In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. Daniel 10:1 (NIV).
Our God is a man of patience. Reading these books one might think the revelations happened one immediately after another. But that’s only on paper. In reality, from chapter 7 on, there were stretches of several years in-between them. This next prophecy was given to Daniel several years after those recorded in chapter nine. How would it feel to be given these visions, these gifts from God Himself, and then have to wait months, then years, for the next? How would it be to stew about what He’d told you?
Especially since this prophecy leads into one about war. Chapter 10 is an introduction for 11 and 12, which will reveal a great many things while concluding Daniel’s book. Daniel provides the time when it was given to him, and, like the others, it was written afterward, recorded on paper (skin or papyrus most likely) later. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/daniel-10/ breaks it down quite nicely. This site brought up a good point for context: the third year of Cyrus corresponded to the time when Israelites began returning to Jerusalem. That means it took place towards both the end of Daniel’s life AND near the end of the Babylonian exile. What had begun as a punishment for spiritually slacking and wayward Israel was turning into a time of hope and renewal. Daniel’s people would return home and rebuild the temple, the city walls, and their old homes. Though Jerusalem would see conflict and more subjugation, the nation had endured a renewal in exile, finding its identity again as God’s chosen people.
Maybe that’s why God revealed this new set of visions when He did. He was reminding His people to not get too big for their britches. “Don’t fall into the traps you fell into before. I’m saving you; you aren’t saving yourselves. Indeed, after being slaves again all these years, you need God more than ever. I’m changing the world around you in ways you can’t fully see yet. For now, you’ll be going home to fresh work and a renewed commitment to me. Oh, by the way, I’m gonna let you in on a few things that will happen long into the future. They’re gonna be tough to hear.”
At the end of time, mankind will endure greater hardship than at any time in history. Greater than before the Ark; greater than when Israel was overrun (each time). Greater than before any of the cataclysmic wars of the last three hundred years. This verse begins Daniel’s last prophecy about them.
For further reading: Daniel 10:2
Lord, strengthen my heart to hear Your holy prophecies and to heed Your good words.
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