Dan 10 -- 12: Daniel's most detailed vision of the future: (1)
Daniel's preparation to receive the vision (Dan 10:1 through Dan 11:1); (2) The
near future (Dan 11:2-45); (3) The distant future (Dan 12:1-4); and (4) The end
of Israel's trials (Dan 12:5-13).
THE THIRD YEAR OF CYRUS KING OF PERSIA: The third year
of Cyrus' rule as king over Babylon was 536 BC. Cyrus had issued his decree
allowing the Jews to return to their land and to rebuild their temple in 538 BC.
Some of them had departed that same year under Zerubbabel's leadership. They had
reinstituted the sacrifices by 537 BC (Ezra 3:6), and by 536 BC they had begun
to rebuild the temple (Ezra 3:8). Daniel would have been in his 80s by this
time, and his age may account for his not returning to the Promised Land. Daniel
remained in government service until the first year of Cyrus (538 BC, Dan 1:21),
but he remained in Babylon for several additional years, apparently in
WHO WAS CALLED BELTESHAZZAR: Perhaps Daniel's
Babylonian name appears again here to assure the reader that this was the same
Daniel whom we met in preceding chapters (cf Dan 1:7). He was the Daniel who had
unusual skill in understanding visions and dreams (Dan 1:17).
I MOURNED FOR THREE WEEKS: And surely during this time
he prayed exceedingly as well (cp Dan 9:2-14). Evidently the previous
revelations from God and the welfare of the Jews who had returned to Palestine
but were encountering opposition were the reasons for Daniel's grave concern
(Ezra 4:1-5,24). Even though many Israelites were returning to Palestine, God
had already revealed that they would experience trouble there.
THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH: Passover and
the feast of Unleavened Bread fell on the fourteenth through the twenty-first
days of the first month. The Jews did not observe these festivals in captivity
as they had formerly in their own land. Three days after these important
memorial days God gave Daniel a vision that he alone saw (cp Dan
A MAN: Almost certainly an angel. ("Man" is "ish", as
in Dan 9:21; see note there.) The similarities between this man and the one
Ezekiel and John saw argue for his being an angel (cp Eze 1:26-28; Rev 1:13-16),
as does his message (v 13).
DRESSED IN LINEN: Expensive linen dress is what the
priests in Israel wore (Lev 6:10; 16:32; 1Sa 22:18), and it set them off as
God's special servants.
A BELT OF THE FINEST GOLD AROUND HIS WAIST: Likewise,
the sash around this angel's waist, evidently embroidered with the best gold,
would also have identified him as a special person.
THE FINEST GOLD: KJV has "fine gold of Uphaz". Uphaz
may be equivalent to Ophir.
// Eze 1:14-16; Rev 1:13-16.
CHRYSOLITE: Or "beryl" (AV). Beryl was one of the
stones set into the breastpiece of judgment (Exo 28:20). The mysterious "wheels"
of Ezekiel's vision were, in appearance, like beryl (Eze 1:16).
Daniel's companions, sensing that something awesome was
happening (cf Acts 9:7; 22:9), hid themselves while Daniel viewed what God
Daniel's personal reaction to this vision was also similar to
John's (Rev 1:17; cp Dan 8:27).
HIGHLY ESTEEMED: The Heb "ish hemudot" literally mean
"man of preciousness". Daniel was precious to God not only because he was one of
God's chosen people but also because God had been precious to him.
"This verse constitutes a great encouragement to those whose
prayers are not answered immediately. The cause of the delay may be something
totally unknown to us; yet although the answer may be delayed, the prayer is
always heard immediately" (Feinberg).
Evidently the angel who spoke to Daniel had had some duty in
Persia that involved the kings or rulers of that land. However, having received
a commission from God to visit Daniel he was not able to break away to deliver
it because of the work he had to do in Persia. But the angel Michael visited
this other angel and helped him accomplish his task, so that could get away to
"The angels, although immortal sinless servants of God, are
limited in their physical and intellectual powers. A great number of Scriptures
state or imply these truths: Mat 24:36; 1Pe 1:12; Exo 23:20...; 31:17; Gen
32:24,26; 22:12; 18:21" (WDan).
THE PRINCE OF THE PERSIAN KINGDOM RESISTED ME...: "Men,
whose actions the angels have to guide, are allowed the unfettered exercise of
their wills, and the angels have to influence them to exercise those wills in a
given direction, by regulating the circumstances around them. If you set fire to
a house, you cause all its inmates to leave, without interfering with their free
wills. It is the exercise of their free wills that leads them to endeavour to
escape the fire. So the angels, by disposing circumstances, can influence men to
act in a certain way without interfering with their volitions. Such a mode of
carrying out the work entrusted to them makes their work a delicate and
interesting one, and provides scope for the possibility of that kind of human
antagonism which requires careful and persistent arrangement to overcome, as in
the case of the Persian emperor, who unwittingly was fighting against an angel
in the particular policy he pursued" (WP 230).
The angel had come to explain to Daniel what would happen to
the Jews in the latter days yet future. Daniel had already received some
revelation about what lay ahead for the Jews (Dan 8:23-26; 9:24-27). It was
evidently this revelation that puzzled him and led to his requesting
clarification in prayer (v 2). What follows in Dan 11:2 -- 12:4 (and ESPECIALLY
Dan 12!) is more information on this subject. As in Dan 8:23-26 and Dan 9:24-27,
so also Dan 11:2 -- 12:4 contains information about Israel's fate relative to
Antiochus Epiphanes in the near future, and information about Israel's fate
relative to the tribulations of the distant future, just prior to the Second
THE BOOK OF TRUTH: The "writing of truth" seems to
refer to all that God has recorded as truth. This includes Scripture, but it
also includes all that is true that God has not revealed. The angel would make
part of what God had established as truth known to Daniel. The angel intended
this fact to encourage Daniel in view of his having to leave the prophet to
return to his other work. Likewise, the fact that Michael stood with this angel
in his continuing work would have encouraged Daniel, even though Michael was
apparently his only other angelic comrade in this struggle.
This verse may not introduce Dan 11 so much as it does Dan 12:
the true "time of the end" prophecy.
YOUR PRINCE: This links Michael with Daniel as a
special angel whom God had commissioned to help him and his Jewish brethren (Dan
12:1; cp Rev 12:7; 20:2).