Who does Daniel see in his vision in Daniel 10?
migrated from christianity.stackexchange.com Oct 30 '12 at 15:47
This question came from our site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more.
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:
Can we know the identity of the angel?
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:
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.
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:
One of the best classic commentaries of written on Daniel takes this view and adds:
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:
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: