10:1 1 In the third 2 year of King Cyrus of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel (who was also called Belteshazzar). This message was true and concerned a great war. 3 He understood the message and gained insight by the vision.
10:2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks. 4 10:3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine came to my lips, 5 nor did I anoint myself with oil 6 until the end of those three weeks.
1 sn This chapter begins the final unit in the book of Daniel, consisting of chapters 10-12. The traditional chapter divisions to some extent obscure the relationship of these chapters.
2 tc The LXX has “first.”
sn Cyrus’ third year would have been ca. 536
3 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word צָבָא (tsava’) is uncertain in this context. The word most often refers to an army or warfare. It may also mean “hard service,” and many commentators take that to be the sense here (i.e., “the service was great”). The present translation assumes the reference to be to the spiritual conflicts described, for example, in 10:16–11:1.
4 tn Heb “three weeks of days.” The inclusion of “days” here and in v. 3 is perhaps intended to call attention to the fact that these weeks are very different in nature from those of chap. 9, which are “weeks of years.”
5 tn Heb “mouth.”
6 sn Anointing oneself with oil (usually olive oil) was a common OT practice due to the severity of the Middle Eastern sun (cf. Ps 121:6). It was also associated with rejoicing (e.g., Prov 27:9) and was therefore usually not practiced during a period of mourning.