience this before? It’s like when you really need to talk to a friend & their phone rings & rings…straight to voicemail. Are they busy & they just can’t answer? Are they available & just don’t want to answer? Do they see I’m calling?
  2. ​​​​​​​THE ANGELIC VISION (4-9)
    1. ​​​​​​​(5,6) Who is this? Some say an angel, a Theophany, or a Christophany?
      1. Theophany = Appearance of the Father or Jesus before His incarnation.
      2. Christophany = Appearance of Jesus post-incarnation (after His ascension).
        1. It is close to the description in Rev.1:13-15 but the biggest problem is that this entity needed help from Michael the arch angel in vs.13.
        2. And actually Ezekiel describes angelic creatures with similar features.
      3. Angel - so I think it was an angel.
    2. (7-9) Daniel & friends Response - Though Daniel’s companions couldn’t see the certain man, they obviously felt its presence.
  3. THE ANGELIC PROPHECY (10-21)
    1. ​​​​​​​Here Daniel tries to make visible what is in the invisible realm.
      1. It’s hard to believe in something you can’t see (i.e. supernatural realm) but just because you do not see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
        1. Imagine a baby in the womb w/the ability to reason...saying, It’s really nice in here, everything is provided for me, the food, it’s warm, it’s comfortable. And I don’t believe that there’s any real life out there, I’ve never seen it. I’m sure“that next life” if it’s real, can be any better than this? To the baby our world is a different world, but parallel. It’s invisible to the baby, intangible, but very very real.
      2. We have all dreamt of what it must be like to see into the unseen realm.
      3. We must remind ourselves who are enemy really is.
        1. Eph.6:12 nlt For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
    2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(11) Note: The greatest prophetic book in the OT is Daniel & he was beloved. The greatest prophetic book in the NT is Revelation, & John was beloved.
    3. We definitely learn a lot about angels in this section.
      1. Thinking of Daniel’s response to this angelic being in vs.10, Chuck Swindoll said about that old TV show Touched by an Angel...“It’s hard to imagine Daniel trembling before an angel named Tess.”
      2. Before we get into this...let’s take an Angelology test
    4. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT ANGELS?[1st the Elect angels, then the Fallen angels]
    5. What are Angels?
      1. They were created. They’re spiritual beings. Have high Intelligence. Have great power. Known as: Host of heaven, Armies of heaven. # is Innumerable.
    6. Various Ranks of Angels
      1. Cherubim (Gen.3:24) Guarded Entrance, Eden. Were over the Ark of Cov.
      2. Seraphim (Is.6:2-7) 6 winged. Continually worship
      3. Living Creatures (Rev.4:6-8) Continually worship
      4. Dwight Pentecost explains, God has arranged the angelic realm in differing ranks referred to as rule, authority, power, & dominion. Eph.1:21
    7. What Angels Do
      1. They have a heavenly ministry (Priestly service & worship). They have a earthly ministry. They bring messages
      2. Ministering spirits - Heb.1:14
      3. They guide the believer (Guide the worker/Philip to the sinner/Eunuch, Acts 8:26; Guide the sinner/Cornelius to the worker/Peter, Acts 10:3)
      4. They rejoice over conversions (Lk.15:10). They cheer & strengthen God’s people. They Defend, Protect, & Deliver us.
    8. What Angels Don’t/can’t Do
      1. They cannot create. They cannot be in 2 places at once.
      2. Ps: We do not becomes angels when we die.
    9. What about Guardian Angels?
      1. Mt.18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
    10. What we shouldn’t speculate about angels
      1. Just because there was a Prince of Persia & a Prince of Greece doesn’t automatically infer there’s a Prince over Murrieta [possible though?]
        1. Difference? Persia & Greece were world powers.
      2. And just because a prayer isn’t answered it doesn’t always mean that angels are being held back.
    11. WHAT ARE DEMONS/FALLEN ANGELS
      1. ​​​​​​​Originally all angels were created good. Then it speaks of their fall.
      2. There are 2 classes: Bound & Free
        1. Bound: For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartaroo) & delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment. 2 Pet.2:4
        2. The angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.Jude 6
        3. Free: Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil & his angels. Mt.25:41 [ie. they’re not there yet]
        4. And war broke out in heaven: Michael & his angels fought with the dragon; & the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. Rev.12:4
    12. What Demons Do
      1. They oppose God’s purposes. They afflict God’s people. They execute Satan’s purposes. They hinder the spiritual life of God’s people. They try to deceive God’s people.
    13. What Demons Don’t/can’t Do
      1. There is no hope for redemption. They cannot possess a believer. They can: harass, tempt, & accuse. They cannot read our minds, know our thoughts, or know the future.
    14. When Believers Pray, God hears Immediately (12)
      1. When did the Lord hear Daniel prayer? And what does this angel note as to what he did right in praying? he set his heart to understand & he humbled himself
      2. Ps.4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
    15. When Believers await a response, it may be being delayed (13,14)
      1. We see demonic forces can delay answers.
      2. We always see Gabriel & Michael administering Gods affairs for the nation Israel.
        1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It seems Satan imitates this here w/the Prince over regions (namely Persia & Greece; world powers at the time)
      3. Why didn’t God Himself rescue the angels? He could have just blown <3
        1. Gleason Archer explains, While God can, of course, override the united resistance of all the forces of hell if he chooses to do so, he accords to demons certain limited powers of obstruction & rebellion somewhat like those he allows humans. In both cases the exercise of free will in opposition to the Lord of heaven is permitted by him when he sees fit. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol.7, page 125)
        2. Some times God fights our battles for us, other times he fights them through us.
      4. We need to pray & do not lose heart. Lk.18:1
        1. Perseverance in prayer is often the key to victory.
    16. When Believers wrestle in Prayer, it may be exhausting (15-19)
      1. As it is physically...ever wrestled? It’s exhausting.
      2. Paul asks in Rom.15:30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.
        1. Strive together is where we get our English word agonize.
        2. Paul asks them, do spiritual battle for me.
      3. When Daniel’s at his lowest, unable even to lift his head (15), the angel showered him w/grace.
        1. Greatly beloved (11). Touched him 3 x’s (10,16,18).
      4. Wrestling in prayer may be wearisome, but strength returns in extra measures(18)
    17. Overcoming Demonic forces is not a once-for-all matter (20,21)
      1. …indeed the prince of Greece will come - Right when you sense the victory, look out! Here comes another one.
      2. Remember, 1 Pet.5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
      3. Slide20a Martin Luther’s 3rd verse to A Mighty Fortress is our God sums up our confidence in Christ.
        1. And though this world w/devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him – His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him.
    18. This book (the Scripture of Truth, our Scriptures) has been compared to the Babylonian Tablet of Destinies, which was considered to contain & dictate the course of history & the cosmos.
      1. This not only fits with the nature of the material that is revealed in chapter 11, but it connects with the introduction to that material in 11:2, where the information is specifically categorized as the truth.
    19. The messenger was about to tell Daniel God’s plans for Israel under Persia & Greece (11:2-35) and later in the Tribulation (11:36-45) and the Millennium (12:1-4).
    20. Remember the Red Baron from Snoopy’s fantasies, portraying him as a WWI flying ace, carrying a personal grudge against the Red Baron.
      1. The Red Baron wasn’t made up by Charles Shultz but was Manfred von Richthofen the celebrated World War I pilot who was responsible for shooting down 80 enemy aircraft.
      2. He was finally defeated on April 21, 1918? He was chasing a British plane that was trying to escape the battle. As the Red Baron pursued his prey behind Allied lines, it was gunfire from either machine-gun nests on the ground, or another British pilot who had come to help, that killed von Richthofen. They say he pursued the plane too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.
        1. ​​​​​​​Some think Satan, & his ability to gun down his enemy is a fictitious story. One day everyone will know the truth of this enemy. Meanwhile, do not fly too long, too far, nor too low into enemy territory.
    21. Paul takes time in Eph.6:10-18 to prepare his readers for the spiritual conflict of life
      1. We have an enemy: He’s powerful. And he’s a master strategist in his warfare against us.
      2. We have an enemy: but We can be powerful. We have a way to fight against him…if we’ll follow these 3 steps…answering What/How/Why.
        1. ​​​​​​​What: To be Strong in the Lord (6:10) How: To Put on God’s Armor (6:11a) Why: To Stand against the Devil’s Strategy (6:11b-13)
    22. NAT GEO ran an article about the Alaskan Bull Moose.

      The males of the species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide. Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken. That ensures defeat. The heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs.

      Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually. The one that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight. Those that eat inadequately sport weaker antlers and less bulk.

      There is a lesson here for us. Spiritual battles await! Satan will choose a season to attack. Will we be victorious, or will we fall? Much depends on what we do now before the wars begin.

      Let’s hold to the the Bull-Moose principle: Enduring faith, strength, and wisdom for trials are best developed before they’re needed.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Daniel 10". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/daniel-10.html. 2017.