Dan 10.1-21 introduces us to the prophecies in the following two chapters. It tells us about the mourning, fasting and prayers of Daniel in preparation to the vision he had. This chapter is two years after Cyrus sent Zerubbabel with the first exiles back to Jerusalem.
v 1…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 (it concerned tribulation on the earth), but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision (they were clear to him).
v 2…In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning (on account of the seventy weeks prophecy and the problems the Jewish people were having in rebuilding the city and the Temple) for three entire weeks.
v 3…I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the entire three weeks were completed.
v 4…And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month (his fast started on Nisan 3, and that means he fasted through Passover and Unleavened Bread, which tells us these festivals were not being kept in Babylon anyway; the twenty-fourth day of Nisan was the end of his fast), while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Chidakel (the Tigris River- Chidakel means “swift and sharp, and Tigris means “a dart”-rivers in the Scriptures were seen as “channels of truth”).
v 5…I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold (take note) there was a certain man dressed in linen (his identity is not mentioned so we will not speculate, but some say he is possibly the same angel in 8.15, and some commentators say the Messiah), whose waist was girded with pure gold of Uphaz.
v 6…His body also was like beryl (a blue sky color signifying he was from heaven), his face had the appearance of lightning (bright), his eyes were like flaming torches (Rev 1.14), his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of tumult (like a multitude, strong and powerful).
v 7…Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision (like Paul in Acts 9.7); nevertheless, and great dread fell on them (possibly heard the loud voice), and they ran away to hide themselves.
v 8…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 (overcome by this heavenly individual).
v 9…But I heard the sound of his words (not recorded here); and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face towards the ground (this supernatural being terrified him and the Ruach Ha Kodesh overwhelmed him-Acts 10.9-10; John 18.6; Rev 1.17).
v 10…Then behold (take note and see), a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.
v 11…And he said to me, O Daniel, man of high esteem (by Yehovah), understand the words I am about to tell you and stand upright (off your hands and knees and stand erect), for I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
v 12…Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day (of his seeking on Nisan 3) that you set your heart on understanding and in humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard (in heaven), and I have come in response to your words;
v 13…but the prince of the kingdom of Persia (an evil entity who was the power behind their idols to influence them against the Jewish people) was withstanding me (resisting) me for twenty-one days (corresponding to the twenty-one days Daniel was fasting and praying); then behold (see), Michael (“one who is like God”), one of the chief princes (highest angel-princes) came to help me (Michael contends for Israel), for I remained there with the kings of Persia (executing the orders of Michael to influence these kings to the best interest of the Jewish people).
v 14…Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days (in the “acharit yamim”, a term used for when the Messiah comes and the Day of the Lord, etc, and this includes the succeeding kingships, especially with Antiochus Epiphanes IV), for the vision pertains to the days yet future (is for many days).”
v 15…And when he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless (couldn’t say anything).
v 16…And behold (take note and see), one who resembled a human being (in form, an angel) was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke (he received his speech back), and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord (in honor and respect), as a result of the vision anguish was come upon me, and I have retained no strength.
v 17…For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord (or, “How can I, your servant, speak with you?” or “I am nothing, that you should talk with me”). As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me (“I haven’t recovered from the initial shock and awe, I still don’t feel strong enough to talk”).”
v 18…Then one with human appearance (in the form of) touched me again and strengthened me (the same one as in v 16)
v 19…And he said, “O man of high esteem (by Yehovah), do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous (be the man, lift your spirit, heart, inward parts, bowels)!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me (his heart revived and was able to hear, all fear was removed).”
v 20…Then he said, “Do you understand (know) why I came to you (he had told him in v 12)? But I shall now return (not immediately, but after he told Daniel the message which he came to deliver) to fight (to protect Israel, to contend with the schemes and baffle the designs of the evil spirits there; he is restraining Persia and he will depart when its time for the Greeks to take over) against the prince of Persia (to hinder him from executing his evil schemes against the Jewish people, and influence the Persian court because of the obstacles he will put up in the way of the Jewish exiles who are returning to rebuild the city and the Temple under Cyrus the Persian); so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come (another hostile force 200 years later who is destined to become a world power according to the vision God gave Nebuchadnezzar in Dan 2.31-45, who will also show opposition to the people of God as we shall see).
v 21…However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of the truth (the book of God’s decrees upon men and nations, the deep secrets that God reveals according to his timing; of those things not yet disclosed about the future kingdoms, and the Jewish people who will live under them). Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these, except Michael your prince (Michael is empowered to save Israel and could be counted on to help the Jewish people in miraculous ways, despite the evil influence other evil spirits had over the various earthly courts and powers).”