Final Vision - Visitation

SYNOPSIS - Chapter 10 introduces the final vision recorded in chapter 11, with verbal links to the vision of the ram and goat - Daniel 10:1-21

Long View - Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash
The tenth chapter of 
Daniel introduces its final vision that Daniel received from one with the “appearance of a man.” It is connected by verbal links to the previous visions, including the prophecy of the “seventy weeks.” The vision that follows the introduction in chapter 11 expands on the interpretation of the “ram and the goat” and its portrayal of Greece divided into four “lesser kingdoms.” The vision itself concerns the intermittent warfare between the “king of the north and the king of the south,” two of the four Greek realms - (Daniel 8:15-26, 11:1-4). - [Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash].

The focus of the subsequent is on the “contemptible” king who persecuted the Jewish nation – Disrupting the daily sacrifices and erecting the “abomination that desolates” in the sanctuary - (Daniel 11:31-36).

In chapter 10, conflicts between angelic forces set the stage for the change of empires and subsequent conflicts described in chapter 11. The involvement of angels demonstrates the control of Yahweh over the historical processes taking place. Greece, for example, desired to destroy the Persian Empire for decades but was unable to do so until the proper time.
  • (Daniel 10:1-9) – “In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a matter was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and faithful was the matter, but concerned a great warfare, and he marked the word, and had understanding in the revelation. In those days, I, Daniel was mourning three sevens of days: food to delight in did I not eat, neither flesh nor wine came into my mouth, nor did I so much as anoint myself until were fulfilled three sevens of days. And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, when I was by the side of the great river Tigris, I lifted up my eyes and looked, and lo, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with the bright gold of Uphaz; whose body was like Tarshish-stone, and his face like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes were like torches of fire, and his arms and his feet like the look of bronze burnished, and the sound of his words was like the sound of a multitude. And I alone beheld the revelation, and the men who were with me beheld not the revelation, in truth, a great terror had fallen upon them and they had fled while hiding themselves. I, therefore, was left alone, and beheld this great revelation, and there remained in me no strength, but my freshness was turned upon me into disfigurement, and I retained no strength. So then I heard the sound of his words, and when I heard the sound of his words, then I myself came to be in a deep sleep upon my face, with my face to the earth.
The vision is dated to the “third year of Cyrus,” approximately 535 B.C., which means Daniel had not returned to Jerusalem after Cyrus released the Jewish exiles. The vision was received when Daniel was beside the Tigris River in Persian territory (the Hiddekel - Genesis 2:14).

I was mourning three sevens of days.” Or twenty-one days. Daniel now delimits time in the same manner as in the preceding chapter – (“three sevens,” “seven sevens”). The Hebrew text adds the term yôm or “day,” which is here emphatic. Thus, the angel did not arrive until the “three sevens” had run their full course.

In the preceding vision, Gabriel “divided seven sevens” into three divisions - “seven sevens,” “sixty-two sevens,” and one “seven.” In the interpretation of the “fourth beast” from the sea, the “little horn” persecuted the “saints” over a threefold period - “season, seasons, part of a season.”

Whose name was called Belteshazzar.” A link to the first chapter when Daniel was given this Babylonian name. The final vision of “Belteshazzar” would complete a process of revelation that began seven decades earlier - (Daniel 1:6-7).

A thing was revealed to Daniel…and faithful was the matter.” In other words, Daniel received further insight into the matter disclosed previously. More correctly, “great warfare” reads “great host,” as in an army; it is a verbal link to the vision of the “ram and goat”:
  • (Daniel 8:10-13) – “Yea, it became great as far as the host of the heavens, and caused to fall to the earth some of the host and some of the stars, and trampled them underfoot; even as far as the ruler of the host showed his greatness, and because of him was taken away the daily burnet offering, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down; and a host was set over the daily burnet offering by transgression, and faithfulness was cast down to the ground and so he acted with effect, and succeeded.
He had understanding in the vision.” The term rendered “vision” occurs five times in the interpretation of the “ram and goat,” and it provides another link to it. Additionally, it is a link to the “seventy weeks”:
  • (Daniel 8:15) – “And it came to pass, when I had seen the vision and sought for the meaning, there stood before me one with the appearance of a man.”
  • (Daniel 8:16) – “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
  • (Daniel 8:26) – “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore, shut up the vision.”
  • (Daniel 8:27) – “And I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
  • (Daniel 9:23) – “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Daniel was troubled by his understanding of the earlier vision and its significance for the Jewish nation, which is why he fasted and mourned. The men with him did not understand. This is a further connection to the earlier visions that caused the prophet great turmoil:
  • (Daniel 7:28) – “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”
  • (Daniel 8: 27) – “And I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king’s business: and I wondered at the vision, but none understood it.”
There are further parallels in how Daniel interacted with the angels. For example, in chapter 8, Gabriel was sent to make Daniel “understand the vision.” Frightened, he fell on his face and into “into a deep sleep,” but Gabriel touched him and set him upright.
  • (Daniel 10:10-15) – “And a hand touched me and roused me up on my knees and the palms of my hands. Then said he, O Daniel, a man greatly loved, have understanding in the words which I am about to speak, and stand up where you are, for now have I been sent to you. And when he had spoken with me, I stood trembling. Then said he to me, Do not fear, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard; and I am come by reason of your words. But the ruler of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but lo, Michael, one of the chief rulers, came to help me, and I left him there beside the kings of Persia. So then I have come to let you understand that which will befall your people in the afterpart of the days, for yet is the vision for those days. And when he had spoken with me such words as these, I set my face towards the earth, and was dumb.”
O Daniel, greatly beloved, have understanding.” This provides more verbal links to the earlier visions, including the “seventy weeks.” “Understanding” and “beloved” were both used by Gabriel when he appeared to explain the “seventy sevens”:
  • (Daniel 9:22-23) – “O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved, therefore consider the matter and understand the vision.
The connection to Gabriel’s previous visit is important – the next revelation will provide further understanding on the preceding one. The explanation of the “seventy weeks” provided already was not the final answer to Daniel’s petition at the start of chapter 9.

For from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself.” This refers to the preceding chapter where Daniel inquired about the “word” of Yahweh through Jeremiah, and petitioned God over the “desolations of Jerusalem” - (Daniel 9:1-23).

The “ruler of Persia” and the “ruler of Greece” link the angelic visitation to the earlier vision about the “ram and Goat,” and prepare us for the next chapter where this conflict manifests in concrete history - (Daniel 11:1-4).

Ruler (Sar) of Persia.” Since minimal information is provided on the identity of this figure, it is difficult to conclude who and what he was.  He was labeled a sar, a “ruler” or “prince.” Since he is contrasted with “Michael,” the “chief prince (sar),” he probably was an angel of some rank - (Daniel 12:1-4).

The “prince” represents the realm of Persia. Whether he was good or malevolent is not stated. The purpose here is NOT to teach how angels are assigned to oversee nations. The passage prepares us for the rise of Greece to become the World-Power, and to understand that larger forces are at work behind the scenes.

World Empire Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash
Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

In the afterpart of the days.” The same term was used in the vision of the “ram and goat.” By itself, it does not mean in the “last days” and does not necessarily refer to the final years of history. This is the same period referred to earlier as the “afterpart of the indignation” and the “afterpart of their kingdom” - that is, the later years of the Greek kingdoms:
  • (Daniel 8:19) – “Then said he, Behold me! causing you to know what will come to pass in the afterpart of the indignation.
  • (Daniel 8:23) – “But in the aftertime of their kingdom, when transgressions have filled up their measure, there will stand up a king of mighty presence, and skillful in dissimulation.
The afterpart of the days” links to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar when God showed the king “what things will come to pass in the afterpart of days.” That dream also concerned the eventual destruction of the World-Power and the establishment of God’s kingdom - (Daniel 2:28).

The vision.” The noun is singular and refers to a specific vision - “in the afterpart of days.” In context, this is the vision received in chapter 8, and explained further in chapter 9.
  • (Daniel 8:1-2) – “In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me…”
  • (Daniel 8:13-17) – “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?...When I had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, there stood before me as the appearance of a man…So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”
  • (Daniel 8:26) – “The vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days.”
  • (Daniel 9:21-24) – “While I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation…Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city…to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
I set my face toward the ground.” A further link to the vision of the “ram and goat” where Daniel fell into a deep sleep with “my face toward the ground” after the angel finished speaking with him - (Daniel 8:19).
  • (Daniel 10:16-21) – “And, behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth and said to him that stood before me, O my lord, by reason of the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I retain no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither was there breath left in me. Then there touched me again one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me. And he said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong. And when he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me. Then said he, Do you know why I am come? And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I go forth, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth: and there is none that holds with me against these, but Michael your prince.”
The “ruler of Persia” and the “ruler of Greece” provide links to the vision of the “ram and goat.” The angel was sent to overcome another angelic being who was attempting to influence decisions in the Persian kingdom. The angel with Daniel must return to “fight with the ruler of Persia” and deal with matters concerning the “ruler of Greece.”

In verse 20, the angel applies the term “latter days” to the period of the kingdoms of Persia and Greece (“for yet is the vision for those days”). The division of chapters at this point is unfortunate; the first verses of Chapter 11 sum up the historical events of concern in chapter 10 and transition the narrative to the conflict between two of the four Greek kingdoms.

The book of Revelation combines the image of the one with the “appearance of a man” with the one “like a son of man” in chapter 7 to portray the glorious risen Christ:
  • (Daniel 7:13) – “I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”
  • (Daniel 10:5-6) – “I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and, behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz: his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flaming torches, and his arms and his feet like unto burnished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.”
  • (Revelation 1:12-18) – “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle…
When interpreting the visions of Daniel, it is vital to identify and consider the many verbal and conceptual links between its several visions. While new and detailed information is provided in its final vision, it builds on the previous ones, and several times, the same events are referred to in two or more of the visions - (e.g., the “abomination that desolates”).


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