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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Daniel 10

Verse 1

Dan 10:1. When giving a date for any event, a reference to either Darius or Cyrus is the same, Tiiis is because the MedoPersian Empire was ruled jointly by the two men, hence they may he used interchangeably for dates since they took possession of Babylon together as far as chronology was concerned. The preceding chapter began with the first year while the present one comes down to the third year of the same reign. This verse is com posed in the third person and Daniel writes it only as a historian. True, hut . . . long signifies that an inspired prophecy is not weakened any as to its reliability just because it looks far into the future. God knows as much about the future as he does of the past, hence an inspired prediction cannot fail.

Verse 2

Dan 10:2-3. Fasting or making of vows was not required as a general practice under the law of Moses. However, such devotions were approved when entered into by servants of God, and they were generally done in times of great anxiety or sorrow. Daniel put on a threeweek fast because of his concern for the Jews, who, though formerly released from the Babylonian captivity, were yet in an unsettled state due to the desolated condition of their city of Jerusalem, Ate no pleasant bread means he abstained from the food of bis choice and ale only what was necessary to support an existence. The people among whom Daniel then dwelt used aromatic ointments upon their bodies for the purpose of its pleasant odor and sensation, but he abstained from the use of that costly delicacy during the period of his fast.

Verse 4

Dan 10:4. Apparently the fast that Daniel observed was to bring no results. for it was three days before he heard any word of encouragement. The reason for the delay will be explained later. The prophet was on the bank of one of the rivers of Babylon; Hiddekel, later known as the Tigris.

Verse 5

Dan 10:5. Uphaz is another word for “Ophir,” a place that produced an unusually fine quality of gold. The fine clothing this certain man was wearing indicated the dignity of his mission and the giory of the authority behind it.

Verse 6

Dan 10:6. All of these descriptive words were used for the same purpose that was stated in the preceding verse. Whether the person was directly from heaven, sent to the earth in the form of a man, or was a being of the earth and especially adorned and qualified to serve the present purpose, I do not know. In either case we may regard him as a person being used by the Lord to accomplish certain ends with conditions on earth.

Verse 7

Dan 10:7. Daniel had some men with him, but upon the approach of this unusual person they became frightened and ran away, and as a result Daniel was the only one who saw the vision and beard the words spoken.

Verse 8

Dan 10:8. The prophet did not flee, yet he was greatly affected by the circumstance so that he had a prostrated feeling or a loss of bodily strength. However, this prostration did not interfere with his hearing and activity of mind.

Verse 9

Dan 10:9. Daniel heard the voice of the man, which, in addition to the state of his mind and body already produced by the appearance of such an unusual person, caused him to fall upon his face to the ground.

Verse 10

Dan 10:10. Before continuing the communication, the man caused Daniel to have a bodily posture of resting on his hands and knees.

Verse 11

Dan 10:11. While in this position the prophet received assurance that no harm was intended against him for he was greatly beloved. But before any further parL ot the message would be delivered he was told to stand up. He obeyed the instructions to arise, but his full strength bad not returned and he trembled as he stood in the presence of this aweinspiring personage.

Verse 12

Dan 10:12. In this verse the man again encourages Daniel and acknowledges the threeweek fast that he had observed. He assures him that his words of prayer were heard from the beginning, and that it was for his words or because of them lie had come.

Verse 13

Dan 10:13. In this verse the ''man'’ (or angel) will explain to Daniel why his prayer was not acknowledged sooner, although it was observed favorably from the start. To use a familiar form of speech, the man was engaged in other business which detained him. Some commentators think that Daniel was contending with this prince of the kingdom of Persia to persuade him to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem. I do not understand how that would be, for according to Ezr 1:1-4 that privilege had been granted them two years before. If this controversy had anything to do with that subject, it must have been with some outstanding men of Persia who were not in full accord with the edict of Cyrus. Whatever it was, it pertained to the interests of the Jews, and this man or angel could not go to the relief of Daniel for a while. He finally had “reinforcements" in the person ot Michael, and together they got matters in shape so that the latter could “hold the fort” for a time, which released the "man” to go and comfort Daniel.

Verse 14

Dan 10:14. The situation is similar to that described in Dan 9:23, in that Daniel is to have his prayer answered favorably, but is also to be given more information than he had expected. In the present instance, if the prophet was asking for some reassurances of the return of his people to Jerusalem he was granted that consolation. But this inspired messenger was to tell hint of some events in the centuries ahead that would involve these same people of the Jews. Since that vision is for many days, however, the specific predictions will not be given him until the next chapter. But in recognition ot his devotion and concern for the people of God, the messenger was sent to give him the encouragement.

Verse 15

Dan 10:15. Daniel was again overcome by the presence and communication of the man, but nothing is said about his being frightened as before. He was rendered dumb or speechless but it did not affect his body Otherwise, and he could ouly bend his head toward the ground.

Verse 16

Dan 10:16. I do not understand that more than one man or angel came to Daniel, though the language seems to indicate that there was. The general subject has been the same all through these verses and hence there would be no occasion for another messenger. The person was in the form of a man whoever he was, but he was endowed with supernatural power and knowledge for he was yet to make many predictions for us to examine. This angel recovered Daniel from his dumbness, and also renewed his bodily strength after a few moments. After regaining his power of speech, Daniel toid the angel of his sorrow and its effect upon his bodily feeling.

Verse 17

Dan 10:17. Daniel felt humiliated and inferior in the presence of the person whom he called my lord. Neither is there breath left in me is figurative as to its extent, and means that the prophet was virtually exhausted by the vision.

Verse 18

Dan 10:18. Then came again means the same man or angel again contacted Daniel for the purpose of further strengthening him and making him feel assured.

Verse 19

Dan 10:19. Being comforted and strengthened by the angel, Daniel requested him to speak, which indicated that he felt prepared in body and mind to give attention.

Verse 20

Dan 10:20. The angel asked Daniel if he knew or understood why he had come to him. There is no recorded answer to the question that is available to us. but the absence of everything to the contrary implies that he understood. Thus the subject or occasion of the present meeting between Daniel and the angel was dropped, and the latter informed the prophet that he was going back to Persia to resume the controversy that is mentioned in verse 13. He added a general reference to another great event that was to occur between Persia and Greece after this angel lias conducted his “fight” with the former. But this item is out of place chronologically and Jt will be treated in its proper place in the next chapter.

Verse 21

Dan 10:21. Chronologically speaking, the first part of verse 20 has been fulfilled and the last part of it is due: that is, it is the proper place to go more into detail as to the meaning of the words prince of Qreda shall come. Before doing so, the angel assures Daniel that what he is going to reveal to him will be in harmony with what the scriptures had previously foretold. On the present matter of predictions, Michael was the only one of the angels who was taken into the same confidential service as the one now talking to Daniel,
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Daniel 10". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/daniel-10.html. 1952.