What is the significance of the angel that appears to Daniel in chapter 10
telling him that he was summoned 21 days ago but was held up by “the
Prince of the Kingdomof Persia”? I believe every scripture is there for a
reason and God does not bother with insignificant issues, so what is the
point he is trying to make with this one? I guess it gives a glimpse into
the spirit world, but is he trying to say there is spiritual combat in the
spiritual world that affects us? I see how saying he is leaving to fight
the Prince of Greece is significant, because I think the Grecian Empire
200 or 300 years away (but that may be wrong), but what more can I get out
of this scripture?


I give this question brief treatment in my book Daniel, Prophet to the
Nations. This book comes out in a reissue some time in November, 2006
( In the mean time, I will be happy to answer your
question. The person speaking to Daniel in Daniel 10:12-14 is an angel.
I believe that it is an archangel. It may even be Gabriel, but that is
speculation. This angel had been battling what we can only assume is an
angel aligned with Satan?an evil angel. What we learn from this is that
behind the scenes on the physical world, there is a parallel spiritual
battle going on. This reminds me of Ephesians 6:10-17. “For our battle
is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities against the world powers of this darkness, against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” I have to assume that behind
the throne in Persiathere was an evil angel influencing events. This
seems like a strange picture to us; especially to us from a Western
mindset, but it is reality. This passage is about the spiritual battle
which wages in the background which we cannot see and which we cannot
directly influence. The message of Daniel is God rules the nations: do
not fear. This behind-the scenes look is another avenue toward us
understanding that the battle is not ours, but it is God?s battle. We
must rely on God, not on our own strength.

When the angel says that after he leaves to battle the prince (evil
angel?) of Persiathe prince of Greecewill come, I believe he is still
talking about a spiritual battle, but am not absolutely sure. The fact is
that the Greek Empire of Alexander was still about two hundred years away.
The year of this prophecy is about 535 BC. Alexander conquered Persiain
about 332 BC. Nevertheless, even in 535 BC Greecewas a growing power in
the West. The Ionians were a power which was spreading throughout the
Mediterranean, establishing military and trading colonies. Within two or
three generations the Athenian league was able to repel the great Persian
invasions under Darius and Xerxes. Finally Greece, in the form of
Alexander, came and conquered the entire Persian Empire. Whether or not
Daniel 10:20 is a prophecy of the invasions of Alexander is not clear.
What is clear is that the vision of Daniel ten tells us about a spiritual
battle which rages behind the scene. This battle could create unease, but
God is in control. God establishes leaders and he brings them down
(Daniel 11:1). Through the prophecies in Daniel eleven and through their
eventual fulfillment in history, we can be sure of one thing. God rules
the nations.

John Oakes, PhD

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