Daniel 10, Notes
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Symbolic meaning in Daniel's experience
    Daniel Chapter 10 describes how the prophet sought understanding. It shows what happened to him before the angel explained what was "noted in the scripture of truth" (verse 21). In considering how God reveals truth through His prophets, we usually think of what He causes them to see or hear. On this occasion the future is shown in Daniel's experience itself. The experience represents his failures and successes in communicating truth through his book to his readers as the centuries have passed. Several lines of evidence support this view:

    1 Prophecy symbolized by experience occurs often in the Bible. Consider Hosea. God told him to take a harlot (prostitute) as a wife because "the land commits flagrant harlotry forsaking the Lord." ho0102 NASB. The prophet lived out a representation of how the people of Israel were committing spiritual adultery, being unfaithful to their Lord. The reality of Hosea's life symbolized the evil being practiced by Israel.
    God's communication through experience may be classified as
        (a) Experiences given to prophets in the context of larger lines of prophecy as here in Daniel 10 and as John's being asked to eat the book that would become bitter, Rev. 10 re10.
        (b) Experiences God asked prophets to act out including that of Hosea.
        (c) Ceremonial actions such as the sinner bringing a lamb to the tabernacle or temple and killing it, the blood being then taken by the priest.
        (d) Spiritual applications given to Bible stories.
    See, for example, ac2110f; je1301-11; ez04, ez05, and Hosea.
    2 A second line of evidence is in the pattern of understanding in the book of Daniel. A major theme of the book of Daniel is that we can trust God's knowledge and revelation of the future. A major element of this theme, woven through the whole book, is that of understanding. It begins at 1:17 where Daniel was given "understanding in all visions and dreams."  In the next chapter, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream he didn't understand, and Daniel explained it. In chapter 5, Belshazzar couldn't understand the writing on the wall and again Daniel explained. Then we come to the visions with their additional explanations. At the end of chapter 7 the prophet exclaims, "As for me, Daniel, my cogitations [thoughts] much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me, but I kept the matter in my heart" (7:28). Next came the core of the puzzle the vision of evenings and mornings. He certainly didn't understand. "I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." (8:27). As already pointed out, the book ends with Daniel thinking about the narration of Chapter 11, wanting to understand and being told he would die without knowing.
    But back in Chapter 10, surprise! Right in the introduction (verse 1) we read, "The thing was true, but the time appointed was long [or of great conflict]; and he [Daniel] understood the thing and had understanding of the vision."
    This chapter describes a time of understanding. It is preceded and followed by not understanding. The prophet's experience here has a symbolic significance pointing to the time of the end when knowledge would increase (12:4). Then he would stand in his place (12:13) and the purified ones would understand (12:10). The words "understand," "knowledge," "wisdom," and words derived from them occur 98 times in the KJV of Daniel.
    3 Evidence in the chapter itself leads us to expect more than an unimportant story of the prophet's personal emotions. The chapter begins with a summary note announcing understanding of "thing" or matter which is a detailed prophecy of events leading to the end of the wicked "king" and Michael's standing up. It also involves understanding "the vision" (mareh) which we interpret to be the vision of evenings and mornings in chapter 8.
    After losing strength in seeing the Man in linen, the prophet is gradually prepared for Gabriel to speak. But woven into this preparatory experience are the elements of listening and being affected by words and touches. Thus again we may see more than an account of a prophet's unrelated, physical discomforts while waiting for the angel to speak.
    4 Daniel's standing at the end of chapter 12 sheds light on his standing at the heart of his experience here (10:11) where standing is associated with understanding. In chapter 12, Daniel wanted to understand the various time periods and all the puzzles associated with them. He wanted to tell his readers the answers. You can sense the drama of the situation. In 12:4 he was told to "shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end" when knowledge would be increased. At verse 8 he was still unsatisfied.  We hear him ask, "O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?"  He wanted to know about this "end." The promise given was that he would stand in his lot (of understanding and communicating light, 1:17) at the end of the days. In the time of the end, he would speak through his unsealed book. His experiences through chapter 10 would represent how well his book would communicate truth through periods of spiritual light and darkness.
    5 The chiastic literary pattern of chapters 10 to 12 contrasts Daniel's experience before Gabriel's long narration with his experience after it. Thus, as just stated, the understanding of the wise in 12:10 and the prophet's standing in his lot at the end of the days, mirrors the complex experience of chapter 10.
    6 The prophet's experiences in chapter 10 form a pattern which harmonizes with the historical prophecies of the book of Revelation. Here Daniel sees the Man in linen, sleeps with face to the ground, gradually stands, loses his speech, regains it, and so on. In Revelation we see the pure woman giving birth to the Man child, the woman in the wilderness, the book that became bitter and the charge to speak again (Rev. 12 and 10), all revealing experiences in the history of God's people. The corresponding events in Daniel's experience occur in the same sequence.

    As you read Daniel 10 ask God to help you understand about the understanding!

Daniel's Experienced Prophecy Compared to Other Prophecies
Daniel's experiences in his Chapter 10 are listed below with comparisons of other passages which are seen to describe the same events.  This desire to know becomes the desire of  the end time people (12:9, 10).  Also see the commentary for Daniel 10.
Daniel 10 Song of Solomon Revelation 1-3 Revelation 10, 11 Revelation 12 Other Passages
The Messiah
appears
4-6  Man in linen: waist in gold, face like lightening, eyes, feet, voice of multitude 1:2  Love better than wine 1:10-15  Man in white, gold chest band, eyes fire,  feet brass, voice as many waters - 1-5  Woman clothed with the sun; child born and saved from dragon; taken to heaven Many
Messiah rejected
8a  Others did not see, went to hide, afraid - - - - Matt. 26:31; Isa. 63:3  Disciples all fled
Beginning of apostasy
8b  Strength became weakness 1:5, 6  I am dark, brothers angry 2:4  First love lost - - -
Corrupt church
9  Deep sleep, face to ground 2:2-7  Among thorns, sustained, waiting 2:20  Jezebel allowed to teach; immorality - 6, 14  Fled to wilderness; place prepared, fed for 3½ "times" Dan. 7:25  Horn power persecutes saints for 3½ "times"
Protestant Reformation
10  Touched, trembled on hands and knees 2:8  Beloved's voice; called to arise; clefts of the rock 2:28  Morning star 11:7 When two witnesses finish testimony 12:11 Devil overcome by word of testimony Dan. 11:33 Those who give insight will teach. Many fall
Awakening at time of the end
11  Understanding received; stood trembling 3:2, 4  Arising, loved one found 3:8  Open door 10:6-9  Time to be no longer; book taken and eaten 16  Mouth of earth swallowed flood from dragon's mouth Dan. 12:4  Book opened at time of end when knowledge increased
Disappointment
14, 15  More understanding; vision is for days; face to ground, speechless 5:1-8  I have come; beloved spoke, I open door, but he has gone! - 10:10  Sweet in mouth but belly bitter - Rev. 6:10 How long?
Faith strengthened
18  Touched, strengthened 8:1, 2  Would not be despised, open 3:15-18  Will spit you out; buy gold 10:11 - 11:1  Call to prophesy again, temple measured - Dan. 12:4 above; Rev. 6:11 Wait little longer
Loud cry
Judgment ends
19  He spoke, was strengthened; then granted peace. 8:8-10  Accused of no breasts; then found mature; peace  - - Rev. 18:1-5  Glory of Angel; call to come out of Babylon
Text Comments
 12  Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
 13  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
 14  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
v12-14 - Dual meaning in the text 
   From a natural reading of the text, we find Daniel praying for three weeks while Gabriel was fighting unseen forces who were attempting to control the mind of the king. But connected with this, we find Gabriel coming to explain the vision of "many days" which links with the primary vision of chapter 8 da0826. After seeing the man in linen which we identified as the glorified Christ/Messiah Daniel fell into this semi-consciousness. We saw a major key to understanding in da1213 where Daniel would stand in his place as prophet at the end of the days. Here in chapter 10 he is flat on the ground, trembles on hands and knees, stands, is silent, all following the metaphor of communicating truth through his book.
   The Holy Spirit used a similar symbolic scheme in describing Satan in ez28. We see there first the king of Tyre, in a contemporary situation, then quickly we find him as symbolic of Satan and the text continues the description.
   Of course another test of our idea is whether the picture we find in Daniel's experiences describes a literal progression of events. The chart above demonstrates that it does.
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