Gabriel, an angel from God, brings God’s answer to Daniel. At the moment Daniel began praying, God sent this messenger to speak to him.
Before Daniel finishes praying, God answers. Daniel writes that while he was speaking, praying, confessing his sin and the sin of his people Israel, and making his supplication before the Lord—while he was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel appeared.
Gabriel is an angel, a messenger sent from God. Daniel describes him as a man because he appeared in human form, just as he had in Daniel’s vision previously in Daniel 8:15-19. Apparently Daniel recognized Gabriel from before. He reports that Gabriel arrived in the midst of Daniel’s extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. Daniel is exhausted. It is the end of the day, and he has been fasting and praying for a long time. He may also be emotionally distraught from reflecting on his alienation from his home country, from confessing sin, and from wondering what God’s answer will be, whether He will restore the people of Israel to their home, and show compassion to them.
Gabriel brings God’s answer. This answer relates to much more than what Daniel prayed about. God delivers a response far greater in scope and meaning. Gabriel begins by giving Daniel instruction, saying, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.”
The angel provides an interesting detail about the speed of God’s response. From the beginning of Daniel’s prayer, God gave the command for Gabriel to visit Daniel. God’s answer was ready and on its way before Daniel had finished the first sentence of his prayer. Gabriel explains that he has come to tell Daniel this message because Daniel is highly esteemed by God. Daniel has been unbreakably faithful to God during all his time in Babylon, serving various kings, interpreting visions sent by God. Once more, God has chosen to give Daniel knowledge about the future. Gabriel urges him to heed the message, to listen carefully, and to gain understanding of what will be revealed to him.
20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
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