Daniel 9:21 Index
"Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation."
Research Material

"...even the man Gabriel..." (Daniel 8:15 and Daniel 8:16)

  • This is a continuation of the explanation of the vision relayed in Daniel 8. The angel Gabriel had explained to Daniel the meaning of the beasts that he had seen. However, Daniel had been overcome and fainted before the entire explanation had been completed. The explanation for the time period referred to in Daniel 8:14, "...for two thousand and three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed," had not yet been revealed. (KC 106)
  • How fast do angels fly? Gabriel was standing beside God's throne when Daniel began his prayer. In about five minutes he was talking to Daniel. Gabriel flew swiftly indeed. We do not understand space travel! The purpose of Gabriel's visit was to help Daniel understand the vision saw in Daniel 8:14. "And he said to me, 'Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'" Compare the thought and wording of Daniel 8:16 in the instruction to Gabriel to, "...make this man to understand the vision..." with the thought and wording in Daniel 9:22, 23. Gabriel is preparing to consummate the instruction and deliver the key to understanding the time element of the prophecy. Since Gabriel had already explained all other aspects of the vision (Daniel 8:20-25), the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 must be the subject about which he will give Daniel "...skill and understanding." (Daniel 9:22). (KC 110)
  • This is the same angel who had explained the first three sections of the vision recorded in Daniel 8. He now returns with the purpose of completing his assigned task. Some commentators have missed the close connection between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9, and thus the relationship between the 2300 "days" of Daniel 8:15 and the 70 "weeks" of Daniel 9:24. This context, however, requires precisely this relationship as the following eleven facts make evident:
    • 1) All symbols of the vision of Daniel 8:2-14 are explained fully in Daniel 8:15-26, with the exception of the 2300 "days" of Daniel 8:13, 14 (GC 325). In fact, all of Daniel 8:13 and Daniel 8:14 is explained in Daniel 8:24, 25 except the time element. In Daniel 8:26 Gabriel mentions the time element, but breaks off his explanation before saying anything further about it.
    • 2) Daniel knew that the 70 years captivity foretold by the prophet Jeremiah was nearly at an end (Daniel 9:2; Jeremiah 25:11).
    • 3) Daniel did not understand the 2300-day time period, the only part of the vision not yet explained (Daniel 8:27), and evidently feared that it implied an extension of the Captivity and the continued desolation of the sanctuary (Daniel 9:19). He knew that the promise of restoration was conditional upon Israel's sincere repentance (SL 48).
    • 4) The prospect of terrible persecution during the course of the 2300 "days" (Daniel 8:10-13 and Daniel 8:23-25) proved more than the aged Daniel could bear, and as a result he "fainted, and was sick certain days" (Daniel 8:27; GC 325). Accordingly, the angel discontinued the explanation of the vision at this time.
    • 5) During the interval preceding the angel's return (Daniel 9:21) Daniel turned to the prophecies of Jeremiah for a clearer understanding of the divine purpose in Captivity, particularly with respect to the 70 years (Daniel 9:2).
    • 6) Concluding that Israel's transgression as a nation was responsible for what he evidently took to be an extension of the 70 years, Daniel interceded most earnestly with God for forgiveness, for the restoration of the now desolate sanctuary in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:3-19). His prayer closes with a reiteration of the petition that God will "forgive" the sins of he nation and "defer not" the promise of restoration (Daniel 9:19).
    • 7) Note particularly that the unexplained portion of the vision of Daniel 8 had foretold that "the sanctuary and the host" would be "trodden under foot" (Daniel *:13, 14, 24), for a period of 2300 "days." In his prayer Daniel pleads with God that the time allotted to the Captivity should not be extended (Daniel 9:16-19). A careful comparison of the prayer of Daniel 9 with the problem of Daniel 8 makes it clear beyond possible doubt that Daniel had the problem in mind as he prayed. He thought that the vision of the 2300 "days" of desolation for the sanctuary and persecution for God's people implied that God would "defer" the restoration (Daniel 9:19).
    • 8) In answer to this prayer, Gabriel, who had been commissioned to explain the vision of Daniel 8 (Daniel 8:15-19) but had not as yet completed the explanation, greeted Daniel with the announcement, "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding" (Daniel 9:22).
    • 9) The explanation of Daniel 9:24-27 is clearly Haven's reply to Daniel's prayer (Daniel 9:23), and the solution of the problem about which he was praying. Compare the original command to Gabriel to explain the vision to Daniel (Daniel 8:16) with the renewal of the command at the time of Daniel's prayer (Daniel 9:23), and Gabriel's command to Daniel to "understand" and "know" (Daniel 8:17, 19) with similar expressions in Daniel 9:23 "understand" and "consider."
    • 10) Note particularly that Daniel was told to "understand the matter, and consider the vision" (Daniel 9:23), that is, the vision he had seen "at the beginning" (Daniel 9:21). This can refer only to the vision of Daniel 8:2-14, as no other vision had been given since that one. Compare the words "understand the vision" (Daniel 8:16) with "consider the vision" (Daniel 9:23).
    • 11) The context thus makes certain beyond the possibility of doubt that the explanation of Daniel 9:24-27 is a continuation, and completion, of the explanation begun in Daniel 8:15-26, and that the explanation of Daniel 9:24-27 deals exclusively with the unexplained portion of the vision, that is, with the time element of the 2300 "days" of Daniel 8:13, 14. The angel is Gabriel in both instances (Daniel 8:16 and Daniel 9:21), the subject matter is identical, and the context makes evident that the concluding portion of the explanation picks up the thread of explanation at the point it was laid down in Daniel 8. (4BC 850-851)
  • We here have the result of Daniel's supplication. He is suddenly interrupted by a heavenly messenger. The angel Gabriel, appearing again as he had before in the form of a man, whom Daniel had seen in the vision at the beginning, touched him. An important question is at this point to be determined, namely, Had the vision of Daniel 8 ever been explained, and can it ever be understood? It will be conceded by all that it is a vision of which we have some previous record, and that in that vision we shall find some mention of Gabriel. We must go back beyond Daniel 9, for all that we have in this chapter previous to this appearing of Gabriel, is simply a record of Daniel's prayer. Looking back, then, through previous chapters, we find mention of only three visions given to Daniel:
    • The interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar was given in a night vision. (Daniel 2:19). But there is no record of any angelic agency in the matter.
    • The vision of Daniel 7 was explained to Daniel by "one of them that stood by" (Daniel 7:16), probably an angel; but we have no information as to what angel, nor is there anything in that vision which needed further explanation.
    • The vision of Daniel 8 gives some particulars which show this to be the vision referred to.
      • Gabriel is there introduced by name.
      • He was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision.
      • Daniel had said that he did not understand it, showing that Gabriel, at the conclusion of Daniel 8, had not completed his mission.
      • There is no place in all the Bible where this instruction is continued, if it is not in Daniel 9.
      • If therefore the vision of Daniel 8 is not the one referred to, we have no record that Gabriel ever completed fully with the instruction given him, or that that vision has ever been explained.
      • The instruction which the angel now gives to Daniel, as we shall see from the following verses, does exactly complete what was lacking in Daniel 8.
      • These considerations prove beyond a doubt the connection between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9, and this conclusion will be still further strengthened by a consideration of the angel's instructions. (US 197-198)

"...being caused to fly swiftly..."

  • How comforting to know that heaven is near to earth. Whenever we need help and ask for it, the Lord commissions a holy angel to come to our aid without delay. (4BC 851)

"...touched me..."

  • The very thing for which Daniel had asked, was first mentioned as Gabriel laid his hand upon the prophet.... Heaven was more interested than man could be in the very thing for which Daniel prayed, and as soon as the channel was open, the Spirit flowed in. In the spiritual as in the natural world, a vacuum is abhorred. As the air rushes into a vessel when a liquid is poured out, so the Holy Spirit fills the heart when it is emptied of self. If there was more room made for Christ in our hearts, the pentecostal experience would often be repeated. (SNH 140-141)

"...about the time of the evening oblation."

  • Daniel evidently prayed at the time when the evening offering had been made in the Temple. (4BC 851)