Sunday Evening Bible Study
In the third year of Cyrus king of
Problem: Dan.1:21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.
Answer: This verse doesn't say that Daniel died, only that he continued, showing that he kept on even through the change from Babylonian to Persian governments.
This is the year 536 b.c.
Daniel is in his late eighties.
This is the final vision chronologically of Daniel's that we have recorded.
»Ezra 1:1-AV Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, ...
»Ezra 1:3-AV Who [is there]
among you of all his people? his God be with him, and
let him go up to
It was two years previous that Cyrus had already freed the
Israeli captives, and allowed them to back to
:1 the thing was true ...
»Daniel 10:1-NAS ... and the message was true and [one of] great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.
:2 mourning for three full weeks
Why was Daniel mourning?
One suggestion is that it had to do with the problems the Jews
were having, those who had gone back to
When the people arrived back at the land, they met much
opposition from the people living there in setting up the temple again (Ezra 3,4). This made many
people not even want to return to
:3 I ate no pleasant bread ...
NASB - "tasty food"
In other words, he stayed away from his favorite foods.
No In-n-out burgers for three weeks!
The partial fast.
We traditionally think of a fast as being a complete abstaining from any kind of food.
But here we see Daniel only selectively abstaining from certain things.
But still abstaining from things in a manner that produces a similar effect of a fast.
He is denying his flesh.
What's the difference between fasting and dieting?
Fasting is done for the Lord, dieting is done for you.
»Zechariah 7:5-6 AV Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me? 6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat [for yourselves], and drink [for yourselves]?
With a fast, you're drawing closer to God.
With a diet, you're busy looking in the mirror and checking the scales.
:4 the twenty-fourth day of the first month
The first month was Abib, later known as Nisan. It is roughly our month of April.
The Passover was to be celebrated on the fourteenth and the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the fifteenth of this month.
This is the
It runs north to south, in modern day
:5 a certain man
Who is this guy?
:5 clothed in linen
this is the proper clothing for
»Exodus 28:42-AV And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
»Ezekiel 9:2-NAS And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
residents of heaven
»Revelation 19:8-AV And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
»Revelation 19:14-AV And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
:5 loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz
He had a gold belt on, over the linen robe.
We aren't sure what kind of gold this is.
Uphaz is only mentioned one other place in Scripture
»Jeremiah 10:9-AV Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple [is] their clothing: they [are] all the work of cunning [men].
:6 His body ... like beryl
tarshiysh - a precious stone or semi-precious gem; perhaps a chrysolite, yellow jasper, or other yellow coloured stone
Kind of transluscent, yellowish in hue.
:6 face ... eyes ... arms ...
Does any of this sound familiar?
»Revelation 1:13-18 AV And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Who is the man in Daniel's vision?
It certainly looks like Jesus.
Some feel this is just an angelic being, but not Jesus.
:7 the men that were with me saw not the vision
The other guys that were with Daniel were apparently aware of something happening, but they didn't see what Daniel saw.
:8 my comeliness was turned in me into corruption
comeliness - howd - splendour, majesty, vigour
corruption - mashchiyth - ruin, destruction
It appears that everything that was strong and functioning in Daniel, was turned deathly.
»Daniel 10:8-NAS So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength.
:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words
Though Daniel is in the process of fainting, he is awake, and hearing all that's going on.
:9 my face toward the ground
Whether this is Jesus, or an angelic being, the lesson is still the same.
The Spiritual Realm is Awesome
Maybe the word "scary" would be better.
In our Bible study during practice this week, we read:
»Psalms 2:11-AV Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
I think that sometimes we take the things of the Lord a little bit too lightly.
I think that if we really had our eyes opened to the reality of the spiritual realm around us, we'd be on our faces more often.
:10 set me upon my knees ...
Daniel is now taken up from lying flat, and is put up on his hands and knees.
:11 I stood trembling
Now Daniel is back on his feet again, at the command of the person in front of him.
:12 from the first day ... thy words were heard
Remember what Daniel's been through.
He went through a period of mourning, where he was on a semi-fast for three weeks.
At the beginning of those three weeks, his prayer was heard.
Your prayers are heard immediately
Prayer is a lot like e-mail.
You send the mail, and immediately it's received.
If you send yourself a message, as soon as you send it, the message pops up "you have mail".
Sometimes I wish we could do what you can do with e-mail, and that is check whether or not the person has opened their mail yet, and read your message.
Other examples: Cornelius' vision
»Acts 10:3-4 AV He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
In the context of fasting, God says:
»Isaiah 58:9-AV Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I [am]. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Here's a wonderful promise:
»Isaiah 65:24-AV And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
:12 I am come for thy words
The person before Daniel was sent in response to Daniel's prayer.
Wait a minute ... if Daniel's prayers were heard immediately, and this person was sent in response, what took so long?
the prince of the
Apparently, this messenger ran into problems on the way.
This is why some people like to think that this isn't Jesus, but an angel instead.
It's hard to imagine Jesus being held up by anyone.
Who is this "prince of the
I don't believe it's a human being, not directly.
I believe it's an angelic (actually, demonic) being, which was
currently in a place of authority over the
»Ephesians 6:12-AV For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
I believe that these angelic powers are what greatly influences governments and government officials.
But as we understand who this prince is, it seems less and less likely that the original person that Daniel sees is Jesus.
Why the person in 10:5-6 isn't Jesus.
1. Jesus created the principalities, etc.
»Colossians 1:16-AV For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
2. The principalities, etc., can't separated us from Jesus.
»Romans 8:38-39 AV For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sometimes prayers are delayed due to problems in the realm of the spirit.
Sometimes it's just beyond our ability to understand why things happen like they do.
It might have nothing to do with you directly.
There may be a battle over
We need to persevere in prayer.
Unless God shows you that you're asking for the wrong thing, you need to learn to persevere in prayer.
Maybe there's an angel out there looking for a little more prayer cover.
:13 one and twenty days
Does that number sound familiar?
It's the same length as Daniel's fasting.
It would appear that Daniel's persistence in prayer was needed to somehow aid the battle in the spiritual realm.
In his fictional book, This Present Darkness, Frank Peretti talks about the good angels gathering up the saints to pray, to provide "prayer covering" for their battles.
:13 Michael, one of the chief princes
This is an interesting character in Scripture.
1. He is the chief
angelic defender of
»Daniel 12:1-AV And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2. He is the head of the angels (top general)
»Jude 1:9-AV Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
3. He will someday wage war and cast Satan from heaven.
»Revelation 12:7-8 AV And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
:13 came to help me
How? Who knows?
I remained there with the kings of
Apparently, this angel was then supposed to remain with the
human kings of
:14 thy people in the latter days
This vision is going to be aimed at
Interesting enough, it will cover history for a couple of thousand years.
:14 for many days
»Daniel 10:14-NAS ... for the vision pertains to the days yet [future.]"
:16 of the sons of men
A humanoid in appearance.
:16-18 touched my lips ... touched me ...
This angel keeps touching Daniel, and helping him.
This is just a little of what angels do.
»Hebrews 1:14-AV Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
»Matthew 4:11-AV Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
God has lots of ways to comfort you.
»2Corinthians 1:3-5 AV Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
:20 the prince of Grecia shall come
I think he's talking about another angelic being.
But historically, after the
The man who headed the Greek empire was Alexander the Great.
:21 I will shew thee
The next two chapters are actually a continuation of this talk with the angel.
:21 none that holdeth with me in these things ..
There is no other help at the moment with me in this thing except Michael.
:21 your prince
I like the personal touch here!