Making Sense of Daniel

Chapter 10: Israel’s Fate in the Latter Days

“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.”

Daniel 10:14


“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.”

Daniel 10:21


  1. We have had three visions and prophecies given so far that are related, and this one is related to them also.
    1. Chapter seven was the most comprehensive vision and covered the time from then-present Babylon to the end of the world and our Lord’s Second Coming, and it put its spotlight on the conflict between the Roman Catholic papacy and the saints of the most High. Israel and the Jews are ignored in this vision.
    2. Chapter eight covered the middle two empires, Media/Persia and Greece, with the focus on Antiochus Epiphanes, his rage against Israel, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice for 2300 days.
    3. Chapter nine covered a precise time with specific events to be accomplished between the restoration of Israel and the cutting off of Messiah and Israel’s destruction. It pointed specifically to Jesus of Nazareth.
    4. The final three chapters, comprising one vision, detail the second and final stage of Israel’s history.
  2. This is one of the most neglected and confused sections of Daniel, in spite of the confusion we already met.
  3. This prophecy, detailed and accurate, is from Cyrus to the nation’s final destruction (Dan 10:14; 11:2; 12:1,7).
  4. This prophecy, rather than a vision of obscure creatures (7-8), is a very plain description of coming events, so we are told immediately that the thing is true and that Daniel had complete understanding of it (Dan 10:1).
  5. This prophecy is so accurate and plain in description; it forces skeptics to say it was written after the events!

The Setting (10:1-4)

  1. Dan 10:1 Daniel was given a true vision of distant events, which he understood well, in the third year of Cyrus.
    1. Darius reigned for two years; then Cyrus took the throne; so this vision is five years after the last.
    2. Daniel retained his Chaldean or Babylonian name, after Nebuchadnezzar’s god (Dan 1:7; 4:8; 5:12).
    3. Here we have a well-understood vision of true events to occur the next 525 years (BC 455–70 AD).
    4. Though the main part of the vision would not start for another 140 years, when the Greek Empire was divided to two of Alexander’s generals bordering on the north and south of Israel (Dan 11:5).
    5. A “long time” is used here, but “many days” is used in 10:14; the time of Antiochus (BC 170) was “many days” away also (Dan 8:26).
    6. What a coincidence? Hardly! This vision includes Antiochus (Dan 11:21-35) and subsequent events.
    7. Thinking this prophecy includes events involving Khazars and Americans after 2002 is ludicrous.
  2. Dan 10:2 Daniel was mourning three full weeks for further understanding of the events surrounding Israel’s end.
    1. The answer tells what Daniel mourned – Messiah’s rejection and Israel’s desolation (Dan 10:14; 12:1,7).
    2. The previous vision, foretelling the Messiah and salvation, also foretold Israel’s utter ruin (Dan 9:26-27).
    3. Consider how grieved Daniel was hearing of Antiochus, though he would be destroyed (Dan 8:26-27).
    4. Having twice seen a rebuilt temple (Dan 8:11; 9:26), Daniel wanted to know details of his nation’s end.
    5. Daniel wanted to know more details about the fulfillment of the seventy weeks prophecy (Dan 9:24-27).
    6. He mourned and chastened himself, obviously he was not inquiring about Israel’s latter day revival!
    7. The angel who came to answer Daniel’s prayer request confirmed the three full weeks (Dan 10:12-13).
  3. Dan 10:3 Daniel describes his fasting approach to mourning and prayer, which is a good lesson for modern saints.
    1. Let God be true, but every man a liar! Real food for real saints is good bread, wine, and meat!
    2. Let God be true, but every man a liar! Anointing or perfuming the body is not an ungodly thing!
    3. Daniel did not continue eating pulse any longer than he had to (Dan 1:12-16). Its benefit was a miracle!
  4. Dan 10:4 He sees the vision the 24th of the first month, while beside the great river Hiddekel, or Tigris (Gen 2:14).

The Vision (10:5-21)

  1. Dan 10:5 Daniel sees an angel with the appearance of a man, who was dressed in linen with a girdle of fine gold, from a place called Uphaz (Jer 10:9).
    1. This messenger is likely the angel Gabriel, who served as messenger to Daniel before (Dan 8:16; 9:21).
    2. This messenger is likely Gabriel, who served the same purpose to others as well (Luke 1:19,26).
  2. Dan 10:6 This angel’s appearance was glorious, as one of God’s great creatures, and described by several similes.
    1. Beryl is a precious gemstone, which has various colors (like the emerald) by impurities (Rev 21:20).
    2. His face and eyes were very glorious, as Daniel uses some very strong similes to describe them.
    3. His revealed skin and flesh had the appearance of polished brass, which is very shiny and beautiful.
    4. And his vocal pronunciation was loud, low, and powerful, as the voice of a large crowd would be.
    5. Why didn’t Daniel tell us about the angel’s wings, feminine face, long hair, feathers, and so forth?
  3. Dan 10:7 The vision was given only to Daniel, as the angels sent the men away with a fearful trembling of danger.
    1. This same thing occurred with Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus – only he saw and heard.
    2. God can reveal truth to His saints and conceal it from others at the same time by the same means!
    3. Dan 10:8 The “great” vision had profound effects on Daniel – it took away his strength and his comeliness.
    4. Consider the greatness of this man Daniel. He had served at the very top of two powerful empires!
    5. Consider the greatness of this man Daniel. He had witnessed and experienced great miracles.
    6. Consider the greatness of this man Daniel. He had stood before more than five very fearful despots.
    7. But … there was no strength or comeliness left in him after viewing one of God’s servants!
    8. This reaction to glorified angels is typical in Scripture, yet men want to promote “casual worship”!
  4. Dan 10:9 He continued to hear the angel’s voice and words, though he was quite impotent and asleep on his face.
  5. Dan 10:10 He is raised to a hands-and-knees position by a hand from this angel or another assisting angel.
  6. Dan 10:11 The angel greets Daniel, mentions the affection for him, and announces that he will answer his request.
    1. Here again, we find that Heaven and its Lord loved Daniel (Dan 9:23). Lord, let it be so of us also!
    2. He tells Daniel to stand to attention and receive the words of instruction that had been sent for him.
    3. Like a private before a general, Daniel stands trembling before this glorious and powerful angel.
  7. Dan 10:12 He comforts Daniel not to fear in light of the fact that the answer had gone forth from God immediately.
    1. It reminds us of the quick response his first session of confession and prayer had received (Dan 9:20-23).
    2. The serious nature of Daniel’s praying is here described as “chastening,” and it was quickly heard.
    3. We can learn patience, comfort, and hope by seeing God does hear prayers, quickly (Romans 15:4).
  8. Dan 10:13 The angel indicates that he had been delayed by a devilish spirit in Persia for the last twenty-one days.
    1. If the answer came forth when he began praying, how did a prince stop him (Gen 41:8; Ex 7:11)?
    2. They are called principalities, powers, thrones, might, and dominions (Eph 1:20-22; 6:12; Col 1:16).
    3. They are devils directing men behind the scenes for Satan (Luke 4:6; John 12:31; 14:30; Rev 13:2).
    4. Consider how quickly successive evils assaulted Job in the first two chapters. Satan can afflict men.
    5. Satan entered Judas and wanted Peter’s destruction, but an angel strengthened our Jesus. Conflict!
    6. Michael is not the Lord Jesus Christ. Michael is one of the chief princes – the archangel (Jude 1:9).
    7. Michael is not the Lord Jesus Christ. See the use of “one of the chief princes” to “prince of Persia.”
    8. Michael is not the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus shall descend with the archangel’s voice (I Thess 4:16).
    9. Michael is not the Lord Jesus Christ. He called the Lord’s rebuke against Satan (Jude 1:9; Luk 4:8).
    10. Michael is not the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his angels fought Satan and his angels (Rev 12:7).
    11. Jesus of Nazareth and Satan did not fight about Moses’ body, but Michael and Satan did (Jude 1:9).
    12. Jesus of Nazareth did not exist prior to BC 5, when Mary conceived the Son of God miraculously.
    13. And the Word of God, who was God and was with God, would not have struggled with lowly Satan.
    14. The prince of Persia hindered the angel for the full three weeks, and then he went to Daniel.
    15. Daniel is in the third year of Cyrus, and there were devilish spirits at work in that pagan kingdom.
    16. What in the world are the “kings” (plural) of Persia? Cambyses was already described as a king.
    17. Men fight back and forth on the pages of world history, and so do angels; but God writes His Story!
  9. Dan 10:14 The angel announces his purpose for coming as the distant revelation of Israel’s future troubles.
    1. In spite of the hindrance by the prince of Persia, I am here now to deliver this message from heaven.
    2. You will understand this matter; it will not be confusing; I will detail Israel’s future, as you desire.
    3. We must limit ourselves to the history of Israel and the Jews, for they alone were Daniel’s people.
    4. We must limit ourselves to Israel’s latter days, which are defined by their contrast to the former days – before Babylon (Jer 23:20; Hosea 3:5; Zechariah 1:4; 7:7,12; 8:11).
    5. We must limit ourselves in time to Jerusalem’s destruction by Titus – the consummation (Dan 9:24-27).
    6. We must limit ourselves in time to Jerusalem’s destruction by Titus – the final scattering (Dan 12:7).
    7. We do not see final revival and salvation, but something that will “befall” them – evil and trouble.
    8. We do not see final revival and salvation, but desolation and scattering (Dan 9:24-27; 12:1,7,11-12).
    9. The vision was for events that were “many days” in the future at that time – 140 years before they would even begin, and 525 years before the great trouble leading to Jerusalem’s desolation (Dan 12:1).
    10. This verse is of extreme importance to set time and people limitations for the following prophecies.
  10. Dan 10:15 The announcement that he was about to hear the details of Israel’s future destruction silenced him.
    1. What was so peculiar about these “such” words that the angel, likely Gabriel, said unto him?
    2. He hears that he is beloved, about angelic conflict, about evil befalling Israel, and will understand.
  11. Dan 10:16 An angel strengthens Daniel enough to talk and explain the profound effect of this vision upon him.
    1. This angel was both like and unlike a man – he was like the similitude of a human being (Dan 10:18).
    2. He explains to the angel that his sorrows at the vision have taken away his strength altogether.
  12. Dan 10:17 Daniel humbly and fearfully asks how he can possibly talk with this angel without strength or breath.
  13. Dan 10:18 An angel again comes and strengthens Daniel for his conversation with the messenger from heaven.
  14. Dan 10:19 An angel comforts and encourages Daniel so he can resume his conversation with the messenger.
    1. The strengthening angel (Dan 10:18) encourages Daniel that he is greatly beloved and need not fear.
    2. He encourages him to be strong, and we think of our blessed Lord (Matt 4:11; Luke 22:43).
    3. The angels are ministering servants for the elect, which is a very great blessing (Heb 1:13-14).
    4. The strength comes quickly to Daniel, and he is able to ask the messenger angel to continue.
  15. Dan 10:20 The messenger angel indicates his purpose in visiting Daniel and the future conflicts he will encounter.
    1. Why did he visit Daniel? To give him understanding of Israel’s future in answer to his request.
    2. In spite of my office and duties, take comfort! I came in answer to your prayers; you are beloved!
    3. But his principal duties were to fight the devilish spirits behind the present Persian government.
    4. And he would encounter the devilish spirits behind the coming Greek government when Persia fell.
  16. Dan 10:21 The messenger promises to tell him the truth of the future, which also involved Michael the archangel.
    1. In spite of other pressing duties in fighting devilish princes, he commits to teaching Daniel the truth.
    2. God’s decrees for His government of the world are described as being written in a book (Ps 139:16).
    3. Yet we can also know that the scriptures as we know them are settled in heaven (Ps 119:89,152).
    4. God had inspired Moses to promise horrible judgments, if they disobeyed (Deut 28). See 70 A.D.
    5. The other powerful angel on his side was Michael the archangel, the great prince of Israel (Dan 12:1).


  1. This great vision has a fantastic introduction, and we are told plainly it is limited to Israel (Dan 10:14; 12:1,7).
  2. Great men of God fast when they need the Lord, and He hears and answers such prayers (Matt 17:19-21).
  3. Let us worship in reverence and godly fear, for it is very clear we worship a glorious God (Heb 12:28-29).
  4. Take comfort in the kind and progressive strength that the angel gave Daniel for the vision (10-12,15-19).
  5. We never know why an answer to prayer might be delayed. Daniel’s serious fasting took three whole weeks.
  6. Daniel again is told he is greatly beloved (Dan 9:23; 10:11,19), which ought to be our highest and constant goal.
  7. There is a great conflict beyond our sight of holy and evil angels, but Jesus of Nazareth is greater than them all (Matt 8:28-29; Luke 4:8; 11:17-26; Eph 1:20-23; Col 2:15; Heb 2:6-9; I John 3:8; 4:4).


For further reading:

A short, readable history of the four Greek kingdoms
A short, readable history of the Maccabees


Next Chapter:

Daniel 11: Kings of the North and the South