The King who stirred up the Third Beast
Here, the Angel begins the long explanation of Daniel’s vision. This is the longest prophecy in the Bible.
In verses 1-3, the Angel described the Persian King who stirred up the third beast. King Xerses I, flaunted his wealth before Greece, and stirred them up. Just as King Hezekiah flaunted his wealth before Babylon, and stirred up the first beast.
In verses 4-30, the Angel will describe how the Fourth Beast was stirred up.
In the first year of Darius, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him – here the Angel introduces the phrase “stood up” AMAD, that will be repeated a number of times in this Chapter, to describe the Kings who “stand,” and ultimately, Michael, WHO IS LIKE God, who “stands” in the LORD’s Day, in Daniel 12:1. The Angel, is saying that he fought on behalf of Darius, to allow him to stand, before Cyrus took power.
now I tell you the truth – this will begin the promise “Book of truth,” introduced in Daniel 10:21.
there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia – only three shall “stand out” as we understand the phrase “stand up” in modern English. These were the three who impacted Jewish history: Cambyses, Smerdis (Bardiya), and Darius.
and the fourth shall be far richer than them all – Xerses 1, who was King Ahasuerus, in Esther 1:4, who displayed all the riches of his glory and majesty for 180 days. His palace was twice the size of his father’s, and his taste in architecture was similar, but on a gigantic scale. He gathered enormous resources through taxation, for various construction projects.
through his riches, he shall stir up all the realm of Greece – nearly all translations state this as “against Greece” but the actual text reads “of Greece.” Xerses I caused Greece to covet the riches of Persia. This is similar to the story of Isaiah 39, where Hezekiah showed Babylon all of his riches. This resulted in Babylon’s attack; as we read in Isaiah 39:5-6. Xerses 1 not only flaunted his wealth, but he also unsuccessfully attacked Greece, resulting in Persia’s fall, by Alexander the Great.
then a mighty king shall arise – Alexander the Great, as described in Daniel 8:5.