As the appearance of a man - Supposed to be the Messiah.
And it came to pass - Daniel saw the vision, but was unable to explain it.
And sought for the meaning - Evidently by meditating on it, or endeavoring in his own mind to make it out.
There stood before me as the appearance of a man - One having the appearance of a man. This was evidently Gabriel Daniel 8:16, who now assumed a human form, and who was addressed by the voice from between the banks of the Ulai, and commenced to make known the meaning of the vision.
We now enter upon an interpretation of the vision. And first of all we have mention of Daniel's solicitude, and his efforts to understand these things. He sought for the meaning. Those who have given to prophetic subjects their careful and earnest attention, are not the ones who are unconcerned in such matters. They only can tread with indifference over a mine of gold, who do not know that a bed of precious metal lies beneath their feet. Immediately there stood before the prophet as the appearance of a man. The text does not say it was a man, as some would fain have us think, who wish to prove that angels are dead men, and who resort to such texts as this for their evidence. It says, âThe appearance of a man,â from which we are evidently to understand an angel in human form. And he heard a man's voice; that is, the voice of an angel, as of a man, speaking. The commandment given was, to make this man, Daniel, understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies âthe mighty one.â He continues his instruction to Daniel in chapter 9. Under the new dispensation he was commissioned to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias (Luke 1:11); and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, verse 26. To Zacharias, he introduced himself with these words: âI am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God.â From this it appears that he was an angel of a high order and superior dignity; but the one who here addressed him was evidently higher in rank, and had power to command and control his actions. This was probably no other than the archangel Michael, or Christ, between whom and Gabriel, alone, a knowledge of the matters communicated to Daniel existed. (See chapter 10:21.)DAR 178.3
Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1
As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. PK 547.2
From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld,—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring,—how completely has it passed away! As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. PK 548.1Read in context »