Daniel 10:1 Index
"In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision."
Research Material

"...In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia..."

  • Counted from the fall of Babylon by either the spring or fall [of that] year, this would be 536/535 B.C. (Daniel 10:4; Ezra 1:1). Daniel was now apparently near the end of his [long] life (Daniel 12:13), about 88 years old, considering that he was 18 when he was taken captive (4T 570) in 605 B.C. (Daniel 1:1). Daniel 10:1 introduces the final section of the book [of Daniel], Daniel 10 providing the setting in Daniel's experience for his fourth great prophecy, recorded in Daniel 11 and Daniel 12. The main body of the prophetic narrative begins with Daniel 11:2 and closes with Daniel 12:4, the remainder of Daniel 12 being a sort of postscript to the prophecy. (4BC 856-857)
  • The last three chapters of the book of Daniel are inseparable, for they relate to the last recorded vision of the prophet. Daniel 10 is preliminary to a detailed history of the world, and is valuable because of the important spiritual lessons which it contains. Daniel was an old man (Psalm 92:12-14), and nearing the end of a long and eventful career, but his last days were full of anxiety for his race; he still carried the burden of their captivity on his heart. Since the events recorded in Daniel 9, he had been in the lions' den (Daniel 6:4-22), thrust there because of the cruel hatred of men in high positions. His godly life was a constant rebuke to the corruption of men in office (Daniel 6:3), and they sought to destroy him, but God put these men to confusion, and witnessed to the purity of Daniel's life. The prophet had been held in high esteem by Darius the Mede, and on his death and the accession of Cyrus, Daniel had remained in the court, a counselor of the king, (SNH 176-177)
  • Cyrus, in the first year of his reign, had issued an emancipation proclamation to the Jews. The Spirit of God had pleaded with the heart of the king, and he felt that he was brought into power for that purpose (Ezra 1:1, 2). When, after every provision had been made for the return, but a small fraction of the Jews took advantage of it, Cyrus began to doubt the wisdom of the decree. It was with the Jews as with sinners to-day. Pardon is granted and freedom offered, but they choose to remain in sin until they receive the penalty - death (Isaiah 26:10). The sins of Babylon dazzled the eyes of the Jews who beheld them (Ezekiel 23:14-16; Laminations 4:1, 2), and the voice of their God was but faintly heard. (Ezekiel 33:30-32). (SNH 177)
  • Of the seven years of the reign of Cyrus, the third was already entered at the time of the vision. His first recorded act on taking the kingdom was to issue the proclamation of freedom to the Jews (Ezra 1:1-6). Throughout the length and breadth of the land the tidings were heralded. It did not take over twelve months for the message to reach the most remote corners of the empire where the Jews might be found. Every inducement which monarch could offer was held out to that people (Isaiah 5:3, 4). The slow movement on the part of a few, and the utter inactivity with the great majority, surprised Cyrus beyond measure. It is one of the saddest commentaries in the whole Bible on the perverseness of the human heart, an its desire to cling to sin (Isaiah 1:2-4). (SNH 186)
  • When it is remembered that Babylon was the personification of all vileness; that injustice and oppression abounded, and that the decree of Cyrus was a call from God to liberty and purity of life (Hosea 11:4-8; Isaiah 5:25), the effect of living long even in the sight of sin ought to appal one. This is a picture of the way the calls of God have been treated over and over again (Proverbs 1:24, 25). Here is seen the exact counterpart of what people are doing to-day when asked of God to forsake modern Babylon. (SNH 186)
  • One reason why the Jews were slow about withdrawing from ancient Babylon was because the children and youth had been neglected curing the seventy years' captivity (Jeremiah 5:7). Jewish homes should have been schools, training these children for the city of Jerusalem. Instead, Jewish children attended Babylonian schools, mingled with Babylonian society, wore Babylonian apparel, talked, ate, and acted like the Babylonians; and consequently, when the time came to leave Babylon, they had no desire to leave (Jeremiah 3:24, 25). (SNH 186-187)
  • Had the Hebrew race been true to its privileges, they might have established schools of the prophets, from which light would have radiated to all parts of the kingdom. This opportunity was offered in the first days of the captivity, when Nebuchadnezzar was witness to the fact that all the Chaldean learning was not worth one-tenth what God could teach (Daniel 12:3; John 3:2). Daniel and his companions were brought into favor because of their knowledge of true educational principles; and had schools been established at that time, Chaldean youth would doubtless have been educated by the Jews, and in the religion of the Jews. God had always intended that Israel should be the teachers of the world (Matthew 28:19, 20); and even after sin had led them into slavery (Romans 8:31). He gave them an opportunity to teach their captors and their captors' children. Did Israel do so? The end of the seventy years and the response to the decree of Cyrus answer, No. They did not teach others; they failed to teach even their own children (Proverbs 29:15). As a result, thousands perished with Babylon. (SNH 187)
  • Those who did go up to Jerusalem were half-hearted in their service, and ready to give up before the least opposition. When the foundation of the temple was laid, the old men wept because it did not equal in splendor the temple of Solomon (Ezra 3:12, 13), and there was little influence exerted to bring others from Babylon. There is little wonder that after waiting two full years to see results, Cyrus was perplexed and astonished at the outcome. What wonder that Daniel had to wait three weeks for an answer to his prayer, while Gabriel and Michael pleaded with the disheartened Cyrus (Daniel 10:13)! Cyrus was ready, had the Jews done their part, to make Jerusalem the glory of the whole earth. As it was, we do not find any record of further work by this king. He died, the work he might have done but partially accomplished because of neglect and inactivity on the part of God's chosen people. (SNH 187-188)

"...Cyrus king of Persia..."

  1. This is the only prophecy of Daniel's dated in terms of Cyrus' reign. Cyrus is here given the title "king of Persia," which seems to imply that the whole empire was ruled by the Persians, as contrasted with the more limited title, "king over the realm of the Chaldeans," ascribed to Darius in Daniel 9:1. Arising from comparative obscurity as prince of the little country of Anshan located in the highlands of Iran, Cyrus overthrew successively within a few years the Median, Lydian, and Babylonian kingdoms, and united them under his rule into the largest empire yet know. It was with such a monarch that Daniel and his people now had to deal, and with whom the powers of heaven are here revealed (Daniel 10:13 and Daniel 10:20) as striving. (4BC 857)

"...a thing was revealed unto Daniel...'

  1. A unique expression used by Daniel to describe his fourth great prophetic outline (Daniel 10-12), which was apparently revealed without a preceding symbolic representation and without any allusion to symbols (Daniel 7:16-24; Daniel 8:20-26).

"...Belteshazzar..." (Daniel 1:7)

"...he... had understanding..."

  • In contrast with the three other visions (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Daniel 8-9), which were couched in highly symbolic terms, this final revelation was given largely in literal language. The angel stated specifically that he had come to make Daniel "understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days" (Daniel 10:14). This is the subject matter of Daniel 11 and Daniel 12. It is not until near the end of this vision (Daniel 12:8) that Daniel encounters a revelation concerning which he confesses, "I heard, but I understood not." (4BC 857)
  • This verse introduces the last recorded vision of the prophet Daniel, the instruction imparted to him at this time being continued through Daniel 11 and Daniel 12. The death of Daniel is supposed to have occurred soon after this, be being at this time, according to Prideaux, not less than ninety years of age. (US 225)