Daniel's Vision beside the Tigris River
1 In the third year of Cyrus the king of Persia, a message came to Daniel from God, and it was explained in a vision. The message was about a dreadful war, and it was true. 2 Daniel wrote:
For three weeks I was in sorrow. 3 I ate no fancy food or meat, I drank no wine, and I put no olive oil on my face or hair. 4 Then, on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was standing on the banks of the great Tigris River, 5 when I looked up and saw someone dressed in linen and wearing a solid gold belt. 6 His body was like a precious stone, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming fires, his arms and legs like polished bronze, and his voice like the roar of a crowd. 7 Although the people who were with me did not see the vision, they became so frightened that they scattered and hid. 8 Only I saw this great vision. I became weak and pale, 9 and at the sound of his voice, I fell facedown in a deep sleep.
10 He raised me to my hands and knees 11 and then said, “Daniel, your God thinks highly of you, and he has sent me. So stand up and pay close attention.” I stood trembling, while the angel said:
12 Daniel, don't be afraid! God has listened to your prayers since the first day you humbly asked for understanding, and he has sent me here. 13 But the guardian angel of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, who is one of the strongest guardian angels, came to rescue me from the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come here to give you another vision about what will happen to your people in the future.
15 While this angel was speaking to me, I stared at the ground, speechless. 16 Then he appeared in human form and touched my lips. I said, “Sir, this vision has brought me great pain and has drained my strength. 17 I am merely your servant. How can I possibly speak with someone so powerful, when I am almost too weak to get my breath?”
18-19 The angel touched me a second time and said, “Don't be frightened! God thinks highly of you, and he intends this for your good, so be brave and strong.”
At this, I regained my strength and replied, “Please speak! You have already made me feel much better.”
20 Then the angel said:
Now do you understand why I have come? Soon I must leave to fight against the guardian angel of Persia. Then after I have defeated him, the guardian angel of Greece will attack me. 21 I will tell you what is written in The Book of Truth. But first, you must realize that no one except Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, is on my side.