These small group studies of Daniel contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Daniel 10 Inductive Bible Study Commentary And Questions

Outline

I. The setting for the vision (1-3)
II. A terrifying vision of a man (4-9)
III. Spiritual warfare behind the scenes (10-14)
IV. A personal message of encouragement (15-21)

I. The setting for the vision (1-3)

Discussion Questions

  • When did Daniel have this vision?
  • What is the “word” he received?
  • Why was Daniel mourning?
  • What does verse 3 show you about Daniel’s character?
  • How important is fasting to the life of believers today?

Cross-References

Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Isaiah 58:3-7 – Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Joel 2:12-13 – Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. The third year of Cyrus king of Persia – Chronologically, this takes place after chapter 9 and probably before he was thrown to the lions in chapter 6.

2. A word was revealed to Daniel –

Daniel says that a word was revealed to him and the “word was true.” This message appears to be the prophecy in Daniel 11.

Note Daniel 11:2 – And now I will show you the truth.

3. Daniel was serious about the spiritual battle –

In this passage, we will see that there is an unseen spiritual battle raging around us in the world. And Daniel was part of this spiritual battle. His prayers were used by God to accomplish some of the things we see. He was not a passive spectator of this battle. He was part of it. And he was serious about it.

Daniel was a person who lived in the midst of great darkness. Idol worship took place on all sides. His peers schemed politically. The riches of the world and all the pleasures and luxuries he could have wanted were available.

But Daniel did not care for these things. He did not indulge himself in the pleasures of the world. While he lived in the capital of a rich empire, his heart was not there. His heart was set on his people.
Daniel cared deeply for his people. He wanted them to be victorious. And he wanted to know God’s plan for his people’s future.

Daniel, therefore, engaged himself in a spiritual battle, fighting on behalf of God’s people. So what did he do?

He mourns for three weeks. During this time, he fasted from meat, wine, and all delicacies. Verse 12 says that he “humbled” himself before the Lord. Daniel sets his heart on fighting this spiritual battle. He doesn’t come with weapons. He doesn’t come with schemes. He comes with a humble and committed heart. He does not just dabble in and get his toes wet. He doesn’t just pray for a few minutes and then say, “my job is done.” Daniel commits himself. He is all in. And that requires sacrifice.

Daniel was more than willing to sacrifice for this spiritual battle.

Application: Perhaps there is a serious issue you need to take before the Lord. Are you willing to sacrifice? How committed are you? What are you willing to give up? Serious prayer and fasting require sacrifice. When you take a serious issue to the Lord, you should not just live your life exactly the same and offer a few moments of prayer here or there. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord. We need to focus our whole attention on Him. Like David, we do not come with a javelin. We do not come with weapons of this world. But ours are our spiritual weapons. How serious are you about the spiritual battle in front of you?

II. A terrifying vision of a man (4-9)

Discussion Questions

  • Where was Daniel when he had this vision?
  • Whom do you think he is describing in verses 5-6?
  • What other Bible passage has a description like this one?
  • What does the face like the appearance of lightning show you about this person? How about the eyes like a flaming torch? How about his arms and legs like burnished bronze?
  • Why was it that only Daniel saw this and those in his group did not?
  • How did Daniel react to what he saw?

Cross-References

Acts 9:7 – The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. The man in Daniel’s vision –

The identity of this being is not given. Some think it is Gabriel or another angel. Others believe it is Jesus preincarnate.

The description is remarkably similar to the one of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-15.

Revelation 1:13-15 – And in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.

His clothing, belt, eyes, arms, legs, and voice are all described similarly.

If it is Jesus, we can make some inferences from the description.

His body was like beryl

Beryl is a mineral that comes in many forms and colors. Some more well-known gemstones that are beryl include emerald and aquamarine.

His face was like the appearance of lightning

It shows his power, holiness, and glory. The vision of His face reminds us that God has the power to kill us instantly. At any moment, He could zap us with lightning from heaven because of our sins. But He doesn’t. Instead, He shows us mercy and grace. He is power under control.

His clothing

Leviticus 16:4 – He shall put on the holy linen coat and shall have the linen undergarment on his body, and he shall tie the linen sash around his waist, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water and then put them on.

Hebrews 2:17 – Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

The clothing is similar to that the high priest would wear. One of the chief roles of the high priest was to come as a mediator between God and man. He offered sacrifices to God, made atonement for sin, and brought God’s messages to the people. Now Jesus is our mediator. He is our high priest. He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins. It is through His work that we can approach the Lord.

In the book of Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is a priest of the order of Melchizedek. It was a unique line different from the Levitical priesthood. Melchizedek was a king and a priest, whereas in Israel, the role of priests and Levites were separate. Jesus also is a priest and a king.

His eyes were like a flame of fire

Jesus sees all and knows all. He has supervision and His gaze penetrates any facade people put up, piercing our innermost thoughts. Nothing is hidden from Him. Instead of thinking that we can keep secrets from Him, we should take “every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) to Christ.

Application: Think about your own life. What is one “secret” you have that you wouldn’t want to be announced in church next Sunday? Take it to Christ. Admit to Him that He knows all. Confess. Bring it to the light. Seek for His help to defeat this temptation and He will help you.

Arms and feet like burnished bronze

The altar outside the tabernacle was covered in bronze. Here the bronze is described as “refined in a furnace.” It is hot and glowing. Thus it signifies Jesus’ holiness. And it reminds us that He is moving through the churches to refine His church.

1 Peter 1:7 – So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Throughout Scripture, we see that God uses the furnace of afflictions to purify us. Suffering, trial, and discipline are all meant to refine us, burning out sin and strengthening our faith.

Jesus wants to sanctify His church so that we will become like Him.

Application: Is your life being refined? Share an area of your life that God has been refining lately.

The sound of his words is like the sound of a multitude

In Revelation, John describes his words as like the sound of many waters.

Jesus’ voice is both simultaneously powerful, majestic, forceful, and peaceful, calming, and gentle. His voice purifies.

Let us look forward to the day when we can hear His wonderful voice with our own ears.

2. Daniel’s reaction to the vision –

All of the men who were with Daniel felt something was going on. Fear came upon them, but they didn’t know why. Only Daniel saw the vision.

This reminds us that the spirit world is active. It influences the physical world, but many times it does so in unseen ways.

When Daniel saw the vision, he had no strength left. It took everything from him. It is unclear why seeing the vision had such a profound physical effect on Daniel. But we need to remember that spiritual forces are powerful. Daniel had been fighting in this unseen battle for three weeks. He had been fasting and in prayer. Something about the supernatural nature of the vision simply overwhelmed him. It was more than his senses could take.

Perhaps this is why God conceals His full glory from us. Our physical bodies just can’t take it.

III. Spiritual warfare behind the scenes (10-14)

Discussion Questions

  • Who might have been the messenger that came to Daniel?
  • How does he address Daniel? How is this encouraging?
  • Why did he come to Daniel?
  • How does the phrase “your words have been heard” encourage you?
  • What can you learn from Daniel’s attitude in prayer?
  • What connection do you see between God’s answer and Daniel’s attitude?
  • Who is the prince of the kingdom of Persia?
  • What can you infer about this being from this passage?
  • What can you learn about spiritual warfare (see also 20)?
  • What can you learn about Satan’s activity in the world?

Cross-References

Ephesians 6:10-12 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. You are greatly loved, fear not –

When God’s messenger comes to Daniel, the very first thing he says is that Daniel is “greatly loved.” That is a very important message. It did take over three weeks for Daniel to receive a reply. For us, it can take much longer before we see God’s answers to prayer. And sometimes, when we look around, it may seem that the other side is winning. When you read the news, it is bad on almost all fronts.

I believe God’s message to us is the same as the one to Daniel; we are greatly loved. We must not interpret trials as apathy from God. We can say without a shadow of a doubt that God loves His church, and He loves every person in it. He wants what is best for us. No matter what happens going forward, we must not forget that.

Secondly, the messenger tells Daniel to “fear not.” He is told to “fear not” because his words have been heard. God is on his side, not against him. The angel may appear to be quite frightening, but he is on Daniel’s side. What does that mean? Daniel’s enemies should fear, not him.

The same is true for us. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Reflect – How does knowing you are greatly loved affect you?

2. God answers –

Daniel 10:12 – Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.

See this. Daniel prayed and fasted for three weeks. During this time, it looked from man’s perspective as if nothing happened (in contrast with Daniel 9, when the answer came before he even finished praying). Neither Daniel nor anyone else could see any tangible result from the prayer. But. God heard. God didn’t only hear him after three weeks. God didn’t only hear him after his prayers escalated to a certain intensity. From the first day, from the very beginning, God heard.

And that is a comfort to us. God hears. Every prayer that we make today, God hears. And every prayer that will be made for the rest of this week, God hears. While we should be committed and sacrifice, God’s hearing is not dependent on our prayers being perfect. So be confident of this. When you bring your prayers to Him, He always hears.

Secondly, we see that God answered. In fact, God sent the answer right away. As soon as God heard Daniel’s prayer, He dispatched an angel to go to Daniel. Some think it was Gabriel, but he is not named here.

Isn’t that an exciting thought? God is sitting on His throne. Legions of angels are at His service. When His saints pray, He hears. And God will dispatch angels to the world to help us, fight for us. When you pray, God may say, “Gabriel, go.” [Or another angel].

How will God respond to your prayers? When you raise your voice to God, He hears. How will He answer? We don’t know exactly how, but we know that He will!

Application – Pray in confidence, knowing that God hears and will answer.

3. Satan opposes –

But that is not the end of the story. We just saw God heard. And answered. But the result was not seen right away. The messenger God sent runs into some trouble.

And here is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the spiritual battle raging around us. The angel who was sent as a messenger to Daniel could not come. For three weeks, he was stopped. Opposed. Who would dare oppose him?

Daniel 10:13 – The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days.

Who is this? It is a powerful demon. This demon appears to be assigned by Satan to the kingdom of Persia. It is his job to influence that kingdom in favor of Satan. You see, Satan is staking his claim over this land. He wants to keep it in the dark. And so he sends his own forces to blind men, to influence kings, shape politics, and oppose God’s forces.

And we see many of the results of these demonic forces in the book of Daniel. Some truly terrible laws are passed. One time a law was passed that every person must worship an idol or be thrown into a fire. Another time a law is passed that all people must pray to the king only for 30 days. These are evil laws. And they have an evil origin. From this passage, we can see that Satan’s forces are at work in this kingdom. And it is reasonable to conclude that laws like these were spawned from his own mind. His fingerprints are all over them.

Satan is opposing God. He opposed him then. And he does so now. He uses politics, laws, and governments to enact his policies and fight against God. And note that this demon is not a weakling.
For three weeks, he was able to successfully resist this angel and slow him from his mission.

What lesson can we learn from this?

Satan is opposed to God’s work. And he will use every means at his disposal to fight, including spiritual forces and including government, politics, and laws.

Satan has not stopped working since the book of Daniel was written. He is still active. As he tried to influence the world at that time through politics, so he continues today.

Application – We need to be aware that we have an enemy. We need to be aware that this enemy works through people and systems. He seeks to influence governments, laws, schools, universities, media, and more to forward his sinister schemes. The devil wants to enslave you and put you in chains. And thus, we need to know that coming to God for help is our only solution. We must depend fully on Him. We are unable to win this battle ourselves. Even the angel in this passage needed help! We certainly do as well.

4. God’s forces win, but sometimes it takes time –

Satan opposed God. Demonic forces were fighting angelic forces. But now for the good news. It took three weeks, but God won. When the first angel ran into opposition, Michael came. God’s forces win.

Revelation 12 depicts the unseen cosmic war of the ages between God and Satan. In the end, God wins.

God has a plan for you. It might not be what you expect or hope. But He is going to win and the result will be good for you.
We get the wonderful privilege of being part of the process. As we draw near to Him in prayer, He will draw near to us. You are not to be a spectator but are part of the battle.

Application – So, let us be patient to wait for God’s answer. At the same time, joining this battle requires sacrifice. Diligent prayer requires sacrifice. What are you willing to sacrifice as you come to God in prayer? For Daniel, it was luxury and meat for three weeks.

Let us look forward with hopeful expectation to see what God will do on our behalf when we humble ourselves before Him. Because we know He wins.

IV. A personal message of encouragement (15-21)

Discussion Questions

  • What “vision pains” did Daniel refer to?
  • Why did he lose all strength?
  • How did the messenger respond to Daniel’s weakness?
  • How many times did Daniel need to be strengthened just to continue this conversation?
  • What does the response of the messenger show you about God’s heart toward His children?
  • What did you learn about prayer that you can apply to your life this week?
  • What did you learn about spiritual warfare that you can apply to your life this week?

Cross-References

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Daniel strengthened twice – The awesome vision Daniel took in began to overwhelm him again. Firstly, he could not summon the strength to talk and was mute. Someone (it is not always clear in the passage who is who) touched his lips and he was able to speak. With his first words, he described his own weakness. He had no strength to even carry on in a conversation.

He was touched again and strengthened a second time saying, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.”

The angel (or Jesus) did not blame Daniel for his weakness. Instead, we see compassion and mercy toward Daniel, although he was clearly physically inferior. Our Lord sympathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15) rather than judging us.

Application – Firstly, we should thank God for His compassion. He graciously gives us strength when we have none. He picks us up when we are down. Secondly, His compassion should motivate us to show the same care to others. When others around you are weak, do you also seek to strengthen them? Or do you look down on them for their weakness? If we are to be like Jesus, then we must treat others with mercy.

I never could understand things like America’s Funniest Home Videos. They would show clip after clip of people falling or hurting themselves, and the audience would laugh. Rather than laughing when people fall, let us help them up.

After Daniel was strengthened, he was ready to hear what the messenger had to say.

2. I will return to fight against the prince of Persia and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come –

The spiritual warfare wasn’t constrained to just a three-week period. It was ongoing. And it took place in other parts of the world too, not just Persia.

What we see here is an amazing behind-the-scenes look into the spiritual world that Paul alludes to in Ephesians 6:10-13. Satan continuously seeks to influence the world and advance his evil schemes. God’s warriors are sent to respond. They fight against these demons and hold evil at bay.

Can you imagine how evil the world would be if God stopped holding back the tides of darkness and just abandoned us?

2 Thessalonians 2:6 – And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

The Lord, His angels, and His church acts as a restraining influence on the excesses of wickedness.

Application – You are part of God’s plan. You are a warrior in His army. What is your role in this battle? How can you fight against these spiritual forces of wickedness?

3. I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth – Chapter 11 is an account of this. Daniel 10 details the personal interactions of Daniel, his prayer, vision, and encounter with the heavenly messenger. For the actual contents of that revelation, join us in studying Daniel 11!

Study Daniel 2
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