Daniel 10:13 Index
"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."
Research Material

"...the prince of the kingdom of Persia..."

  • The [angel] who appeared to Joshua at Jericho is termed "the captain of the Lord's host" (Joshua 5:14, 15). Daniel frequently uses this word in reference to [heavenly] beings (Daniel 8:11; Daniel 8:25; Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1). On the basis of these observations some have conjectured that a [fallen angel] was standing in opposition to the angels of God, and who was trying to direct the course of the kingdom of Persia against the best interests of God's people. Satan has ever been eager to declare himself the prince of this world. The basic issue here is the welfare of God's people against their heathen neighbors. Inasmuch as Michael is declared to be the "prince which standeth for the children of thy people" (Daniel 12:1), it does not seem unreasonable that the "prince of the kingdom of Persia" would be a [fallen] self-styled "guardian angel" for that country from among the hosts of the Satan. That the conflict was against the powers of darkness is clear: "For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus.... All that heaven could do in behalf of the people of God was done. The victory was finally gained; the forces of the enemy were held in check all the days of Cyrus, and all the days of his son Cambyses" (PK 571-572). (4BC 859)

"...withstood me one and twenty days..."

  • The prophet provides a glimpse of the mighty struggle going on between the forces of good and the forces of evil. The question may be asked, "Why did the Lord allow the powers of evil to struggle for control of Cyrus' mind for 21 days, while Daniel continued in mourning and supplication?" This question must be answered [with this] truth in mind: "there is more going on here than meets the eye." There is a broader and deeper purpose to the plan of redemption than we generally acknowledge. What is that plan, "to vindicate the character of God before the universe.... Before all the universe [the death of Christ] would justify God and His Son in their dealing[s] with the rebellion of Satan" (PP 68-69; DA 625). "Yet Satan was not then destroyed [at the death of Christ]. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed" (DA 761). (Daniel 4:17) (4BC 859)
  • In order to refute Satan's claim that God is a tyrant, the heavenly Father has seen fit to withhold His hand and allow the adversary an opportunity to demonstrate his methods and seek to win men to is cause. God does not force men's wills. He allows Satan a degree of freedom, while through His Spirit and His angels He pleads with men to resist evil and follow the right. Thus God demonstrates to the onlooking universe that He is a God of love, and not the tyrant Satan has accused Him of being. It was for this reason that Daniel's prayer was not immediately answered. The answer waited until the king of Persia made his choice for good and against evil, by his own free will. (4BC 859-860)
  • One may wonder how Gabriel worked. Details are not given, but one thing is sure: until the moment of a nation's rejection, angels are always in the midst of their councils. Men will be led to take positions for the truth, not knowing the real reason for their own decisions. The Holy Watcher is a constant witness in legislative halls to-day, and every just decree is the result of an impulse from the throne of God. (Hebrews 1:14; Proverbs 8:15, 16; James 1:17). This influence was at work in the heart of Cyrus, and so pressing were the petitions offered by Daniel that Christ Himself came in person to help Gabriel. (James 5:16). To Daniel doubtless it seemed that his prayer was unheard, but God was working out the answer in a way unknown to the prophet. (Isaiah 40:31). Had he ceased to make intercession at the end of one week, or at the end of two weeks, the history of an entire people would have been changed. The promise is, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24). God is often testing the strength of our desires when He withholds an immediate answer to our prayers. (Isaiah 64:4). (SNH 180-181)
  • How often the prayers of God's people are heard while as yet there is no apparent answer! It was even so in this case with Daniel. The angel told him that from the first day he set his heart to understand, his words were heard. Yet Daniel continued to afflict his soul with fasting, and to wrestle with God for three full weeks, unaware that any respect had been paid to his petition. But why was the delay? The king of Persia withstood the angel. The answer to Daniel's prayer involved some action on the part of that king. This action he must be influenced to perform. It doubtless pertained to the work which he was to do, and had already begun to do, in behalf of the temple at Jerusalem and the Jews, his decree for the building of that temple being the first of the series which finally constituted that notable commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, at the going forth of which the great prophetic period of 2300 days was to begin. The angel was dispatched to influence him to go forward in accordance with the divine will. (US 228)
    • How little do we realize what is going on in the unseen world in relation to human affairs! Here the curtain is for a moment lifted, and we catch a glimpse of the movements within. Daniel prays. The Creator of the universe hers. The command is issued to Gabriel to go to his relief. But the king of Persia must act before Daniel's prayer is answered, and the angel hastens to the Persian king. Satan no doubt musters his forces to oppose. They meet in the royal palace of Persia. All the motives of selfish interest and worldly policy which Satan can play upon, he doubtless uses to the best advantage to influence the king against compliance with God's will, while Gabriel brings to bear his influence in the other direction. The king struggles between conflicting emotions. He hesitates; he delays. Day after day passes away, yet Daniel prays on. The king still refuses to yield to the influence of the angel. Three weeks expire, and lo, a mightier than Gabriel joins him in the palace of the king, and then they come to Daniel to acquaint him with the progress of events. From the first, said Gabriel, your prayer was heard; but during these three weeks which you have devoted to prayer and fasting, the king of Persia has resisted my influence and prevented my coming. (US 228-229)
    • Such was the effect of prayer. God has erected no barriers between Himself and His people since Daniel's time. It is still their privilege to offer up prayer as fervent and effectual as his, and, like Jacob, to have power with God, and to prevail. (US 229)

"...lo, Michael..."

  • The word "Michael" is used in Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7. In each case it is when the power of Heaven is in direct conflict with Satan. In Jude 9 Michael is called the Archangel, and it is the Archangel who will call the dead from their graves (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The word "Michael" in Hebrew means "who is like God." (KC 120)
  • Literally "who [is] like God?" He is here described as "one of the chief princes." Later He is described as Israel's particular protector (Daniel 12:1). His identity is not definitely stated here, but a comparison with other scriptures identifies Him as Christ. Jude 9 terms Him "the archangel." According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16, the "voice of the archangel" is associated with the resurrection of the saints at the coming of Jesus. Christ declared that the dead will come forth from their graves when they hear the voice of the Son of man (John 5:28). It thus seems clear that Michael is none other than the Lord Jesus Himself. (EW 164; DA 421).... The name Michael "who is like God?" is at once a question and a challenge. In view of the fact that Satan's rebellion is essentially an attempt to install himself on the throne of God and "be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:14), the name Michael is a most fitting one for Him who has undertaken to vindicate the character of God and disprove Satan's claims. (4BC 860)
  • The struggle here described was essentially one between the angels of God and "the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus" (PK 571-572) With the entrance into the contest of Michael, the son of God, the powers of heaven gained the victory, and the evil one was forced to retreat.... (4BC 860)
  • Who was Michael, who here came to Gabriel's assistance? The term signifies, "He who is like God," and the Scriptures clearly show that Christ is the one who bears this name. (Jude 9) declares the Michaelis the Archangel. This word signifies "head, or chief, angel," and in our text Gabriel calls Him "one [ or, as the margin rads, the first] of the chief princes." There can be but one archangel, and hence it is manifestly improper to use the word in the plural as some do. The Scriptures never so use it. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Paul states the when the Lord appears the second time to raise the dead, the voice of the archangel is heard. whose voice is heard when the dead are raised? - the voce of the Son of God. (John 5:28). Putting these scriptures together, they prove that the dead are called from their graves by the voice of the Archangel, proving that the Archangel is the Son of God, and that the Archangel is called Michael, from which it follows that Michael is the son of God. In [Daniel 10:21] He is called "your Prince," and in [Daniel 12:1] "the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people," expressions which can appropriately be applied to Christ [and no other]. (US 229)