Daniel 10:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
So he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come;

New Living Translation
He replied, "Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and after that the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece will come.

English Standard Version
Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come.

New American Standard Bible
Then he said, "Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.

King James Bible
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He said, "Do you know why I've come to you? I must return at once to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I leave, the prince of Greece will come.

International Standard Version
"Then he said, 'Do you understand why I came to you? Soon I'll return to fight the prince of Persia. I'm going forth to war—and take note—the prince of Greece is coming!

NET Bible
He said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I am about to return to engage in battle with the prince of Persia. When I go, the prince of Greece is coming.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He asked, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight the commander of Persia. When I go, the commander of Greece will come.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then said he, Knowest thou why I have come unto thee? Because now I must return to fight with the prince of the Persians; and when I am gone forth, next the prince of Grecia shall come.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said he, Know you why I come unto you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I have gone forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.

American King James Version
Then said he, Know you why I come to you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, see, the prince of Grecia shall come.

American Standard Version
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I am come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I go forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said: Dost thou know wherefore I am come to thee? and now I will return, to fight against the prince of the Persians. When I went forth, there appeared the prince of the Greeks coming.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, Knowest thou wherefore I am come unto thee? And now I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I go forth, behold, the prince of Greece shall come.

English Revised Version
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I am come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I go forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said he, Knowest thou for what cause I come to thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

World English Bible
Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I go forth, behold, the prince of Greece shall come.

Young's Literal Translation
And he saith, Hast thou known why I have come unto thee? and now I turn back to fight with the head of Persia; yea, I am going forth, and lo, the head of Javan hath come;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:10-21 Whenever we enter into communion with God, it becomes us to have a due sense of the infinite distance between us and the holy God. How shall we, that are dust and ashes, speak to the Lord of glory? Nothing is more likely, nothing more effectual to revive the drooping spirits of the saints, than to be assured of God's love to them. From the very first day we begin to look toward God in a way of duty, he is ready to meet us in the way of mercy. Thus ready is God to hear prayer. When the angel had told the prophet of the things to come, he was to return, and oppose the decrees of the Persian kings against the Jews. The angels are employed as God's ministering servants, Heb 1:14. Though much was done against the Jews by the kings of Persia, God permitting it, much more mischief would have been done if God had not prevented it. He would now more fully show what were God's purposes, of which the prophecies form an outline; and we are concerned to study what is written in these Scriptures of truth, for they belong to our everlasting peace. While Satan and his angels, and evil counsellors, excite princes to mischief against the church, we may rejoice that Christ our Prince, and all his mighty angels, act against our enemies; but we ought not to expect many to favour us in this evil world. Yet the whole counsel of God shall be established; and let each one pray, Lord Jesus, be our righteousness now, and thou wilt be our everlasting confidence, through life, in death, at the day of judgment, and for evermore.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the Prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the Prince of Grecia shall come. The versions here are in close agreement with the Massoretic text. Theodetion, since he begins the speech of the angel with εἰ, may have read הֵן (hayn), "if," instead of הֲ (ha), the sign of interrogation. The Peshitta has, "to make war," instead of "fight," indicating a beginning of hostilities, not a continuance of them. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? This question appears to be abruptly put, and to be put without awaiting an answer. Probably the meaning would be better brought out by rendering, somewhat colloquially, "You know, don't you? After I have revealed the future to you, I must return." In considering this whole subject, we must beware of taking everything literally. We may not deduce, because of the statement here, that angels are under the limitations of time and space, or that there is actual warfare. We must regard the matter as, to a large extent, figurative. And now will I return to fight with the Prince of Persia. Every one who studies history in a philosophic spirit must see that the progress of the race, the evolution of that ultimate ideal state - the kingdom of heaven among men - is accomplished by successive steps, and over each step a nationality presides. This nationality represents the special moment of spiritual force necessary to secure the new step the race is required to take. While in the lower plane of history the nations themselves do these things; in the higher sphere it is their angels who are the actors. A nation has in it much of the characteristics of a living organism, and the angel of the nation is the life of that organism. As a finite being, the angel of any nation of necessity is imperfect; his knowledge of the Divine plan only limited. His instrument - the nation committed to his charge - is yet more imperfect. Let an imperfect being, however holy, have a piece of work to do, that work must assume, to him, an exaggerated importance; let him be associated as patron with sentient beings, and his affections must go forth to these beings in a special way. He will resist any attempt to limit in any way the function of that race which is specially his, and will be apt to interpret too widely this function, and be loth to recognize that its time is past, or this or that region is beyond its province. If we regard Gabriel as an angel - not of Egypt, as Hitzig, but of the kingdom of heaven, and by this the angel of prophecy (Ewald) - then he must exercise a watchful care over the actions of each nationality, and therefore of its angel, lest the ultimate purpose of God be in any way hindered. The angel of Persia might regard the national semi-independence allowed to the Jews as hindering the evolution of the idea exhibited by the Persian race. The Persian rule allowed races a good deal of licence if tribute were paid. It was required to specialize its treatment of the Jews; to convey them back from Babylon to Palestine; to protect them in Palestine; to assist them to set up a quasi-independence. All this was contrary to the negative character of the Persian rule, in contradiction to its spirit, and therefore opposed by its angel, who represented this spirit. Michael, the special angel of the Jews, naturally came to assist Gabriel. What a conflict between angelic spirits may mean, what may be the weapons of their warfare, we know not; we do know that, though not carnal, they are mighty. And when I am gone forth. To this phrase several meanings have been attached. Havernick, Maurer, and Ewald take it as meaning "going forth to war." Ewald renders, "I will return to contend against the Prince of Persia; so, while I am going forth, the Prince of Javan will come." In this connection it is very doubtful whether יָצָא (yatza) can mean "going forth to battle." Motion to the field of battle is indicated by "return." Yatza simply means to go from a given place; the purpose may be indicated by some other word. Another view is that of Hitzig, Hofmann, and Bertheau, "to go out," not to, but from "a conflict." This meaning is possible; it would certainly need some determinant to fix this meaning on it, but this may be supplied from the preceding clause. This view, though suiting admirably with the otherwise untenable supposition that the "prince" speaking with Daniel is the angel of Egypt, does not suit with the view that Gabriel, the "prince" talking with Daniel, is the angel of prophecy, and therefore of the ideal kingdom. Keil would take the first meaning of yatza, and would paraphrase thus, "Now shall I return to resume and continue the war with the Prince of Persia; but while I thus go forth to war - while I continue the conflict, the prince of Javan shall come, and then there shall be a new conflict." Yatza never does mean "to continue a conflict;" it means to begin either a war, a battle, or a campaign. A great deal of the difficulty is due to maintaining that angels are under the time-relation of human beings. The matter is clearer if we take it as meaning simply that when Gabriel went out from the presence of Daniel, the "Prince of Grecia" would come. Lo, the Prince of Grecia shall come. This does not refer to Alexander the Great, or the overthrow of the Persian Empire, still less to the Seleucids and their persecutions. Before his Babylonian reign, Cyrus encountered the Greeks, and roused their opposition. The angel, then, of the Greek nation began to stir up his people. Then came the Ionian revolt, and the successive invasions of Greece, which compelled the Persians to leave the "holy people" alone. The angelic Prince of Grecia appears first as an instrument of the angel of prophecy, to limit the power of Persia. When, after prolonged conflicts, the empire of Persia gives place to that of Greece, the conflict of the people of God must be renewed in a fiercer form.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then said he, knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee?.... He had told him before, Daniel 10:12, that it was on account of his prayers, and to bring an answer to them; and particularly to inform him what would befall his people in the latter day; and now, lest, through the hurry of his spirits, he had not observed it, or had forgot it, he reminds him of it, to stir up his desire the more after the knowledge of particulars, which he was now about to relate unto him: and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; the evil spirit, in the court of Persia, he had been contesting with before, and had got the better of by the help of Michael; but since this good angel had been with Daniel, the evil one had been working upon the king and counsellors of Persia, and had wrought them up to an indifference unto, or carelessness about, the affairs of the people of the Jews, and to listen to their adversaries, whereby the building of the city and temple went on heavily and slowly; and so things were, through the evil influence of Satan, more or less, until the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus: and, indeed, Satan was continually soliciting mischief against the Jews, and stirring up enemies to them in the court of Persia, as long as that monarchy lasted, though he had not always the wished for success; the times of Esther and Mordecai are a proof of this:

and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come; meaning, when he was gone forth from the court of Persia, having done his business he was sent about; confounded the schemes and baffled the designs of the evil spirit, conquered him, and obliged him to give way, and cease from being troublesome any more, and obtained peace and rest for the Jews, and settled their affairs: the Persian monarchy being translated to the Grecians, the evil spirit began to work among them, to put them on doing mischief to the people of God; as in Alexander himself, who set out against them, but was pacified by the meeting of the high priest; and more especially in his successors; and above all in Antiochus, who was a violent persecutor of them; which this clause, as well as the following prophecy, has a respect unto.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. Knowest thou wherefore—The angel asks, after Daniel had recovered from his fright, whether he has understood what was revealed (Da 10:13). On Daniel, by his silence, intimating that he did understand, the angel declares he will return to renew the fight with the evil angel, the prince of Persia. This points to new difficulties to the Jews' restoration which would arise in the Persian court, but which would be counteracted by God, through the ministry of angels.

prince of Grecia shall come—Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia, and favored the Jews [Calvin]. Rather, as the prince of Persia is an angel, representing the hostile world power, so the prince of Grecia is a fresh angelic adversary, representing Greece. When I am gone forth from conquering the Persian foe, a fresh one starts up, namely, the world power that succeeds Persia, Greece; Antiochus Epiphanes, and his antitype Antichrist, but him, too, with the help of Michael, Israel's champion, I shall overcome [Gejer].

Daniel 10:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Angel's Prophecy of Persia, Greece
19He said, "O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!" Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, "May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me." 20Then he said, "Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. 21"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.
Cross References
Daniel 8:21
The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.

Daniel 11:2
"Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.
Treasury of Scripture

Then said he, Know you why I come to you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, see, the prince of Grecia shall come.

to fight.

Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty …

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the …

Acts 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave …

the prince of Grecia.

Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on …

Daniel 8:5-8,21 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on …

Daniel 11:2-4 And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet …

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