Jesus and Michael in Daniel 10

I’m going to attempt to do something similar to what my friend Sara Parrott does in her blog, A Twist in Translation. (Check out her blog by clicking here.) My attempt at using her format is nowhere near her masterful presentations, but here goes anyway.

Take a look at the text of Daniel 10 from the New World Translation that I have reproduced here (printed directly from jw.org):

Daniel10A

Daniel10B

And here’s a version that might be easier to read:

Dan10NWT

See the description of the “man clothed in linen” in verses 5-6? Does it sound familiar? It should; see Revelation 1:13-16. The Revelation passage is clearly describing Jesus, and given the similarity between the two passages, I think that any casual reader would conclude that the one being described in Daniel 10 is an Old Testament appearance of Jesus. The Watchtower, however, identifies the Daniel 10 being as an angel and not Jesus (see Watchtower, September 1, 2011, p. 8). I also note that the descriptions of the reactions by both Daniel (verses 8-9) and John (Revelation 1:17-18) are very similar.

And there’s more. There are a number of princes mentioned in Daniel 10. It seems that regions or nations can have an angelic being, or “prince” assigned to them, whether that being is fallen and demonic (in the case of Persia and Greece) or godly and angelic (as in the case of Israel). And Michael seems to be the angel in charge of Israel. Michael is described as “one of the foremost princes,” implying that there are multiple “foremost princes.” Could it be that the term “foremost prince” is a synonym for “archangel”? I believe that it is. Just because Michael is elsewhere described as “the archangel” doesn’t mean that he is the only archangel, any more than saying “David the king” would mean that David is the only king. So it looks like an archangel is an angel assigned to oversee a nation or people group.

Notice also that the New World Translation has a footnote to verse 13 for the phrase “one of the foremost princes,” where the alternate translation is given as “a prince of the first rank.” Could it be that Michael is one of a number of princes of first rank, just like a modern army can have a number of generals? I think it could, and is.

So here in Daniel 10 we have two separate beings, one of which matches the description of Jesus in Revelation 1, and the other of which is one among a number of high-ranking princes, and whose name is Michael. If you were reading Daniel 10 and Revelation 1 without your Watchtower goggles on, what would be your conclusion?

 

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