Daniel 10-11 Daniels Visions are Explained

Turn in your Bibles to Daniel 10:1;

 

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long;[a] and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

 

4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,[b] 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

 

7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.

 

10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

 

12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

 

15 When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16 And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons[c] of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.”

 

18 Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”

 

So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

 

20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.

 

“Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.) 2 And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece. 3 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.

 

My God bless the reading of His word.

 

Let us pray.

 

Here in the 10th Chapter of Daniel, Daniel tells us that a message was revealed to him and that he understood this message and was very distraught. While Daniel understands the message that was revealed to him, he has no context for the time when this well take place. Thus he tells us;

 

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

 

Finally, on the 24th day of the first month Daniel sees:

 

a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

 

Compare this description with that of our Lord Jesus as described by John the Revelator in Revelation chapter 1. Starting in verse 12, John tells us;

 

12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,[h] “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.

 

We cannot help but see the similarities, and yet there are distinct differences.

 

It is hard to believe that our Lord Jesus Christ could be detained by any created being, even the demonic spirit referred to here as the “Prince of Persia.”

 

In this encounter, we once again see Daniel's reliance upon prayer and fasting. His heartache for his people is manifested in this.

 

God in His omniscience and his love for Daniel heeds his earnest prayers and dispatches this messenger to talk to Daniel. We know this because the messenger tells Daniel;

 

from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

 

Only Daniel sees the man before him, though those with flee because they are in fear. Daniel himself is overwhelmed and falls on his face trembling. As he converses with this being he is strengthened and the purpose for this messenger's visit is made clear. He tells Daniel;

 

“Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.

 

“Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.) 2 And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece. 3 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.

 

From this conversation we see several things. First we learn that the battle will continue and that this messenger must return to the fray. After the prince of Persia is defeated the prince of Greece will come. The messenger makes a side note that no one “upholds me” against these, except Michael, your prince.

 

In this exchange we see a small glimmer of the spiritual hierarchy that exists in parallel with this physical world.

 

We know that he who is speaking with Daniel is solely responsible for coming against the prince of Persia and then against the prince of Greece. We know this because he tells us that “no one upholds me against these, except Michael...” Notice that this messenger calls Michael “your prince,” meaning that Michael is the prince of Israel.

 

Evidently, the one speaking to Daniel helped Michael in the first year of Darius the Mede even as Michael has been helping him against the prince of Persia, which leads us to the rest of the interpretation of the vision.

 

The messenger tells Daniel that there will be three more Persian kings. Then there will come a fourth king who is exceedingly wealthy who stirs up all of Persia against Greece. This describes perfectly the actions of Artaxerxes I who literally interfered with Athenian finances through other Greek city states to bring about war.

 

Wikipedia explains:

 

After Persia had been defeated at Eurymedon (ca. 469 BC), military action between Greece and Persia was at a standstill. When Artaxerxes I took power, he introduced a new Persian strategy of weakening the Athenians by funding their enemies in Greece. This indirectly caused the Athenians to move the treasury of the Delian League from the island of Delos to the Athenian acropolis. This funding practice inevitably prompted renewed fighting in 450 BC, where the Greeks attacked at the Battle of Cyprus. After Cimon's failure to attain much in this expedition, the Peace of Callias was agreed among Athens, Argos and Persia in 449 BC.

 

There are other kings after Artaxerxes, but Persia starts to wane and they really aren't noteworthy. In 324 BC Alexander the Great defeated Darius III and the Persian empire. Which the messenger speaks of in 11:3. We see Alexander's death and the break up of his kingdom into four parts in verse 4 and then in verse 5 and on we get into a series of prophecies that lead us through the politics of the Greeks, the Romans and the Egyptians, through Antiochus Epiphanes and into modern times, if you will accept it.

 

Through verse 35 can be shown to fit historical events. From 36 on seems to be apocalyptic and yet to be fulfilled prophecy separated from the earlier events by a span of time.

 

I'd like to read these verses from the NET Bible translation for clarities sake. The translators have put in the actual actors in places where the word he is used in some places to better clarify who is doing what. We read;

 

11:36 “Then the king 81 will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of 82 wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur. 83 11:37 He will not respect 84 the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women. 85 He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. 11:38 What he will honor is a god of fortresses – a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. 11:39 He will attack 86 mighty fortresses, aided by 87 a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price. 88

 

11:40 “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack 89 him. Then the king of the north will storm against him 90 with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. 91 He 92 will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river. 93 11:41 Then he will enter the beautiful land. 94 Many 95 will fall, but these will escape: 96 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. 11:42 He will extend his power 97 against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. 11:43 He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians 98 will submit to him. 99 11:44 But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 11:45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas 100 toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.

 

The core verses echo those of Jesus, Paul, John and the Old Testament prophets about the end time. We can see clearly that the predicted abomination of desolation committed by Antiochus Epiphanes, and which is shown in verses 11:21-35, is not the same blasphemy and sacrilege that will happen in the “time of the end.”

 

Verse 36 starts cryptically with a reference to “the king.” The NET Bible explains this passage by saying:

 

The identity of this king is problematic. If vv. 36-45 continue the description of Antiochus Epiphanes, the account must be viewed as erroneous, since the details do not match what is known of Antiochus’ latter days. Most modern scholars take this view, concluding that this section was written just shortly before the death of Antiochus and that the writer erred on several key points as he tried to predict what would follow the events of his own day. Conservative scholars, however, usually understand the reference to shift at this point to an eschatological figure, viz., the Antichrist. The chronological gap that this would presuppose to be in the narrative is not necessarily a problem, since by all accounts there are many chronological gaps throughout the chapter, as the historical figures intended by such expressions as “king of the north” and “king of the south” repeatedly shift.

 

Interestingly we do get some hints about this Anti-Christ. We know;

 

will do as he pleases

exalt and magnify himself above every deity

utter presumptuous things against the God of gods

will not respect 84 the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women

he will honor is a god of fortresses literally Allah Al Muiz or in Hebrew Moazim

He will attack 86 mighty fortresses, aided by 87 a foreign deity

 

We also know that at the time of the end, the king of the South* will attack him and that certain kingdoms will not fall under his sway, such as Edom and Moab, while Egypt, the Libyans and the Ethiopians will submit to him.

 

Just more clues to keep our eyes open for as we live our lives with that expectation of Jesus' return which we have spoken of before.

 

Finally we read;

 

But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 11:45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas 100 toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.

 

And we know that this is the most beautiful of verses, because the son of perdition will be defeated by our Lord and Savior as not only Daniel, but many of the prophets, including John, have recorded.

 

If you confess Jesus as Lord, I urge you to dig into these passages with the understanding that centuries can be hidden by a semi-colon or a period and that, as we shall read next week, this book has been purposefully sealed up until the end time because of God's decree.

 

That being said, there is still a great deal of not only detail, but fulfillment of history in these passages. Understanding the fulfillment of prophecy in the past helps us to testify to the accuracy of the Bible in terms that can help us to open a dialog with those who are not yet followers of Jesus Christ.

 

But once again, I reiterate that the fact that an end will come, should not stifle the followers of Jesus, nor should it cause them to retreat from civilization.

 

On the contrary, we are called to be salt and light to the world.

 

If we cannot be salt then what good are we?

 

If we do not let our light illuminate the darkness then what usefulness do we have?

 

The Bible's prophecies have all been fulfilled except those that have to do with the end of days. We need to urgently convey this message every man, woman and child who will hear it, in order that God will save those whom he has decreed.

 

And if you have never confessed Jesus as Lord, I urge you to consider the words of this messenger who revealed this truth to Daniel.

 

Study it.

 

Understand it.

 

Then ask yourself, if you were to die tonight, where would you go, and why?

 

If you answer is not that you have confessed Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then whatever else you believe in is not sufficient.

 

Jesus Himself said; “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.”

 

You see, this book, which details the spiritual and physical conflict between good and evil tells us very clearly that all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

Before you get all defensive about that word sin, you need to realize that it simply means disobeying God, by either doing something He doesn't want you to do, or by not doing something that He wants you to do.

 

So unless you have kept all of God's commandments perfectly, from the moment you were born, you have sinned.

 

The wages of sin is death, but not just ceasing to exist death, but death and eternal separation from God in that place that Jesus calls “the outer darkness, where there is crying and gnashing of teeth.”

 

That's the truth that is told by this book that speaks of things that happen hundreds and even thousands of years into the future with absolute accuracy.

 

If you don't want to believe it, then the burden is upon you, and you alone.

 

However, if the weight of your sin is becoming real to you and the thought of God's wrath against you causes you to grieve, then God is making you into a new creation and you need to cry out to Him to give you the faith to confess His Son as your Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.

 

Romans 10:9-13 says;

 

if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[g]

 

Won't you do it today?

 

Let us pray.

 

* This originally said both king of south and king of north, but it is clear from the commentaries that the King of the North is the Anti-Christ even as it is clear there is a historical gap between verse 35 and 36.

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