Daniel’s Great Vision Prophecy: Part 1
Daniel the prophet, Servant of the Most High God, was given some of the most amazing end time visions. One of the most detailed of these prophecies is Daniel’s Great Vision in Daniel 10-12. Did Satan fear this prophecy so much he tried to keep it secret?
Daniel’s prophecies are foundational. Much of the book of Revelation and much of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse were explanations of these incredible visions into the future. In total Daniel interpreted two dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted the writing on the wall in King Belshazzar’s banquet hall, and experienced four of this own visions found in Daniel 7, 8, 9, and the final vision found in Daniel 10, 11, and 12. These last 4 prophetic visions occurred over a period of 18 years.
|4 Beasts||1st year of King Balshazzar||553 BC||Babylon to Millenial Kingdom|
|Ram and Goat||3rd year of King Balshazzar||550 BC||Great Sunni/Shia War to Millenial Kingdom|
|Seventy 7’s||1st year of King Darius||538 BC||From the Decree to rebuild Jerusalem to Millenial Kingdom|
|Great Vision||3rd year of King Cyrus||535 BC||From Persia to Millenial Kingdom|
Did Satan fear this last prophecy in Daniel 10-12 so much that he tried to keep it secret? The story of how Satan tried to keep this final vision from being released to Daniel is one of the greatest examples of spiritual warfare in the Bible. In Daniel Chapter 10, the veil between the spiritual realm and the physical is drawn back, if only for a moment, to allow us to view the spiritual struggle occurring.
Then he (an angel) said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” (Dan. 10: 12-14 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
Prior to this amazing passage, we learn that Daniel had been fasting and seeking God for 3 weeks. We notice that from the first day Daniel began seeking God, this angel was dispatched to respond to Daniel’s prayer. He didn’t arrive for 24 days! The reason is an “evil” angel was “withstanding” him or “standing between” or “opposing” the messenger angel.
Chapter 10 doesn’t tell us what Daniel’s prayer that prompted the messenger angel was, but we can deduce it from the vision the angel gives him and from comments he gave us previously in other chapters. The angel’s answer is a detailed vision of what is to occur in the later days (literally the “end of days”). Previously Daniel had 3 other visions (Dan. 7, 8, and 9). These 3 visions were perplexing to him because at the conclusion of the first two visions he wrote:
At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” (Dan. 7:28 NASB)
Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it. (Dan. 8: 26 NASB)
We can see these previous visions had made Daniel physically ill, and they confused him. It is very likely then that Daniel was seeking God’s face so he could receive an explanation of the previous visions that he had received as long as 18 years previous. In response the angel gave Daniel a highly detailed vision that spans both Daniel 11 and 12. In a future post we discuss this expansive vision in detail. This post however, focuses on the angel and his struggle.
The Invisible War
Returning to the previous passage from Dan. 10, we see it is another “evil” angel that is “withstanding” or “opposing” the messenger angel for 21 days. This angel is given a most instructive name. He is called the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” In the Hebrew, the word translated “prince” is sar which is primarily a term applied to angels meaning captain or commander or general. In the Septuagint Greek, the word is archon which is translated “ruler.” In the Greek this word equally applies to angels and religious leaders such members of the Jewish Sanhedrin. Here are some angelic references that use this word, archon, in the New Testament.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12 NASB)
But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons. (Matt. 9:34 NASB)
These passages imply a hierarchy of demonic powers. The evil angel in Daniel 10 is one of these ruler angels and it appears he is in charge of the nation of Persia. Does Satan assign demonic angels to rule the nations? Obviously it appears he does. Later in the passage we learn that after the archon of Persia, the archon of Greece will arise.
The passage in Daniel 10 also implies a hierarchy of heavenly angels. Michael is dispatched to help the messenger angel and he is described as one of the archon of the Holy angels (those that didn’t fall in Satan’s rebellion.) Later in Daniel 10:21 we learn Micheal is the archon of the Jewish nation (Israel). Because he is listed as only one of rulers, the passage implies there are more rulers like him. Perhaps the “sheep” nations of Matthew 25:31 have Holy rulers and the “goat” nations have demonic rulers? We don’t know. It is not explained to us. Maybe all the nations have both. This is something we may learn in the Millennial Kingdom.
A question that came to my mind is how does Satan have the authority to assign demons charge of nations? An interchange between Jesus and Satan in Luke provides fascinating insight:
He (Satan) led Him (Christ) up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” (Luke 4: 5-8 NASB)
We can see from this passage that the earthly domain and its earthly glory has been handed over to Satan and he can give it to whatever human he wishes! In this interchange, he tempts Christ with the kingdoms of the world. Someday he will give it to the Antichrist. This domain was originally Adam’s but Satan stole it from him in the “fall.” Satan then became the ruler (archon) of this world. (John 14:30) It is believed by many that the scroll with seven seals in Rev. 5 and 6 is the “title deed” to the earth, which Jesus shall open during the Tribulation. After this event, Jesus and the saints will rule the earth.
After This Vision Daniel Understands
What we do know is the message the angel brought to Daniel is one that Satan feared enough to try and prevent its delivery. It is also one that may be further explanation of Daniel’s previous visions that caused him confusion. It may be a key to understanding the Book of Daniel. We learn at the beginning of this section that Daniel understood both the message and the vision after he heard it; so it obviously answered his questions about his previous visions.
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. (Dan. 10: 1 NASB)
If Daniel was confused about the meaning of his previous visions but understood this one, the vision in chapters 11 and 12 must be able to clarify questions he had (and that we have) about his previous visions in chapters 7, 8, and 9. This makes this final vision of extreme importance. We will study this final vision in the next post: