Previous Verse Next Verse


From the beginning of your supplication, the word

Go to footnote number

went out and I have come to tell it to you,

Go to footnote number

for you are desirable [to God]. Therefore, understand the word [that was spoken], and perceive the vision:

Go to footnote number


As soon as you began your request, the command was sent out to me to come to you, and I have finally arrived to tell you God’s response, for God finds pleasure in you. Therefore, I want you to understand the course of action that was set in place by

God’s spoken word which must be fulfilled; I want you to grasp the meaning of the following vision:



This word is used twice in this verse and means “word,” or in verb form “to speak.” In this case it seems to imply a command. God’s “word” to the angel (presumably “Go, explain this to Daniel”) was understood as a command that must be obeyed. Likewise, God had spoken the “word” of explanation as well (about future events), and it too would absolutely come to pass as God had spoken it.


Was there a delay? It appears that there was. Daniel 9:3 indicates that Daniel pleaded with God “through prayer, supplications, fasting, sackcloth and ashes.” Fasting implies that he was involved in this for days. The angel started out right away but did not get there till considerable time later. This may be an indication that the angel was delayed in his arrival which would imply some type of conflict between the angel and demons.


This appears to be a reference to the vision that the angel will now share with him, or it means that the angel came to him as part of that vision. At any rate, it does not refer to a vision he has already had previous to this time.

Daniel Needed Encouragement

Daniel had become concerned because he knew their captivity was drawing to an end but there was a lack of repentance among his people. He feared that the time of their captivity might be extended due to their lack of repentance. His prayer for God’s mercy immediately precedes this vision in which God shows Daniel that deliverance and salvation will come through the person of the expected Messiah. However, Daniel and his people will need to have patience and endure hardships along the way. They will need to look at the big picture of things in order to see God’s salvation at work. As God’s people wait for the Messiah to come and effect true change, there will be more trials and hardships, one of which will stand out from the rest. But the purpose of this vision is to tell Daniel two things:

  1. Even though God’s people are not always able to see His hand at work, God is still working.
  2. The presence of attacks on God’s people that are extraordinary in their level of evil actually proves that God is working behind the scenes, for when God increases His activity, Satan also increases his activity and tries to use fear to intimidate God’s people into doing nothing.

What Do the Sevens of Daniel's Vision Refer To?

Before you read my translation and paraphrase of the verses that include Daniel’s “sevens”, I will give you a heads-up about my understanding of the “sets of seven” in this vision so that you will understand the basis for my paraphrase of those verses.

Since we are dealing with the number seven, which means “all, complete, full or totality,” it is most probable that this has to do with a set of things, each one of which is complete and full in its own right. What might these things be? In my opinion, there are four options:

  1. The “sevens” may represent periods of time that are complete periods of time, long enough for whatever is supposed to happen during that time to be brought to completion. The length of time is actually irrelevant; the important thing is what happened during that time and the fact that the action which characterized that period was complete, full, not lacking in extent or intensity.
  2. They may represent types of hardships, acts of persecution or waves of persecution/opposition. If that is the case, these would feel to the sufferers like they are “complete or total;” they would feel like the worst thing ever.
  3. They may represent the enacting of God’s plan which will be fulfilled according to His purpose and His word. In other words, they may represent ways in which the hand of God is at work, which is always purposeful, complete, and full, not lacking anything.
  4. A general use of “seven,” as is found here, often represents complete sets of things that are bigger than can be described in one word. For instance, they may refer the movement of the hand of God along with waves of persecution or opposition from God’s enemy.

God sent His angel to encourage Daniel by telling him something like this, “Do not worry, God is still at work and God will fulfill what He has spoken.” However, the vision also indicated that it would not be easy. Satan would also be at work. The increased activity of God would be accompanied by the increased activity of Satan.

We think in terms of time because we are stuck in time; God is not limited by time. He can operate outside of time if He wants to. In the vision that follows, time plays a very small role, in fact the timing of two events is switched around; the emphasis is on waves of activity that is relevant to God’s purpose. That activity can be the working of the Hand of God, or it can be opposition from Satan.