Daniel 10:1-12, 14-19
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true…
I was left alone, and saw this great vision (ver. 8). It is well to begin by clearing up the context. We have now only one more prophecy in Daniel. This occupies the eleventh chapter. The tenth contains a prologue to the prophecy; the twelfth, an epilogue. In Daniel 10:1 the character of the prophecy is indicated:
1. Its subject-matter is afflictive. "The conflict is great. It covers a time of great calamities (see the Hebrew).
2. The prophecy was to be unusually intelligible. And he understood the word, and understanding was there to him in the vision." Some haze of mystery there might be, but not the thick darkness which had enrobed preceding revelations.
3. It would certainly be true. "A word was revealed to Daniel... and true the word." The prophecy of ch. 11. is the most minute of Scripture; and hence men have been tempted to disbelieve in it as prophecy, and to regard it as prophecy written after the event, lien might have disregarded it before fulfilment; hence Daniel gives this assurance. We now here concern ourselves with Daniel's vision of the Christ.
I. THE SCENE OF THE VISION On the Tigris. The first migration to Jerusalem had taken place. Daniel's advanced age made it, perhaps, impossible that he should have joined in it. He may have been on the Tigris:
1. Either on an embassage.
2. Or retired from all official life.
II. THE TIME OF THE VISION.
1. Two years after the first migration back from captivity (ver. 1).
2. A time of sorrow. Mourning was usually for seven days: Daniel mourned for three times seven. Fasting, etc. Why? Realize the circumstances. The temple was indeed rising; but neighbouring peoples were exerting all their influence with the Persian king to frustrate the work. Therefore anxiety and fear. Daniel's affliction would be in proportion as success seemed certain. Good men grieve over slow progress of the Divine kingdom, and the fierceness of the opposition.
3. Time of the Passover. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month came the vision. We infer that Daniel had consecrated the first three weeks of the new year to devotion. This included the Passover week - a time of unusual solemnity - when he would be in earnest sympathy with his nation.
III. THE VISION. That this was none other than the vision of Christ the Lord appears:
1. From the after-developments of the scene.
2. From a comparison with the vision of Christ in the Apocalypse. (Revelation 1.)
Compare the two descriptions of clothing - the girdle, the countenance, the eyes, the feet, the voice. Daniel adds, "His body also was like the beryl." John adds, "His head and his hairs were white," etc. In drawing out the description into detail, note: the clothing was of the finest, purest - the garb of priests, prophets, saints, and angels; the uncovered portions of the body shone with gemlike splendour; all the symbols suggest light-splendour; the girdle of fine gold; the arms and feet "like the eye of polished brass," the part that catches the blaze of sunlight and throws it back; the face as lightning, and the eyes as fire; the voice majestic. All this may be spiritually expanded.
IV. THE EFFECT OF THE VISION.
1. On the companions of the seer. (Ver. 7.) Compare effect on Paul's companions on the way to Damascus, of the vision of the same Christ.
2. On the seer. (Vers. 8, 9.) He swooned; but the mighty voice came rolling into his ear, as the roar of ocean breaks into the caves upon the shore. Here we have a picture of the inability of man to stand before the unveiled revelations of God (comp. Revelation 1:17).
V. THE RESTORING OF CHRIST THE LORD. Christ:
1. Sets man erect in the presence of Divine revelations. (Ver. 11.) No need of cringing. We ourselves are made. in the image of God, and have affinity with the Divine.
2. He does so gradually. Daniel was first flat on his face; then on all fours; then half-raised and trembling; and finally stood upright on his feet. In this, see how man is gradually led up to all the light which God has to give. In heaven the unveiling may be gradual (vers. 9, 10, 11).
3. Sympathetically. "Behold, a hand touched me" (vers. 10, 16-19).
4. Assures man that his devout aspirations are recognized beyond the sky. Daniel's was the attitude of a devout truth-seeker. He "had set his heart to understand," and "to chasten himself before his God." We should have more uniformity of Scripture interpretation, were the interpreter always of this spirit.
5. And of the sure answer to his prayers. (Ver. 12.) As soon as prayer was offered, it was heard, and secret agencies were evoked for its answer; but there were many obstacles to be overcome. The later part of the chapter shows this. So may it ever be, before our prayers can be answered, long lines and combinations of secondary causes may have to he set in operation, and formidable hostilities subdued. Patience in waiting for, as well as faith in expecting, the answer, are both necessary in the matter of prayer. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
WEB: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.