Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer
Which is repeated, that it might be observed, that while he was in prayer, before he had finished it, or got off of his knees, an answer was sent him; see ( Isaiah 65:24 ) : even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning;
either at the beginning of Belshazzar's reign, in the third year of it, ( Daniel 8:1 ) , or rather "before", as the Syriac version renders it; before this time, in the vision of the ram and he goat, ( Daniel 8:16 ) , when he saw this angel Gabriel that appeared in a human form, and he knew this to be his name, by a man's voice calling him by it; and now he knew him to be the same angel by his appearance and voice; at the sight of whom he does not seem to be terrified, as before, having had free conversation with him, and being made acquainted by him with many secrets; and no doubt inwardly rejoiced to see him again, as hoping and believing he had something to communicate to him: being caused to fly swiftly;
having an order from the Lord, and being strengthened by him to make quick dispatch to Daniel, which is signified by flying swiftly; and for which reason angels are represented as having wings, to denote their celerity and quick dispatch of business: or "flying with weariness" F13, as some render it; he made such haste as to be weary with it; as he appeared in the form of a man, he looked like one out of breath, and panting for it, occasioned by his swift flight; and which expresses the haste he made, according to his orders, and his eagerness to bring to Daniel the welcome tidings of the coming of the Messiah, and the time of it, which angels desired to look into: touched me about the time of the evening oblation;
the time of offering the evening sacrifice; which, though not now offered, the altar being destroyed, and the Lord's people in a foreign land; yet the time was observed by them, and which was the time of prayer, being about the ninth hour of the day, or three o'clock in the afternoon, see ( Acts 3:1 ) ( 10:3 ) , as the time of the morning sacrifice was another hour of prayer; at which time very likely Daniel began, and continued till now, since he was fasting, ( Daniel 9:3 ) and this was the time when Christ, the antitype of the daily sacrifice, was offered up; of the time of whose coming, sufferings, and death, the angel here brings an account: and, in order to excite the attention of Daniel to it, "touched him"; for he, being on his knees, and intent in prayer, might not at first observe him; and therefore gives him a gentle touch, to let him know he was present, and had something to say to him; and to suggest to him to break off his prayer, to which he had brought an answer, as well as to lift him up, and encourage familiarity with him.