Daniel Chapter 10 Notes: Daniel's Vision of a Man
Dan. 10:1 ¶ In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
Dan. 10:2 ¶ At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks.
Dan. 10:3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
Dan. 10:4 ¶ On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris,
Dan. 10:5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist.
Dan. 10:6 His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
Dan. 10:7 ¶ I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves.
Dan. 10:8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.
Dan. 10:9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
Dan. 10:10 ¶ A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.
Dan. 10:11 He said, ³Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.² And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
Dan. 10:12 ¶ Then he continued, ³Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
Dan. 10:13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
Dan. 10:14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.²
Dan. 10:15 ¶ While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless.
Dan. 10:16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, ³I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless.
Dan. 10:17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.²
Dan. 10:18 ¶ Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength.
Dan. 10:19 ³Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,² he said. ³Peace! Be strong now; be strong.² ¶ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ³Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.²
Dan. 10:20 ¶ So he said, ³Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come;
Dan. 10:21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
Dan. 11:1 ¶ And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)
hDl×gn ÐrDb;d s$årDÚp JKRlRm Ðv®rwÐøkVl vw#ølDv tAnVvI;b Dan. 10:1
aDbDx×w ÐrDb;dAh t§RmTaw r¡AxaAvVfVlE;b wäømVv añrVqn_rRvSa laY´¥ynádVl
:h`RarA;mA;b wäøl hÎny¶Ibw r$Db;dAh_tRa ÐNyIbw lw$ødÎg
h¶Dv ølVv l$E;bAaVtIm yItyIyDh Ð la´¥ynád y§InSa M¡EhDh MyImÎ¥yA;b Dan. 10:2
a¶Db_aøl Ny¢AyÎw r¶DcDbw yI;tVl#AkDa aâøl twÞødUmSj MRjRl Dan. 10:3
p :My`ImÎy MyIoUbDv tRvñølVv taðølVm_dAo yI;tVk¡Ds_aøl JKwâøs×w yIÚp_lRa
yGnSaÅw NwóøvaîrDh v®dâOjAl hDoD;brAa×w MyñîrVcRo MwöøyVbw Dan. 10:4
:l®qá;dIj awñh lwëødÎgAh r¢DhÎnAh dªAy lAo yIty¢IyDh
vwâbDl dDjRa_vyIa h¶EnIh×w a®r$EaÎw ÐyÅnyEo_tRa a§DÚcRaÎw Dan. 10:5
:z`Dpwa MRt¶RkV;b Myäîr¨gSj wy¶DnVtDmw Myóî;dA;b
ÐwyÎnyEo×w ÐqrDb h§EarAmV;k wyHÎnDpw vy#IvrAtVk wâøtÎ¥yw×gw Dan. 10:6
lwõøq×w l¡Dlq tRvâOj×n NyEoV;k wy$Dtøl×grAmw ÐwyDtOoíOr×zw v$Ea yédyIÚpAlV;k
:NwáømDh lwõøqV;k wyärDb;d
ÐMyIvÎnSaDh×w h$DarA;mAh_tRa Ðyî;dAbVl la§E¥ynd y½nSa ·yItyIar×w Dan. 10:7
ÐhDlOd×g hôdrSj l#DbSa h¡DarA;mAh_tRa wäar añøl y$I;mIo wâyDh rRvSa
:a`EbDjEhV;b wäjrVb¥y`Aw M$RhyElSo hDlVpÎn
ÐhDlOd×gAh h§DarA;mAh_tRa h#RarRa`Dw y$î;dAbVl yI;trAaVvn ÐynSaÅw Dan. 10:8
añøl×w ty$IjVvAmVl ÐyAlDo JK§AÚpVhn y#îdwøh×w jóO;k yI;b_rAaVvn añøl×w taYøzAh
wy$rDb;d lwêøq_tRa ÐyIoVmDvVkw wyórDb;d lwêøq_tRa oAmVvRaÎw Dan. 10:9
:hDxr`Da y¶AnDpw yAnDÚp_lAo Mñ;drn yIty¢IyDh yGnSaÅw
twñøÚpAk×w yA;krI;b_lAo yn¶EoynV;tÅw y¡I;b hDo×gDn dDy_h´nIh×w Dan. 10:10
My%îrDb;dA;b N°EbDh twødUmSjþ_vyIa laE¥yn;d y&AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Dan. 10:11
yI;tVjA;lUv hD;tAo y¶I;k ÔK$®dVmDo_lAo dâOmSoÅw ÐÔKyÐRlEa r§EbOd y°IkOnDa ·rRvSa
:dy`IorAm yI;td¶AmDo hRzAh r¶Db;dAh_tRa y¢I;mIo wõørV;bådVbw ÔKy¡RlEa
Mwâø¥yAh_NIm yI;k ~ la´¥ynd aâryI;t_lAa ¤yAlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Dan. 10:12
y¶EnVpIl twöønAoVtIhVlw NyªIbDhVl öÔKV;bIl_t`Ra D;tªAtÎn r°RvSa Nw#øvaîrDh
:ÔKyá®rDbdI;b yItaDb_ynSaÅw ÔKyó®rDbd wâoVmVvn ÔKyRhølTa
dDjRa×w MyâîrVcRo Ðyî;d×gnVl d§EmOo s#årDÚp twâkVlAm rAc×w Dan. 10:13
ÐynSaÅw ynóér×zDoVl aD;b MyInOvaîrDh MyñîrDÚcAh d¢AjAa l#EaDky`Im hEnIh×w MwYøy
:sárDp y¶EkVlAm lRxEa M$Dv yI;trAtwøn
tyâîrSjAaV;b äÔKV;mAoVl hñrVqy_rRvSa t¢Ea $ÔK×nyIbShAl ÐyItaÐDbw Dan. 10:14
:My`ImÎ¥yAl NwäøzDj dwñøo_yI;k My¡ImÎ¥yAh
hDxrAa y¢AnDp yI;tªAtÎn hR;l¡EaDh MyäîrDb;dA;k y$I;mIo wêørV;bådVbw Dan. 10:15
y¡DtDpVc_lAo AoEgOn M$dDa yEnV;b ÐtwmdI;k hG´nIh×w Dan. 10:16
yGnOdSa y$î;d×gnVl dEmOoDh_lRa ÐhrVmáOaÎw ÐhrV;bådSaÎw y#IÚp_jA;tVpRaÎw
:AjáO;k yI;trAxDo añøl×w y$AlDo ÐyåryIx wôkVpRhn ÐhDarA;mA;b
h¡Rz ynêOdSa_MIo rE;bådVl hYz ÐynOdSa dRb§Ro l#Akwy JKyEh×w Dan. 10:17
:y`Ib_hrSaVvn añøl hDmDv×nw Aj$Ok yI;b_dDmSoÅy_aáøl ÐhD;tÐAoEm y§InSaÅw
:ynáéq×zAj×y`Aw MädDa h¶EarAmV;k y¢I;b_oÅg¥yÅw PRs¬O¥yÅw Dan. 10:18
qAzSj JKDl MwñølDv twÿødUmSj_vyIa a¬ryI;t_lAa rRmaø¥yÅw Dan. 10:19
y¶I;k yInOdSa r¶E;båd×y hörVmñOaÎw yI;tVqYÅzAjVtIh ÐyI;mIo wûørV;bådVkáw q¡DzSjÅw
bw$vDa hD;tAo×w ÔKy$RlEa yItaD;b_hD;mDl ÐD;tVoÐådÎySh rRmaGø¥yÅw Dan. 10:20
:a`D;b NDwÎy_rAc h¶EnIh×w a$Exwøy yInSaÅw sórDÚp rAc_MIo MEjD;lIhVl
Ny°Ea×w t¡RmTa bDtVkI;b MwñvrDh_tRa $ÔKVl dyIgAa Ð lDbSa Dan. 10:21
p :M`RkrAc lEaDkyIm_MIa y¶I;k hR;l$Ea_lAo ÐyI;mIo q§EzAjVtIm d%DjRa
qy¶IzSjAmVl yöîdVmDo yóîdD;mAh vwDyrdVl t$AjAa tAnVvI;b ÐynSaÅw Dan. 11:1
10:1-2. Cyrus. Cyrus of Persia was one of the greatest conquerors in world history. He inherited the throne of Persia from his father, Cambyses I, in 559. In 556 the Babylonian king, Nabonidus, motivated by a dream, abandoned the treaty that his country had maintained with the Medes for over half a century and made a treaty with Cyrus. This gave Cyrus the freedom to move against the Medes (ruled by his grandfather, Astyges), whom he conquered in 550. The new Medo-Persian empire was thus formed, with control over the entirety of Iran. By 546 he defeated the Anatolian kingdom of Lydia and Ionia. For the next five years he consolidated his control over the tribes in northeastern Iran. All of this paved the way for his crowning achievement, the conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. The whole of the Near East (excluding Egypt) was under control of the Persians when Cyrus was killed in battle in 530. For more information see comments in Ezra 1.
10:3. choice food. In extrabiblical Jewish apocalyptic literature, fasting is often essential preparation for receiving a vision. Daniel is not undertaking a total fast but abstaining from pastry, meat and winethus returning to a more spartan diet. It should be noted that while this verse does not use the same terminology as the text at 1:5, it is now clear that Daniel had not made a lifelong commitment to bland food.
10:3. lotions. In the absence of showers and deodorants, personal grooming involved the use of perfumed oils. Inattention to such amenities was characteristic of mourning (2 Sam 12:20; 14:2).
10:5-6. description. White linen is the typical clothing for priests as well as for supernatural operatives (Ezek 910). The gold waistband is lavishly impressive, but most of the description focuses on the physical features of the man (usually identified as Gabriel). The five features described ( body/chrysolite;  face/lightning;  eyes/torches;  limbs/ bronze;  voice/multitude) can also be found in the descriptions of the creatures that bear the chariot throne in Ezekiel 1. The general appearance of the vehicle is compared to a torch and lightning, the wheels by which the creatures stand are compared to chrysolite, and the legs of the creatures are like burnished bronze. All of the same Hebrew terms are used. In Ezekiel 1 the sound of the creatures¹ wings was like an army, whereas the angel in Daniel has a voice that sounds like a multitude. Daniel is clear, however, that his visitor had the appearance of a man rather than the composite beasts seen by Ezekiel. In the Babylonian wisdom composition entitled Ludlul Bel Nemeqi the sufferer, after a long period of suffering and mourning, has a dream in which he sees an impressive young man (both in physique and attire) standing over him, resulting in his body being numbed. The individual¹s message is not preserved, but it is generally assumed that it had to do with approaching deliverance.
10:13. prince of the Persian kingdom. The context demands that this antagonist be considered a supernatural being rather than a royal human individual. The literature from Qumran also uses the title ³prince² as a reference to chief angels. There is no clearer evidence than this chapter on the biblical concept that conflicts in human history are paralleled by conflicts in the supernatural realm. Indications of this concept are already evident in the concept of the divine warrior (see comments on 1 Sam 5:2; 17:37; 17:4547). Just as the Israelites had a divine assembly filled with angels instead of gods, so they eventually exchanged the concept of national patron deities for a concept of supernatural creatures who represented the interests of a nation. This reflects the ongoing process of emptying the heavens of competing deities while retaining a supernaturalist view of reality.
10:13. Michael. As indicated with the name Gabriel (see comment on 8:16), there are no names given for angels in earlier literature. Michael becomes a much more familiar figure in the Qumran literature and in the intertestamental literature, primarily the book of Enoch. He is considered the guardian of the people of Israel.
10:20. Persia, Greece. As in chapter 8, reference is made here to the sequence of empires in which the Greek empire of Alexander will supersede the Persian empire.
10:21. Book of Truth. This book has been compared to the Babylonian Tablet of Destinies, which was considered to contain and dictate the course of history and the cosmos (see comment on 7:25). This not only fits with the nature of the material that is revealed in chapter 11, but it accords with the introduction to that material in 11:2, where the information is specifically categorized as ³the truth.²
10:1-4: In spiritual mourning
The narrative of Daniel¹s final vision extends from the beginning of ch. 10 to the end of the book. It is precisely dated in the third year of Cyrus (1) during the period of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread and is set on the banks of the Tigris (4). On the anniversary of the exodus from Egypt a new exodus began in the first year of Cyrus (Ezr. 1), but it met with early discouragement (Ezr. 3:12-4:5). Eventually the work of rebuilding the temple came to a standstill¹ (Ezr. 4:24). Intimations of these early discouragements seem the most likely reason for Daniel¹s prolonged period of spiritual discipline (2). The opening verse summarizes the character of the vision which follows.
10:4-9 A glorious vision
Daniel¹s vision (7) had an overpowering effect on him (8). Although he alone saw the figure, it appears that his companions heard the voice which was like the sound of a multitude (6) and fled (7). While the figure was dressed in the linen of a priest (5; cf. Ex. 28:42; Lv. 6:10; 16:4), his whole being radiated such light and beauty that Daniel ransacked the vocabulary of precious metals, stones and even the elements to find adequate similes to describe him (5-7). No attempt is made to identify the man. The description of him surpasses that of other heavenly visitants in Daniel (8:15-16; 9:20-21) but clearly parallels other appearances of God and of Christ in Scripture (e.g. Ezk. 1:26-28; Rev. 1:12-15). This vision was given to emphasize God¹s covenant grace (priestly garment) and holy power and glory (the overwhelming brightness). In a special sense God himself is the source of the message and the guarantor of its truth (cf. v 1).
10:10-11:1 Forces of evil in the heavenly realms¹
The first part of Daniel¹s vision faded from view leaving him overwhelmed in a deep sleep. Then, apparently, a second figure addressed him (11), explaining that an answer to his prayers for insight (unstated, but implied in v 2) had been sent immediately he began to pray (12). The messenger had been resisted, however, by the prince of the Persian kingdom (evidently also a supernatural figure; 13) until Michael had come to his aid. The archangel Michael (cf. Jude 9) is the leading defender of God¹s people (your prince, 21; cf. 12:1) against the powers of darkness (cf. Rev. 12:7-9).
It is clear that behind the scenes of the conflicts of history lies a conflict in the heavenly realms¹ (Eph. 6:12), in which Daniel had become involved in his intercession. Spiritual powers tried to prevent his receiving revelation of the future (and therefore an understanding of the sure purposes of God). Implied in this is the recognition that the forthcoming revelation will strengthen Daniel and, indeed, all the people of God (14).
It is not clear whether the one who looked like a man (16) is a third figure or should be identified with the figure(s) in vs 5 or 10 (vs 20-21 seem to indicate the latter). This uncertainty is explained both by the nature of the visionary character of the revelation and by Daniel¹s mental condition (15-17). In either case, encouraged and strengthened by his touch, Daniel was able to receive the revelation (18-19). The heavenly messenger would soon return to his ongoing task (11:1) in spiritual warfare (20). Currently it was Persia, soon it would be Greece (20) that, humanly speaking, dominated the experiences of the people of God.
Part of the answer to the question Daniel was asked in v 20 is that he needs to know that there are heavenly powers defending the people of God (cf. 2 Ki. 6:15-23). But first he learns what is written in the Book of Truth (21), i.e. how the purposes of God will unfold.
Intervarsity Press¹ Old Testament Commentary
Intervarsity Press¹ New Bible Commentary
Intervarsity Press¹ Hard Sayings of the Bible
Shepherd¹s Notes: Daniel
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Daniel, Joyce Baldwin
Daniel: An Expositional Commentary, James Montgomery Boice
Hermeneia: Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, John Joseph Collins
The Preacher¹s Commentary: Daniel, Sinclair Ferguson
The New American Commentary: Daniel, Stephen Miller
International Critical Commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, James Montgomery
Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary, John Phillips
Back to the main page...