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Daniel 10:15-21 meaning

Daniel feels unworthy of being visited by this angelic messenger. The angel reassures Daniel that he is esteemed by God and should be courageous. He strengthens Daniel and begins to tell him the message about Israel's future.

Daniel writes that after the angel had spoken to him these words (about Israel's future) Daniel turned his face toward the ground and became speechless. The initial appearance of the messenger was enough to cause Daniel to faint (vs. 8-9). Now that Daniel has heard the reason for the angel's coming, he turns mute and looks away. The angel has already given strength to Daniel once, after he suddenly fainted. Now, yet again, the angel restores Daniel's faculties. He was touching Daniel's lips, so that Daniel opened his mouth and spoke, his speech restored. He now speaks to the angel standing before him.

The angel apparently has changed forms, or veiled his alarming appearance from before (vs. 5-6), or perhaps now Daniel has overcome his initial shock and sees him more clearly. Daniel now describes him as one who resembled a human being. It is surely the same person who was speaking to Daniel, because the angel identifies himself as the one who came to Daniel and will return to fight against the prince of Persia after he delivers his message. The prince of Persia is a demonic power who delayed the angel for three weeks (v. 13). This angel apparently must return to battle the prince.

Daniel, able to speak again, tells the angel, O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. The angel first appeared in an inhuman form, with bright burning skin and eyes like lightning, and a thunderous voice. Daniel was overwhelmed by this sight. He explains that he feels weak and afraid, elaborating that he feels unable to receive this heavenly visitor: For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me. Daniel, both humbled and afraid, doesn't understand how a messenger from God can converse with a mortal like Daniel. He tells the angel he is weak and breathless.

The angel, in the form of a human, comforts Daniel once more. Daniel writes that this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. Apparently the angel had the power to transmit energy to Daniel. The angel offers encouraging words, saying, O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous! Despite Daniel's feeling of inadequacy for this heavenly visit, the angel reassures him that God holds Daniel in high esteem. There is nothing to fear. The angel is there to serve Daniel. It is Daniel that is held in high esteem. Here perhaps we get a glimpse of the description the Bible makes of humans as "a little lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:7, 9) but destined to rule over the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). Perhaps also a bit of the extent to which angels long to understand things that are being revealed to humans (1 Peter 1:12).

Daniel is reassured to not be afraid, and is twice told to be courageous. He is exhorted by the angel telling him peace be with you. With these words and the angel's touch, Daniel receives strength and says, May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.

The angel replies, Do you understand why I came to you? The angel does not wait for a response. Perhaps the angel was making sure Daniel was alert enough to have understood what had transpired to that point, and was sufficiently satisfied, so proceeded. Perhaps he answers his own question. If so, the next phrase initially seems an odd answer. He says: But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. Upon reflection, it seems the angel is giving an answer to the question why I came to you? by letting Daniel know he is about to hear of future events that involve multiple kingdoms (Persia and Greece), the future, with Greece as a rising power, and angelic warfare.

Another part of the answer as to why the angel came to Daniel comes next: However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. It is interesting to ponder what is meant by the writing of truth. It would not refer to the Bible as it had then been written. This is new information not previously recorded. So it seems to pertain to a writing that is in heaven. The Bible speaks of "books" in heaven a number of times. Psalm 40 might refer to such a book when it says:

"Then I said, "Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me"
(Psalm 40:7)

We know from Hebrews 10:5-7 that this is spoken of Jesus. It could be that "the book" is a writing in heaven of what will transpire in history.

Revelation 13:8 speaks of,

"…everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain"

This verse indicates that there are books in heaven with all future events recorded. While the "book of life" has recorded all whose names were "written before the foundation of the world" it seems the writing of truth could be a similar book with all events recorded. And now the unnamed angel is disclosing some of the events in the writing of truth to Daniel.

Why would the forces of darkness exert such energy to prevent these events from the book of truth from being disclosed? We are not told, but perhaps these demonic forces still have hope to thwart these writings of truth and make them untrue. By preventing the encouragement and understanding given to Daniel (and anyone seeking understanding), it would aid their evil plan to discourage and dissuade.

The angel continues what appears to be an answer to the question Do you understand why I came to you? He adds: Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince. Perhaps the angel is reinforcing why he was late bringing the message. If so, this seems a bit humorous, the angel sheepishly apologizing before the trembling human. Perhaps the angel is foreshadowing the extent to which his explanation and his message are filled with "great conflict" (Daniel 10:1).This great conflict extends even to the heavens.

Why does no other angel stand firmly with him against these forces of evil other than Michael the captain of the Jewish people? The word translated stands firmly can also be translated "hardened" and "prevailed." It carries the idea of dogged persistence. Perhaps Michael is the only dependable ally because only the Jews are praying, and the prayers of the saints unleash spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). The daily prayers of Daniel are possibly of particular influence, and this is the reason for the angel's remark to this human of high esteem.

This messenger tells Daniel he will return to fight against the prince of Persia, because that battle had not ended. This might be like all spiritual warfare which goes on around us during this age. Even then, the angel knew of future enemies who would arise against him...and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. Greece would defeat the Medo-Persian empire and rule in its place, as also prophesied elsewhere (Daniel 3:39, Daniel 7:6, Daniel 8:21). And demonic forces, led by a prince of Greece similar to the prince of Persia, would apparently play a major role, and take the place of the kings of Persia. They likely influenced and corrupted the Greek rulers.

Before giving Daniel the message he came to deliver, the angel remarks one final time about the spiritual war he is engaged in, that no one stands firmly with him against these forces except Michael your prince. Michael is identified as Daniel's prince, and by implication Israel's prince. Just as there are princes for Persia and eventually Greece, Israel's prince is Michael the archangel, who was powerful enough to help this messenger reach Daniel.

The angel's message about the days yet future and what will happen to Israel(v. 14) is recorded in the following chapters, 11 & 12.

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