Daniel Is Terrified by a Vision
10 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 it referred to great conflict (warfare, misery). And he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.(A)
2 In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. 3 I ate no tasty food, nor did any meat or wine enter my mouth; and I did not [a]anoint (refresh, groom) myself at all for the full three weeks. 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was on the bank of the great river Hiddekel [which is the Tigris], 5 I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a [b]certain man dressed in linen, whose loins were girded with [a [c]belt of] pure gold of Uphaz. 6 His body also was like beryl [with a golden luster], his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and his feet like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words was like the noise of a multitude [of people or the roaring of the sea].(B) 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision [of this heavenly being], for the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great panic overwhelmed them, so they ran away to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my normal appearance turned to a deathly pale, and I grew weak and faint [with fright]. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in a deep sleep, with my face toward the ground.
10 Then behold, a hand touched me and set me unsteadily on my [d]hands and knees. 11 So he said to me, “O Daniel, you highly regarded and greatly beloved man, understand the words that I am about to say to you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And while he was saying this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 But the [e]prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days. Then, behold, Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision is in regard to the days yet to come.”
15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 And behold, one who resembled the sons of men touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, because of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can such a [weakened] servant of my lord talk with such [a being] as my lord? For now there remains no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.”
18 Then the one (Gabriel) whose appearance was like that of a man touched me again, and he strengthened me. 19 He said, “O man, highly regarded and greatly beloved, do not be afraid. Peace be to you; take courage and be strong.” Now when he had spoken to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you understand [fully] why I came to you? Now I shall return to fight against the [hostile] [f]prince of Persia; and when I have gone, behold, the [g]prince of Greece is about to come. 21 But I (Gabriel) will tell you what is inscribed in the [h]writing of truth. There is no one who stands firmly with me and strengthens himself against these [hostile spirit forces] except Michael, your prince [the guardian of your nation].
Conflicts to Come
11 “Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I (Gabriel) arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him. 2 And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, [i]three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a [j]fourth will become far richer than all of them. When he becomes strong through his riches he will stir up the whole empire against the realm of Greece. 3 Then a [k]mighty [warlike, threatening] king will arise who will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. 4 But as soon as he (Alexander) has risen, his kingdom will be broken [by his death] and divided toward the four winds of heaven [the north, south, east, and west], but not to his descendants, nor according to the [Grecian] authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom will be torn out and uprooted and given to [l]others (his four generals) to the exclusion of these.
5 “Then the king of the South (Egypt) will be strong, along with one of his princes who will be stronger than he and have dominance over him; his domain will be a great dominion. 6 After some years [m]the Syrian king of the North and the Egyptian king of the South will make an alliance; the [n]daughter (Berenice) of the king of the South will come to the [o]king of the North to make an equitable and peaceful agreement (marriage); [p]but she will not retain the power of her position, nor will he retain his power. She will be handed over with her attendants and her father as well as he who supported her in those times. 7 But out of a branch of her [familial] roots will one (her brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes I) arise in his place, and he will come against the [Syrian] army and enter the fortress of the king of the North, and he will deal with them and will prevail. 8 Also he will carry off to Egypt their [Syrian] gods with their cast images and their precious and costly treasure of silver and of gold, and he will refrain from waging war against the king of the North for some years. 9 And the [q]king of the North will come into the realm of the king of the South, but he will retreat to his own country [badly defeated].
10 “His sons will prepare for battle and assemble a multitude of great forces; which will keep on coming and overflow [the land], and pass through, so that they may again wage war as far as his fortress. 11 The king of the South (Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt) will be enraged and go out and fight with the king of the North (Antiochus III the Great); and [r]the Syrian king will raise a great multitude (army), but the multitude shall be given into the hand of the Egyptian king. 12 When the multitude (army) is captured and carried away, the heart of the Egyptian king will be proud (arrogant), and he will cause tens of thousands to fall, but he will not prevail. 13 For the king of the North will again raise a multitude (army) greater than the one before, and after several years he will advance with a great army and substantial equipment.
14 “In those times many will rise up against the king of the South (Egypt); also the violent men among your own people will arise in order to fulfill the [earlier] visions, but they will fail. 15 Then the king of the North (Syria) will come and build up siege ramps and capture a well-fortified city. The forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even the finest troops, for there will be no strength to stand [against the Syrian king]. 16 But he (Syria) who comes against him (Egypt) will do exactly as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand against him; he (Antiochus III the Great) will also stay for a time in the Beautiful and Glorious Land [of Israel], with destruction in his hand. 17 He will be determined to come with the power of his entire kingdom, and propose equitable conditions and terms of peace, which he will put into effect [by making an agreement with the king of the South]. He will also give him his [s]daughter (Cleopatra I), in an attempt to overthrow the kingdom, but it will not succeed or be to his advantage. 18 After this, he (Antiochus III the Great, King of Syria) will turn his attention to the [t]islands and coastlands and capture many [of them]. But a commander (Lucius Scipio Asiaticus of Rome) will put an end to his aggression [toward Rome’s territorial interests]; in fact, he will repay his insolence and turn his audacity back upon him. 19 Then he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own land [of Syria], but he will stumble and fall and not be found.
20 “Then in his place one (his eldest son, Seleucus IV Philopator) will arise who will send an oppressor through the Jewel of his kingdom; yet within a few days he will be [u]shattered, though not in anger nor in battle. 21 And in his place [in Syria] will arise a [v]despicable and despised person, to whom royal majesty and the honor of kingship have not been conferred, but he will come [without warning] in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.(C) 22 The overwhelming forces [of the invading armies of Egypt] will be flooded away before him and smashed; and also the [w]prince of the covenant [will be smashed]. 23 After an [x]alliance is made with him he will work deceitfully, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people. 24 In a time of tranquility, [without warning] he will enter the most productive and richest parts of the kingdom [of Egypt], and he will accomplish that which his fathers never did, nor his fathers’ fathers; he will distribute plunder, spoil and goods among them. He will devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time [decreed by God]. 25 He will stir up his strength and courage against [his former Egyptian ally] the king of the South (Ptolemy VI) with a great army; so the king of the South will prepare an extremely great and powerful army to wage war, but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him. 26 Yes, those who eat his fine food will betray and destroy him (Ptolemy VI), and his army will be swept away, and many will fall down slain. 27 And as for both of these [y]kings, their hearts will be set on doing evil; they will speak lies over the same table, but it will not succeed, for the end is yet to come at the appointed time. 28 Then he (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) will return to his land with great treasure (plunder); and his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and return to his own land (Syria).
29 “At the time appointed [by God] he will return and come into the South, but this last time will not be successful as were the previous invasions [of Egypt]. 30 For ships of Cyprus [in Roman hands] will come against him; therefore he will be discouraged and turn back [to Israel] and carry out his rage against the holy covenant and take action; so he will return and show favoritism toward those [Jews] who abandon (break) the holy covenant [with God]. 31 Armed forces of his will arise [in Jerusalem] and defile and desecrate the sanctuary, the [spiritual] stronghold, and will do away with the regular sacrifice [that is, the daily burnt offering]; and they will set up [a pagan altar in the sanctuary which is] the abomination of desolation. 32 With smooth words [of flattery and praise] he will turn to godlessness those who [are willing to] disregard the [Mosaic] covenant, but the people who [are spiritually mature and] know their God will display strength and take action [to resist]. 33 They who are wise and have spiritual insight among the people will instruct many and help them understand; yet for many days some [of them and their followers] will fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder. 34 Now when they fall they will receive a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. 35 Some of those who are [spiritually] wise and have insight will fall [as martyrs] in order to refine, to purge and to make those among God’s people pure, until the end time; because it is yet to come at the time appointed [by God].
36 “Then the [z]king (the Antichrist) will do exactly as he pleases; he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and will speak astounding and disgusting things against the God of gods and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is determined [by God] will be done. 37 He will have no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he have regard for any other god, for he shall magnify himself above them all. 38 Instead, he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold and silver, with precious stones and with expensive things. 39 He will act against the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and he will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.
40 “At the end time the king of the South will push and attack him (the Antichrist), and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots and horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overwhelm them and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Beautiful and Glorious Land (Israel), and many countries will fall, but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost [core] of the people of Ammon. 42 Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, but Egypt will not be among the ones which escape. 43 He will have power over the treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Ethiopians will follow in his footsteps. 44 But rumors from the east and from the north will alarm and disturb him, and he will set out with great fury to destroy and to annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his palatial tents between the seas and the glorious Holy Mountain (Zion); yet he will come to his end with no one to help him [in his final battle with God].(D)
The Time of the End
12 “Now at that [end] time Michael, the great [angelic] prince who stands guard over the children of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; but at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the [aa]Book [of Life], will be rescued. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake (resurrect), these to everlasting life, but some to disgrace and everlasting contempt (abhorrence).(E) 3 Those who are [spiritually] wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, [will shine] like the stars forever and ever.(F) 4 But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the scroll until the end of time. Many will go back and forth and search anxiously [through the scroll], and knowledge [of the purpose of God as revealed by His prophets] will [greatly] increase.”(G)
5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, there stood two others, the one [angel] on this bank of the river and the other [angel] on that bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”(H) 7 And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he held up his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and a half a time (three and a half years); and as soon as they finish shattering and crushing the power of the holy people, all these things will be finished. 8 As for me, I heard, but I did not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these things?” 9 And the angel said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are concealed and sealed up until the end of time. 10 Many will be purged, purified (made white) and refined, but the wicked will behave wickedly. None of the wicked shall understand, but those who are [spiritually] wise will understand.(I) 11 From the time that the regular sacrifice [that is, the daily burnt offering] is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up [ruining the temple for worship of the true God], there will be [ab]1,290 days.(J) 12 How blessed [happy, fortunate, spiritually prosperous] and beloved is he who waits expectantly [enduring without wavering for the period of tribulation] and comes to the [ac]1,335 days! 13 But as for you (Daniel), go your way until the end [of your [ad]life]; for you will rest and rise again for your allotted inheritance at the end of the age.”(K)
- Daniel 10:3 I.e. apply perfumed oils or herbal ointments to refresh the body. As the ancient rabbis indicated, this may also imply that Daniel did not bathe, unless he was referring only to oiling his hair.
- Daniel 10:5 This is most likely the angel Gabriel since he was the heavenly being sent by God to Daniel on the previous occasions.
- Daniel 10:5 Over a man’s outer garment a type of belt or girdle was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. Expensive or embroidered girdles were also worn and were made of cotton, flax or silk. The girdle also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things.
- Daniel 10:10 Lit knees and on the palms of my hands.
- Daniel 10:13 I.e. an evil angel representing the interests of Satan in Persia.
- Daniel 10:20 See v 13.
- Daniel 10:20 I.e. an evil angel representing the interests of Satan in Greece.
- Daniel 10:21 Perhaps a reference to the book of the living (Ex 32:32, 33; Ps 69:28).
- Daniel 11:2 Cambyses the son of Cyrus, Psuedo-Smerdis, and Darius I Hystaspes.
- Daniel 11:2 Xerxes I who is also known as Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.
- Daniel 11:3 There are many reasons for identifying this king as Alexander the Great, as well as identifying the other rulers according to their relationship to the events of those times. There is nothing in the context which makes it necessary to limit the passage to Alexander. Some ruler may arise in the end times to whom the prophecy will also apply.
- Daniel 11:4 See note 8:22.
- Daniel 11:6 Lit they will.
- Daniel 11:6 Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
- Daniel 11:6 King Antiochus II Theos of Syria.
- Daniel 11:6 King Antiochus II, Berenice and their baby were later murdered by the divorced wife of Antiochus II.
- Daniel 11:9 Seleucus II Callinicus, successor to Antiochus II Theos.
- Daniel 11:11 Lit the latter.
- Daniel 11:17 Cleopatra I, daughter of Antiochus III the Great, king of Syria, was married to Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt. She supported her husband instead of her father during his attempt to conquer Egypt.
- Daniel 11:18 Greek and Mediterranean territories under Rome’s influence.
- Daniel 11:20 Seleucus IV was poisoned soon after coming to power.
- Daniel 11:21 This contemptible conqueror is identified as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the younger son of Antiochus III the Great, king of Syria, and is a type of the final Antichrist referred to in Dan 11:36; 2 Thess 2:3-12; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7; and Rev 13:5-8. Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to destroy the worship of the true God by robbing the temple of its gold and silver treasures related to worship and setting up a statue of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies. He also breached the walls of Jerusalem, ordered a daily sacrifice of pig, forbade circumcision and destroyed all the sacred scrolls he could find (see note 8:10).
- Daniel 11:22 Onias III, the high priest at Jerusalem, was murdered by his brother Menelaus, who supported Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus IV later named Menelaus as high priest.
- Daniel 11:23 Antiochus IV allied himself with Ptolemy VI Philometer, in opposition to Ptolemy VII Euergetes II, as a deceptive way to plunder and conquer much of Egypt.
- Daniel 11:27 Ptolemy VI who was designated to rule at Memphis, and Ptolemy VII who was designated to rule at Alexandria, lied to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and established a joint rule.
- Daniel 11:36 The Antichrist is the subject from this point in the prophecy to the end of the chapter.
- Daniel 12:1 See 10:21; Mal 3:16; Luke 10:20.
- Daniel 12:11 1,290 is 30 days more than 3 1/2 years of 360 day years (1,260 days). The extra 30 days allows for the judgment that will take place after the second coming of Christ.
- Daniel 12:12 The difference between this number and that in v 11 is 45 days, an interval that is not explained. The ancient rabbis speculated that when the Messiah comes, He will lead Israel into the wilderness and then disappear for 45 days to test their faith. The true believers will wait for Him, the rest will join other nations and eventually die there.
- Daniel 12:13 Daniel was now over ninety years of age.