Think on These Things: A closer look at Daniel’s final prophecy

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Chapters 10 through 12 of Daniel form a unit. It is the last recorded vision of Daniel and ends with a promise that will give hope and will increase your faith in God’s ability to accurately foretell the future.

Chapter 10 is unique in scripture as portraying the invisible conflict between the good and evil angels in the great controversy between Christ and Satan. This will be looked at in my next column.

Chapter 10 serves as an introduction to chapters 11 and 12, which contain the prophecy itself. We will look at this introduction today and the rest of the prophecy in following columns.

“In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel had another vision. It concerned events certain to happen in the future — times of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks. … I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a dazzling gem. From his face came flashes like lightning, and his eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice was like the roaring of a vast multitude of people. … When I heard him speak, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.” (Daniel 10:1, 2, 5, 6, 9)

This description is repeated in Revelation and the figure is identified as Jesus Christ. Daniel’s reaction to the vision is similar to other saints granted a view of God. Compare the experiences of Saul — who became Paul — Moses and Isaiah.

“And standing in the middle of the lamp stands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves.” (Revelation 1:13-15)

After seeing Jesus in His glory and being reassured, Daniel learns from the angel that his three-week-long prayer had begun to be answered on the first day that he began to pray.

“Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, ‘O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.’ When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling with fear. Then he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.’ ” (Daniel 10:10-12)

Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.