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Who does Daniel see in his vision in Daniel 10?

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Could it have been Jesus?

I doubt it could be Jesus, because the implication of verses 12-13 is that the speaker was restrained by the "prince of the Persian kingdom"; I doubt the prince could have restrained Jesus.

So is it an angel or a human?

Verses 5-6 show that the person is an angel:

I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

Can we know the identity of the angel?

There are only two named angels in the Bible, Michael1 and Gabriel.

It cannot have been Michael, because the speaker refers to him (in verses 13 & 21).

So it must be either Gabriel or an unnamed angel. However, Daniel recognised Gabriel when he appeared in a previous vision: Daniel 9:21:

...while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.

Since he does not recognise Gabriel this time, it is also not likely to be him. Therefore my conclusion is: it is an unnamed angel.

1 List includes other Biblical characters also named Michael.

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Some have taken this vision to be an angel (Lange’s Commentary, Moses Stuart, Calvin, etc.). On the contrary, I think we can conclusively state that ‘yes’ this is the Son of God, at least as understood by New Testament writers. The similarity between this vision and that by John’s vision in Rev Chapter 1 makes it very hard not to draw any other conclusion. Naturally, many commentators have therefore taking this view (Keil, Matthew Henry, Alexander Arthur, E. B. Elliot, etc.).

For example, the German and always so conservative scholar Keil takes this view:

This heavenly form has thus, it is true, the shining white talar common to the angel, Ezek. 9:9, but all the other features, as here described—the shining of his body, the brightness of his countenance, his eyes like a lamp of fire, arms and feet like glistering brass, the sound of his speaking—all these point to the revelation of the כְּבֹוד יְהֹוָה, the glorious appearance of the Lord, Ezek. 1, and teach us that the אִישׁ seen by Daniel was no common angel-prince, but a manifestation of Jehovah, i.e., the Logos. This is placed beyond a doubt by a comparison with Rev. 1:13–15, where the form of the Son of man whom John saw walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks is described like the glorious appearance seen by Ezekiel and Daniel. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 9, p. 766). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.)

One of the best classic commentaries of written on Daniel takes this view and adds:

His hovering on the water of the river reminds me of him who walked on the Sea of Galilee; and his two attendant angels remind me of him who talked with Abraham, and sent his two attendants to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. If I am mistaken in the pictures, I am willing to hug my own delusion. (A critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, by Alexander Arthur, Page 190, 1893)

I think the key point to consider is that although in Daniel 10:4-6 is Christ, staring at verse 10 where ‘a hand’ touches him it is not the person if the vision but an angel who is involved in communicating the meaning of the vision of Christ. This is probably what causes some commentaries to go astray and miss the obvious similitude to Rev Chapter 1.

Alexander Arthur again to me follows a persuasive position:

  1. Is the speaker all along the man clothed in linen? I think not. 2. Are these so-called princes, as Jerome has taught, the guardian angels of different countries, holy angels who fight with one another? Again, I think not. 1. This man clothed in linen is again mentioned only in the 12th chapter, ver. 6, and there he is upon the waters of the river, like Jesus walking on the sea ; but we are not told where he was in the eleventh chapter. (A critical Commentary on the Bok of Daniel, by Alexander Arthur, Page 193, 1893)

Having chosen again the view of ‘an angel’, it should be noted that in precise language many take this to be an angel of sorts that is the ‘Angel Jehovah’ who is often considered by many commentators the pre-human visitation of the Son of God, i.e. the logos. But the angel in this sense is not to be confused with a mere angel, but the Son of God. E. B. Elliot in his classic four volume commentary of Revelation makes this distinction in reference to Daniel Chapter 10. Commenting on Rev 10:5-7 Elliot makes this sort of distinction:

Here, besides the obvious similarity in respect of the terms and manner of the oath, as lifting up his hand to heaven, and swearing by Him that liveth for ever, it is evident from the context that He who used it was the Angel Jehovah, just as in the Apocalyptic vision under consideration. [On his first appearance to Daniel, he is thus described. “As I was by the side of the great river Hiddekel, I lifted up mine eyes, and looked. And behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz! His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words as the voice of a multitude.” Dan. 10:4–6. Comparing this with the description of Christ in the 1st of the Apocalypse, the correspondence seems such as almost necessarily to involve identity]. (Elliott, E. B. (1862). Horæ Apocalypticæ or A Commentary on the Apocalypse, Critical and Historical, Volume 2)

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