The Mighty Angels of Daniel 10: The Other Prophesied King
By Nathan Jones
Vic Batista: We’re continuing our study of God’s mighty angels found in the Old Testament book of Daniel. Now we’re entering chapter 10! But, before we jump into Daniel 10, let’s provide a quick recap of chapter 9 concerning the stunning Seventieth Week of Daniel prophecy.
Nathan Jones: Back around 600 BC, the teenage Daniel was dragged into exile, taken captive by the unstoppable King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire. Daniel was snatched out of his hometown of Jerusalem, along with a number of other young Jewish noblemen. Once settled far away in the capital city of Babylon, Daniel and his friends were trained in the pagan ways of Babylon, but he always kept his faith and heart for God.
God bestowed upon Daniel a special gift. It’s a gift we don’t see today, and it was rare even in Daniel’s day, but that gift was the interpretation of visions and dreams, particularly prophecies about the future. Daniel’s special gift ministered to God’s people particularly in the time period in which he lived. The young prophet could see what was going on behind God’s veil in his day, but whose message had far reaching implications down through the centuries. The Prophet Joel told us that in the end times people will start receiving that spiritual gift again.
Often angels would be sent down from Heaven by God to relay His prophetic messages. What God shared with and through Daniel is really incredible. To read the book of Daniel is to stare into the eyes of the angels! Daniel peals back the cover concealing the supernatural world revealing the fact that God’s messengers are kept very busy managing world events in the background. Daniel 10 tears the cover off and bares the spirit world busy working behind the scenes of human events for the purpose of furthering God’s plan for the ages.
Vic Batista: Even today God’s angels are actively involved from events so small that occur in our own personal lives all the way up to major world affairs. And, the more we read through the book of Daniel, the more we get a better picture of the spiritual warfare being waged between God’s and Satan’s forces behind the scenes.
Nathan Jones: The Angel Gabriel was sent by God in chapter 9 to answer Daniel’s prayer about the timing of the deliverance of the Jews from exile in Babylon. Instead, God dived much deeper and revealed just when the Messiah would finally arrive. He would arrive 483 years after King Artaxerxes issued a decree to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and temple. And, true to prophecy, Jesus fulfilled that prophecy exactly to the day with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Such precision!
In the Seventieth Week of Daniel prophecy, a seven year time period remains unfulfilled. That week of years is often labeled as Daniel’s Seventieth Week. Daniel’s Seventieth Week is reserved until after this Church Age that we are living in now finally ends with the Rapture. Soon after the Rapture, the seven years of Tribulation will ravage the world.
Naturally, Daniel wanted to know more of what this prophecy was about. And that’s where we are before getting into Daniel 10. Daniel wanted to better understand what was going to happen during the future years that spanned the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.
The Other Prophesied King
Nathan Jones: We’ll begin chapter 10 at the beginning with Daniel 10:1-3.
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
Vic Batista: Let’s focus on this prophesied man, Cyrus.
Nathan Jones: Remember that Daniel had earned his way from teenage exile all the way up to the highest ranks as a courtier to the king, and even as high as governing over the capital providence of Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar himself. Nebuchadnezzar was the very king who had exiled Daniel out of his own home in Jerusalem and forced Daniel to move to Babylon. What a turn of events in Daniel’s life! God surely blessed everything Daniel did for God.
One of Daniel’s services to God was the interpretation of dreams, particularly King Nebuchadnezzar’s own dreams. This act curried great favor with Nebuchadnezzar.
Despite its great strength, the Babylonian Empire didn’t last very long, and the Medo-Persian Empire grew up to take its place as ruler over the Middle East. The Medes and the Persians joined together to conquer Babylon. They succeeded in taking over the capital, and the rest of the Babylonian Empire fell. The Medo-Persian victory led to a new king on the throne, and his name was Cyrus. By that time, Daniel was no longer a young man, rather he had aged into a very old man.
Daniel 10:1 reveals this story happened during the third year of King Cyrus, ruler of the Medo-Persian Empire, calculated to be 536 BC. At this late stage, Daniel was not as highly ranked as he once was under Nebuchadnezzar, but he was still fairly high ranked among the courtiers. The government might have changed to new leadership, but the same noblemen were left in charge, and Daniel was still held some authority.
Daniel had long ago been given the name Belteshazzar. The Babylonians didn’t let him keep his Jewish name, but when Daniel wrote down things, he used his Jewish name, although here in verse one Daniel mentions his Babylonian name. Belteshazzar was a pagan god’s name, and clearly Daniel didn’t appreciate such an unholy moniker.
What’s so amazing about Cyrus, King of Persia, is that way back 150+ years earlier Isaiah had prophesied that a man named Cyrus would allow the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple. And that is exactly what Cyrus did! You can read about Cyrus great deed lived out in the books of Haggai and Zechariah, while the priest Ezra decades later would further explain Cyrus’ decree. His decree allowed the exile Jews permission to return to Jerusalem.
Few returned, sadly. Some 3,000 returned to Jerusalem along with the prophet Haggai and a very young Zechariah, who would grow up to become a prophet as well. They tasked the Jewish returnees to rebuilding the Temple.
And so, Daniel was living during a time when he was seeing prophecy being fulfilled right before his very eyes! But, God wasn’t finished. He had new prophecies to share with His trusted prophet.
Vic Batista: Sometimes people doubt the authenticity of the book of Daniel because his prophecies were so accurately fulfilled over the centuries well after he had died. But, in this case, Daniel lived to see Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled concerning King Cyrus, a man prophesied about decades before he was even born.
Nathan Jones: Yes, and to think Cyrus had been named by name! And Cyrus wasn’t the only person prophesied by name long before he was born. King Josiah had also been prophesied many years before he ascended the throne. Even what Josiah would achieve as king, that he would actually travel up to Samaria and dig up the bones of the heathen priests and burn them in the ashes of their own temples, well that’s exactly what Josiah did.
The prophesied Medo-Persian ruler, Cyrus, did become king as prophesied. How interesting God chose a Gentile to be His man in allowing the exiled Jewish people to return to Jerusalem! The exile was meant to last 70 years, so if the final exile of Jerusalem occurred in 586 BC, and Daniel says we’re down to 536 BC, the Jews hadn’t quite reached the full 70 years of punishment yet. Once the Temple was finally built in 516 BC, then the full 70 years were fulfilled.
What an exciting life Daniel had lived! The boy had been taken from his home, exiled to an enemy country, and lived long enough to witness the prophesied Cyrus become king. Daniel would have been too old to travel the long four month journey back to Jerusalem, but he likely sent off a sizable group of Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the Temple. Daniel saw prophecy being fulfilled right before his eyes!
In the thirty-third segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll ponder over the world’s odd obsession with Israel.