Who Was That Angel?


Who is the one who looked like a man with face like lightning and eyes like flaming torches spoken of in Daniel 10:6. He can’t be Michael, because while talking with Daniel he tells him that he was detained for 21 days by the prince of Persia. He says that only Michael supports him against Israel’s enemies in verse 21. This tells me he is someone else.

Daniel had already seen Angels in visions, yet the sight of this individual literally caused him to be weak. This individual strengthens Daniel by merely touching him. Would this be Gabriel or Jesus? It sounds like he’s describing a pre-incarnate Jesus, but how can anyone detain the Lord for 21 days?


Scholars are split on this one. One school of thought says it’s Jesus, based on a comparison with the description of Him in Rev. 1:12-16.

The other group says it can’t be the Lord because no angel could successfully delay the Lord against His wishes. While both groups realize this isn’t Michael, the second one believes him to be another powerful angel whose name we aren’t given.

I’m with the second group. This is a powerful messenger who was sent to bring understanding to Daniel and was detained for three weeks fighting the demonic power behind the throne of Persia. The demon’s goal was to prevent Daniel from receiving God’s answer to his prayer for understanding, thereby preventing Daniel from sharing it with us.

Some believe that angelic forces gain strength in battle from the prayers of the saints. They see a spiritual lesson in the episode of the Israelites fighting the Amalekites in Exodus 17:8-16. As long as Moses held up his arms, signifying his prayer, the Israelites prevailed. But when his arms got tired and he dropped them, as if ending his prayer, they were driven back. Finally Aaron and Hur joined him and held up his arms (prayed with him) until the Israelites won the battle.

If this is the case, I have to wonder what the outcome would have been if Daniel had stopped his fasting and praying before this angel defeated his adversary. It’s a testimony to the Lord’s admonition that we should always pray and never give up, (Luke 18:1) and Daniel’s faithfulness.