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Lesson # Dan. 10:2-4
Study Material - Dan. 10:2-4
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2 In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. 3 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. 4 And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris,
Daniel was in mourning for 21 days straight. He did eat and drink, but in reduced quantities and in reduced quality of foods. Tasty foods is a reference to 'foods of desire.' In other words he did not eat and drink what he would normally have had at meal times. Typically when one is feeling low or feeling bad, actually sorrowful is a better description, then appetite generally goes away. You just do not feel like eating.
Nor did he use ointment. And this refers to enjoyable pleasures. Ointments are associated with joy or joyful occasions like parties, banquets and other social events. So Daniel stopped using ointments for this period of his mourning. Why was he mourning? This is not stated, but since he was mourning and it was stated then there is a reason for us to know of his mood. The period of the mourning (21 days) does not give us any clues other than it was a lengthy period for the mourning. There are no national or Levitical recognized periods of mourning other than for ones personal loss, and none for a 21 day period. So this was not a formal period of fasting.
The clues are in the date. The month is Nisan or sometimes called Abib. This is the month of Passover. See the Calendar and Feasts chart on the Index page. The fasting period ended on the 24th day of the month. In Saul's time the celebration of feasting for two days was begun on the first two days of this month, so assuming that Daniel began on the third day and continued to the 23rd day, then he would be done on the 24th day, and that is where we find him, at the conclusion of the fasting period and along the banks of the Tigris river.
Again, why would he feel sad at this time in his life. He was old now. No one knows his age but it would be in the nineties somewhere. So he was old. We know that his tenure with the kings ended in this year, per chapter one. We know that the return of the Jews to Jerusalem is occurring per the decree of Cyrus and as prophesied by Jeremiah. And we know that Daniel has had a very interesting life, what with the lions den episode, the various visions and dreams since Nebuchadnezzar, the hand appearing and writing the doom of Babylon on the wall, and probably many other events that we do not know of.
Could Daniel have been concerned with the time of his life, perhaps missing an opportunity to return to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover? Could he have been concerned with the difficulties that the Jews were having in their return (problems eluded to in Nehemiah and Ezra)? Or the prophecies of the future of the Jewish peoples, or perhaps something else? We look to the vision which is his last to tell us the story. This is now the answer of chapter 10. He has already seen the vision of chapter eleven, from a chronological standpoint.
Chapter ten tells us a story in part of the angelic conflict. Daniel is sorrowful during the Feast of Passover. The ultimate promise of a savior for all of mankind. These prophecies speak of very difficult times for many centuries ahead not only for his people, but for gentile nations as well.
Who opposes Gods plan? Satan. Who would be overjoyed to see God fail? Satan. Who would gladly sacrifice you and me for his own selfish interests? Satan. And while attempting to rally us to his side with many promises which would fade instantly when he got whatever he wanted. We have no option to counter Satan's activities once it is too late for us. Note should be taken for anyone who contemplates becoming a suicide bomber. Once you are dead, then you cannot come back to life and claim a refund when you find out that there are no virgins in the after life, etc. Better to not be stupid in the beginning, than to reject God and Bible doctrine, all or most of your life, and be the pawn of others, and then discover your total stupidity when it is too late.
Why was Daniel mourning? We do not know. We can guess, but the reason is not the issue. He is human, just like you and me. He has had numerous revelations from God and yet he still was sorrowful for his people and the expectations of the times ahead. You and I have our Bible study, and yet don't we all worry, or fret, or have anxieties from time to time? And we should not have these feelings because we should know that God is on our side, so to speak, so everything in life is under control. Also, angels, though they have roles in this history of ours, are not the ones we turn to in time of need. Don't call out to Michael or Gabriel, or some other angel name that some church has come up with. They do not answer prayer, nor do they, nor can they help you in any of your grievances in life, except and unless directed, to aid in some fashion, by God. And so we begin the study of chapter ten - angels and their role in history.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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