Daniel 10:10-21 gives us a fascinating glimpse into the spiritual world which we cannot see. There are four angels in this passage:
- The messenger angel who came to bring the interpretation of Daniel's vision (Daniel 10:10-12). He is not named in the passage.
- The prince of Persia. This is evidently a fallen angel working under the direction of Satan who operates as the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). The prince of Persia withstood the messenger angel for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:13) and hindered him from coming to Daniel. By this we know that the prince of Persia is of the evil one. This should not be surprising since Paul warned us, "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" (Ephesians 6:12). Principalities refer to the rule of princes. The prince of Persia was one of these principalities.
- Michael, one of the chief princes. Michael comes to the rescue of the messenger angel and relieves him for a time so that he might bring the interpretation of the vision (Daniel 10:13-14). So, who is Michael? In Jude 1:9, Michael is called "the archangel" and he personally contends with the devil. In speaking to Daniel, the messenger angel calls him, "Michael your prince." The personal pronoun "your" is plural (something that is not distinguished in modern English versions). Therefore, Daniel was not being told that Michael was his own personal angel. Rather, Michael was the angel of Daniel's people. He was the prince of Israel. In Daniel 12:1, Michael is called "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people." It only makes sense that God would take His most powerful angel and put him in charge of his chosen people.
- The prince of Grecia. His coming is prophesied by the messenger angel: "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 Grecia shall come." The prince of Grecia (or Greece) would be another of Satan's mighty princes and he will direct the ways of Greece when it becomes the main world empire.
This passage, therefore, is not about guardian angels. Mostly, it is about angels who have such great power that they are called princes. From their element in the spiritual world, they direct the affairs of nations. The news we read on a daily basis is not just the result of the actions of men. It also reflects the spiritual battles that are going on in the spirit world. The princes of this world are often led by their corresponding princes in the spirit world. These principalities, in turn, are all under the authority of "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 6:12)--by Satan himself. We do not and cannot understand all that is going on in the spiritual realm, but it is important for us to understand that the battles we face have another aspect to them; an aspect that is real though it is unseen. Our battle truly is a spiritual one.