Daniel 11:1 Index
"Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him."
Research Material

BACKGROUND:

  • We now enter upon a prophecy of future events, clothed not in figures and symbols, as in the visions of Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Daniel 8, but given mostly in plain language. Many of the signal events of the world's history from the days of Daniel to the end of the world, are here brought to view. This prophecy, as Thomas Newton says, may not improperly be said to be a comment on and explanation of the vision of Daniel 8, a statement showing how clearly he perceived the connection between that vision and the rest of the book of Daniel. (Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 335). (US 233)

"Also I..."

  • This verse is a continuation of the angel's statement in Daniel 10:21. The chapter division at this point is unfortunate. It gives the false impression that a new part of the book [of Daniel] begins here, when the narrative is clearly continuous. Gabriel informs Daniel that Darius the Mede had been honored of Heaven (PK 556). The vision was given in the third year of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1). The angel is telling Daniel of an event that took place in the first year of Darius. In that year Darius the Mede had been honored of Heaven by a visit of the angel Gabriel "to confirm and to strengthen him" (PK 556).

"...first year of Darius the Mede..."

  • What Gabriel is telling Daniel in the last verse of Daniel 10:21 is continued in Daniel 11:1. (KC 123)
  • The angel began with the history of the Persian kingdom, for at the time of the vision the Babylonian monarchy was entirely gone. It was the third year of the sole reign of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1), and the fifth year since Darius the Mede had taken Babylon. It will be remembered that Daniel had seen the various nations, as they rose one after another on the stream of time (Daniel 2:31-35; Daniel 7:1-8; Daniel 8:1-8). God is the only perfect, authentic historian; the only unbiased record of national events is found in the Scriptures. Men record acts, but only God can give those acts their proper setting in the great drama of life (John 17:17). There is one unbroken chain of events, a silken thread in the web of life, a perpetual spring in the tide of human affairs (I Samuel 2:3). This is the record of God's dealings with His chosen people (Psalms 105:13, 14). Egyptian history is noted in the Inspired Record of the world, but only as it played some part in connection with Jehovah's people (Jeremiah 46:19, 20). Likewise Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome; whatever the nation and whatever its place in time, its history is noted by the divine historian only during the time when it has been an instrument in god's hand to spread His truth or to protect His people. (SNH 184-185)
  • It was for such a purpose that the Medo-Persian kingdom came into existence (Proverbs 20:28), and when it had fulfilled that work [and ceased doing God's will] the Spirit of God was withdrawn, it passed from the stage of action (Psalm 89:9-11). (SNH 185)
  • The Medo-Persian empire was born when the time was ripe for Israel's deliverance from the bondage of Babylon. The first king of the united empire was Darius the Mede. He was a man well advanced in life when he came to the throne; threescore and two years old, the record states (Daniel 5:31). But throughout his reign, Gabriel stood by him "to confirm and to strengthen him." To Darius was given the opportunity to liberate the Jews (Daniel 9:1 and Daniel 9:2). The Spirit of God pleaded with him, and it brought Daniel into his favor (Daniel 6:28), so that he placed the prophet in the third position in the kingdom (Daniel 6:2). Darius knew of God and His power (Jeremiah 10:7), for it was he who spent the sleepless night in prayer (Daniel 6:18) while Daniel was in the lions' den (Daniel 6:23). Darius, however, did no great work for the Lord. He reigned but two years, then Cyrus took the kingdom. (SNH 185)
  • From the accession of Cyrus to the end of the history of Medo-Persia, Gabriel worked with the kings (Romans 8:31). His first words to Daniel in this last vision are to this effect: "now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." (Daniel 10:20). When, therefore, the influence of God should be withdrawn from the king of Persia, no power on earth could help him. This thought was made emphatic when the rough goat was seen to meet the ram on the banks of the River Granicus (Daniel 8:7). Wealth, arms, and influence were without avail. (Psalm 33:16-19). (SNH 185-186)