New American Standard Bible
"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.
King James Bible
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Darby Bible Translation
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
World English Bible
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Young's Literal Translation
'And the head of the kingdom of Persia is standing over-against me twenty and one days, and lo, Michael, first of the chief heads, hath come in to help me, and I have remained there near the kings of Persia;
Daniel 10:13 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia - In explaining this very difficult verse it may be proper
(1) to consider the literal sense of the words;
(2) to deduce the fair meaning of the passage as thus explained; and
(3) to notice the practical truths taught.
The word rendered "prince" - שׂר s'ar - means, properly, a leader, commander, chief, as of troops, Genesis 21:22; of a king's body-guard, Genesis 37:36; of cup-bearers, Genesis 41:9; of a prison, Genesis 39:21-22; of a flock, Genesis 47:6. Then it means a prince, a noble, a chief in the state, Genesis 12:15. In Daniel 8:25, in the phrase "Prince of princes," it refers to God. So far as the word is concerned in the phrase "prince of the kingdom of Persia," it might refer to a prince ruling over that kingdom, or to a prime minister of the state; but the language also is such that it is applicable to an angelic being supposed to preside over a state, or to influence its counsels. If this idea is admitted; if it is believed that angels do thus preside over particular states, this language would properly express that fact. Gesenius (Lexicon) explains it in this passage as denoting the "chiefs, princes, and angels; i. e., the archangels acting as patrons and advocates of particular nations before God." That this is the proper meaning here as deduced from the words is apparent, for
(a) it is an angel that is speaking, and it would seem most natural to suppose that he had encountered one of his own rank;
(b) the mention of Michael who came to his aid - a name which, as we shall see, properly denotes an angel, leads to the same conclusion;
(c) it accords, also, with the prevailing belief on the subject.
Undoubtedly, one who takes into view all the circumstances referred to in this passage would most naturally understand this of an angelic being, having some kind of jurisdiction over the kingdom of Persia. What was the character of this "prince," however, whether he was a good or bad angel, is not intimated by the language. It is only implied that he had a chieftainship, or some species of guardian care over that kingdom - watching over its interests and directing its affairs. As he offered resistance, however, to this heavenly messenger on his way to Daniel, as it was necessary to counteract his plans, and as the aid of Michael was required to overcome his opposition, the fair construction is, that he belonged to the class of evil angels.
Withstood me - Hebrew, "stood over against me." Vulgate, "restitit mihi." The fair meaning is, that he resisted or opposed him; that he stood over against him, and delayed him on his way to Daniel. In what manner he did this is not stated. The most obvious interpretation is, that, in order to answer the prayers of Daniel in respect to his people, it was necessary that some arrangement should be made in reference to the kingdom of Persia - influencing the government to be favorable to the restoration of the Jews to their own land; or removing some obstacles to such return - obstacles which had given Daniel such disquietude, and which had been thrown in his way by the presiding angel of that kingdom.
One and twenty days - During the whole time in which Daniel was engaged in fasting and prayer Daniel 10:2-3. The angel had been sent forth to make arrangements to secure the answer to his prayer when he began to pray, but had been delayed during all that time by the opposition which he had met with in Persia. That is, it required all that time to overcome the obstacles existing there to the accomplishment of these purposes, and to make those arrangements which were necessary to secure the result. Mean-time, Daniel, not knowing that these arrangements were in a process of completion, or that an angel was employed to secure the answer to his prayers, yet strong in faith, was suffered to continue his supplications with no intimation that his prayers were heard, or that he would be answered. How many arrangements may there be in progress designed to answer our prayers of which we know nothing! How many agents may be employed to bring about an answer! What mighty obstacles may be in a process of removal, and what changes may be made, and what influences exerted, while we are suffered to pray, and fast, and weep, amidst many discouragements, and many trials of our faith and patience! For a much longer period than Daniel was engaged in his devotions, may we be required often now to pray before the arrangements in the course of Providence shall be so far complete that we shall receive an answer to our supplications, for the things to be done may extend far into future months or years.
But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes - Margin, "the first." That is, the first in rank of the "princes," or the angels. In other words, Michael, the archangel." The proper meaning of this name (מיכאל mı̂ykâ'êl) is, "Who as God," and is a name given, undoubtedly, from some resemblance to God. The exact reason why it is given is not anywhere stated; but may it not be this - that one looking on the majesty and glory of the chief of the angels would instinctively ask, "Who, after all, is like God? Even this lofty angel, with all his glory, cannot be compared to the high and lofty One." Whatever may have been the reason of the appellation, however, the name in the Scriptures has a definite application, and is given to the chief one of the angels. Compare the notes at Jde 1:9. The word "Michael," as a proper name, occurs several times in the Scriptures, Numbers 13:13; 1 Chronicles 5:13; 1 Chronicles 6:40; 1 Chronicles 7:3; 1 Chronicles 8:16; 1 Chronicles 12:20; 1 Chronicles 27:18; 2 Chronicles 21:2; Ezra 8:8. It is used as applicable to an angel or archangel in the following places: Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jde 1:9; Revelation 12:7. Little more is known of him than
(a) that he occupied the rank which entitled him to be called an archangel; and
(b) that he sustained, in the time of Daniel, the relation of patron of Israel before God Daniel 10:21.
I. (Greater licence, p. 104.) In this treatise, which is designed to justify the extremes of Montanistic fasts, Tertullian's genius often surprises us by his ingenuity. This is one of the instances where the forensic orator comes out, trying to outflank and turn the position of an antagonist who has gained an advantage. The fallacy is obvious. Kaye cites, in comparison, a passage  from "The Apparel of Women," and another  from "The Exhortation to Chastity." He remarks, "Were we required …
Tertullian—On Fasting. In Opposition to the Psychics
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But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,
"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.
"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
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