From Battle to Victory

Daniel 10
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 11

From Battle to Victory

(Daniel 10)

Copr. 2020, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Biblica, Inc. (TM), unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: This week we begin our study of Daniel’s last major vision. Daniel is now an old man, probably around 90 years of age. In the prior visions Daniel has been shown the sweep of history among nations. This week we find another, critical, aspect of history - the supernatural side of the conflict. Let’s jump into our study of Daniel and look at this from a new point of view!

  1. The Revelation
  1. Read Daniel 10:1. What does this date, the third year of Cyrus, tell us? (According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary this is 536 B.C. The Jewish exiles have begun to return and rebuild the sanctuary. Daniel 1:21 suggests that Daniel has recently retired from a high position in the administration.)
  1. What does this revelation concern? (“A great war.”)
  1. Does Daniel understand it? (It appears that a vision came soon after that helped Daniel to understand.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:2-3. Why is Daniel mourning? (Read Daniel 10:12. Daniel is upset about the vision of a great war and he is praying and fasting so that God will help him understand what it means. It appears that the “soon thereafter” vision is three weeks later.)
  1. Read Daniel 1:8 and Daniel 1:12-13. Notice something that we have touched on before, Daniel’s diet has changed. Why? Is it because when you reach 90 years-old you can pretty much eat anything you want? (This reinforces our prior conclusion that Daniel’s actions in chapter 1 are not so much an endorsement of a vegetarian diet, but an avoidance of eating meat offered to an idol and not properly prepared. At this stage of his life Daniel has control over the way his food is prepared.)
  1. The Messenger
  1. Read Daniel 10:4-5 and Daniel 10:12. What message is being delivered to Daniel? (Daniel’s mourning and fasting in order to understand this vision about the Great War has paid off. This messenger is coming to bring understanding to Daniel.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:5-6 and Revelation 1:13-16. If you were the police, and you were taking a description from Daniel and John, would you think they saw the same person?
  1. Who do you think is this messenger? For additional clues read Daniel 10:10-13. (Although the first description that looks like the description of Jesus in Revelation suggests that this is Jesus in both cases, it is hard to imagine that Jesus was “sent” or could be delayed because of resistance. In addition, there is good reason to believe that Michael is Jesus (see Revelation 12:7), and Michael is different than this messenger. That causes me to conclude that Gabriel is the messenger who has come once again to Daniel.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:7-9. Why did those people who did not see the messenger or the vision hide? (This reflects the terrible power of heavenly beings. We should not forget this aspect of angels.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:10-11. What do we learn about God’s concern for our understanding? (Daniel is a model for us in desperately seeking to understand God’s will. God rewards a hunger for understanding His word.
  1. Spiritual Warfare
  1. Read Daniel 10:12-13. Could an earthly king delay Gabriel for 21 days? Would Jesus (Michael) have to aid Gabriel to overcome a human? (The answer is “of course not.” Recall that those people near Daniel were terrorized by Gabriel’s presence. Daniel was rendered helpless (Daniel 10:7-8).)
  1. Read John 12:28-31, John 14:30-31 and John 16:10-1 What do these texts and the context of Daniel 10 suggest to you about the nature of “the prince of the Persian kingdom?” (This suggests that this prince is a fallen angel.)
  1. The texts in John refer to Satan as the prince of the world. What does this suggest about a fallen angel called the prince of Persia? (This makes me think that this is not Satan himself, but one of his lieutenants who has been assigned to work with Cyrus.)
  1. Is this telling us what motivated Satan to try to prevent Gabriel from giving his message to Daniel? Or, is Gabriel just explaining the work problems he has recently been having? (Re-read Daniel 10:1 Gabriel is bringing the interpretation of this vision that Daniel received. A good argument can be made that Satan delayed Gabriel because he does not want Daniel to understand this vision.)
  1. We are going to be studying this vision during the next two weeks. What does this suggest about the importance of this vision?
  1. Have you prayed about something and it seemed like the answer was delayed? Have you considered that there might be a supernatural element to this? (Read Ephesians 6:12. Paul tells us that the principal battle that we face is against spiritual forces aligned with Satan!)
  1. Read Daniel 10:14. Daniel is told that the vision is about “your people” in “a time yet to come.” Who are Daniel’s people? (Israel. The Jewish people.)
  1. Since our study of the vision extends for the next two weeks, and reaches to the end of time, I want you to remember that Gabriel says this is about the Jewish people. I am concerned that we do not take the involvement of “Daniel’s people” seriously enough when we consider end times.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:15-17. Why does an explanation of the future require Daniel to speak? I thought his role was simply to pay attention! (This makes no sense unless the conversation is interactive. It must mean that Daniel asks questions when he does not understand.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:18-19. What will God’s angels do for us? (They will give us strength. They can encourage us.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:20. Where is Gabriel going next? (To “fight” against the prince of Persian and the prince of Greece.”)
  1. Who is the prince of Greece? (This must be another of Satan’s top lieutenants who is in charge of Greece. Note that in Daniel’s prior visions that Greece follows Medo-Persia as the reigning world empire.)
  1. Read Daniel 10:21. How could Gabriel say that he has no support except from Jesus (Michael)? Is not all of heaven at his disposal? (I don’t think Gabriel is talking about what could happen, he is simply telling Daniel who has been assigned to this specific battle.)
  1. When Gabriel says that Michael is Daniel’s prince, does this mean that Daniel is so important that Michael has been assigned to him? (If Michael has truly been assigned to Daniel that creates serious problems for the belief that Michael is Jesus. Perhaps Gabriel is simply affirming that Michael is on “our” side, on the side of God’s people.)
  1. Let’s revisit Daniel 10:13. When we discussed this delay before, I thought it involved something physical, because Gabriel needed help. If Gabriel is returning to this “fight” (Daniel 10:20), does this seem like a physical battle? (If you were physically wrestling, it seems unlikely that you would take a break and come back later.)
  1. What kind of battle might this be? (We know that King Cyrus of Persia was helping God’s people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the sanctuary. We have also studied how this did not work out smoothly. The logical conclusion is that Gabriel (with the help of Michael) is encouraging Cyrus to do the right thing. The prince of Persia, Satan’s ally, is encouraging Cyrus to do the wrong thing.)
  1. What role do you play in this kind of spiritual battle? (You need to be aware of the battle going on around you. And, you need to be aware that you can be helpful in the battle involving the spiritual welfare of others!)
  1. Friend, will you ask the Holy Spirit to help you to follow God and be an effective ally in the spiritual war going on all around us?
  1. Next week: From North and South to the Beautiful Land.