1 IN the third year that Cyrus was king of Persia a revelation came to Daniel, who had been given the name Belteshazzar. The word was true, yet only after much struggle did understanding come to him in the course of the vision.
2At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three whole weeks. 3I refrained from all choice food; no meat or wine passed my lips, and I did not anoint myself until the three weeks had passed. 4On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I found myself on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5and when I looked up I saw a man robed in linen with a belt of Ophir a 10:5 Ophir: so some MSS; others Uphaz. gold round his waist. 6His body glowed like topaz, his face shone like lightning, his eyes flamed like torches, his arms and feet glittered like burnished bronze, and when he spoke his voice sounded like the voice of a multitude. 7I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; those who were near me did not see it, but such great trepidation fell upon them that they crept away into hiding. 8I was left by myself gazing at this great vision, and my strength drained away; and sapped of all strength I became a sorry figure of a man. 9I heard the sound of his words and, as I did so, I lay prone on the ground in a trance.
10Suddenly, at the touch of a hand, I was set, all trembling, on my hands and knees. 11‘Daniel, man greatly beloved,' he said to me, ‘attend to the words I am about to speak to you and stand upright where you are, for I am now sent to you.’ When he spoke to me, I stood up trembling with apprehension. 12He went on, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the very first day that you applied your mind to understanding, and to mortify yourself before your God, your prayers have been heard, and I have come in answer to them. 13But the guardian angel of the kingdom of Persia resisted me for twenty-one days, and then, seeing that I had held out there, Michael, one of the chief princes b 10:13 prince: so Gk; Heb. omits. , came to help me against the prince of the kingdom of Persia. 14I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people at the end of this age; for this too is a vision for those days.’
15While he spoke in this fashion to me, I fixed my eyes on the ground and was unable to speak. 16Suddenly one with a human appearance touched my lips; then I broke my silence and addressed him as he stood before me: ‘Sir,’ I said, ‘at this vision anguish has gripped me, and I am sapped of all my strength. 17How can I, my lord's servant, presume to talk with such as my lord, since my strength has now failed me and there is no more spirit left in me?’