5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Daniel's Symbolical Death and Resurrection
The vision being apparent, Daniel is alone, after his companions have fled. At this crisis, the relation between the prophet and the man is peculiar. Daniel occupies the position of one dead -- his vigour was turned into corruption, and he retained no strength; he was in a deep sleep on his face, and his face toward the ground, and destitute of breath (ch. 10:8, 9, 17).
While in this symbolic death, the symbolical man, the symbolical associate of which is "Michael, one of the chief princes," was near him. The man uttered his voice -- a voice to be responded to by the dead (John 5:25-29; Dan. 12:2), and Daniel heard it:
"When I heard the voice of his words," saith he, "then was I in a deep sleep on my face." After the voice had awoke him to consciousness, the power of the Man raised him from his prostrate condition -- "a hand touched me," said he, "which raised me upon my knees, and the palms of my hands."
This is the attitude of a man in the act of rising up from sleep on or in the ground after he had awoke. He was then told to stand upright, for that the Man of the vision was sent unto him -- He was sent of the Spirit to communicate to him certain things after his symbolical resurrection; for the things communicated in their crisis are to be accomplished after the literal resurrection of Daniel and his people by "Michael the Great Prince," at the end of the 1335 days (ch. 12:1,2,12,13).
Hearing the command to stand upright, he obeyed, and says "I stood trembling." He was now alone in the presence of the august vision from which his attendants fled to hide themselves. He trembled; for though raised and erect upon his feet, he was not yet "in power." But the Man who had raised him from the ground came again to him, and touched him, and said to him:
"O man, greatly beloved, fear not; peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong."
Then Daniel no longer feared and trembled, but became symbolically incorruptible, immortal, strong; for when the Man of the One Spirit had spoken to him thus, he says, "I was strengthened, and said, let my Adon (Lord) speak, for thou hast strengthened me."
Here, then, was Daniel's Lord in vision, seen also by Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. They all saw him as a man. The Spirit assumed this appearance in vision; and to represent to Daniel his future manifestation through the son of David as Prince of Israel, he, the Spirit, associates himself with the archangel Michael, whom he styles Daniel's Prince. "Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me," saith the Spirit, "and I remained there on the side of the kings of Persia. I will shew that which is noted in the Scripture of truth; and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael, your prince."
8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Now, while contemplating "this great vision," he was subjected to an operation indicative of his approaching decease ; and of the process he and others would have to go through, in passing from the death-sleep of sheol, to the firmamental and enduring brightness of the kingdom.
19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Now, after remaining thus an indefinite period, the time arrived for him to awake from this death-sleep ; and to be raised from his recumbent position on the ground. He did not make a sudden and vigorous leap to an upright position in which he was fearless, fluent of speech,
corruptionless and strong, as some imagine the dead to be, when they dream of their leaping forth incorruptible and immortal. No, he had to progress by stages from his proneness in corruption, to a state of confidence and power.
In the first stage of the process, a hand touched him. This was the application of power for his resuscitation. Its effect was partial, not complete. It gave him existence ; but it was not vigorous : for it only placed him upon his knees and the palms of his hands ; and in a state of mind apparently expressed by the word quandary. He was awake, but in perplexity, not knowing what move to make ; he was, however, relieved of this, by being invited to "stand upon his feet."
Although he was addressed as " a man greatly beloved," he arose from his hands and knees with fear and trembling. " I stood," said he, " trembling." Daniel was now in the second stage of the process. Standing upright, he was the subject of anastasis, or " standing up " ; but he was nevertheless in trembling and fear ; and still tending earthward and speechless. But he was bidden not to fear ; and was further encouraged by assurances of good, based upon his previous devotion to the Word, and his conduct before God.
This judicial conference, though it would gladden the heart of Daniel, did not of itself impart vigour to his constitution. He was still earthward and speechless; for after the words of comfort were spoken, he says, " I set my face earthward (pahnai artzah), and I was dumb."
He had now arrived at the third stage in which he was to be quickened into courageousness, tranquillity and strength ; by which he might " stand in his lot at the end of the days " ; and shine a star of great brilliancy in the constellations of the " New Heavens," in which alone righteousness shall reign.
This quickening is accomplished by " one like the similitude of the sons of men," touching him. In this way he alludes to Jesus, then unborn, who, in " the time of the dead," shall touch him with Spirit power ; and impart to him the peace, wisdom, and potency of incorruptibility and life. His ability to speak, and so to give account of himself in regard to his existence, had been restored to him in the second stage by the touching of his lips ; but this did not make him " strong," nor give him " peace." It only enabled him to confess his condition of utter feebleness. It remained, therefore, that there should be a greater impartation of power, by which his whole man should be strengthened.
He was thus touched a second time by the same " appearance of a man " ; not upon the lips, but upon the body. " He came again, and touched me ; and said, O man, greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee ; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened."
Such was the preface, dramatically exhibited, of a prophecy revealing to Daniel the awakening and recompensing of sleepers in the dust in " the time of the end." It was the last of his visions, and the greatest of them all; because it culminated in " the apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity " (Rom. viii. 19). In the vision John had in Patmos, a like instance occurs in Rev. xi. 1, in which a prophecy ending in resurrection and judgment (verses 18-19) is prefaced by the dramatic rising of the prophet himself.
The things seen by Daniel in his last vision began to transpire " in the first year of Darius the Mede," which was two years before he had the vision ; and are strewn along a period reaching " to the time of the end," in which is the resurrection of himself and people. It is an amplification of what he saw in the third year of Belshazzar, when he was also a subject of symbolic resurrection (ch. viii. 18) ; and for the same reason.
From the tenth chapter to the end of his book, is one continuous record of " that which is noted in the Scripture of truth."But, in connection with this extraordinary evolution of living beings from apparently nothing but a little incorruptible dust, the question of identifying them as men and women flourishing in society thousands of years before, has wonderfully perplexed the astuteness of the wise and prudent.