Summary: Extensive preparation and angelic explanation precedes this most awesome of the Bible's prophecies.
II. TO THE TEXT. DANIEL 10-12
A. The Preparation of the Man of God : 10:1-19
10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appo inted time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision.
Daniel is about 91 years of age, not far from the supposed age of the apostle John while on the island of Patmos receiving the book of Revelation. Cyrus, the assistant of God in the re- establishing of Israel as a nation in their own land, rules the Empire. We will have more to say of him presently. Daniel is called “Belteshazzar” (“May Bel protect his life”) only by the Baby- lonians and is simply being re- identified here as the one favored by the sovereigns on earth through the Sovereignty of God in Heaven.
Notice that from the beginning, Daniel makes it clear that he is speaking of a time far from his, though the prophecy will actually begin in his own day.
Verse one seems to be a summary of all which we will now read. Eventually Daniel does indeed understand what he needs to understand, but the price of his understanding is mourning, fasting, and seeking the truth with all his heart. He thus becomes a model for those of us in this hour who would understand the revelation given the church of Jesus. Daniel is a joy to watch throughout the book in this regard. His determination to keep on praying regardless of the king’s edict, chapter 6; the changing of his countenance indicating a struggle within to know what God is saying, chapter 7; in a similar vein, sickness and fainting in chapter 8; his searching the Scripture and finding fulfilled prophecy in HIS day, chapter 9; his confession of his and Is- rael’s sins followed by God’s affirmation of His love for Daniel and a clear response to his searchings, also in chapter 9.
Now we shall see more agony, but more ecstasy too for the man of God.
10:2-3 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks, I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Here begins the process of the unfolding of history. A man before his God, wanting to know the truth. 10:12 confirms that Daniel has this as his motivation as he humbles himself be- fore God.
As when he had lived on the basics as a young man in Babylon so many years ago, so now he puts away everything but the very necessities of life so that he can wait upon God with- out distraction.
10:4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,
A very specific time and place, to let you know that what is about to happen was no dream, but the reality of Heaven touching earth.
10:5-6 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Ezekiel sees a man clothed in “linen”, Ezekiel 9:2. And John, before his revelations be- gin, likewise sees such a man, one “girded about the chest with a golden band….His eyes like a flame of fire ; His feet were like fine brass, and His voice as the sound of many waters .” Revelation 1: 13-15. The One in Revelation identifies Himself as “The First and the Last”, the one Who “lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” (Revelation 1:17-18) John saw Jesus, the eternal Word of God. The glorified Heaven-dwelling Son of the Living God . The One Who was in the beginning with God and is God. And Daniel saw him too!
Knowing that God Himself has introduced this message puts immeasurable weight on it and importance to it. Suddenly it is not a mere history lesson, but something vital that our Lord Jesus wants us to know and act upon. It is a message of equal importance to that given the great apostle, and we need to listen and understand.
As to the “gold of Uphaz”, the place named is unknown in history. Yet in the Garden of Eden, which encompassed the Tigris River valley, there was a land that specializd in quality gold, Genesis 2:12. Perhaps this heavenly Visitor has lately been to the Garden Himself.