“The Prince Over Persia” (Daniel Chapter 10)
(First published on 2.9.2017) (Revised on 20.11.2021) (Updated on 16.10.2023)
(Daniel 10:13, 20) “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia… But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.”
A Terrifying Vision
The prophet Daniel had a terrifying vision of a Great War occurring in the future at the end of this age like nothing he had ever seen before. It was so terrifying that for three weeks he was in deep mourning and shock at what he saw where he could not eat and drink or even keep himself clean because the vision was so shocking to his senses. It was a vision of apocalyptic proportions and a terrifying portent of what was to come upon the earth at the time of the end. It would be a war between Israel and Iran.
This war would be one that involved the demonic principality that has a stronghold over Iran today. Following this war with Iran the King of ‘Greece’ will appear on the scene. In the Hebrew the word for ‘Greece’ or ‘Grecia’ (KJV) can be translated as ‘Javan’ or ‘Ionia’ which today is located in modern Turkey (not Greece itself). Ionia was part of the Middle-Eastern Empire of Alexander the Great. Today of course Persia is Iran and Ionia is Turkey.
This war with Israel will be instigated by Iran and their aim will be to annihilate Israel but they will not succeed. Iran will survive this war with Israel and ‘lick its wounds’ as it were but ultimately join Turkey and the other Islamic armies along with the other armies of the nations converging on Jerusalem at the end of this present age (Ezekiel 38:1-6) (Joel 3:1-16). We must always keep in mind that there is a spiritual battle going on in the unseen and spiritual realm where the angels of God are fighting with the angels of Satan especially where Israel is concerned (Daniel 10:13, 20; 12:1).
As I update this article today on 16.10.2023 Israel is on a head on collision course with Iran. Hamas have launched a murderous attack on Israel unlike any attack Israel has experienced in the past. Israel is now at war! In the north of Israel Hezbollah has started to exchange fire with Israeli forces just over the border separating Israel from Lebanon. Iran is financing and supporting Hamas and Hezbollah and are fighting a proxy war against Israel through these two terrorist organizations. The Pentagon has deployed two aircraft carriers and their supporting ships to the eastern Mediterranean since the attacks on Israel. The ships are meant as a deterrent to ensure the conflict does not expand, but bring a significant amount of power to a region that already hosts a number of U.S. military ships, planes and troops. How far America will go to defend Israel remains to be seen? Their presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea it would seem is a deterrent to Iran. Whether Hezbollah restrains its militancy towards Israel because of the presence of the United States cannot be guaranteed, as Iran calls the shots with Hezbollah. As for Hamas the Israelis are hammering them in Gaza and an all-out offensive by ground forces and air strikes are imminent.
Before Ayatollah Khomeini and his henchmen took over Iran in 1979 the Persians historically were always friendly to the Jews. Iran of course was originally Persia and we know from history that the ancient kings of Persia befriended the Jews. The Shah of Iran who sat on the “Peacock Throne” traced his roots back to king Cyrus himself who at God’s command allowed the Jews to go back to Israel. It was during the reign of Cyrus that Daniel received this vision of the end times. Through the prophet Isaiah God Himself called King Cyrus by name and called him His servant several hundred years before he was born (Isaiah 45:1). The name ‘Iran’ comes from the word ‘Aryan’ a name adopted by the Nazis who saw Germany as a superior race and hated the Jews. The ‘Iranians’ were not of Arab decent but Indo-European and ethnically related to the Germans. In the 1930’s the name Persia was changed to Iran. Up until 1979 the Iranian government under the Shah were friendly to the Jews.
After the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power a militant Islamic government came to Iran. During the reign of the Shah Iran had started to develop their nuclear programme in association with the western nations. Most probably they were thinking about the hostility from Iraq (Originally the country of the ancient Babylonians) Before 1979 Israel and Iran were allies. The shah admired Israel mainly because of its military success. General Yitzhak Segev, Israel’s military attaché from 1977 to 1979 said in the recently produced film titled; ‘Before the Revolution’; “The cooperation with Israel was tremendous. Every Iranian general visited Israel and we visited them.” Of course in 1979 all that changed with the Shah renouncing the throne making the way clear for the tentacles of Islam to spread across Iran. From that time on Israel were Iran’s sworn enemies.
Principalities and powers
This ancient Principality manipulating the Iranian regime today is the principality over the nation of Iran that Daniel spoke about in chapter 10. In Daniel chapters 11-12 we see the historical wars between the Kings of the North with the kings of the South (Daniel 11:1-35) with the final King of the North mounting an offensive with his ultimate goal to attack Israel and set up his headquarters in Jerusalem where he will ultimately meet his demise. (Daniel 11: 36-45). The King of the North will be the armies of Turkey accompanied by the armies of Iran, Libya and Sudan and many other nations with them (Ezekiel 38:5). At this time the angel Michael will rise up to defend Israel. (Daniel 12:1-4).
This is also the time of Jacob’s Trouble also called the Time of Great Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:1-7) (Matthew 24:21-22). Right at the end of this time the rapture and resurrection of the faithful Body of Messiah will occur followed by the deliverance of Israel. Behind this final war against Israel will be the principality of Iran and Satan himself living in the Turkish Antichrist, the last King of the North.
We cannot be dogmatic regarding who the Antichrist is. Erdogan of Turkey has all the marks of the coming Antichrist who it would seem will arise in Turkey (Revelation 2:12-13). Erdogan wants to establish the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate as a global power to be reckoned with. In this current war which could well escalate into an all-out reginal war Erdogan is observing the whole situation yet he is committed to the cause of Hamas and the expulsion of the Jews from Israel and the establishment of a so called ‘Palestinian State.’ His ideology is that of the Muslim Brotherhood committed to an Islamic empire of global proportions with Sharia Law being enforced on its citizens.
Now let’s look at what Daniel saw at the end of this age concerning this coming war between Israel and Iran.
Daniel chapter 10
(Vs.1) “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision…”
There is no doubt that Iran is working towards developing a nuclear weapon and is not far off now from having nuclear capability. Israel, unlike the other western nations, doesn’t want Iran to go nuclear. Iran’s agenda to develop a nuclear weapon has nothing to do with protecting themselves primarily from outside aggression, but to become the aggressor and propagator of Militant Islam globally. The former president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013) made no secret of the fact that he was looking for the coming Mahdi to lead the Islamic world in spreading fundamentalist Islam as a global power. Hassan Rouhani, who succeeded him, continued for some years until Ebrahim Raisi, the new boy on the block arrived with the same agenda and more specifically fixated with the destruction of America and Israel.
You can see the video clips on YouTube released several years ago now with young Iranians and huge crowds chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel.” Daniel saw Iran at the end of time instigating a war that had at its source a demonic principality. Satan is continuing his obsession with destroying Israel, an obsession going all the way back to the Garden of Eden and an obsession that will never be fulfilled. In the end Israel will survive! Satan is out to destroy Israel and the faithful Body of Messiah spiritually grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.2-3) “In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.”
The vision was so real to Daniel that he lost all interest in food and drink and personal hygiene as he struggled to come to terms with the vision concerning this future end-time battle revealed to him by the LORD. While we are not told specifically, he was most probably fasting and praying to make sure that what he saw was from God especially as it concerned Israel. And so he writes…
(Vs.4-6) “On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult.”
This ‘man’ with a radiant glory was the pre-incarnate Messiah our Lord Jesus before He became flesh. This was He who is the Eternal and living Word of God, that was with God from all eternity, who in nature is God and had always been face to face with God (John 1:1-2, 14). This is the same one that Ezekiel and the apostle John also saw (Ezekiel 1:25-28) (Revelation 1:12-18). In all three situations the Lord Jesus appeared at a time when God’s people were in deep affliction and despondency over what was happening to them. In all three appearances God was saying to His servants through their Messiah; “I am still in control over everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth! As the late David Wilkerson often said; “God has everything under control!” This is our hope as New Covenant believers in the Messiah our Lord Jesus. As godly Job declared; “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:1). And so Daniel continues…
(Vs.7-9) “Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural colour turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.”
Daniel was not the only prophet to experience this great vision of His Messiah in His eternal Glory with the Father. Ezekiel and John also were overwhelmed by the same vision. Ezekiel fell face down (Ezekiel 1:28). Likewise, John did the same (Revelation 1:17). These men were in the presence of their Messiah in all His of His heavenly glory. In the case of the apostle John, he had known the Lord Jesus on earth, but when he saw His Lord in all of His former glory restored he did not even recognize Him. Daniel continues…
(Vs.10-12) “Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.”
It was the hand of God that touched His servant Daniel and made him stand to his feet. It was the same for Ezekiel when God said to him; “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As He spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me” (Ezekiel 2:1-2). Likewise it was the same for the apostle John who writes; “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and hades” (Revelation 1:17-18). After this awesome encounter with their Messiah, God then spoke His Word to them. Once God released His Word into the minds and hearts of these men they all stood up because they had been empowered by the Spirit of God to boldly declare that Word given to them by God. Isaiah had the same vision but the details of his vision are brief compared to the visions of Daniel, Ezekiel and John. Daniel continues to write…
(Vs.13) “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”
The prince of (or over) the kingdom of Persia (Iran) is a demonic principality intent on hindering and if possible stopping God’s prophetic purposes and plans for Israel. There are also other principalities accompanying the one over Iran. These principalities are at work behind the leaders of Iran. The primary agenda of Ebrahim Raisi, like Erdogan of Turkey, is the spread of Islam but their main focus is the destruction of Israel and by extension the Body of Messiah. In Iran New Covenant believers in the Messiah are severely persecuted as they are in all Islamic countries to a lesser or greater degree.
Satan hates Israel more than any other nation today because it was a Jew that defeated him. He had his first defeat at Jerusalem by the Messiah and will have his last defeat there as well by the Messiah. The kings of Persia Daniel mentioned are the current Mullahs of Iran and the principality behind them and possibly other principalities as well. This is why prayer for Israel today is vitally important for those of us who know God and His Son our Lord Jesus the Messiah of Israel. Right now Israel is under attack like never before, an attack that even eclipses the wars of 1948, 1973 and 1967 which they won by God’s power and protection.
We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the way to do this is to pray that Israelis will come to faith in the Messiah before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble comes upon the nation. While there can be no lasting peace for Jerusalem until the Messiah comes back, we can pray as the Lord Jesus told us to pray “Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.” Also we should pray for the protection of the IDF as they fight against an enemy that is under demonic control. Also we need to pray that the LORD would protect Israeli citizens in order that many will come to saving faith in Messiah. Salvation is first for the Jew and after that the Gentile. As Rabbi the apostle Paul writes; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The Salvation of the Jews is on the heart of God today.
Now these demonic spirits behind Ebrahim Raisi and his cohorts want to destroy Israel. This is perfectly clear from statements made by Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi concerning their distaste for Israel and everything Jewish. We must not forget that when we see wars related to Israel in the physical world it is an indication of the age long spiritual conflict raging in the heavens above the circumference of the earth, the realm of demonic angelic beings. In the Old Testament when we see Israel fighting physical wars there were also wars happening in the unseen spiritual realm and Daniel experience in this matter shows us this.
God had been doing battle with Satan down through the ages and of course even though Satan has been resisting God he could never overcome God and he never will! With the help of Michael the archangel of war and Israel’s protector the forces of Satan in the spiritual realm could not sustain their offensive against the LORD and His Word. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are hindered by demonic spirits and principalities but if our prayers line up with the Word of God then we will prevail in the end. Our breakthrough to God and His response to our prayers and petitions to Him will come! His timing is perfect! It is only as we persist and persevere in prayer, submit to God and draw near to Him and resist the devil by our faith in the Triune God that Satan will flee from us. (James 4:7-10). In the last days where Israel is concerned Michael will arise to defend Israel Michael the prince or principality over Israel will do battle with the principality reigning over Iran. He is the one who will protect Israel and fight for them during the dark days of the time of Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:1). See also (Matthew 24:21-22). The pre-incarnate Messiah continues to speak to His servant Daniel…
(Vs.14) “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
It is clear that this vision was a vision related to the last days and to Israel. It was to be a future war which is yet to happen, and may well happen given the current situation in the Middle-East as I seek to update this article. As we see Iran developing nuclear capability we see the prospect of this vision looming on the horizon, possibly ‘even at the very gates’! How long before Iran goes completely nuclear we cannot tell but the day will come when they will have that capability, especially if Biden releases the six billion dollars earmarked for Iran and sitting in a bank in Qatar. If or when Iran gets its nuclear weapon capability it is highly likely that the Iranian regime could kick-start WWIII? Possibly they will nuke Mecca first ‘the woman that rides the beast’ but will try the same on Israel but fail for God Himself will shield Jerusalem from any Iranian missiles with nuclear warheads attached (Isaiah 31:5) (Zechariah 12:8). This coming war between Israel and Iran will precede the Ezekiel 38 war where we see all of the nations gathered against Jerusalem. If Daniel’s prophecy is 100% true to future history, as his other predictions have been to past history, the conflict between Israel and Iran will come. Iran will not win this war!
(Vs.15) “When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless.”
Daniel like all of the Old Testament saints did not have the revelation that we have as New Testament saints. They saw the times of the Messiah on earth in types, in visions and shadows of the reality to come. As to future prophetic events they could only write down what they saw and heard. Even the apostle John in the book of Revelation wrote down what he saw and heard from the risen and glorified Lord Jesus but could not have known about many of those visions he saw. Many think he was a first century man looking at modern day warfare with modern weapons of mass destruction and ecological catastrophes and trying to write in terms familiar with his time about what he was seeing in the future. Of course we cannot be sure if he saw modern weaponry and warfare but what he described most certainty related to wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution and death and destruction on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world. In Revelation Chapter nine we do see a description of mobile armoured vehicles with terrible fire power that destroys a third of mankind. This power exists today and will be unleashed by an army of 200 million mounted troops. They look like horses but by their description they would have to be armoured mobile missile carriers. (See the article on this website titled “I Saw their Number”).
It is little wonder that Daniel, Ezekiel and John became speechless at what they saw. It was the same for Isiah the prophet although His vision of the LORD was not as detailed as Daniel, Ezekiel and John’s visions were. Isaiah though, like the others, was overwhelmed with the vision he saw of God on His throne in heaven. One thing to keep in mind is that Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and John also saw visions of a glorious future for Israel for the faithful Body of Messiah and for the Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom. Again I mention what the late David Wilkerson used to say; “God still has everything under control!” In these very dark and troubled times it is a comforting thought to know this truth.
(Vs.16-17) “And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.”
Daniel’s experience of having this man touch his lips was similar to what happened to Isaiah in his vision of God where an angel touched Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal using the tongs from the altar. We do not know who this human being was that Daniel saw because his name is not mentioned but most probably it was the Lord Jesus Himself before His incarnation who presented Himself to Daniel in a way that enabled Daniel capable of responding. In the book of Revelation it was the risen Lord Jesus who placed His hand upon His servant John and spoke to him. So while the man’s name is not mentioned here in Daniel Chapter 10 the man who laid his hand upon Daniel that looked like a human being was in fact the glorified Messiah who was able to transform Himself into the resemblance of a human being that Daniel could relate to as a man. Daniel responded; “For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord?” The word ‘lord’ in reference to ‘my lord’ is the word ‘Adoni’ In the Bible ‘Adoni’ refers to the Lord Jesus. In Psalm 110:1 where David refers to his Lord as ‘Adoni’ is the same word used here in Daniel. Also when Joshua was speaking to the commander of the LORD’s hosts he called Him ‘Adoni.” We also know that the Lord Jesus could change His appearance as He did to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus because He was in His resurrected body. There are many instances in the Old Testament where God appeared in human form and spoke with certain individuals. This was the case with the Angel of the LORD (‘the Angel’ with the definite article) who actually had the power to forgive sin (Exodus 23:21). No angel had this authority.
Another main Christophany (appearance of Messiah in the Old Testament) was Melchizedek the Priest of the Most High God, King of Salem (Jerusalem) king of peace and righteousness, without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually (Hebrews 7:1-3). So the weight of Biblical evidence would suggest that this ‘man’ that spoke to Daniel was the pre-existent Messiah before His incarnation as a physical flesh and blood man. And so Daniel continues…
(Vs.18-19) “Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Once again this man touched Daniel to strengthen him because of the weakness Daniel felt from seeing the visions. When the man said to Daniel “peace be with you” we cannot but think of the Lord Jesus who appeared to His powerless disciples after His resurrection and said to them; “Peace be with you.” Once Daniel had received supernatural strength again he was able to hear what his Lord had to say to him about the future and especially the last days.
(Vs. 20-21) “Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.”
The man then said to Daniel that he would now go to fight against the Prince of Persia. In its prophetic context the Persia referred to was modern day Iran. As we have seen the Ancient Persians were never enemies of Israel, neither were they from the Arab nations. However, this prince or principality over ‘Persia’ and hostile towards Israel prophetically is Iran today over which this Anti-Semitic principality has remained since 1979 when the Islamic regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. This vision of Daniel concerns Israel and the latter days.
The other principality mentioned in this chapter is the one over “Greece” or “Grecia” (KJV) and the word again in Hebrew is “Javan” or “Iona” located in Turkey today. Iran will attack Israel and fail and then after them will come Turkey, the Last King of the north with his vast army and they will also attack Israel with devastating consequences for the Jewish nation. In this last great battle for the survival of Jerusalem the Archangel Michael who stands guard over Israel will arise up to defend them (Daniel 12:1-3). Israel will survive! Turkey and Iran will become ‘toast!’
In Daniel Chapter 11 from verse 1-35 we have a historic record of the wars between successive Kings of the North and the Kings of the South, a series of wars between the Seleucid Greek Empire which included Turkey and the Ptolemy Empire which was located in Egypt. From verse 36 to the end of chapter eleven we see the rise and the demise of the future Antichrist. Daniel chapter twelve leads us into the time of Jacob’s Trouble also called the time of Great Tribulation. It will be a time of trouble and affliction unequalled in history and never to be equalled again. The Lord Jesus also spoke about this same time period (Matthew 24:21-22). At that time, for the sake of the elect, namely the believing remnant that make up the Body of Messiah, the Lord Jesus will come back to rapture and resurrect the saints, rescue Israel as a nation and destroy all of their enemies arrayed against them gathered around Jerusalem (Joel 3:1-3, 12-16) (Ezekiel 38:21-23; 39:4-6). Judah will also fight at Jerusalem under their Commander in Chief the Messiah our Lord Jesus (Zechariah 12:2-9; 14:3-5,12-13). The Messiah will take the fight to Islam (Isaiah 63:1-6) (Isaiah 34:5-10).
The destiny of the believing elect is to co-rule and to co-reign with the Lord Jesus, their Saviour and Messiah at Jerusalem and over the nations that have survived this time of Jacob’s Trouble. There is a ‘Prince over Persia’ today over Iran and another principality over Turkey for that matter. As for this principality over Iran he will never succeed in his plans to use Iran to destroy Israel. As for the armies of Iran they, along with the armies of Turkey, Islam and the other nations accompanying them are all destined to perish on the mountains of Israel at the hands of the Rider on the White Horse accompanied by the armies of heaven! The armies of the nations that have attacked Israel that will go down into the pit of hell with the Antichrist and the false prophet are all specifically named in the Old Testament and are all Islamic nations today (Ezekiel 32:18-32) The armies of Iran will also be there to join the prince that was over Persia in the eternal fiery pit where we are told in the prophet Isaiah is a place where their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind (Isaiah 66:24b).