Daniel 10 and 11 are tough chapters to understand, and I don’t think that anyone really has been able to tackle these chapters and get them right.
So, if I tackle these chapters and get them wrong, too?
Well, no harm done, right?
So, let’s try and understand what I believe to be the introduction to Daniel 11, the most confusing chapter in the bible.
1 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, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three whole weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
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 I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz:
6 his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flaming torches, and his arms and his feet like unto burnished 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, and they fled to hide themselves.
8 So 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 fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face toward the ground.
10 And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, thou 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.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thy heart to understand, and to humble thyself before thy God, thy words were heard: and I am come for thy words’ sake.
13 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.
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days:
Up to this point, it’s pretty clear what is happening. Well, it’s pretty clear. So, let me summarize.
Daniel sees a vision, and doesn’t understand it. He humbles himself before God for for three weeks in an attempt to gain understanding. An angel comes (or, what seems to be an angel) and speaks with Daniel. The prince of the Kingdom of Persia was able to keep this angel from coming to Daniel. However, Michael (the Archangel?) comes and helps this angel get to Daniel. This angel comes to show Daniel what is going to happen in the last days.
I have a few questions:
Who is this angel?
Is he an angel?
Who is this prince of the kingdom of Persia?
This shows us that a war is going on all the time. What else is going on?
What a fascinating glimpse of something that we cannot see, but maybe experience only peripherally.
15 and when he had spoken unto me according to these words, I set my face toward the ground, and was dumb.
16 And, behold, one in the likeness 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 reason of the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I retain 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 was there breath left in me.
18 Then there touched me again one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.
19 And he said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he spake unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I am come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I go forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.
21 But I will tell thee that which is inscribed in the writing of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me against these, but Michael your prince.
Anyone who comes and tells you that they understand everything that is going on here is lying to you. The best that we can do is speculate, and I’m not even sure that I should try that here.
Suffice it to say this. There is a lot going on here that is completely fascinating.
Maybe we should move on to Daniel 11, and see if Daniel 11 will shed some light on all this.