Question: Daniel 10: 5, 6 reads: “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: 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 colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.”
Who is the “certain man” referred to in these verses?
Answer: These verses relate a vision that Daniel saw (verse 7). The “certain man” must be an angel, as the description is certainly not that of a man. Though his name is not expressly stated, it is likely the angel Gabriel, who was used to give previous revelations to Daniel. This, along with the fact that Gabriel was distinct from, and inferior to Michael (verses 13, 21; Daniel 12: 1), seems to make it certain.
This vision also has a typical application. This “certain man,” or Gabriel, types our Lord Jesus. Michael in this chapter types God, who is Christ’s superior, even as Michael was Gabriel’s superior. That Gabriel types our Lord can be seen from the similarity of the symbolic description of Gabriel in verses 5 and 6 with that of our Lord in (Revelation 1: 13-15).
The linen garment (verse 5) represents our Lord’s righteousness and priestly office. The loins (verse 5) girded with fine gold of Uphaz (a corruption of the word Ophir, meaning fruitful, abundant) symbolize our Lord’s preparedness to perform the Divine service fruitfully. His body (verse 6) being like beryl (a mistranslation of a word that means chrysolite) represents the clarity of Truth that Jesus gives.
His face being like lightning (verse 6) symbolizes the brightness of the Truth that Jesus brings. His eyes as lamps of fire (verse 6) symbolize the brilliance of Jesus’ insight into the Truth. His arms and feet looking like polished brass (verse 6) represents Jesus’ ability to serve, as well as His conduct and character, tested and perfected by sufferings. Lastly, the voice of His words being like the voice of a multitude (verse 6) symbolizes the fact that in addition to His special mouthpieces, Jesus’ messages are given through His people, who are many.