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Daniel chapter 10 commentary and notes for Bible study

While a commentary on Daniel chapter 10 may seem uneventful, it was a part of my preparation for Bible study with the men. You see I am just like most of you, a guy who has wanted to understand what I read and its relationship to what is going on around me. I guess that makes me an eschatology person. The guys I sit with call me the expert; I am hardly an expert and I had a religious life filled with presuppositions. Church, while being the place where much of the mental abuse came from, did give me a deep understanding that God loved me; that love trailed me like a hound as I rebounded from hurt to hurt and struggled to free myself from co-dependency - I didn't even understand what that was until a few years ago. As many of you know I put myself in a recovery group called Celebrate Recovery which uses many of the same principles as AA. I did this because my wife wanted me to get help for my rage, and I wanted help as well. For a short period, I worked the information table. There I noticed the paperwork for men's co-dependency and read it; it was pathetic and lacking. You get the impression that men are not allowed to either have or admit that they are co-dependent. The women's brochure, however, had about 30 lines of descriptives. I found myself in about 29 of those descriptions.

Now, several years later, with time spent going through the steps multiple times, and even leading several groups, I am much better than I was. I can apply that same understanding to God's word and its application to my life and the world around me. Having gone through the Bible several times and gaining help from others, such as Joel Richardson, the author of the Islamic Antichrist. I now have a firm grasp on the nature and character of Christ, and, the apocryphal books of the Bible are not only something I can grasp but exciting, as we are living in those times now.

This last sentence is what I try to convey to those who will listen. God, is a God of mercy; if that were not the case we would all be dead now. He loves you and desires a restored relationship with you. If He is a jealous God, it is because we have given our love to the things of this world. Jesus is the Messiah.

Daniel Chapter 10

Daniel 10:1 In 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.

chronology. The third year of Cyrus's rule in Babylon was 537/536. This is very close to the time when the first wave of Jews are returning from captivity and beginning the rebuilding of the temple (recorded in the first chapter of Ezra). Dan_10:4 indicates that the vision took place on the twenty-fourth day of the first month (Nisan). This would be in early April. The celebration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (14-21 Nisan) IVPBBC

The importance of this is that Daniel is a devout Jew, and little would stop him from participating in the Passover.
Daniel chapter nine opened with, in the first year of Darius.” So this is not a chronological recounting of Daniel's dreams, visions, and encounters.

Cyrus killed Belshazzar, quite possibly a son of Nebuchadnezzar (This is the kind statement you make when you have not done your homework. Shortly after this, I did an in-depth study into Daniel chapter 11, where I was compelled to pay attention to background details. It is found in Scripture where God calls Nebuchadnezzar father, but further exploration informs you that it was a sign of respect to call male relatives/elders father.) The implications of the word father are that Belshazzar was related to Nebuchadnezzar. None-the-less, Belshazzar is now dead.

Daniel 5:1. Belshazzar was the son and coregent of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon. Nabonidus spent ten years in Teima while his son was carrying out all the royal duties in Babylon. A number of documents have been found that mention him by name. About thirty years have passed since the last chapter. Nebuchadnezzar died in 562, and the banquet of this chapter takes place in October 539. IVPBBC
  • a message was revealed to Daniel”
    Message - It signified spoken words or speech (Gen_11:1; Isa_36:5; Jer_51:64
  • the message was true and one of great conflict”
    The word true is the word 'emeth - stabile; figuratively certain, truth, trustworthy.
    Conflict is the Hebrew word tsâbâ' and conveys the idea of a mass of persons organized for war.
  • but he understood the message”
    Understood is the Hebrew word bı̂yn and means to separate mentally. It also implies to consider.
  • "and had an understanding of the vision."
    If someone were to say to me, I have an understanding, the implications to me are, that you only have a partial comprehension. However the phrase "had an understanding" derived from the Hebrew word bı̂ynâh means to perfectly understand.
Daniel 10:2-3 In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. 3) I 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.
  • Mourn.
    The Hebrew word ’aḇal: It is a verb that means to mourn. The Word Study Dictionary tells us that the word implies, “Those who mourn are persons who mourn for looking at God's coming judgments” (Isa_19:8; Amo_8:8; Amo_9:5). As you can see I have given you their scripture references. The first two do not seem to apply when I try to find an example of someone who mourns because they are looking at God's coming judgment. However, when I look at Amos 9:5 I can almost see their point. Upon further investigation and looking at the context, which takes me back to Amos 8:2, I see this:

    KJV "And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore."
It only gets worse for description. The idea of the end seems to be related to the time of wrath and judgment.

The literal translation says, I ate no food for delight, and no flesh or wine came into my mouth. I did not anoint myself at all until three weeks of days were fulfilled. This seems so understandable with no ominous legal aspect to it.
If I were to fast the first thing I would do is to ask myself why. If it is to pay more attention to God then I would divert myself from distractions. In today's world that might mean setting the smartphone aside, so that I could then give myself and my attention to God.

I suddenly found myself thinking about a statement that Oprah Winfrey openly confessed. She said she turned from the God and religion of her church-going mother because she came to understand that God was jealous. Oprah took that to mean that God was suspicious of her, and she could never have anything to do with a suspicious, overprotective God. Her mistake was thinking that she could do anything that would make God jealous. The reality is that God, like a lover, is jealous over us and longs for us to return to a restored relationship. I happen to value that God is that desirous for me. If I, in with my broken, sick mentality, thought that my fasting was merely to win the attention of a jealous God, then yes, this would be sick. So, if it is not mental depravity that motivates me, then what is it? Perhaps a desire for a relationship that is available but my flesh fights to prevent.

It would be logical to assume that Daniel is fasting, as he pleads with the Lord for an answer and wisdom. What are the parameters to Daniel's fast?
  • No tasty food,
    Tasty - chamudah desirableness, preciousness: highly esteemed.
    A simple understanding would be to say, I ate no sweets, or perhaps gourmet food.
  • nor did meat or wine enter my mouth
    Wine – the Hebrew word yayin: A masculine noun referring to wine. It indicates the juice of the grapevine and its fruits, a common drink for refreshment in the Old Testament (Gen_14:18; Gen_27:25; Jdg_19:19) The Complete Word Study Dictionary
    So it is safe to assume he drank water.
  • nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.
    So Daniel did nothing to freshen up around other people. Perhaps he had a three-week vacation and could afford to stink, who knows.
Daniel 10:4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris,

The four and twentieth day of the first month; that is, the month Nisan or Abib [early April]—the month in which the Passover was celebrated in every Jewish home. (The Pulpit Commentary)

How perfect is that, for the preparations involved in the Passover would have allowed for most of Daniel's food choices during this time. 
The celebration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (14-21 Nisan) would have come and gone during Daniel's three weeks of preparation. There is absolutely no reason to think Daniel would have excluded himself from the Passover, especially since it is a command for the Jews to practice.

Daniel 10:5-6 I 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. 6) His 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.
Sound familiar? It should for this is who the Apostle John saw as he looked into heaven; and, all of what John saw was a Revelation of Jesus, the Christ.

Revelation 1:13-15 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14) His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15) His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.

Even the Roman guards saw this imagery as Jesus came and sat upon the same stone that He had rolled away.

Matthew 28:2-3 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3) And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

Daniel 10:7-8 Now 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. 8) So 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.

  • Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision;
This is comparable to what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:3-4,7 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4) and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 7) The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
  • Nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves”
  • So 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.”
We, much to our demise, have put on great stage shows in an effort to show the world the impact we think God has on people. Daniel describes the phenomenon as, “no strength was left in me.”
Daniel 10:9 But 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.

I want you to see something; it happens quite often in scripture and indicates that God is serious about what is being said and the immediate importance of the matter. It is the usage of the Hebrew word radam [fellH7290a into a deepH7290a sleepH7290a ] and it is repeated three times. Its meaning is to fall into a deep sleep. To the Jews, this a pattern, and all prophetic words are aligned with a pattern.

Daniel is now face down on the ground.

Daniel 10:10 Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.

We sang along with the Christian group Mercy Me, so many years ago, I can only imagine what I will do. Apparently overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord we do much trembling.

Daniel 10:11 He 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.

I so long for Him to say those words to me, calling me a man of high esteem.
  • ..stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.”
  • " And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling...
Daniel 10:12 Then 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.

  • from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard”

We pray and our hearts cry out to God, but what do we do? We wonder if he hears us and cares. He does.
Daniel 10:13 "But 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.

  • But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days”

Consider: When Satan rebelled he took one-third of the angels with him.
What are they doing today?I also ask you, how many of these fallen angels are there with him?

What we are seeing here is one of those fallen angels, and it has a name – the Prince of Persia.

A piece of discouraging news. Considering how powerful these angels are, you need to know that there are four chained up in the river Euphrates, awaiting the moment they are released upon the earth.

Revelation 9:14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."

It only took one angel to kill off the first born in Egypt, in one night. Apparently, Gabriel is the messenger to Israel, God's people, and in this case, Michael, one of the chief princes of the angel armies, has come to Gabriel's assistance.
Daniel 10:14 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 Complete Jewish Bible So I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the acharit-hayamim; for there is still another vision which will relate to those days."

If I used the NASB exclusively I would be lead to believe that the two aspects of the statement are the same. But, having looked at the Complete Jewish Bible, it is clear that there is another vision as well. Regardless, what Daniel is about to hear applies to a distant future, that he will never see.
  • I have come to make you understand.”
Understand is the Hebrew word biyn and means to discern, to perceive, to observe, to pay attention to, to be intelligent, to be discreet, to understand; in the causative sense, to give understanding, to teach; in the reflexive sense, to consider diligently. [WSD.]  But have a look at the Strong's concordance and you will find that you have the added meaning of separating details.

A possible rewrite might say this: I have come to make you separate the details.
Daniel 10:15-18 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16) And 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. 17) "For 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." 18) Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me.

  • He - Gabriel

Who did Daniel see in 10:5? Jesus and we have made this apparent. However, because of what we saw in verse 13, Gabriel now before him, I can make the assumption that Gabriel is the one with “human appearance” touching Daniel again.

Our presumption is that angels have wings. Balaam eventually saw the angel standing in the narrow pathway and all he saw was a sword intended for his death.
Daniel 10:19, 20 He 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. Then 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.”
  • Then 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.”
    Previously, we were told about the Prince of Persia, now, we learn about the prince of Greece. Having an understanding about the kingdoms of this world gives you some insight into the world of the demonic. These fallen angels have ranks and territories.
Daniel 10:21 "However, 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.

What, is the “writing of truth?” I see nothing outside of Daniel that defines this. There are, however, things like this: 

Psalms 119:160 NASB The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Revelation 22:19 NASB and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

While the obvious fact is: there are books that God keeps, it seems these are documentations of merciful acts performed by people, used by God to show mercy at the end of time.


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