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Read Daniel 10

Daniel’s Vision of a Man

10 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.

At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 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.

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bankof the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, 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.

I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, 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.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do 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. 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. 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.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 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, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength.19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”

20 So he said, “Do 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; 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.

Go Deeper

The vision given to Daniel in today’s reading is an eye-opening view of the spiritual battle going on around us. As a reminder, when Daniel receives this vision, he has been mourning and fasting for 21 days. The Jews had been enduring persecution throughout the land, and Daniel was apparently grieving for three weeks over these struggles before he went down to the Tigris River. 

In verses 5-6, Daniel sees the vision of a man dressed in linen. This figure is believed by most commentaries to be a vision of Jesus, primarily because Daniel’s description is extremely similar to those given of the Son of God, by both Ezekiel in his book and by John in the book of Revelation. However, the “man” who touched Daniel in verse 10 is thought to be an angel. We see this angel encourage Daniel not to fear, specifically addressing Daniel’s requests in the previous chapter. The angel also explains why he was not able to get to Daniel sooner during his three weeks of mourning and fasting. 

In verse 13, the angel explains that he could not get to Daniel because he was blocked by the “prince of Persia.” The angel is describing a spiritual battle between himself and a demonic figure that kept him from coming to Daniel, before one of the chief angels (Michael) stepped in. Michael had the authority and power needed to help this angel break away and be able to deliver a message to Daniel regarding the future of the Jews. The end of the chapter also mentions demonic angels that will be assigned to Greece, which is a foretelling of the rule of Alexander the Great some 200 years later. 

The facts included in the vision are described as lifting “the veil that covers the natural and spiritual realms to reveal a battle that goes on in the invisible angelic realm.” While sitting in that thought for too long might make us fearful, be quick to remember that we are promised ultimate victory over evil. But we do have a role in the battle.  

We are directed to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are to avoid any practice of the supernatural and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We must choose a side and avoid neutrality (Matthew 12:30). We must know and apply God’s Word to our daily lives (Luke 4:1-12). We must know our enemies (1 John 2:16). And we must use our most powerful tool of prayer by following Jesus’s example. To prepare for and fight his spiritual battles, Jesus withdrew and spent time with God in prayer. (Luke 5), and He combined prayer with fasting. (Luke 4).  

As we reflect on today’s reading, it’s helpful to reflect on the words in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: 

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

As you go about your day today, pray that your eyes will be opened to unseen battles, whether big or small, so that you can both appreciate the victories being won on your behalf and fulfill your role of covering those battles in prayer. 


  1. What areas of your life feel like they are under attack and need specific prayer? 
  2. Consider what thoughts you have let take control of you, rather than you taking them captive and making them obedient to Christ. Spend some time waging war on those thoughts through focused prayer.
  3. Read back through the list of ways we can participate in the spiritual battles (putting on the armor of God, avoiding the supernatural, choosing a side, knowing and applying God’s Word, recognizing our enemies, prayer and fasting). Which of these needs more attention from you and how can you work on that this week?

A Quote

“As the most dangerous winds may enter at little openings, so the devil never enters more dangerously than by little unobserved incidents, which seem to be nothing, yet insensibly open the heart to great temptations.” – John Wesley

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4 thoughts on “Daniel 10”

  1. Spiritual warfare is real. We are under attack all day, every day, just about. The adversary knows where we are weak, he seeks to kill, steal and destroy us so that we do not or cannot serve God. I believe in guardian angels. I know that my Mom was on her knees so much for me and what coulda shoulda happened didn’t but that was because of her interceding on my behalf. The evil one tries to get us to think that he doesn’t exist or that he is nor worth worrying about. There is an “invisible” war going on in the heavenlies between forces of evil and forces of God. Our responsibility is to put on the whole armor of God by faith and use the Word of God and believing prayer to oppose and defeat the wicked one. God directs the armies of heaven on our behalf even though we may know nothing about the war going on. Pray is our way to intercede for each other. Pray is spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,(ESV)

    God thank You for Holy Spirit and wisdom and knowledge. Thank You for increasing my intimacy with You. God Your grace is my sufficiency but my obedience is the answer to my question of a closer walk with You. Thank You armor and wearing it correctly. Thank You for listening ears to hear and obey who I need to be praying for and how in Jesus name amen

  2. God is gracious in providing us with this glimpse into the unseen struggle that is continually waged against the principalities of evil. We see this in our lives and in the world around us. But the newscasters and society at large explain these manifestations of sin in terms that ignore their root cause. This is not unlike describing the symptoms of a sickness without diagnosing its pathology. The absurdity of their unwillingness to acknowledge sin is masked by the ubiquity of this myopic presentist world view. Their specious humanistic constructs are seductive because they pander to the cravings of our fallen nature to become our own god.

    Paul forewarned us of this turn away from God in 1 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    Daniel too was living in a society that had fashioned false gods in its own image. It would have been easy for him to forsake the truth and embrace social norms. In human terms, he stood to gain much by doing this in advancing his diplomatic career.

    But Daniel was faithful. He humbled himself before his God (v. 12) and set his mind to gain understanding. God heard his earnest pleas, and answered his prayers. Through this remarkable revelation, Daniel was able to escape the fog of our fallen consciousness and see the true nature of things.

    The scope of the vision is remarkable: It shows God’s sovereignty over Daniel’s life and over the whole sweep of history. Daniel responds to this manifestation of God’s power with fear and trembling. It is the only response possible in the presence of an awesome God. But God granted Daniel this encounter to strengthen him (v. 19):

    “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

    What a privilege it is that we too can share in this vision thanks to the timelessness and timeliness of God’s revealed Word. As we walk in the light in a dark world, God reminds us too:

    Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,.. Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

    How can we be strong in the face of ridicule and even persecution? This vision reminds us that God is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent and merciful. He knows our human doubts and weaknesses. Today He sends us this reminder that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” (Romans 8:37). This vision is God’s gift to us as it was to Daniel. As we seek to live our lives faithfully and walk in the light day by day, Jesus reminds us that the battle belongs to the LORD.:

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world, (John 16:34).

    Thanks be to God!

  3. Ella Snodgrass

    The rhythms, habits and patterns of our lives matter immensely in determining how well we engage in the seen and unseen battles we encounter. Daniel prioritized prayer and fasting and v19 reveals he was “highly esteemed”, yet the battle/vision still drained his strength and made him fearful. Somehow we’ve bought into the misconception that once we receive Christ there should be no bumps or bruises along our path. Perhaps we’ve been influenced subtly by the prosperity gospel and our selfish natures. How often do we even ponder battles in the heavenly realm? Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Praying our hearts are stirred to maintain and preserve habits that equip us to stand strong in the strength of our God no matter what comes our way. Revelation 12:11 is key, “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

  4. 12 “Then he continued, “Do 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.“

    Gabriel’s reasoning for coming to Daniel are instructions for me today. I meditated on Daniel 9 yesterday, and the quickness of response that he received. Yet, today, there was a gap in response. But Gabriel explains why Daniel’s fasting probably went on longer than expected. There could be possible lessons to learn here while waiting for God to answer or respond to prayer. That perhaps, there is power in a pause. A spiritual war being fought on our behalf, that if we lose focus—we perhaps could forfeit victory.
    Great thoughts today on this passage.. much to meditate further on.

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