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Daniel 10: A vision that troubles Daniel

I read this on Thursday and planned to blog about it last night, but I decided to wait for two reasons: this is one of those chapters that must be read carefully (preferably several times) and I was a little too tired. Blogging about the Bible’s something I prefer to do on a fresh mind. You never know who will stumble upon this blog, and I want them to get something out of it rather than read the ramblings of someone who’s a little too sleepy to make sense.

Since I’m still shaking off rust as I read parts of the Bible that–sadly–I haven’t read in years, it’s very possible the next few times I go through this area of the Bible and as I grow more as a Christian, I may have a more elaborate analysis. Or, perhaps I’ll sound a little less dumb than I do now.

(That was supposed to be a joke, in case you were wondering).

With that…

During the third year of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel experienced yet another vision. What he saw bothered him. Greatly. For three full weeks, he mourned and fasted and even refrained from personal hygiene. It sounds like the activity one would normally associate with extreme distress and mourning.

Why the anguish?

Daniel, during the 24th day of the first month, walked by the great river Hiddekel (or the Tigris River) when he saw a man in a glorified body: clothed in linen, wearing a gold belt, his body bright, his eyes as “the lamps of fire”, his skin like polished brass and his voice “…of a multitude”.

Was this a pre-incarnation of Jesus? No, it was an angel. Daniel wrote that he alone saw the vision; those with him saw only a shaking of the earth that caused them to flee.

This experience left Daniel physically and emotionally weak, but he was assured by this angel there was nothing to fear. He learned he was greatly loved by God and that he was in excellent favor. I assume that due to Daniel’s spiritual and perhaps even social conduct, a man who behaved himself wisely, that he was chosen to receive this vision.

The angel told Daniel he came to meet with him, but that he (the angel) was delayed for 21 days by a demon of Persia. The conflict became such that Michael the Archangel came to help.

The angel’s message to Daniel? To help Daniel understand what would happen to the Jewish people in the “latter days”; the vision to be shared was for many days.

As the angel spoke to Daniel, he experienced the “simultitude” of many people and described as it as a vision where “my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.”

Further, Daniel asked something else that tells how distressful the vision was for him in verse 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.”

Daniel was then strengthened by the angel and was encouraged to be of courage. The angel then returned to fight the demon in Persia and then, after that, against the demon of Greece.

The chapter ended with the angel telling Daniel: “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.”

What exactly happened in the vision? It’s possible Daniel saw the persecution the Jewish people would face in a distant future. Perhaps during the Great Tribulation, and perhaps even the Holocaust. Whatever it was broke Daniel’s heart. Instead of being ill for a few days, he was ill for a few weeks.

Richard Zowie plans to read about the Minor Prophets once done with Daniel. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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