Daniel chapter 10 - Spiritual War




Chapter 10 of the book of Daniel forms an introduction to a prophetic
vision, a vision which is further detailed in chapter 11 and finally
concluded in Daniel chapter 12.


The key verse in this chapter is;

    Dan  10:21  But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture
                of Truth. (No one upholds me against these (prince
                of Persia and prince of Greece), except Michael
                your prince.)


This verse makes it clear that the identities being represented by these
two kingdoms are to be seen as the enemies of God. (The identities may not
have always been enemies of God, but this is what they become.)  


In the web page Ram and Goat Vision - Daniel chapter 8 it was concluded
that the Persian and Greek empires are used in prophecy to symbolise the
religious kingdoms of the Old and New Covenants respectively.


The text of Daniel indicates the vision is placed at a time when there
would be a transition between these two kingdoms. 


    Dan  10:20  Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you?
                And now I must return to fight with the prince of
                Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince
                of Greece will come.


Hence the question arises, "to what period of time does the vision apply?".

At first one may consider the early New Testament era, when God shifted His
emphasis from the Jewish faith to Christianity. However, since the early
apostles guided the Christian faith at that time there is no reason to
consider that endemic religious corruption was present in that faith at
that time.

The other era which needs to be considered is the end-time.

The prophecy may be presenting the viewpoint of the end-time Jewish church
and be also reinforcing the inference of other prophecies that Christianity
will in the future gain control of the Jewish congregation.

[NB: To those who have had their eyes opened it will be apparent
     that neither modern Judaism or Christianity are motivated to
     truly represent God's Word or serve His flock, rather these
     days issues of church tradition and short term outward prestige
     motivate decisions. ] 


There are some indications in chapter 10 of an end-time emphasis;

  - verse 1,  "... but the appointed time was long, ...

  - verse 14, "Now I have come to make you understand what will
               happen to your people in the latter days, for the
               vision refers to many days yet to come."


However, since these indications may only pertain to the text of chapters
11 and 12, one would ideally like to see a further indication in the Daniel
chapter 10 text. With this in mind let us consider the chapters indications
of when the vision was received.


3 WEEKS & 21 DAYS


- The prophetic message of the last three chapters of Daniel,
  according to Daniel 10:4, was delivered on the 24th day of
  the first month.

- The 2nd and 3rd verses appear to document a period when Daniel
  mourned three full weeks.

- Verse 14 mentions the passing of 21 days before the vision is
  presented.

If the vision arrived on the 21st day (the last of his 3 weeks of mourning)
then Daniel's mourning had started twenty days prior to the 24th, ie on the
4th day of that month.


The following arrangement is suggested;

     -  4th of first month, mourning started 

            Daniel mourns for 3 full weeks, 4th to 24th inclusive 
                                            = the 21 days

     -  24th of first month, vision received and morning ended 



So does the 4th day of the first month carry any importance in the calendar
of the Old Covenant?

Does the 24th day of the first month carry any special relevance?


Actually, neither date has any ritual importance! There were no ritual
ceremonies initiated or ended on these dates. 


Given that this is an important prophetic book, one has to wonder if the
proper understanding of the actual dates has been reached.
 

The English rendering of the Hebrew does not allow for any other dating
than that which has been discussed, but the Hebrew does appear to allow
for some alternate renderings.

  -  In verses 2 and 3 the word for 'weeks' is not the common
     form, rather the spelling is the same as that found in
     the much discussed Daniel chapter 9 prophecy.   

  -  verse 4 reads "the twenty and fourth of the month first".
     The word 'first" in Hebrew can refer to either 'time' or
     'rank'. So it may not be referring to the first month! 

  -  verse 13 reads "twenty and one day". The word 'day' is
     singular.


[NB: The Hebrew in verses 2 & 3 read "three weeks of days" and most
     translators have interpreted 'of days' to mean 'full', hence
     the text is commonly rendered simply as "three full weeks".
     However, the addition of 'of days' can take nothing away from
     the grammar of the word 'weeks' found in this context. ]  

      
If the unusual form 'weeks' of Daniel in verses 2 & 3 is acknowledged
then the period of mourning may be much longer than 21 days.


Verses 2 & 3 may not be indicating a period of only 3 weeks, but a period
of 3 sets of multiple weeks!


In God's decreed Old Covenant calendar there was specified a period
composed of a series of weeks. This was the 'seven weeks and one day'
which began with the day of the wave sheaf in the first month and ended
with the Feast of Weeks in the third month. This was a period of time in
which God commanded both the passing of days and weeks to be counted.        
  
This series of weeks spanned a period of fifty days, therefore three sets
of such time would imply a total of 150 days of mourning! That is to say
that Daniel mourned in each of the first three years of the reign of Cyrus
from the day the sheaf was waved to the Feast of Weeks (also known by the
name 'Pentecost' - meaning 'fiftieth day!).

Why Was Daniel Mourning?

When Babylon fell and Darius the Mede came to the throne of the
combined Medo-Persian kingdom the decree to free the Jews was not
declared. It was not until Cyrus came to the throne of the combined
kingdom that the decree was made.

While Daniel 10:1 mentions it was the 3rd year of Cyrus king of
Persia, it does not indicate this was the 3rd year of Cyrus ruling
over the combined kingdom.

The mourning of Daniel over the three years indicates that while
Babylon had fallen, the decree to rebuild Jerusalem had not yet
been decreed.


Let us return to the 150 day perspective.

This perspective requires that the 21 days of verse 13 would have to be
counted from the end of the period of mourning. It would also indicate
that some other event (other than the vision) must have occurred on the
last day of Daniel's mourning. An event which would cause Daniel to anoint
himself at the close of the 150th day. It seems this event was the decree
of Cyrus mentioned in Ezra 1:2-4!


For the vision to have occurred another 20 days after the Feast of Weeks
it must have fallen on the 24th day of the third month, and not the 24th
day of the first month! (The Feast of Weeks always falls early in the
third month.) This means the verse 4 wording 'month first' would have to
understood to mean, 'month prominent'.

Indeed, the third month (in which Pentecost is observed) is an extremely
important month in God's calendar, but the reference (in the context of
this chapter) is probably referring to it being the month of Cyrus's
decree.


The following new arrangement is suggested;


     1st of Cyrus - mourning 50 days  wave sheaf to Feast of Weeks

     2nd of Cyrus - mourning 50 days             "

     3rd of Cyrus - mourning 50 days             "
                                      (from 15th of 1st month
                                       to 4th day of 3rd month)

                  - Decree of Cyrus,  occurs 4th day of 3rd month

                  - Vision,           21st day (24th day of 3rd month)



    [NB: In each year the date upon which the sheaf is waved can
         vary from the 15th to 21st of the first month, depends
         upon when a weekly sabbath falls in that year. Wave
         sheaf is observed on the day following a Sabbath. ]


PROPHETIC MEANING OF 3 WEEKS & 21 DAYS


We can now consider what the above arrangement is indicating at the
greater symbolic level.


The Daniel verse 3 text indicates that during his time of mourning
Daniel ate no desirable food or meat, and drunk no wine. This suggests
the Old Covenant period when the spiritual food given was 'basic'.

The 3 period nature of the mourning may be seen to refer back to the
three divisions of the priesthood.

The 150 days of mourning may be alluding to the 1,500 years of the
Old Covenant (Exodus to Jesus Christ).  


Ending the period of mourning on a Pentecost day also seems relevant
as in the New Testament the Holy Spirit was first poured out on that
day.


With the mourning apparently representing the era of the Old Covenant
it is apparent that the "twenty and one day" represents the period of
Christianity leading up the end-time (when the visions would occur).

This is perhaps when we start to understand why the 'day' in verse 13
is singular. The 'twenty' represents the subsequent 2,000 years after
the New Testament Pentecost and the 'one day' to refers to the end-time
period of final witness to the Jewish faith.   


Hence, it seems certain that the spiritual warfare described in this
chapter is set in the end-time!



In conclusion, it should be kept in mind that chapter ten represents
merely an introduction to the prophesied end-time events, events which
are further described in chapter 11.


 



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