In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. It concerned events certain to happen in the future -- times of war and great hardship -- and Daniel understood what the vision meant.
When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks.
All that time I had eaten no rich food or meat, had drunk no wine, and had used no fragrant oils.
On April 23, a as I was standing beside the great Tigris River,
I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist.
His body looked like a dazzling gem. From his face came flashes like lightning, and his eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice was like the roaring of a vast multitude of people.
I, Daniel, am the only one who saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly terrified and ran away to hide.
So I was left there all alone to watch this amazing vision. My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak.
When I heard him speak, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.
Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees.
And the man said to me, "O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you." When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling with fear.
Then he said, "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
But for twenty-one days the spirit prince b of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, c came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. d14
Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come."
While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word.
Then the one who looked like a man e touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, "I am terrified by the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak.
How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe."
Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning.
"Don't be afraid," he said, "for you are deeply loved by God. Be at peace; take heart and be strong!"As he spoke these words, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, "Now you may speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me."
He replied, "Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and then against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece. f21
But before I do that, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (There is no one to help me against these spirit princes except Michael, your spirit prince. g
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)