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Michael the Prince (Daniel 10-12)

Overview

Bible Passage:

Read the prophecy in Daniel 10 - 12.

Theme:

Key historical figures, battles and events in history, and the final victory of Jesus.

Overview:

Like previous chapters, this interpretation also parallels the others, and provides even more detail. The main characters are the King of the North, the King of the South, and Michael. The two kings conduct war after war, until finally Michael, who watches over and delivers the righteous, stands up and puts an end to all the fighting. The angel speaking to Daniel provides extraordinary detail of specific events that occur during the reign of each power that rules over God's people from Daniel's day until the second coming.

Verse-By-Verse

Daniel 10:1 KJV: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

(NASB®): 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.

The third year of Cyrus was 535 BC. Unlike the vision in chapter 8, when Daniel faints and doesn't understand, he does generally understand this vision.

Daniel 10:2-3 KJV: 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Previously, in Daniel 9, Daniel had prayed earnestly for the Jews to be allowed to return to Jerusalem. They were allowed to do this when Cyrus issued his decree in 537 BC. In Ezra 3:8 to 4:5, it describes that in the second month of the second year (536 BC), they laid the foundation of the temple, which caused troublemakers to rise up and try to stop the work. The timing makes it likely that Daniel was mourning and praying because the work was stalled and Cyrus was receiving bad reports about the Jews.

Daniel 10:4-9 KJV: 4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

The Hiddekel river is the Tigris river.

In vision, Daniels sees a being of magnificence. The description is similar to the vision John had in Revelation of Christ (Rev. 1:13-15). Daniel sees and hears Christ in vision, but what Christ showed Daniel in the vision isn't described.

As in other places in Scripture, people nearby became very fearful when a supernatural being appeared. When Christ appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, those around him could see light, but could not hear the words and were afraid (Acts 22:9).

Daniel 10:10-11 KJV: 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

A being now appears to help strengthen Daniel and help him understand what he saw. Gabriel did this after the previous vision, using the same greetings and methods, and now returns to help again.

Gabriel had also called Daniel greatly beloved in the previous vision. John, the apostle, was called the disciple who Jesus loved. God loves all His people and clearly lets trem know throughout Scripture.

Daniel 10:12 KJV: Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Prayer is important. God hears you and responds. Prayer can be a catalyst for God to act. The same thing happened in chapter 9 when Daniel prayed.

Daniel 10:13 KJV: But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

The name Michael appears five times in the Bible. It is used in Jude 1:9 when he contends with the devil about the body of Moses, and in Revelation 12:7 when he leads angels in a war against the devil and his angels. In Daniel 10, Michael is mentioned twice, and both times he is contending with evil forces. In Daniel chapter 12, Michael delivers His people and resurrects many.

The name Michael means "who is like God." The name is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation, calling Michael the archangel and the prince. The word "angel" means "messenger," and "arch" means "chief, greatest, or highest." So, "Michael the archangel" simply means "the greatest messenger who is like God." He displays the power and attributes that belong only to God, such as resurrecting the dead, evicting the devil from heaven, and interceding for and redeeming the saints. This evidence reveals that the true identity of Michael is Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a created angel, but is the chief or leader of the angels.

Whenever Michael appears in the Bible, he is the victor in some struggle between good and evil. In Daniel chapter 10, we are provided with another glimpse into the great controversy between Christ and Satan. We get a peek behind the scenes as supernatural beings strive for the minds of humans. These struggles are taking place everywhere. This particular struggle for the prince of Persia's mind, was an intense and very important struggle. Gabriel was unable to convince the prince for three full weeks. But, Michael, Christ Himself, came and resolved it. Cyrus, the prince of the kingdom of Persia, did not succumb to the bad reports and did not stop the work of rebuilding the temple.

Daniel 10:14 KJV: 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.

This vision is going to relate more information about the "latter days". It isn't as concerned with Medo-Persia and Greece, but more with Rome and the Time of the End.

Daniel 10:15-19 KJV: 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

Being in the presence of sinless beings, much less Christ Himself, has a weakening effect on sinners. The angel touches Daniel to strengthen him.

Daniel 10:20-21 KJV: 20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 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.

After explaining the vision to Daniel, Gabriel would return to continue to influence the prince of Persia. The beings standing up to what was happening there, were Gabriel and Michael.

Additional Resources:

Daniel 11:1-39 (Part 2)
Daniel 11:40-45 (Part 3)
Daniel 12 (Part 4)
Michael the Prince (interactive presentation)

Continue to Daniel 11