The Mighty Angels of Daniel 10: The Prince of the Kingdom of Persia
By Nathan Jones
The Prince of the Kingdom of Persia
Vic Batista: Daniel 10 reveals that even God’s mighty angels face hindrances when carrying out His will both in the angelic realm and here on earth. For instance, in Daniel 10:13, the glorious angel explained his three-week delay in answering Daniel’s prayer with, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days.” How amazing that an angel as gloriously arraigned and as powerful as verses 5-6 describe could be delayed by Satan’s forces.
Nathan Jones: Also interesting is that Daniel 10 describes Daniel fasting and praying for 21 days, when that it took 21 days before this glorious angel was able to reach Daniel with God’s message. As soon as Daniel began praying, God had dispatched an angel with His response. But, Satan knew that whatever message was going to be revealed to Daniel must as always be very important, and so the Devil tried everything possible to stop the message from going through.
Daniel 11 reveals why this message was so very important, for it would lay out the next few hundred years of Israel’s history. It also lays out the conditions in the last days when the Antichrist finally comes to power. God’s response to Daniel’s prayer then was with a very, very important prophecy. Daniel’s prophecies were always super important, and Satan knew that fact, so he dispatched the Prince of the Kingdom of Persia to withstand God’s mighty angel.
Just who is the Prince of the Kingdom of Persia? The text is clearly not referring to the king of Persia whom Daniel served during this time period. The Medo-Persian Empire had defeated the Babylonians since Daniel had been exiled to Babylon. Daniel remained in power and still held court for both King Darius and King Cyrus. King Cyrus was prophesied as the king who would allow the Jews to return back to Jerusalem, so this period in Daniel’s life became very important. That knowledge, too, would have led Satan to discern that this message to Daniel must be very important, and so sent the Prince of the Kingdom of Persia to intercept the Glorious Angel.
So, no, the angel was not talking about the Persian King Cyrus. The man could not stand against such a powerful messenger from God. No, the Glorious Angel naturally refers to the demonic world, and to a particular demon who sub-ruled as a prince over Persia. This demon must have ranked high as an official in Satan’s hierarchy, for the demon stood against God’s mighty angel.
And the identity of the Glorious Angel? Speculating based on Daniel 10:5-6 concerning the Glorious Angel’s appearance and his job as God’s most important messenger, theologians believe he very well could be the angel Gabriel. Gabriel was the angel who later would be tasked with telling Mary and Joseph that Mary would give birth to the Messiah.
The Celestial War
Vic Batista: Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, because I believe we see this spiritual battle best explained in the New Testament.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
I’m also reminded of Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, and against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Christians wield weapons in this spiritual war as well, and prayer stands out as the most powerful.
Nathan Jones: Christians often neglect the fact that we are caught up in the middle of a celestial war. Spiritual warfare wages behind the scenes at every level of government. We Christians are soldiers in this war, even if we cannot perceive what the angelic world truly looks like.
When I studied as a missions major back in Bible college, occasionally we would have guest speakers who were missionaries to tribal areas. These are Stone Age type tribes dwelling in the middle of Brazil and Indonesia and other remote places such as those. The missionaries who served in those areas would relay some horrific stories to us students. You could actually see the fear in their eyes as they recounted the demonic activity they’d encountered.
I remember one missionary in particular who came back from serving in Indonesia. He said that he had witnessed a women being dragged off of her bed screaming and yelling, but that nothing was visibly seen dragging her away! He described all sorts of demonic activity terrorizing these little tribal villages.
Today, in our modern Western world, demons find it more effective to remain behind the scenes and not directly active in terrifying people. But, in the third world countries, demonic strategy stands to gain the most by actively terrifying pagans and subjugating them to the demon who is ruling over that area. Pagans might as well be unarmed for only Christian warriors have been given by God the spiritual weapons to fight against demonic warfare. We’re not equipped with material weapons such as swords, guns, and whatnot. Those weapons wouldn’t work anyway. No, God equips the believer with the proper spiritual weapons.
Vic Batista: I was born in the Dominican Republic, and when I lead teams back for missions to areas close to Haiti which are so enshrouded by voodoo, one of the spiritual weapons I heavily rely on is prayer. I remember serving out on the mission field in these places that are so primitive there’s no light or electricity, very rural, and the manifestation of the demonic realm weighs heavily. Demons are real, without a doubt.
The weapon of prayer wields mighty! Often prayer remains the only weapon left for us to use in those situations. The air hung thick with the darkness of voodoo practices and black magic and shamanism. When we prayed, we literally felt the spiritual realm being pushed back.
Our other effective weapon was fasting. Every time we picked up those weapons, it was like we were casting down false arguments and every demonic stronghold. God worked immediately in those dark areas in order to allow Christ’s light to shine through us and into Satan’s strongholds.
In the forty-first segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll marvel at the power of Michael the Archangel.