Daniel’s final vision was also his longest, and his account of it lasts till the end of the book. At this time Cyrus was in the third year of his rule over the Jews (10:1). The Jews who had returned to their land had already met so much opposition that they had stopped rebuilding their temple (Ezra 4:1-5,Ezra 4:24).
Perhaps this opposition was part of the cause of Daniel’s sadness (2-3). Whatever the cause, his mourning and fasting provided the circumstances in which he came face to face with a man-like figure more glorious than any he had met previously (4-6). The presence of this glorious figure was so overpowering that the people with Daniel fled and hid themselves, even though they had not seen him. Daniel remained, but was overcome with weakness (7-9).
First of all the superhuman messenger gave Daniel fresh strength. He then told Daniel that God was pleased with his humble attitude and sincere desire to know more of God and his ways. God had heard Daniel’s prayer when he started praying three weeks previously, and had sent this messenger to him (10-12; cf. v. 2-3), but the messenger had been delayed by forces opposed to God.
One reason for the Jews’ present troubles was that an evil spiritual power was behind the rulers of Persia. This evil spirit tried to prevent the messenger from reaching Daniel, but Michael, a good spirit who worked on behalf of God’s people, came and won control over the evil spirit, thereby releasing the messenger to come to Daniel (13-14).
On hearing about the spiritual conflicts going on in the unseen world, Daniel was again overcome with weakness and needed to be strengthened by God’s heavenly messenger (15-19). Just as two years earlier this messenger had helped Michael (probably in securing the Jews’ release from Persia), so now Michael would help the messenger. The two would fight on behalf of the Jews against the evil power behind Persia. Then, later, when Greece overthrew Persia, they would fight against other evil powers behind Greece (20-11:1).