Study Notes

Daniel 10:13-11:1


As we saw in the first twelve verses of chapter ten last week, Daniel had been in mourning and prayer for three weeks. He was near the Tigris River along with some other guys when he saw an angelic messenger. The others didn't see the angel, but they did become very afraid and ran away.

Once alone, the angel told Daniel,

Dan. 10:12 "...from the first day that you set your heart on understanding {this} and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.

This angel had been sent out the first day that Daniel began praying, three weeks earlier. We're now going to find out what had kept him from getting to his destination sooner.

10:13 The Prince Of Persia

The angel explained that for the last three weeks, he was being withstood by "the prince of the kingdom of Persia." Who is this prince? Certainly no human could withstand an angel, for we know that angels are incredibly powerful. Remember that in the days of King Hezekiah,

2Chr. 32:21 ...the LORD sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria...

This prince of Persia is not a man on earth, but in fact someone in the spiritual realm. As we look at the whole counsel of Scripture, we see that there are princes in the spirit world. In fact, there is an entire hierarchy of authority among angels and demons. According to Ephesians 3:10, there are

Eph. 3:10 ...rulers and the authorities in the heavenly {places.}

Then in chapter six, Paul seems to list a number of these positions of authority, naming...

Eph. 6:12 ...the rulers, ...the powers, ...the world forces of this darkness, ...the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Again, to the Colossians, he wrote that Jesus created all things...

Col. 1:16 ...both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities...

The devil has been given a title in the spiritual realm as well. Three times (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) Jesus called him,

John 12:31 "...the ruler of this world..."

And Paul called him,

Eph. 2:2 ...the prince of the power of the air...

Now although "ruler" and "prince" are different English words, the same Greek word (AR-khone) is used in all four of these verses.

Now we need to use some deductive reasoning. If satan is the prince of the entire world and the power of the air, then it stands to reason that the prince of Persia is a demonic entity that had authority over a part of the world - the nation of Persia.

Withstood Me

I don't know how war is waged in the spiritual realm. I can't picture what a demon withstanding an angel would look like. We only have tiny glimpses into scenes like this, and they're not very liberal with the details. Jesus told the disciples,

Luke 10:18 ..."I was watching satan fall from heaven like lightning."

Later, John saw a prophetic vision of war in heaven, but gave no visual details other than,

Rev. 12:9 ...the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

(An interesting thing to think about is that before the "lake of fire" judgment, I am not aware of any passage that talks about angels or demons dying during this warfare. Only that they are cast down and chained.)

So, whether we picture it as armies pitted against each other in hand to hand combat, or as knights in shining armor fighting goblins and fire-breathing dragons, we still don't have an accurate picture of how this really is. The only thing we know for sure is that there is conflict between good and evil creatures in the spiritual realm.

These things happen all around us, without us knowing about it. Remember that in 2Kings 6, the king of Aram was frustrated because all of his secret plans against Israel were being thwarted by Elisha's prophetic knowledge. He sent his army down to the city of DO-thawn, where Elisha was, and surrounded the city at night.

2Kgs. 6:15-17 ...Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Truly, there is a spiritual war being waged around us that we cannot see.


This conflict between the angel and the prince of Persia was pretty evenly matched until a reinforcement came. That reinforcement was Michael, one of the chief princes.

This is the first time that Michael is mentioned in the Scriptures. Elsewhere in Scripture we learn that he has disputed with the devil over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9) and that he and his angels will wage war against the devil and his angels during the Tribulation period (Rev. 12:7).

Chief Princes

According to the book of Jude, Michael is an archangel. The compound word archangel is from two Greek words, "AR-kho" and "ANG-el-os," which, when combined, mean "chief angel," or "ruler of the angels."

Although the two times that the archangel is mentioned in Scripture (1Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9) are both in singular form ("the archangel"), it may not be accurate to think of him as being the only one in charge, or the "head honcho." True, he is the one leading the angelic army against satan's army in Revelation 12, but remember, this angel calls him "one of the chief princes."

So, whether he is the five star general, or one of several generals, he is definitely a heavy hitter, and the most powerful angel that we are told about in Scripture.

I Had Been Left There

The angel had been assigned to this duty over the kings of Persia. Some have speculated that this speaks of more demonic forces, but since the highest spiritual authorities we have seen in that realm that are princes, then I doubt that we could justify thinking of these kings as spiritual entities.

10:14-19 Latter Days Vision

After giving the explanation to Daniel about why he was so long in coming, he told him why he had been sent. He had arrived to tell Daniel what would happen to the Jews in the future.


When this statement was made, Daniel's head dropped and he couldn't say a word. When he found his voice again, he explained that the vision had brought terrible anguish upon him.

One thing I have found among many students of Bible prophecy is that while they are excited to learn about the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the goings-on in heaven, and the Glorious Appearing, they are not rendered speechless by the horror and brutality that will be inflicted upon the Jews. I think that anyone who truly understand the end times is grieved by the nightmarish oppression that the Jews will endure. Jesus said of this time,

Mark 13:19-20 "For those days will be a {time of} tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall. And unless the Lord had shortened {those} days, no life would have been saved..."

Daniel understood, and it sapped him of speech and strength.

10:20-21 The Prince Of Greece

The angel had to return to fight against the prince of Persia. It is interesting to me that he also knew that the Greek Empire was going to be raised up after the Medo-Persian Empire. Now I don't know if he saw in the spiritual realm that this demonic force was being prepared, or if God had given him the low-down on upcoming events. Either way, the angel was aware of what was to come.

No One Who Stands With Me

Notice that the angel says,

Dan. 10:21 "...there is no one who stands firmly with me against these {forces} except Michael your prince."

No one else was standing firmly with him. Now, I don't want to speculate on God's staffing techniques. I don't know if there was a shortage of angels, if they were busy with other things, or if God knew that he and Michael could handle this opposition by themselves. But I do know this: it was just the two of them. The angel did not count Daniel as standing with them.

Binding And Loosing

Why is this an important point? Because nowadays, many in the church are under them impression that it is we who are doing battle in the demonic realm. Since the late 1980's, the subject of spiritual warfare has been huge in the church. Today, it is a common practice among Christians to bind the devil and rebuke demons. But I do not see this happening in Scripture at all.

Of course, the response to this sort of teaching is usually, "but Jesus told us to bind these things!" He told Peter that the gates of Hades would not overpower the church. Then He said,

Matt. 16:19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

"So, doesn't that mean that we should bind demons and set victims of demon oppression loose?" Well first of all, Jesus didn't say, "Whatever demons you bind on earth will be bound in heaven," He said WHATEVER you shall loose. Nor did He say, "Whomever you shall loose from demon oppression on earth shall be loosed in heaven." That wouldn't even make any sense.

Although Jesus said this after mentioning the gates of Hades, when he repeated this teaching in chapter 18, there was nothing regarding satan, demons, or Hades in the context. He is telling how to confront a brother in unrepentant sin. If he does not turn from his sin after being rebuked by an individual, two or three more people, and then the church, Jesus said,

Matt. 18:17-19 "...and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

So, it is clear from the context that binding and loosing is not the practice of binding satan and demons.

Resist The Devil

If you want the devil to get away from you, simply practice the spiritual warfare technique that James taught:

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Sure, it doesn't excite the imagination or sell lots of books, but it's a solid Scriptural principle that works.

True Spiritual Warfare

Now don't get me wrong - there is absolutely a spiritual battle going on that we are involved in. But we are not called to wage it in the spiritual realm. Paul told the Corinthians,

2Cor. 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

A spiritual battle fought on our own plane of reality. Not in a physical confrontation with demons, because we're not supposed to war that way. No, if you want to destroy fortresses in the spiritual realms, then you destroy speculations that people have against the knowledge of God. If you want to be victorious spiritually, then you make sure that you're taking your thoughts captive.

Again, the definitive chapter on spiritual warfare makes the same point.

Eph. 6:10-17 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual {forces} of wickedness in the heavenly {places.} Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil {one.} And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

To wage spiritual warfare effectively, you don't need to engage the devil in hand to hand combat. You don't need to speak to demons and name spirits. You fight it on your own plane of existence. And the way to do it is to be defensively armed with a life marked by truth and righteousness, being prepared with the gospel, walking in faith, and being saved. And finally, the offensive weapon that you have to fight with is not a prayer of binding satan, it's not anointing oil to pour around your house. It's the Word of God.

When you realize that, then you understand that the entire Bible speaks about spiritual warfare, because the entire Bible speaks about how you're supposed to be living your life righteously and close to God.

Michael, Your Prince

We learned before that Michael is one of the chief princes. Now we see that Michael is "your prince." In other words, Michael is the angelic authority over the people of the nation of Israel.

11:1 Encouragement And Protection For Who?

Finally (in what I believe should have been the last verse of chapter ten, rather than the first verse of chapter eleven), we are told that the angel who came to Daniel had been put in the lower position of being an encouragement and protection to King Darius the Mede, the king that Daniel had served under as his chief commissioner.

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