And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” Daniel 10:10-14
Last time I made an argument that the man Daniel saw in these verses from chapter ten was the preincarnate Christ. You will find commentaries and books that take just this tact. After all the descriptions in both Daniel and Revelations are essentially the same. I used that as an example of using the Bible to interpret the Bible. However, we need to also be aware of the context of the passage we are studying. As the late Paul Harvey said, we need to look at the rest of the story.
If we stop at Daniel 4 to 9 then there is no reason to imagine the man is any other than Christ. Today’s verses add some additional and very important details about this “man”. He indicated that he was delayed because the prince of the kingdom of Persia was able to withstand him for twenty-one days. Also, that the angel Michael came to help this yet as unidentified man.
The commentaries I have read identify the prince of the kingdom of Persia as a demon. Are we to believe that Christ either before or after the incarnation would be unable to deal with a demon or have to battle him for twenty-one days? Or even more preposterous that Christ would need Michael’s help? When Jesus walked the earth the demons had to obey His commands. They feared Jesus. No one demon or multitude of demons can stand before Jesus. So this man who appeared before Daniel had to be someone else. Who? It makes sense that it would be the angel Gabriel. Gabriel had already been sent by Jesus to interpret the first vision and it makes sense that it is Gabriel who is again helping Daniel.
We must never forget that we need to keep the verses we are studying in the proper context. When we take God’s Word out of context we are ripe for committing errors. This is how Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults justify many of their beliefs. They cherry pick a verse and use it to convince others they are correct. When you point this out to them it opens the door to move them in the direction to the real Jesus and not some manmade construct.
Some firmly believe the man Daniel saw was the preincarnate Christ while others just as firmly believe that the man was an angel. Doesn’t this create a problem for believers? After all if there is disagreement about the Bible how can it be inerrant? Just because we disagree on what some verses mean does not make the Bible full of errors. It does mean our understanding is incomplete.
Let me end this with an apology. I hope I did not confuse anyone with what I wrote about Daniel 10:4-9 and what I have written for today. I should have added something last time as a preface for today. Truth is I really did not know how this was going to end. Hence a day’s delay. What I have found in writing these missives is that if I am open to His leading things eventually work themselves out.
Have a blessed day,