Summary: Daniel’s example to us on prayer.

Daniel – Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Outline

I. Fasting And Prayer (10:1-9)

a. The Fast (10:1-4)

1. The Duration (10:1-3)

2. The Location (10:4)

b. The Feast (9:5-12)

1. The Man’s Apparel (10:5)

2. The Man’s Appearance (10:6)

3. The Man’s Affect (10:7-9)

II. Hindrances and Deliverances (10:10-21)

a. The Reassurance (10:10-11)

b. The Revelation (10:12-14)

c. The Reaction (10:15-19)

d. The Resolution (10:20-21)


In Chapter 9, Daniel learned how God’s purposes were delayed; in Chapter 10 he will learn how our prayers are delayed. This chapter gives us an extraordinary insight into the workings of prayer and a glimpse of the spiritual forces that take sides for and against God’s people in the unseen world.

This chapter is a prelude to the astonishing visions of Chapter 11 with Chapter 12 being a postscript to that vision.

I. Fasting And Prayer (10:1-9)

Verse 1

The third year of Cyrus was 536 B.C.

Daniel had lived long enough to see Jeremiah’s prophecy fulfilled and the first group of Jewish exiles return to their land and start to rebuild the temple. Many Jews remained behind because they had become too comfortable in Babylon. Daniel was just too old to go on such a dangerous journey, if he was fifteen when he was taken to Babylon then he would be 84 or 85.

We can picture Daniel’s farewells to Zerubbabel, and to Joshua the rightful high priest. Many of the people who went must have been his friends, the children and grandchildren of those with whom he had been taken to Babylon years earlier.

I can just imagine Daniel seeing them off, embracing his friends, asking God to bless each one, promising them that his prayers would be with them. Babylon was lonelier without them, no doubt. It had been two years since they had left Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia…..

a. The Fast (10:2-4)

1. The Duration (10:2-3)

Fasting in Scripture is never a prescribed ritual, neither is it a spiritual lever for forcing God’s hand. Fasting is brought about by a spiritual burden, by brokenness of heart before God because of some great need that takes away the desire for food, or that outweighs the demands of the physical with the demands of the spiritual.

So why had Daniel fasted and prayed for these three weeks? There are two possible reasons…

First Reason for the Fast

Daniel was a court official he would have heard how things had progressed with the exiles returning back home two years ago. He heard that they had arrived safely, that the temple treasures were intact, that the foundation of the temple had been laid, but that the work had been opposed and stopped. What if God would fail to fulfil the promise He made to Jeremiah.

The prophecy of the seventy years had a dual application, first to the people and then to the temple. The first Jews were deported to Babylon in 605 B.C. and the first captives returned to their land in 536 B.C. a period of seventy years.

The temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonian army, and the second temple was completed and rededicated in 515 B.C. another period of seventy years.

Don’t forget that God is never late Psalm 31:15 My times are in thy hand:

Second Reason for the Fast

He just wanted to understand more about the visions and prophecies he had already received and he wanted the Lord to reveal additional truths to him concerning the future of Israel.

One day we will realise the importance of prayer and that what happened to God’s people on earth depended a great deal on the prayers of burdened people like Daniel. Jeremiah 15:5 For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? Or who shall bemoan thee? Or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?

2. The Location (10:4)

Daniel’s fast had spanned two important Jewish feasts… Daniel fasted until the 24th Day of the First month (24th Abib) and he fasted for 3 weeks (21 days) so from the 3rd Abib until the 24th Abib.

Leviticus 23:5-6 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s Passover. [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

Daniel’s fast spanned both the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, two feasts designed to remind Israel of their bondage in Egypt and their miraculous delivery – events that must have had a renewed significance to all the devout Jews in view of the decree of Cyrus.

John Phillips says that in Daniel’s day the “house of bondage had become the home of business,” and that most Jews preferred the onions and garlic of Babylon to the milk and honey of Canaan.

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