Question: Who was the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece referred to in the Book of Daniel?


Answer: The question you ask is important but the answer is obscure until you know what you are looking at, then suddenly it all seems so simple. This is either something that occurred unintentionally because the answer was so clear to those who made the record or it is an intentional obscuring of the answer by the Spirit of God so that the answer is not readily found out until someone knows enough to ask the question. I think the latter is the answer.


To answer the question, let us first look at the Scripture where these individuals referred to appear in Daniel chapter 10:

1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshaz'zar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hid'dekel;
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 color 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.
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.
9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
10 And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
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.
20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Gre'cia shall come.
21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.


It is important to study the entire text to see what is going on here, but for the sake of time I have abbreviated my observations a great deal.


Daniel has an angelic visitor of such magnificence that some have equated it with visions of the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Of course we know that this was not He, for that would be an impossibility because of the events that befall this angel and occasion the question about these powerful princes of two lands foreign to where Daniel resides. The message that this angelic messenger brings is almost eclipsed by his account of his coming and his going, which is what we are looking at here.


I am about to tell you that these are demonic beings and explain to you why they are so, and in doing this I want to build the case carefully without going overlong on the matter.


First of all, I want you to see why it would be that a demonic being called the Prince of Persia would be the one to resist and angelic messenger sent from God to Daniel. Notice that the date for the event given is the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. This event takes place three years after the conquest of Babylon and Cyrus rise to power. Not only does this fix a specific time for the event but it also indicated why this particular demonic being would have an interest in what was going on in a land adjacent to the one he is the prince of, or in charge of. When the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon the demonic prince of Mesopotamia became subject to the demonic being who was at the head of Persia. Therefore his rule and influence extended into the land that Daniel lived in.


Perhaps I have gotten ahead of myself again for I have not proven my assertion that this is a demonic being. The proof is in the text. An angelic being is the person being withstood by someone identified as a prince. He is not only withstood, but the Scripture indicates that the fight goes on for a total of twenty-one days in verse 13. What is being described is an impossible event for a mere mortal to accomplish. First to withstand an angel, and then to do so for twenty-one days, and then the angel needed reinforcements to continue. The ultimate conclusion is that we have to be talking about a demonic being of great power.


I still have not demonstrated that there are demonic beings responsible for certain areas of land and I must do so if I am to prove my case fully. To do this I will refer now to my favorite Scriptures teaching on this subject both, of which are to be found in the New Testament in a single book, Ephesians:

1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

In the above passage you have general categories of dominion given. There is a similarity between the way earthly powers order themselves and the way spiritual powers do displayed in the passage, particularly verses twenty and twenty-one.


From this point we go to a more specific reference to the demonic in Ephesians:

 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Here we can see it clearly displayed that these demonic powers do exist and have a hierarchal ranking in this world. From this point all else has the ability to become evident I think.


Next, I want to acquaint you with the word used for prince in the passages referring to the princes of Persia and Greece. It is a generic word used for referring to the head person of any rank or class. There are five words used in the Book of Daniel from which the word prince might be derived in the English language. The word used for the princes sar indicates that they are at the head of their ranking or classification, but still subordinate to another. The chief of the eunuchs was called a prince in Daniel 1:9 in exactly the same way. But then so was Michael whom we know in position as chief among angels.


A contrast could be drawn between the word used for prince, referring to these demonic beings, and with the reference to Prince of the Covenant that occurs in Daniel 11:22. There the word prince used means "occupying the front." This is also used in Daniel 9:25 in reference to Messiah the Prince. Without going further into the distinctions between words used, all translated as prince, I think I have made the point.


One final note is this. When the angel was talking to Daniel, the prince of Greece had not yet appeared on the scene. The one who appeared to David and strengthened him foretold that the prince of Greece would come when he returned to rejoin the battle with the prince of Persia. Please remember than in the timeline of man, Greece will eventually overcome Persia. From this passage we can see how the unseen forces are already at work to bring about this eventuality.

            Jonsquill Ministries

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