Introduction: This week we begin our study of Daniel’s last major
vision. Daniel is now an old man, probably around 90 years of age. In
the prior visions Daniel has been shown the sweep of history among
nations. This week we find another, critical, aspect of history – the
supernatural side of the conflict. Let’s jump into our study of
Daniel and look at this from a new point of view!

  1. The Revelation

    1. Read Daniel 10:1. What does this date, the third year of
      Cyrus, tell us? (According to the Bible Knowledge
      Commentary this is 536 B.C. The Jewish exiles have begun
      to return and rebuild the sanctuary. Daniel 1:21 suggests
      that Daniel has recently retired from a high position in
      the administration.)

      1. What does this revelation concern? (“A great war.”)

      2. Does Daniel understand it? (It appears that a vision
        came soon after that helped Daniel to understand.)

    2. Read Daniel 10:2-3. Why is Daniel mourning? (Read Daniel
      10:12. Daniel is upset about the vision of a great war and
      he is praying and fasting so that God will help him
      understand what it means. It appears that the “soon
      thereafter” vision is three weeks later.)

      1. Read Daniel 1:8 and Daniel 1:12-13. Notice something
        that we have touched on before, Daniel’s diet has
        changed. Why? Is it because when you reach 90 years-old you can pretty much eat anything you want? (This
        reinforces our prior conclusion that Daniel’s actions
        in chapter 1 are not so much an endorsement of a
        vegetarian diet, but an avoidance of eating meat
        offered to an idol and not properly prepared. At this
        stage of his life Daniel has control over the way his
        food is prepared.)

  2. The Messenger

    1. Read Daniel 10:4-5 and Daniel 10:12. What message is being
      delivered to Daniel? (Daniel’s mourning and fasting in
      order to understand this vision about the great war has
      paid off. This messenger is coming to bring understanding
      to Daniel.)

    2. Read Daniel 10:5-6 and Revelation 1:13-16. If you were the
      police, and you were taking a description from Daniel and
      John, would you think they saw the same person?

      1. Who do you think is this messenger? For additional
        clues read Daniel 10:10-13. (Although the first
        description that looks like the description of Jesus
        in Revelation suggests that this is Jesus in both
        cases, it is hard to imagine that Jesus was “sent” or
        could be delayed because of resistance. In addition,
        there is good reason to believe that Michael is Jesus
        (see Revelation 12:7), and Michael is different than
        this messenger. That causes me to conclude that
        Gabriel is the messenger who has come once again to

    3. Read Daniel 10:7-9. Why did those people who did not see
      the messenger or the vision hide? (This reflects the
      terrible power of heavenly beings. We should not forget
      this aspect of angels.)

    4. Read Daniel 10:10-11. What do we learn about God’s concern
      for our understanding? (Daniel is a model for us in
      desperately seeking to understand God’s will. God rewards
      a hunger for understanding His word.

  3. Spiritual Warfare

    1. Read Daniel 10:12-13. Could an earthly king delay Gabriel
      for 21 days? Would Jesus (Michael) have to aid Gabriel to
      overcome a human? ( The answer is “of course not.” Recall
      that those people near Daniel were terrorized by Gabriel’s
      presence. Daniel was rendered helpless ( Daniel 10:7-8).)

      1. Read John 12:28-31, John 14:30-31 and John 16:10-11.
        What do these texts and the context of Daniel 10
        suggest to you about the nature of “the prince of the
        Persian kingdom?” (This suggests that this prince is
        a fallen angel.)

        1. The texts in John refer to Satan as the prince
          of the world. What does this suggest about a
          fallen angel called the prince of Persia? (This
          makes me think that this is not Satan himself,
          but one of his lieutenants who has been
          assigned to work with Cyrus.)

      2. Is this telling us what motivated Satan to try to
        prevent Gabriel from giving his message to Daniel?
        Or, is Gabriel just explaining the work problems he
        has recently been having? (Re-read Daniel 10:12.
        Gabriel is bringing the interpretation of this vision
        that Daniel received. A good argument can be made
        that Satan delayed Gabriel because he does not want
        Daniel to understand this vision.)

        1. We are going to be studying this vision during
          the next two weeks. What does this suggest
          about the importance of this vision?

      3. Have you prayed about something and it seemed like
        the answer was delayed? Have you considered that
        there might be a supernatural element to this? (Read
        Ephesians 6:12. Paul tells us that the principal
        battle that we face is against spiritual forces
        aligned with Satan!)

    2. Read Daniel 10:14. Daniel is told that the vision is about
      “your people” in “a time yet to come.” Who are Daniel’s
      people? (Israel. The Jewish people.)

      1. Since our study of the vision extends for the next
        two weeks, and reaches to the end of time, I want you
        to remember that Gabriel says this is about the
        Jewish people. I am concerned that we do not take the
        involvement of “Daniel’s people” seriously enough
        when we consider end times.)

    3. Read Daniel 10:15-17. Why does an explanation of the
      future require Daniel to speak? I thought his role was
      simply to pay attention! (This makes no sense unless the
      conversation is interactive. It must mean that Daniel asks
      questions when he does not understand.)

    4. Read Daniel 10:18-19. What will God’s angels do for us?
      (They will give us strength. They can encourage us.)

    5. Read Daniel 10:20. Where is Gabriel going next? (To
      “fight” against the prince of Persian and the prince of

      1. Who is the prince of Greece? (This must be another of
        Satan’s top lieutenants who is in charge of Greece.
        Note that in Daniel’s prior visions that Greece
        follows Medo-Persia as the reigning world empire.)

    6. Read Daniel 10:21. How could Gabriel say that he has no
      support except from Jesus (Michael)? Is not all of heaven
      at his disposal? (I don’t think Gabriel is talking about
      what could happen, he is simply telling Daniel who has
      been assigned to this specific battle.)

      1. When Gabriel says that Michael is Daniel’s prince,
        does this mean that Daniel is so important that
        Michael has been assigned to him? (If Michael has
        truly been assigned to Daniel, that creates serious
        problems for the belief that Michael is Jesus.
        Perhaps Gabriel is simply affirming that Michael is
        on “our” side, on the side of God’s people.)

    7. Let’s revisit Daniel 10:13. When we discussed this delay
      before, I thought it involved something physical, because
      Gabriel needed help. If Gabriel is returning to this
      “fight” ( Daniel 10:20), does this seem like a physical
      battle? (If you were physically wrestling, it seems
      unlikely that you would take a break and come back later.)

      1. What kind of battle might this be? (We know that King
        Cyrus of Persia was helping God’s people to return to
        Jerusalem and rebuild the sanctuary. We have also
        studied how this did not work out smoothly. The
        logical conclusion is that Gabriel (with the help of
        Michael) is encouraging Cyrus to do the right thing.
        The prince of Persia, Satan’s ally, is encouraging
        Cyrus to do the wrong thing.)

      2. What role do you play in this kind of spiritual
        battle? (You need to be aware of the battle going on
        around you. And, you need to be aware that you can be
        helpful in the battle involving the spiritual welfare
        of others!)

    8. Friend, will you ask the Holy Spirit to help you to follow
      God and be an effective ally in the spiritual war going on
      all around us?

  4. Next week: From North and South to the Beautiful Land.