Only weeks apart, I received the same question from two dear friends. It is a question many have asked, and it is one that has the potential to cast great light on much else. Here’s how one friend put the question:
“It is clear the nameless one (described in Dan 10:4-11:1) is the Lord Jesus given clear unity with Revelation 1. How do you understand His being delayed and receiving help from Michael to release the word?”
Even among those commentators who see verses 5-9 as depicting a pre-incarnate appearing of Christ, most will argue that beginning at verse 10, another figure has come into view. The proposed change from Christ to an angel is assumed only because it is thought to be inconceivable that the pre-incarnate Son could need angelic assistance to push past the resistance of the demon Prince of Persia to complete his errand to Daniel (Dan 10:13).
[And what a strategic errand it was! It was to be an exceptionally long, uninterrupted (two chapters), unparalleled, narrative style prophecy that would lay out in astonishing detail “what shall befall your (Daniel’s) people in the latter days.” No wonder the demonic realm was so invested to impede the messenger’s mission. It is important to note what this mighty, history-determining breakthrough of divine revelation cost Daniel, as well as the place that sovereign providence had brought him in preparation for it.]
Yet, does the view that an angel has stepped in in place of the glorious Christ really solve our problem? It still leaves the question, why would the holy angels, sent by God, ever be successfully detained? Wouldn’t it be expected that the only assistance they would need to fulfill their mission would be amply supplied by God Himself? What then is this mystery of demonic resistance? What is its purpose in the great scheme of God’s eternal purpose? Why the struggle? …
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