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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

Daniel 10

Introduction

APPENDIX

IN relation to the prediction in Daniel 7:11, regarding the destruction by fire of the body of the Beast or fourth universal empire, that immediately preceding the kingdom of the Son of Man, and of the saints—his body being “given to the burning flame”—science has recently indicated another way in which this judgment might be inflicted on apostate Christendom and the Antichristian kingdoms. The following extract from the Spectator, in relation to a recent conclusion of astronomy, only met the writer’s eye while the preceding work was in the press:—“We sometimes doubt whether the world’s belief in science is quite as genuine as it seems. Here is Mr. Proctor, whose astronomical authority and ability nobody doubts, has told the world for some time back, we believe, that there is really a very considerable chance of a catastrophe only fifteen years hence, which may put an end to us and our earthly hopes and fears altogether; and, so far as we can see, the world has blandly treated Mr. Proctor’s warning as it would have treated an interesting speculation on the future of electricity—that is, has regarded it with a certain mild, literary satisfaction, but has not made any change in its arrangements in consequence.… Yet, supposing Mr. Proctor’s facts to be correctly stated—on which we should like to have the judgment of other astronomers—there does seem a remarkably good chance that in 1897 the sun will suddenly break out into the same kind of intensity of heat and light which caused the conflagration in the star of the Northern Crown in 1866, when for a day or two the heat and light emitted by it became suddenly many hundreds of times greater than they were before, after which the star relapsed into its former relative insignificance. Those few days of violence, however, must have been enough to destroy completely all vegetable and animal life in the planets circulating round that sun, if such planets were in existence; and Mr. Proctor shows no little reason to believe that the same catastrophe may very probably happen to us, doubtless from a precisely similar cause, if the astronomers who believe that the comet of 1880 was identical with the comet of 1843 and the comet of 1668 should be right,—which would imply that the same comet, with a rapidly diminishing period, is likely to return and fall into the sun, with all its meteoric appendages, in or about the year 1897. Mr. Proctor tells us that Professor Winnecke believes that the identity of the comets of 1843 and 1880 hardly admits of a doubt; while Mr. Marth thinks that both may be identical with the comet of 1668, its velocity having been reduced by its passing through the corona of the sun; so that on its next return, in a considerably reduced time, it may be altogether unable to pass out of the sphere of the sun’s influence, and may precipitate itself, with all its meteoric train, into the mass of the sun. If this event occurs—as at some return or other Mr. Proctor believes to be nearly certain—(the next but one, we suppose, if not the next), there will certainly be an abrupt arrest of an enormous momentum as the long train of meteors enters the sun, which arrest would show itself in the shape of enormously increased heat,—the probable result whereof would be the burning up of all vegetable and animal life existing on the planets of the solar system. It is true that Mr. Proctor is not quite sure how the absorption of this comet and its train into the sun would really affect us. He is by no means certain that our sun would burst into flame, as the star in the Northern Crown did in 1866, but he evidently thinks it much more likely than not. And he does not seriously doubt that in the behaviour of the star in the Northern Crown, which so suddenly broke into flame in 1866, we have the example of a real sidereal catastrophe which from time to time either actually destroys, or would destroy, if they existed, such worlds as ours, if they happen to be the planets of a sun thus suddenly fed with a great accession of cosmic heat.”

In connection with the same subject the writer has recently met with the following passage in Mr. Garrat’s “Midnight Cry,” written about twenty years ago:—“The fiery flood. So it is described in Peter’s second epistle. The destruction of the ungodly will be by fire; and out of that fire will issue the new heavens and the new earth. The question is often asked, whether that event will happen at the commencement or the close of the millennium. Perhaps, in different degrees, at both. Isaiah says, speaking of a period prior to the thousand years, ‘By fire and by sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.’ And he seems also to place the creation of new heavens and a new earth at the same period; while it is after the millennium, John says in Revelation, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth.’ This and many other apparent difficulties of the same nature are easily explained. ‘One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ The whole millennium is, in God’s eye, but a day—the great day of the Lord God Almighty. It is the ‘regeneration,’—the period of earth’s new birth; and the events at its commencement and its close are sometimes looked upon as one. God will destroy His enemies with fire at the beginning of these thousand years. The conflagration at their close will be still more terrible. Both are looked upon as one event. And it is to both, regarded as one, that the words of Peter apply: ‘The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.’ It will come as a thief in the night on the world. They will be alone, because the Church will have been translated. With what bitter remorse will men look on the fiery deluge as it comes sweeping along! They might have escaped, and they would not; and now escape is impossible.”

Verses 1-21

HOMILETICS

SECT. XXXVII.—ANGEL MINISTRIES (Chap. Daniel 10:1-21)

In this and the two following chapters we have another of Daniel’s remarkable visions. It is both the last and the longest recorded, occupying, as it does, nearly three whole chapters of the book. It was vouchsafed to Daniel as a man greatly beloved, which he is here again declared twice over to be. It was given him in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, B.C. 531, Daniel now approaching the ninetieth year of his age. The prophet relates in the present chapter his spiritual exercises previous to his receiving the vision, which were no doubt made preparatory to his doing so. Already with thankfulness and joy he had seen his people, according to Jehovah’s gracious promise, restored, through the edict of Cyrus, the result of his own influence and exertions, to their own land. Notwithstanding this, how-ever, the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem, and who after all formed but a small proportion of the exiles, were in great humiliation and depression. Their first attempt had been to rebuild the temple; but in this they were opposed and hindered by the heathen already in the land. These, who had been settled there by Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, now demanded a share in the erection of the temple. This the Jews refused, on the ground that they formed no part of the covenant-people. Irritated by the refusal, these heathen settlers, or Samaritans, as they were then and afterwards called (Samaria being the part of the country in which they were located), set themselves to oppose the work in every possible way, and especially by seeking to prejudice the king of Persia against it, which they continued to do throughout the reign of Cyrus (Ezra 4:1-4). This opposition to the work, and its consequent interruption, had doubtless reached the ears of Daniel at the Persian court, where, probably on account of his advanced age, he had still remained. The tidings pressed heavily on his spirit; and deeply sympathising with his brethren, and concerned for the cause of his God, at the beginning of the new year, and as the time of the Passover approached, he set himself, as he had done before (chap. Daniel 9:3), to seek the Lord’s mercy for his people by prayer and fasting. He relates that in those days, he, the same Daniel who is also called Belteshazzar, [287] was “mourning three full weeks;” [288] neither eating any pleasant bread, nor drinking wine, nor anointing his body, [289] during the whole of that period (Daniel 10:2-3). The place of retirement which he had chosen for this exercise of continued prayer and fasting was on the banks of the Hiddekel or Tigris, where there already existed an oratory or place of prayer, according to Jewish custom. There, whither he had gone accompanied by some of his friends, he received the vision which he here relates. The communications, as on a former occasion, are made through an angel, who declares that what he communicates is what is “noted in the Scripture of truth;” [290] probably God’s unchanging decree, which was now so far made known to him. It is stated by the angel that the communication “is true,” [291] though the time appointed for its fulfilment (or the warfare and trouble predicted) “was long.” Daniel intimates also that he “understood the thing: I had understanding of the vision;” [292] a thing which, in relation to one point at least, as he afterwards relates, he particularly desired and asked for (chap. Daniel 12:8). The present chapter is remarkable for the insight which it affords into the angel-world and angel-ministries, given as a kind of preface to the divine communications which were to follow. The occasion of this special information being now vouchsafed to the prophet, was the struggle going on between the Jews and their heathen neighbours in the country to obtain the influence of the kings of Persia for, or against, the building of the temple; as also the situation which the Jews were, for centuries to come, to occupy in relation to the great world-powers to which they were to be subject, and from which they were so greatly to suffer. It was to be for the comfort of Daniel and his people to know that the Providence of a covenant-God was watching over them; and that under that Providence angelic agencies were continually employed in their behalf. These celestial beings appear to Daniel in the vision; the first and chief of whom, from a comparison of the description given of him (Daniel 10:5-6) with that in Revelation 1:13, &c., would seem to be identified with the Angel of the covenant, the Lord of angels Himself. [293] It appears uncertain whether he, or one of the other two, is the principal speaker in the vision, though probably one of the latter, [294] speaking under his direction, as in chap. Daniel 8:16. From the view here given regarding the ministry and agency of angels for the benefit of the Church of God in the world, we may observe the following particulars:—

[287] “Belteshazzar” (Daniel 10:1). Calvin thinks that Daniel mentions this name as that by which he was better known among the nations with whom he would have this prophecy to become famous. Polanus thinks it is given to show that he was the same person who had the former visions, that so it might be received with greater credit and authority.

[288] “Three full weeks” (Daniel 10:2). Literally, “three weeks of days;” an expression, which while it denotes, according to Hebrew idiom, three full weeks, may also indicate that there are weeks of another kind than those of days; e. g., the seventy weeks of the preceding chapter, which are weeks of years. Dr. Cox mentions as reasons for Daniel’s present protracted season of humiliation and prayer—his personal transgressions, the opposition experienced in the rebuilding of the city and temple, the reluctance of many of the Jews to return to Jerusalem and cooperate in the work, and the predicted conduct of his people when Messiah should appear and be “cut off.”

[289] “Anoint myself” (Daniel 10:3). Jerome says the Persians, instead of bathing, anointed their bodies all over, which, according to Priny, was done both to defend themselves from the excessive heat, and preserve their bodies in health. Keil observes that the anointing with oil was a sign of joy and a joyous frame of mind, as with guests at a banquet (Amos 6:6); and was now intermitted by Daniel as in a time of sorrow.

[290] “In the scripture of truth” (Daniel 10:21). Calvin observes that Holy Scripture often adopts forms of speech according to human custom; the “scripture of truth” being nothing but the eternal and inviolable decree of God Himself. Bishop Lowth remarks: “God’s decrees are spoken of as if they were committed to writing and registered in a book.” Mr. Bosanquet thinks it to have been a book or writing concerning “the truth;” and that what follows is mostly a comment founded upon it, and not to be mistaken for prophecy.

[291] “The thing was true” (Daniel 10:1). Keil observes that in this statement Hitzig finds an intimation that betrays the writer’s standpoint, namely, the time when “the thing” was realised, Daniel not being able to say this before it happened. But this objection supposes that the author was a lying prophet who spoke from his own heart (Jeremiah 29:8; Jeremiah 29:15). But if Daniel had actually received a word from God, he could before its fulfilment testify its truth; that testimony here indicating, as in chap. Daniel 8:26, that the word now communicated to the prophet contained things which it would be difficult for the human heart to believe. Mr. Bos-anquet thinks that it was part of the interpretation made by some unknown person in or after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and in the course of time accidentally transferred from the alternate columns or margin of the sacred roll into the text. But Revelation 22:19, teaches caution in supposing passages to be interpolations.

[292] “He understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision” (Daniel 10:1). Rosenmüller understands בִּין (bin) imperatively, and בִּינָה (binah) as a mere repetition of the word: “Consider it, consider, I say, the thing made known through the vision.” So Lengerke and Mr. Bosanquet. Keil thinks that a summons to give heed or to understand would not be here in place. He considers בִּינָה (binah) a substantive, and בִּין (bin) the preterite, and not, as Hävernick, the infinitive: “Understanding was to him by that which was seen,” בַּמַּרְאֶה (bammareh), by the vision, i.e., by the appearance described in Daniel 10:5, &c. Kliefoth refers this last word to the earlier prophecies of chap. Daniel 8:7; Daniel 8:9. The objection that Daniel says (chap. Daniel 12:8) that he did not understand the vision, is disposed of, he observes, on the ground that the non-understanding had reference to a single point, viz., the duration of the affliction; regarding which, however, disclosures are given to the prophet in chap. Daniel 12:10, &c. Auberlen refers to a distinction, also noticed by Keil, between this and other revelations vouchsafed to the prophet, viz., that it is communicated partly by supernatural illumination for the interpretation of the dream-vision, partly by visions, and partly by the appearance of angels; indicating a noteworthy progression, in which one revelation always prepares the way, in a material and formal respect, for that which follows, and by which God gradually prepared the prophet for the reception of still more definite disclosures.

[293] “A certain man clothed in linen” (Daniel 10:5). Dr. Rule thinks that it is Gabriel, distinguished as the Lord’s chosen messenger, who is described in Daniel 10:5-6; and that by a comparison with Revelation 1:13, &c., we find that the descriptions, though resembling each other, are not to be confounded, the latter having every divine attribute, while the former has none. Brightman thinks that his priestly garments proclaim him to be the only priest worthy to be consulted in all doubtful matters, and whose lips “keep knowledge.” Keil is led by Revelation 1:13, &c., to regard him as no common angel-prince, but a manifestation of Jehovah, i.e., the Logos or Word, who afterwards was made flesh; his appearance resembling that of the glory of Jehovah as seen by Ezekiel at the river Chebar, and indicating how by his acts he would reveal himself to his people in the great tribulation. So Œcolampadius, Willet, and others.

[294] “A hand touched me” (Daniel 10:10). Hengstenberg thinks, with many old interpreters, that the person who speaks to Daniel and announces the future, is not the same who is described in Daniel 10:5-6, as the “man clothed in linen.” Jerome thinks they are the same created angel. So Pfaff and Bullinger. Œcolampadius thinks they are the same person, viz., Christ. So Keil. Hengstenberg identifies him with Gabriel. Dr. Rule thinks that other angels, less terrible than the one described in Daniel 10:5-6, ministered to the prophet (Daniel 10:10; Daniel 10:16; Daniel 10:18). Birks thinks the speaker in the vision is the angel of the covenant, the Son of God.

1. The existence of different ranks and orders among those angelic ministers. The angels introduced in this chapter are “princes;” while one of them, named Michael, is called “one of the chief or first princes” (Daniel 10:13); [295] this same Michael being also called (chap. Daniel 12:1) the “great prince,” and elsewhere the archangel or chief of the angels (Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). [296] As distinguished from the angels in general, some would appear to be princes, and that of different ranks. Peter seems to indicate the existence of such a celestial hierarchy, when he speaks of “angels, authorities, and powers” being subject to Christ; as well as Paul, who speaks of “principalities and powers in heavenly places” (1 Peter 3:22; Ephesians 3:19). Each of those princes apparently the constituted leader of an angelic host, perhaps one of those legions of which Jesus speaks (Matthew 26:53). The Book of Revelation speaks of Michael and his angels conflicting with the devil and his angels (Revelation 12:7). A similar subordination of rank would seem still to continue to exist aiming the angels who fell, and who are still spoken of as “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12).

[295] “Michael” (Daniel 10:13). מִיכָאֵל = “who is like God,” expresses the idea of God’s unparalleled helping power. Hengstenberg identifies Michael with the “Angel of the Lord,” the leader of the Israelites, and prince of the army of Jehovah, mentioned in Exodus 32:34; Joshua 5:13; Zechariah 1:5). Melanchthon, Broughton, Junius, and others identify him with Christ. Birks and most interpreters think him a created angel. Calvin leaves it indifferent, observing that God does not confine Himself to any fixed rule.

[296] “One of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13). Keil observes that the title here given to Michael points undoubtedly to an arrangement of orders and degrees among the angels. From the circumstance that the guardian spirit of Persia (see next note) is called שַׂר (sar), a prince, it does not follow that “princes” is not a designation of the angels generally, but only, as Hofmann thinks, of the princes of the peoples who are the spirits-ruling in the social affairs of nations and kingdoms. The “chief princes,” he adds, can only be the princes, or chiefs, of the good angels who remain in communion with God and work for His kingdom. The work of standing up for Israel (chap. Daniel 12:1) is committed to Michael as one of them. As God would not intrust to a subordinate spirit a work demanding special power and greatness, the title given to Michael was for Israel’s comfort, as affirming that they were under very powerful protection, though little esteemed before the world.

2. Their appointment to different spheres or posts of duty. Thus Michael is here represented as the prince of the people of Israel (Daniel 10:21), and in chap. Daniel 12:1, the prince “that standeth for the children of Daniel’s people;” his post apparently being to defend and protect that favoured nation. On the other side, we read of the princes of Persia and Grecia, being, in the opinion of many, the subordinate leaders among the fallen angels, to whom are assigned by their chief these countries as their respective spheres of operation. [297] So Paul speaks of principalities and powers, the “rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). How far individuals may be made the special charge of certain angels is perhaps less certain. Jesus, however, speaks of little children as having “their angels” (Matthew 18:10). The believers in Mary’s house at Jerusalem said of Peter at the door, “It is his angel” (Acts 12:16). The hill on which Elisha’s house stood was seen to be “full of horses and chariots of fire” round about the prophet (2 Kings 6:17).

[297] “The prince of Persiaof the kingdom of Persiaof Grecia” (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:20). Jerome, Melanchthon, Osiander, and others think the “king of Persia” to be Satan or evil angels. Dr. Rule thinks that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” was Darius, and that the “kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13) were the kings of subject provinces; while the princes of Persia and of Grecia (Daniel 10:20) were the kings of those countries, the King of Grecia being Alexander the Great. So Calvin, who thinks of Cambyses the son of Cyrus. Dr. Cox thinks that Satan, the prince or god of this world, either by himself or by one of his chief agents, employed his machinations to instigate Cambyses and the court of Persia to hostilities against the Jews; while the angelic spirit, to whom this ministration was intrusted, employed his efforts to influence the king and his nobles in their favour. Keil thinks the “prince of the kingdom of Persia,” in Daniel 10:20 the “prince of Persia,” is not King Cyrus, nor, as Hävernick and Kranichfeld, with Calvin and most of the reformers, think, the kings of Persia collectively; but the guardian spirit or the protecting genius of the Persian kingdom, as the Rabbis and many Christian interpreters after Jerome have acknowledged; a spirit-being, yet not the heathen national god of the Persians, but, according to the view of Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:20, &c.), the demon (δαιμόνιον) of the Persian kingdom; i.e., the supernatural spirit-power standing behind the national gods, which we may call the guardian spirit of this kingdom. According to Kliefoth, this spirit stood behind the Persian kings to influence them against Israel, and to direct against the chosen people the power lying in Persian heathendom, so as to support the insinuations of the Samaritans, and whom the angel, mentioned in Daniel 10:5, came, at Daniel’s prayer, to dislodge from his position and deprive of his influence; in which, with the aid of Michael, he so far succeeded that, after a contest of twenty-one days, he gained the mastery over him, and stood in his place beside the kings of Persia, so as henceforth to influence them in favour of Israel. By the king of Grecia, Keil understands the spirit of the Maccabean world-kingdom, who, while the angel addressing Daniel returns to Persia to maintain the position he has gained, will come and cause a new conflict. Dr. Pusey, after Gregory, Theodoret, Lyranus, and others, regards these “princes” as good angels desiring the welfare of the peoples committed to their care, and so contending, though in submission to the will of God.

3. The deep interest felt by those angelic beings in the welfare of good men and the prosperity of God’s cause. Their interest in good men seen in the manner in which Daniel is addressed as a “man greatly beloved;” words “indicative of tender compassion and encouragement, as addressed to an aged saint in whom the infirmities of age, blended with a deep self-abasement, rendered such assurances of regard especially grateful and appropriate.” The exhortation, “fear not,” expressive of the same loving interest and tender consideration. The earnest endeavour to impart strength to the overpowered and fainting prophet (Daniel 10:18-19) reminds us of the same affectionate concern manifested on behalf of the Man of Sorrows Himself in His agony in the garden (Luke 22:43). The whole of the narrative before us in reference to the exertions of these angelic ministers on behalf of Israel indicative of their deep interest in the welfare of that people, and the prosperity of Jehovah’s cause in the world.

4. The variety of their ministrations. Here, as elsewhere, we see them employed in conveying messages and delivering communications from God to His servants (Daniel 10:14). So in chap. Daniel 9:21-22, we see them also engaged in counteracting the evil influences brought to bear on rulers and others by the adversaries of God’s cause and people. From chap. Daniel 11:1, we find that the same celestial personage who communicates with Daniel had exerted his influence in strengthening and encouraging Darius in favour of the Jews, when thwarted and opposed in their work of restoring Jerusalem by the Samaritans, who sought to prejudice the king against them and their work. Their ministrations as varied as the circumstances, necessities, and requirements of the servants of God and heirs of salvation for whose benefit they are employed in ministering.

5. Their union and mutual help among themselves. “Michael, one of the chief princes,” says the principal speaker in the chapter, “came to help me” (Daniel 10:13). And again (Daniel 10:21), “There is none that holdeth (marg., ‘strengthened himself,—puts forth strenuous efforts or vigorously co-operates) with me in these things but Michael your prince.” The angels, though excelling in strength, yet of limited power. Even among those potent agents, co-operation and mutual aid are necessary and enjoyed. The same important principle experienced among the celestial as among terrestrial workers, Union is strength. “Two are better than one.” An example for the Church on earth in their works of good-doing.

6. Difficulties and opposition experienced by these angelic agents in their benevolent work. The angel who came to Daniel with the divine communications was withstood by the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and that apparently all the twenty-one days during which Daniel was fasting and praying (Daniel 10:13), [298] After fulfilling his mission to the prophet, he had to return to fight again with the prince of Persia, who was still endeavouring to thwart his services on behalf of the Jews (Daniel 10:20). So in Revelation 12:7, Michael and his angels are opposed by the devil and his angels. In Jude, Daniel 10:9, the same archangel is represented as having contended with the devil about the body of Moses, probably when commissioned by Jehovah to bury it (Deuteronomy 34:6). We see and experience the conflict carried on between the friends and foes of truth and righteousness on earth. It is well to know that a similar contest is waged by invisible powers above us and among us. Such contests no less real because unseen. The horses and chariots were on the mountain round about Eiisha before the servant’s eyes were opened to see them. It is certain that Christ’s servants are aided on earth by angelic agents; but it is quite as certain that they are also hindered and opposed by invisible powers of a different character (1 Thessalonians 2:18; Romans 16:20). Even when opposed by earthly adversaries, it is an encouragement to know that we are not alone in such an experience. Angels, who are “greater in power and might,” have also to contend against opposition while ministering to us and to the cause of Christ on earth.

[298] “Withstood me” (Daniel 10:13). Dr. Cox remarks that contests of this nature are mentioned in other places of Scripture, as Zechariah 3:1-3; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7-8. “The angel lets the prophet catch a glimpse of the invisible struggles between the princes of the angels, in which it is decided who is to exert the determining influence on the worldly monarch (the king of Persia)—whether the god-opposed spirit of this world, or the good spirit whose aim it is to further the interests of God’s kingdom.”—Auberlen; who adds: “We are wont to speak in a spiritualising way of a struggle between the good and the evil spirit in man. Holy Scripture teaches us to regard such a struggle as real and substantial (compare 1 Samuel 16:13-15; 1 Kings 22:22). The Satanic influences, of which we have more particular knowledge through the language of Christ and His apostles, are essentially not different from this. The liberty of human actions is not hereby taken away; for the spirits exercise no compelling influence on men’s hearts, and their chief activity consists probably in the arrangement of outward events.”

From the whole narrative we may learn—

1. How glorious must be the place that forms the abode of those angelic beings to whom we are here introduced. The visible glory and splendour of “the man clothed in linen” (Daniel 10:5-6), whether a created or uncreated angel, suggests the glory of the place where such have their residence. A similar appearance is elsewhere ascribed to those angelic ministers; for example, Matthew 28:3. How glorious the throne which is attended by such exalted and resplendent ministers! How glorious the King! A picture of His glory, under a human form, perhaps presented to us in this chapter. The queen of Sheba’s burst of amazement and admiration on seeing the glory of Solomon’s court, likely to be far exceeded by the believer’s experience as he enters the heavenly glory: “It was a true report that I heard—and behold, the half was not told me. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants that stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom!” Daniel fainted at the glorious vision of the man clothed in linen. [299] Believers beholding “the King in His beauty “shall be filled “with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

[299] “There remained no strength in me” (Daniel 10:8). Keil observes that the effect which the appearance of the man clothed in linen had upon Daniel, formed a pre-intimation and a pledge of what would happen to his people in the future. As Daniel was thrown to the ground and raised up again by a supernatural hand, so should the people of God be thrown to the ground by the fearful judgments that should pass over them, but should again be raised up by the all-powerful help of their God and His angel-prince Michael, and should be strengthened to endure the tribulation.

2. Ample provision made for the welfare of the Church and for the success of the Redeemer’s cause. An agency is provided in the wisdom and love of God, and committed into the hands of the Mediator, which, though invisible, is always in operation, and is fully adequate to meet all requirements and exigencies. Such provision made in the ministration of angelic beings, who, though necessarily limited both in their power and knowledge, yet “excel in strength” as well as wisdom; and, while yielding implicit obedience to the will of their Sovereign, are also deeply and lovingly interested in the happiness of His people and the prosperity of His cause. Their influence also, as spiritual beings, is capable of being exercised as well on the mind as on material objects. It is true that in their ministrations they are resisted by beings of a similar nature, though of an opposite character and disposition. How effectually, however, the ministry of angels is exercised on behalf of the Church, is shown by numerous examples both in the Old and New Testaments, one of which is found in this very book (chap. Daniel 6:22).

3. The duty of imitating the character and conduct of those angelic ministers. A petition taught by the Saviour, and constantly on the lips of the professing Church, is, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The book of Daniel, and especially the chapter before us, reveals how it is done there. We see these celestial beings not only promptly obedient to their Maker’s will, but cordially interested in whatever that will is, and especially in the work of ministering for the heirs of salvation about whom they are employed. Their obedience not only prompt but loving and hearty. What is done in obedience to the divine will is done “heartily as to the Lord.” Whatever the service on which they are sent, it is faithfully, zealously, and lovingly executed. Though thwarted and opposed for days and weeks together by hostile influences and wayward dispositions, they persevere in their mission till it is accomplished. It is our privilege to be engaged with them in serving the same Master, and in promoting the same objects. Like them we shall meet with opposition both from visible and invisible adversaries. Like them it is for us, through promised and provided grace, to persevere till our efforts are crowned with success, or we called away by the Master to another field of service.

4. The reverential spirit with which we ought to receive the communications of God’s word. Daniel relates that when the angel brought to him the divine communication with which he was charged, “when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling;” and again, “when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and became dumb” (Daniel 10:11; Daniel 10:15). One of the marks of the truly godly given by God Himself as that with which He is well pleased, is, that they “tremble at His word” (Isaiah 66:2). So Ezra speaks of the godly in his day (Ezra 9:4; Ezra 10:3). Striking contrast to the thoughtless indifference with which the divine oracles are too often read and heard. The deep humility, self-abasement, and godly fear that Daniel exhibited in relation to the divine communications which he received, a part of his general character, and that which doubtless prepared him for receiving those revelations by which he was so greatly honoured. “Them that honour Me, I will honour.”

5. The manifoldness of Scripture teaching. Not only in regard to our own race has the Holy Ghost been pleased to give us information in His word; but also in regard to an order of beings higher than ourselves in the scale of creation, and whose existence dates further back in the annals of the universe. [300] This information, too, the Scriptures afford us, not to gratify curiosity, nor even merely to augment our knowledge; but on account of the relation which those angelic beings bear to ourselves, and the important part assigned to them in connection with the human race, and more especially to that part of it who, like themselves, are engaged in the service of God. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” The information thus afforded us concerning angels calculated to exercise an important influence upon our spirit and daily walk, cheering us by the assurance of their presence and aid, and animating us by their holy and loving example (Psalms 34:7; Psalms 91:11-12; Ecclesiastes 5:6; 1 Corinthians 11:10).

[300] This information, given through Daniel, regarding angels has been made an argument against the genuineness of the book as belonging to a later age; the angels being said to appear quite in the form in which they were introduced from the later Parseism into Judea, with the distinction of higher and lower orders, and the names given to certain individuals among them. But, as Dr. Pusey observes, some distinction among those heavenly hosts was revealed from the first (Genesis 3:24). Also, there was one known as distinct from and above all the rest as “the Angel of the Lord,” whether God the Son, or (as Dr. Pusey thinks) a created angel, and especially Michael, in whom God accustomed His creatures to the thought of beholding Himself in human form. He thinks the one thing peculiar in Daniel’s revelations regarding angels is that, as God set one chief angel as the deputed guardian of His people, so He set others over the nations, assigning to each nation one of those ministering spirits to succour and defend them, and to plead their cause with Himself, the Father of all. He observes that it is agreed that the common title Amesha-Cpenta (or Amshaspands), “the holy immortals,” does not occur in the oldest part of the Zendavesta; and that the names by which they are severally distinguished occur there also as names of qualities or substances. Dr. Rule observes: “It is a familiar saying with the Jews that their fathers brought up the names of angels out of Babylon; and, for anything we know to the contrary, it may be true that they brought them thence. But it would be an error to conclude that the Jews learned the names of angels from the Babylonians or from the Persians.” At first sight, he remarks, it might seem probable that, as the later Persian religion, unlike the Assyrian, is distinguished by long lists of angels, good and bad, Persia might be the birthplace of angelology; and it might be conjectured that the inspired writers of the New Testament, who record the names of Gabriel and Michael, drew them from the same source as the Persians, or indeed from the Persians themselves. “In the present case, the Persian documents of or before the age of Daniel, which are now accessible to us, are not known to disclose any information concerning angels’ names. As for Zoroaster, his date is not certainly known; but even if it was he who first taught the Persians that angels existed, and if he really flourished in the reign of Gushtaph or Darius Hystaspis, b.c. 521–486, he was probably born a few years before the decease of Daniel, but had not yet been heard of in Daniel’s time; and the only probability is that he would be glad to borrow from the prophet’s writings anything to serve his own purpose.” He concludes that angel were not known of in Babylonia, and therefore there could not have been angels’ names, except as the Babylonians and others learned them from the Hebrews.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Daniel 10". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/phc/daniel-10.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.