Ancient Paths

The Glorious Man

Daniel 10 ►
Orthodox Jewish Bible
1 In the shnat shlosh of Koresh (Cyrus) melech Paras (Persia) a davar (word) was revealed unto Daniel, shmo (his name) called Beltshatzar; and emes was the davar, and of a tzava gadol (great conflict, affliction); and he understood the davar, and had binah of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning a full shloshah shavu’im (three weeks). 3 Choice lechem I did not eat, neither came basar nor yayin into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until the completing of the full shloshet shavu’im. 4 And in the four and twentieth yom of the chodesh harishon (first month), as I was on the bank of the nahar hagadol (the great river) which is the Tigris; 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, hinei, there before me was as an ish clothed in linen, around whose waist was a belt of the finest gold of Uphaz. 6 His geviyah (body) also was like the chrysolite, and his face like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes like torches of eish, and his zero’ot (arms) and his raglayim (feet) like in color to polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the kol hamon (voice of a multitude). 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision, for the anashim that were with me saw not the vision; but a charadah gedolah (great terror) fell upon them, and they fled, for they hid themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no ko’ach (strength) in me, for my hod (comeliness) was changed upon me into disfigurement, and I retained no ko’ach. 9 Then I heard the kol (voice) of his words, and when I heard the kol of his words, then I was in a deep sleep on my face, and my face was on the ground.

10 And, hinei, a yad (hand) touched me, and raised me, trembling, upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, ish chamudot (man greatly valued, beloved), understand the devarim that I speak unto thee, and stand upright, for unto thee now shulachti (I was sent). And when he had spoken the davar hazeh (this word) unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Al tirah (fear not), Daniel, for from the yom harishon (first day) that thou didst set thine lev to understand, oo-lehitannot (and to afflict, humble thyself) before Eloheicha, thy words were heard, and I am come because of thy words. 13 But the Sar Malchut Paras (Prince of the Kingdom of Persia) was standing before me 21 yamim; but, hinei, Micha’el, one of the Sarim HaRishonim came to help me; and I was detained there with the Melachim Paras. 14 Now I am come to give thee binah (understanding) of what shall befall thy People in the acharit hayamim ([Messianic] latter days); for there is still a chazon (vision) for [those] yamim (days).

15 And while he was speaking such devarim unto me, I bowed my face toward the ground, and I became unable to speak. 16 And, hinei, one with the likeness of the bnei adam touched my lips; then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said unto him that stood before me, Adoni, because of the vision my pangs have overcome me, and I have retained no ko’ach. 17 For how is the eved adoni here able to speak with such as adoni? For as for me, now no ko’ach remains in me, neither is there neshamah (breath) left in me.

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, v’yechazkeini (and he strengthened me), 19 And said, Al tira, ish chamudot (fear not, O man greatly valued, beloved); Shalom to you; chazak (be strong), yea, chazak. And when he had spoken unto me, I felt myself strengthened, and said, Let adoni speak; for thou hast strengthened me. 20 Then said he, Knowest thou why I have come unto thee? And now I shall return to fight against the Sar Paras (Prince of Persia); and when I am gone forth, hinei! The Sar Yavan (Prince of Greece) comes. 21 But I shall make known to thee that which is inscribed in the Writing of Emes; and there is no one mitchazak (putting forth strength) with me in these things, but Micha’el your Sar.


Some have taken this vision to be an angel (Lange’s Commentary, Moses Stuart, Calvin, etc.). On the contrary, I think we can conclusively state that ‘yes’ this is the Son of God, at least as understood by New Testament writers. The similarity between this vision and that by John’s vision in Rev Chapter 1 makes it very hard not to draw any other conclusion. Naturally, many commentators have therefore taken this view (Keil, Matthew Henry, Alexander Arthur, E. B. Elliot, etc.).

For example, the German and always so conservative scholar Keil takes this view:

This heavenly form has thus, it is true, the shining white talar common to the angel, Ezek. 9:9, but all the other features, as here described—the shining of his body, the brightness of his countenance, his eyes like a lamp of fire, arms and feet like glistering brass, the sound of his speaking—all these point to the revelation of the כְּבֹוד יְהֹוָה, the glorious appearance of the Lord, Ezek. 1, and teach us that the אִישׁ seen by Daniel was no common angel-prince, but a manifestation of Jehovah, i.e., the Logos. This is placed beyond a doubt by a comparison with Rev. 1:13–15, where the form of the Son of man whom John saw walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks is described like the glorious appearance seen by Ezekiel and Daniel. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 9, p. 766). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.)

One of the best classic commentaries written on Daniel takes this view and adds:

His hovering on the water of the river reminds me of him who walked on the Sea of Galilee; and his two attendant angels remind me of him who talked with Abraham, and sent his two attendants to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. If I am mistaken in the pictures, I am willing to hug my own delusion. (A critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, by Alexander Arthur, Page 190, 1893)

I think the key point to consider is that although the one described in Daniel 10:4-6 is Yeshua, starting at verse 10 where ‘a hand’ touches him it is not the person of the vision but an angel who is involved in communicating the meaning of the vision of Messiah. This is probably what causes some commentaries to go astray and miss the obvious similitude to Rev Chapter 1.

Alexander Arthur again to me follows a persuasive position:

Is the speaker all along the man clothed in linen? I think not. 2. Are these so-called princes, as Jerome has taught, the guardian angels of different countries, holy angels who fight with one another? Again, I think not. 1. This man clothed in linen is again mentioned only in the 12th chapter, ver. 6, and there he is upon the waters of the river, like Jesus walking on the sea ; but we are not told where he was in the eleventh chapter. (A critical Commentary on the Bok of Daniel, by Alexander Arthur, Page 193, 1893)
Having chosen again the view of ‘an angel’, it should be noted that in precise language many take this to be an angel of sorts that is the ‘Angel Jehovah’ who is often considered by many commentators the pre-human visitation of the Son of God, i.e. the logos. But the angel in this sense is not to be confused with a mere angel, but the Son of God. E. B. Elliot in his classic four volume commentary of Revelation makes this distinction in reference to Daniel Chapter 10. Commenting on Rev 10:5-7 Elliot says:

Here, besides the obvious similarity in respect of the terms and manner of the oath, as lifting up his hand to heaven, and swearing by Him that lives forever, it is evident from the context that He who used it was the Angel Jehovah, just as in the Apocalyptic vision under consideration. [On his first appearance to Daniel, he is thus described. “As I was by the side of the great river Hiddekel, I lifted up mine eyes, and looked. And behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz! His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words as the voice of a multitude.” Dan. 10:4–6. Comparing this with the description of Yeshua Messiah in the 1st of the Apocalypse, the correspondence seems such as almost necessarily to involve identity]. (Elliott, E. B. (1862). Horæ Apocalyptic or A Commentary on the Apocalypse, Critical and Historical, Volume 2)