Online Bible Commentary
The Power of God
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. 4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. (NKJV)
In this passage Daniel, a man of God, is treated to yet another vision from the Lord. Chapters ten through twelve of the book of Daniel concern this same vision.
The time is 536 B.C., during the “third year” of King Cyrus’ reign over Babylon (v. 1a). Daniel was about 84 years old. Apparently, Daniel was still referred to as “Belteshazzar” (v. 1b), which means “Bel protect him”, the Babylonian name given to Daniel upon his captivity in 605 B. C.
The vision contains a “message”, which was “true” and covered a great number of years (v. 1c). Daniel “understood” the message and the vision (v. 1d).
At the time of the vision Daniel “was mourning three full weeks” (v. 2). He could have been mourning for the deplorable conditions in Jerusalem that had met the Jews who had been released to return home. Or, he could have been mourning that reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem had been opposed and the work had been stopped. Daniel partially fasted during this time, not wishing to take time from prayer (v. 3).
The vision takes place “on the twenty-fourth day of the first month”, in 536 B. C., by the side of the Tigris River, not far from Babylon (v. 4). Babylon was located on the Euphrates River in present day Iraq.
In his vision, Daniel sees a “man clothed in linen” (v. 5a). The man fits a description of Jesus (vv. 5b-6) found in Revelation 1:13-16. It is for this reason that some scholars suggest that this is a preincarnate visit by Jesus. Others contend that this “man” is an angel because Jesus would not need help from the angel Michael, which is a situation found later in this chapter (10:13).
In this writer’s opinion this is a preincarnate visit of Jesus. Angels are messengers from God and it should not be out of the realm of possibilities for Michael to deliver a message from God, the Father, to “help” the preincarnate Jesus on earth. Michael is not just another angel. He is described as “the archangel” (Jude 9), a leader of God’s army (Rev. 12:7), and the guardian of Israel (Da. 12:1).
Whether the vision was the preincarnate Jesus or Michael the angel, there was definitely a Godly presence. Only Daniel saw the vision, but the men who were with Jesus so felt the presence of God that they were greatly afraid and ran (v. 7). Upon hearing the voice, Daniel was sapped of all strength and fell facedown on the ground in a “deep sleep” (vv. 8-9). Even this veteran of visions and dreams from God was overcome by the presence of the Lord.
I admit I have never felt this kind of overwhelming presence of the Lord. I have, however, felt the presence of an angel shortly after my Dad died, and seen a vision of my brother shortly after he died. I was afraid during the events themselves, but have been comforted ever since by those revelations.
In my twelve years as a hospice chaplain I have talked to over a hundred people who claim that they have seen, and, in some cases, heard Jesus or angels. They were comforted in times of need. They did not fear death because of their experiences.
The power of God exists, and should be feared. It is not to be denied, or messed with. Those who do, do so at their own peril. They would be wise to get right with God, for we are not promised tomorrow.