In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, a message*
was revealed to Daniel (also called Belteshazzar). The message was certain and concerned a great conflict. He understood the message and gained understanding of the vision.
2 When this happened, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three full weeks. 3 I ate no fine food. No meat or wine passed my lips. I used no perfumed oils until those three weeks were over.
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month I was standing on the bank of the great River Tigris. 5
I looked around and saw a man dressed in linen, and around his waist was a belt of pure gold. 6
His body shone like a jewel;†
his face was as bright as lightning; his eyes were like blazing torches; his arms and legs gleamed like polished bronze; and his voice sounded like the roar of a crowd.
I, Daniel, was the only one to see this vision‡
—the others with me did not see the vision, but they suddenly felt very frightened and ran away to hide themselves. 8
I was left alone to see this wonderful vision. My strength drained away, and my face turned pale as death. I didn't have an ounce of strength left. 9
I heard him speaking, and when I heard his voice I lost consciousness and I lay face down on the ground.§ 10
Then a hand touched me and lifted me onto my hands and knees. 11
He said to me, “Daniel, God loves you very much. Pay attention to what I'm telling you. Stand up, because I have been sent to you.” When he told me this I stood up, trembling.
“Don't be afraid, Daniel,” he said. “From the first day you concentrated on trying to understand this, and to humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard, and I have come to answer you. 13
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia*
opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was being detained there by the kings of Persia. 14
Now I've come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the last days,†
for the vision is about a time in the future.”
15 As he told me this I remained there with my face to the ground and couldn't say a word. 16 Then the one who looked like a human being touched my lips and I was able to speak. I told the one standing in front of me, “My lord, since I saw the vision I've been in agony and I feel really weak. 17 How can I, your servant, speak to you, my lord? I have no strength, and I can hardly breathe.”
18 Once again the one who looked like a human being touched me and restored my strength. 19 “Don't be afraid; God loves you very much. May you have peace! Be strong! Have courage!” As he spoke to me, I became stronger and I said, “My lord, speak to me, for you have strengthened me.”
20 “Do you know why I've come to you?” he asked. “Shortly I will have to go back and fight the prince of Persia, and after that the prince of Greece will come. 21 But before that I will tell you what is written down in the Book of Truth. No one helps me fight against these princes except Michael your prince.