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Bible Commentaries
Daniel 10

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Daniel 10:1-1


Vision of the Glorious ManVision of the Last DaysDaniel's Vision by the Tigris RiverThe Vision of the Man Dressed in Linen
Daniel 10:1-3Daniel 10:1Daniel 10:1Daniel 10:1
Daniel 10:2-9Daniel 10:2-3Daniel 10:2-6
Daniel 10:4-9 Daniel 10:4-6
Daniel 10:7-10Daniel 10:7-8
The Apparition of the Angel
Prophecies Concerning Persia and Greece Daniel 10:9-14
Daniel 10:10-14Daniel 10:10-14
Daniel 10:11
Daniel 10:12-14
Daniel 10:15-17Daniel 10:15-17Daniel 10:15-17Daniel 10:15-17
Daniel 10:18-4Daniel 10:18-4Daniel 10:18-19a
Daniel 10:19bThe Prelude to the Prophecy
Daniel 10:20-2aDaniel 10:20-2a

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the four modern translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.


A. Daniel 10:0 is an introduction to the message of DAniel 11-12. Daniel 10-12 make up a literary unit.

B. This literary unit is the only place in the biblical record that discusses this angelic dimension as it relates to human events and history. However, remember this is apocalyptic imagery. It is dubious that doctrine can be built on this text. However, it should also function as a warning to us not to assume we understand all the elements of spiritual warfare!

Verse 1

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Daniel 10:1 1In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.

Daniel 10:1 “third year of Cyrus” This seems to contradict Daniel 1:21, but it means that Daniel lived during the entire exilic period and into the Persian period. Old Testament dates are not as precise as our modern dating systems.

“king of Persia” Cyrus was of half Median descent (his mother) and half Persian descent (his father).

In Daniel 10:13 “an angelic prince of Persia” is identified with “the kings of Persia.” This is a corporate understanding of a national entity or a guardian advocate of an angelic realm. It is so hard to know in Daniel what is literal and historical and what is apocalyptic and just supplied for impact! Since this is the only place (except Deuteronomy 32:8 in the LXX) where national angels are mentioned I think it best to yield to the genre and maintain its symbolic nature.

“the message was true” The term “message” in NASB is literally “word” (BDB 182, cf. Daniel 9:2, Daniel 9:12, Daniel 9:23, Daniel 9:25; Daniel 10:1, Daniel 10:6, Daniel 10:9, Daniel 10:11, Daniel 10:12, Daniel 10:15). It is translated as “matter,” “word,” “message,” or “revelation.” This word is used five times in chapter 9 and eleven times in chapter 10. It is the term used in Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9 as to what Daniel is to “seal up.”

The term “truth” (BDB 54) is the OT counterpart to pistis in Koine Greek. Its basic meaning is to be firm and, thereby, faithful and true. Here it is often used of the truthfulness of what is spoken (cf. Deuteronomy 22:20; 1 Kings 10:6; 2 Chronicles 9:5).

The angel's message is “true,” but it is also revealed in apocalyptic imagery. Truth is not relating to the symbols or details, but to the overall message, which is found in chapters 11-12. Genre identification and characteristics have become the crucial hermeneutical tool in modern interpretation. Two helpful books in this area are

1. Gordon Fee and Doug Stuart, How To Read the Bible For All Its Worth

2. D. Brent Sandy, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic

NASBone of great conflict” NKJV“the appointed time was long” NRSV“it concerned a great conflict” TEV“but extremely hard to understand” NJB“of a great conflict”

Daniel was reminded that the Jews' relationship to the world powers would be one of continuing conflict (cf. Psalms 2:0; Ezekiel 38-39). It is also possible this refers to the surprising angelic conflict of Daniel 10:10-21. The TEV takes it as referring to the angel's message itself, which was hard to grasp (cf. Job 14:14).

“had an understanding of the vision” This was Daniel's gift (cf. Daniel 7:15, Daniel 7:28; Daniel 8:27), but even so he still needed an angelic interpreter.

It is uncertain to what particular vision this refers.

1. the angelic conflict of Daniel 10:12-21

2. the literary unit of chapters 10-12, which would make the vision the content of chapters 11-12.

Verses 2-9

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Daniel 10:2-9 2”In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. 3I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. 4On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. 6His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. 7Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. 8So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. 9But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.”

Daniel 10:2 “mourning” This refers to fasting (Daniel 10:3) and prayer. The exact reason is not stated: (1) for the sinning of God's people as in Daniel 9:1-19; (2) for God's mercy on His people both now and in the tension-filled future (Daniel 10:1); (3) for God's destruction of Israel's enemies and God's redemptive plan for all the world through Israel; or (4) for greater understanding relating to this vision.

“for three entire weeks” This is the same period as the angelic conflict of Daniel 10:13. Again, in Daniel, time is often expressed in weeks. For a good discussion of “week” see Roland deVaux, Ancient Israel, vol. 1, pp. 186-188.

Daniel 10:3 “did not eat” This was not a total fast.

“any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth” The implication of these words is that Daniel normally ate and drank these items, obviously he had come to some arrangement about his food (cf. Daniel 1:8-13, for the same concept).

Daniel 10:4 “On the twenty-fourth day of the first month” This date reveals that Daniel fasted through the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (cf. Exodus 12:0; Haggai 1:15; Haggai 2:10, Haggai 2:18, Haggai 2:20; Zechariah 1:7).

“I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris” Apparently he was on a governmental assignment, as in Daniel 8:27.

Daniel 10:5 “a certain man dressed in linen” It is interesting that the angels in Daniel look like human males.

1. Adam, Daniel 8:16; Daniel 10:16, Daniel 10:18

2. Ish, Daniel 9:21; Daniel 10:5; Daniel 12:6, Daniel 12:7

3. Gebar, Daniel 3:25; Daniel 8:15

All angels in the Bible are masculine except in Zechariah 5:9.

This bright white linen (BDB 94 I) is often associated with angelic appearances (cf. Genesis 18:2; Judges 13:3, Judges 13:6; Ezekiel 9:2, Ezekiel 9:3, Ezekiel 9:11; Ezekiel 10:2, Ezekiel 10:6, Ezekiel 10:7; Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; Daniel 12:6, Daniel 12:7; Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10). This angel is described in ways that often depict God and the resurrected Christ in Revelation 1:0. This angel is associated with YHWH's throne.

“gold of Uphaz” This could refer to a place of origin (cf. Jeremiah 10:9, possibly the same as Ophir of 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Chronicles 29:4; Job 22:24; Job 28:16; Isaiah 13:12) or a grade of smelted ore (cf. 1 Kings 10:18), but this would require a textual emendation (cf. TEV, NJB, NIV).

The exalted Christ is also described this same way in Revelation 1:13 and the seven angels with seven plagues are described this way in Revelation 15:6. This dress denotes a heavenly origin, near the throne of God.

Daniel 10:6 “His body” This description is similar to the exalted Christ of Revelation 1:13-16 (E. J. Young thinks it is the pre-incarnate Christ); however, Daniel 10:11ff show that he is an angel sent to inform Daniel. Could the pre-incarnate Christ be thwarted for three weeks by a national angel? I think not!

“beryl” This (BDB 1076 I) was a type of jewel (cf. Ezekiel 28:13) either yellow jasper (cf. Exodus 28:20; Exodus 39:13) or golden in color (cf. Ezekiel 1:16; Ezekiel 10:9), associated with

1. one of the stones on the High Priest's vest (cf. Exodus 28:20)

2. part of Ezekiel's vision of God's throne chariot (cf. Ezekiel 1:16; Ezekiel 10:9)

3. one of the precious stones of the Garden of Eden in Ezekiel's vision of Ezekiel 28:13

4. part of the new Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 21:20)

“his face had the appearance of lightning” This brightness of face matches the brightness of the linen. The term “appearance” (BDB 909) is used of Daniel's “visions” in Daniel 8:16, Daniel 8:26, Daniel 8:27; Daniel 10:3 and 10:1.

“his eyes were like flaming torches” This is used of the Exalted Christ in Revelation 1:14; Revelation 2:18; Revelation 19:12, where it refers to His knowledge and insight.

“his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze” This is used of the cherubim's feet in Ezekiel 1:7 and of the exalted Christ in Revelation 1:15; Revelation 2:15. All of these descriptions emphasize the brightness or radiance of the angel. He was dressed as those who are close to God.

NASB“a tumult” NKJV, NRSV, NJB“a multitude” TEV“a great crowd”

This Hebrew term (BDB 242) is translated “murmur,” “roar,” “crowd,” or “multitude.” In Ezekiel this word and “the sound of many waters” are parallel (cf. Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2). It is used of the exalted Christ in Revelation 1:15. In Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6, it is used of the sound of the authoritative voice of one from God.

Daniel 10:7 “while the men who were with me did not see the vision” Daniel, along with other Persian officials, was on a government mission (cf. Daniel 8:27). This sounds very much like Paul's description of Jesus' appearances to him in Acts, chapters 9, 22, 26. This vision was for only one!

“dread fell on them” They sensed a supernatural presence.

Daniel 10:8 “natural color turned to a deathly pallor” The Hebrew phrase is very intense. This vision scared Daniel badly (cf. Daniel 10:16-17; Daniel 7:28; Daniel 8:27).

Daniel 10:9 “sound of his word” Twice in this verse Daniel heard this voice, but passed out before he could receive the message (cf. Daniel 8:18; Jeremiah 31:26; Zechariah 4:1; Revelation 1:17).

Verses 10-14

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Daniel 10:10-14 10Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”

Daniel 10:10 “a hand touched me” Angels did this (Qal PERFECT) to encourage and strengthen those to whom they appeared (cf. Daniel 10:16, Daniel 10:18; 1 Kings 19:5-7; as did Jesus. Revelation 1:17).

“set me trembling. . .on my hands and knees” This (BDB 631, Hiphil IMPERFECT) is an idiom for physical strengthening. Daniel arose from being prostrate on the ground to kneeling on his hands and knees.

Daniel 10:11, Daniel 10:19

NASB“man of high esteem” NKJV“man greatly beloved” NRSV“greatly beloved” TEV“Daniel, God loves you” NJB“you are a man specially chosen”

See note at Daniel 9:23, where this same expression is used of Daniel by an angel.

“understand the words” Not only was Daniel gifted by God for the understanding and interpreting of dreams and visions (cf. Daniel 1:17), but several times the angel announced that a special understanding was provided Daniel (cf. Daniel 8:16, Daniel 8:17). Daniel must cooperate in this process and remain alert.

“stand upright” This is similar to Ezekiel 2:1. Daniel was first on his face, then on his hands and knees, and now he must stand up and hear the message.

Daniel 10:12 “Do not be afraid” This is apparently a Qal JUSSIVE in meaning but not form, as is Daniel 10:19. This is YHWH's recurrent message (sometimes through angels) to His people (e.g., Genesis 15:1; Genesis 21:17; Genesis 26:24; Genesis 35:17; Genesis 43:23; Deuteronomy 3:22; Deuteronomy 7:18; Deuteronomy 20:1; Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8; Isaiah 7:4; Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13, Isaiah 41:14; Isaiah 43:5; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 54:4; Jeremiah 30:10; Jeremiah 46:27-28). God is for us and with us (cf. Joshua 1:5-7; Isaiah 43:2, Isaiah 43:5).

“from the first day. . .your words were heard” God heard Daniel's prayer and sent an angel to bring the response.

“humbling yourself before God” This term's basic meaning is “to be bowed down” (BDB 776 III). In the Hithpael form it is also found in Ezra 8:21, where it is used of prayer and fasting (cf. Daniel 9:3, Daniel 9:20; Daniel 10:2-3; also note Psalms 35:13).

This same Hebrew word is used in the Psalms to assert that God cares for and hears the humble (cf. Psalms 10:16-18; Psalms 69:32) and the afflicted (cf. Psalms 9:11-16; Psalms 10:12-15). The NT continues this theme about God's special care and rescue of the humble-minded in Matthew 18:4; Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:14; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6.

Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:20 “prince of the kingdom of Persia” This is a different Hebrew word than “prince” of Daniel 9:25-26 (BDB 617). This is the Hebrew term (BDB 978) which is translated “chieftain,” “ruler,” “official,” “captain,” or “prince” and usually in the Bible refers to different kinds of leaders. It is often used in late Hebrew for angels (cf. Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Joshua 5:14, Joshua 5:15).

This seems to refer to the national angel of Persia (cf. Deuteronomy 29:26; Deuteronomy 32:8 in the Septuagint and Isaiah 24:21).

Daniel 10:13 “withstanding me” This term (BDB 617) means “to place or stand in front of.” It is related to the term for “prince” (“the one in front”) in Daniel 9:25, Daniel 9:26. In this context it is used both positively (cf. Daniel 10:16) and negatively (here).

“for twenty-one days” This is another use of the symbolic number seven (7x3). It seems that three or three and one half are symbolic in Daniel of an incomplete or divinely shortened time and was not meant to be understood literally!

This chapter is unique in the Bible in its presentation of the spiritual realm. It records a spiritual struggle between angelic powers. Is this meant to doctrinally inform us about spiritual conflict or is this another example of apocalyptic details? I just do not believe we should base doctrine on these kinds of passages, just as I believe we should not base doctrine on parables or poetry. Doctrines should be based on clear teaching passages and other genres serve as illustrations. Since this chapter is unique we must not develop an elaborate angeology, as did the rabbis who were theologically affected by Iranian (Zoroastrian) dualism. Can the will of the one true God be thwarted or even delayed by rebellious angels?

“Michael” His name means “Who is like God?” (BDB 567) He is the national angel of Israel. He is one of two angels named in the Bible (cf. Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9 and Revelation 12:7). He is not the pre-incarnateChrist.

“one of the chief princes” This ADJECTIVE (BDB 911) is used in the sense of “first in rank.” Michael is called “the archangel” in Jude 1:9, while in Revelation 12:7-9, he leads an angelic army against the dragon (Satan) and his angels. The only other place this terminology is used is in the rapture passage of 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

From the Bible itself we know of angelic levels.

1. Cherubim (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:18, Exodus 25:22; Ezekiel 10:0)

2. Seraphim (Isaiah 6:0)

3. messenger angels (Daniel, often)

4. guardian angels (Matthew 18:0)

5. archangels (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9)

6. national angels (Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:20; LXX of Deuteronomy 29:26; Deuteronomy 32:8; also Deuteronomy 32:8 has now been found in a Hebrew fragment in the Dead Sea Scrolls).

Exactly how these relate to the demonic (e.g., Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:15) levels of Paul's writing is uncertain.

In apocalyptic Jewish literature there are:

1. the seven angels of the Presence (cf. I Enoch 20:1-8; 81:5; 90:21-22; II Esd. 4:1; 5:20)

2. archangels (I Enoch 40; 87:2-3; 88:1; 90:31)

3. guardian angels (I Enoch 20:5 and DSS texts)

For a good discussion see Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed., pp. 457-475.


Daniel 10:14 “latter days” This Hebrew term (BDB 31) basically means “end.” It is used in a variety of ways, but in this context, it refers to the last part of human history. Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon define it as “a prophetic phrase denoting the final period of the history so far as the speaker's perspective reaches, the sense thus varies with the context, but it often equals the ideal or Messianic future” (p. 31).

Daniel 10:1. Genesis 49:1 - Israel's possession of Canaan

Daniel 10:2. Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30 - Israel's return from exile

Daniel 10:3. Deuteronomy 31:29; Jeremiah 23:30; Jeremiah 30:24 - Israel's continuing rebellion

Daniel 10:4. Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 38:8; Hosea 3:5 - Israel restored and exalted

Daniel 10:5. Ezekiel 38:16 - another attack on Israel after the return to the Promised Land

6. Jeremiah 48:47; Jeremiah 49:39 - God restoring the nations to peace and prosperity

The real question about this phrase is the time-frame. For those who believe that all OT prophecies must be literally fulfilled to national Israel (dispensationalism), some (if not most) of these “latter days” texts have not been fulfilled and, therefore, must be future. Since these speak specifically of national Israel and not the church, then a future secret rapture to remove the church from history must be proposed. Then the book of Revelation becomes a strictly Jewish message with the millennium functioning as the fulfillment.

Neither Jesus nor any NT writer reaffirms these national prophecies. The OT prophets saw a new day in terms of their OT faith, but God's fulfillment was richer, wider, deeper, and inclusive. The gospel is for all. Jerusalem is not a city in Palestine, but a metaphor for heaven in Revelation 21:0. These inspired prophets saw as far as God chose to allow, but what they saw was partial (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3).

“for the vision pertains to the days yet future A similar phrase is used in Daniel 8:26 to refer to Antiochus IV's reign, while in Daniel 2:28; Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9 similar words seem to refer to the end of time. The future is often determined by the understanding or historical perspective of the human writer! The really hard interpretive issue in Daniel's visions is to what future time period they refer. Most of Daniel's visions relate to the second (Medo-Persian) and third (Greece) kingdoms. However, certain texts could relate to the end-time antichrist (cf. Daniel 7:7-8, Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:23-28; Daniel 9:24-27; Daniel 11:36-45). These very passages could refer to Jesus' first coming or Jesus' second coming, which are telescoped together in the OT. Modern interpreters must not push the ambiguous details of this genre into a systematic eschatology which dominates NT prophecies. Neither Jesus nor other NT writers reaffirm OT nationalistic exclusivistic prophecies relating to Israel. We dare not allow the OT to interpret the NT (cf. Matthew 5:17-19; Galatians 3:0; the book of Hebrews). The Messiah comes for all (cf. Genesis 3:15), not just Israel. Israel is the parenthesis and is not the focus of the New Covenant (cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-38).

Verses 15-17

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Daniel 10:15-17 15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.”

Daniel 10:15-17 A paraphrase of Daniel's words in Daniel 10:16-17 is, “I know I am blessed to have this vision, but I am so drained physically that I can't comprehend it.”

Daniel 10:16

NASB“one who resembled a human being” NKJV“one having the likeness of the sons of men” NRSV“one in human form” TEV“the angel who looked like a human being” NJB“someone looking like a man”

This is literally “one in the likeness of the sons of men” this concept has been used for

1. the Messiah, Daniel 7:13

2. Daniel, Daniel 8:17

3. an angel, Daniel 10:16

Angels are identified as male humans.


2. Gabriel called “man” (geber) in Daniel 8:15 and ish in Daniel 9:21

3. several powerful angels

a. Adam, Daniel 8:16

b. Adam, Daniel 10:16, Daniel 10:18

c. ish, Daniel 10:5

d. ish, Daniel 12:6, Daniel 12:7

“touching my lips” This is a symbolic gesture of empowering to speak. It is used in the sense of a prophetic call in Isaiah 6:7 and Jeremiah 1:9. In this context Daniel was still physically and emotionally unable to interact with the angelic messenger (cf. Daniel 10:16-17) so the angel had to touch him again (there is even a third touch in Daniel 10:18).

“as a result of the vision” These supernatural revelations were overwhelming (cf. Daniel 4:19; Daniel 7:15, Daniel 7:28; Daniel 8:17, Daniel 8:27; Daniel 10:8, Daniel 10:9). See note at Daniel 4:19.

NASB, NJB“anguish” NKJV“sorrows” NRSV“such pains” TEV“makes me so weak”

This Hebrew term (BDB 852 IV) originally referred literally to the pain of childbirth (cf. 1 Samuel 4:19). It came to be used as a metaphor of terrible circumstances (cf. Isaiah 13:8; Isaiah 21:3). This same metaphorical usage of the birth pains of the new age is found in Mark 13:8. Daniel's vision of the “latter days” and its interpretation use this word play about “pain” and the end-time events about to unfold to him.

Daniel 10:17 This is obviously symbolic language describing Daniel's awe at the vision he has seen and the majesty of the angelic visitor. This figurative hyperbolic language is characteristic of apocalyptic literature.

Verses 18-21

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Daniel 10:18-1 18 Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. 19He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. 21However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. (Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince. 11:1In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.”)

Daniel 10:19 “O man of high esteem” See note at Daniel 10:11.

“do not be afraid” See note at Daniel 10:12.

“Peace be with you” This is the only occurrence of this NOUN (or VERB) in Daniel. It means (BDB 1022) “completeness,” “soundness,” “welfare,” “peace.” It is used often in Isaiah and Jeremiah. This same concept is expressed by Jesus (only in John) to His disciples (cf. John 14:27; John 16:33; John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26).

“take courage and be courageous” This is YHWH's message to Joshua after Moses' death (cf. Joshua 1:6, Joshua 1:7, Joshua 1:9). Humans need these words of encouragement. The spiritual realm is overwhelming!

Daniel 10:20 “But I shall now return to fight” This is a difficult verse to interpret. This angelic being has been attacked, rescued and now goes back into the spiritual fray. The spiritual conflict continues. The conflict involves world powers, historical empires, but also spiritual beings. God's will is sure, but not without opposition. Daniel's prayer for understanding interrupts the conflict, but does not alter it! God's sovereignty controls history (cf. Daniel 10:21), but there is still tension in this period of fallenness, both in the physical and spiritual realms.

“the prince of Persia” In Daniel 8:20 it combines the racial entities of Media and Persia into the third empire of Daniel's visions (i.e., chapters 2; 7; and 8). Here it just mentions the dominant one of the two. If this literally refers to national angels, how could there be just one angel? The same is true for Greece, which will divide into several regional empires after the death of Alexander the Great.

“the prince of Greece” This is another national angel (see note at Daniel 10:13). God's people will be affected by both of these nations. They may be corporate, national metaphors.

Daniel 10:21 “inscribed in the writing of truth” The term “inscribed” (BDB 957, KB 1293) is an Aramaic loan-word found only here in the OT. Daniel has mentally reversed back to Aramaic.

This is metaphorical and either refers to (1) God's accurate records (like “the books,” Daniel 7:10; Daniel 12:1) or (2) God's plan for history and mankind is sure (cf. Psalms 139:16). The contents of this book are the revelation of chapters 11-12. God is in complete control of future historical events, especially as they relate to His eternal redemptive plan.

NASB“stands firmly. . .encouragement” NKJV“upholds. . .to confirm” NRSV“contends against. . .to support” TEV“help. . .helping” NJB“to lend me support. . .give support”

This is the same Hebrew term (BDB 304, KB 302) which basically means “to be firm,” “to grow firm,” or “to be strong.” In Daniel 10:21 it is in the Hithpael form and in Daniel 11:1 it is in the Hiphil form. Angels serve rulers and nations (cf. Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:20, Daniel 10:21). As Michael served, protected, and encouraged Israel, this angel did the same for Darius the Mede, so as to fulfill God's will in history and in redemption.

Daniel 10:21-1 Notice that NASB and NKJV have a parenthesis, which begins in Daniel 10:21 and continues through Daniel 11:1. The person speaking is the angel who touched Daniel three times (cf. Daniel 10:10-21). The context implies that it is the same majestic angel described in Daniel 10:5-9. It is this angel who provided protection to Dairus the Mede (see full note at Daniel 5:31) which, I believe, is a first-year throne name for Cyrus (cf. Isaiah 44:28-1).


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Why is there a problem between Daniel 10:1 and 10:1?

2. Why was Daniel mourning (fasting)?

3. What does Daniel's physical condition after his encounter with the angelic world say to us?

4. What do Daniel 10:13 and 20 say about the relation between history and the unseen world?

5. How can angelic conflict and opposition effect God's will?

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Daniel 10". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/daniel-10.html. 2021.
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