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Daniel 11:1 (NASB) reads,
1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.
This verse properly belongs at the end of chapter 10. It was not meant to establish the date of the revelation in the rest of Daniel 11. Instead, it was the end of Peniel’s conversation in regard to his alliance with Michael. The “him” in this case is not Darius the Mede, but Michael the Archangel.
Reading from The Concordant Version, Peniel’s statement reads this way:
29 … No one will be steadfast with me in these things save Michael your chief. 1 And I—in year one of Darius the Mede, my position was to make him steadfast and to strengthen him.
Daniel learned that when Babylon fell and Darius the Mede took the city, Peniel’s “position” (amad, “stood up, took a stand”) was to “make him steadfast” (khazakh, “strengthen, harden, encourage”) and to (maowz, “fortify”) Michael’s position in the warfare.
The Results of Peniel’s Assistance
It appears that Michael had been the main archangel that was conducting the overthrow of Babylon, and that Peniel showed up afterward to fortify Michael’s position and to consolidate his victory. Because Michael is the counterpart to the Red Dragon, this implies that the Red Dragon is the spiritual prince of Babylon. When the Red Dragon’s mandate to rule expired (after 70 years), Michael was sent to overthrow him, and the result was that Babylon was overthrown at the hands of Cyrus and Darius.
In the first year of Darius, then, Peniel came to consolidate that victory. We have already seen in Daniel 6:1-3 how Darius reorganized the kingdom under 120 satraps (governors) and placed Daniel as the president of the top three commissioners. No doubt this was the result of Peniel’s assistance. Peniel fortified Michael’s position, and since Michael was Daniel’s prince, it meant that Daniel’s position was fortified and consolidated as well. Things happen in the spiritual realm before they happen on earth. The spiritual event is the cause of the earthly event.
This fortification was necessary because the prince of Persia was still the spiritual head of that beast nation. In fact, the prince of Persia had been granted dominion for a season by the divine court. However, the plan of God also included a time when Cyrus would act as a messianic type and Darius would give the dominion to the saints of the Most High. This positive side of Medo-Persia was to be temporary, of course, because in the big picture Persia was just another beast empire. Yet these temporary types of the Messiah and the Kingdom were established at that time to encourage us today. These acts of God (through Michael and Peniel) reveal the divine plan in the latter days when Mystery Babylon is overthrown and the Kingdom of God is established.
It should be noted also that in order to bring about the transfer of authority to Daniel (representing the saints of the Most High), it required not only Michael’s victory over Babylon, but also Peniel’s assistance. Both archangels were required to work together in order to establish the Kingdom, just as both were required to unite the saints being raised from the dead with the saints of that final generation “who are alive and remain” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). It is a team effort, due to the different callings of the two angels. The one presides over the Scepter of Judah, while the other presides over the Birthright of Joseph-Israel.
An Earlier Division at Mahanaim
This division was not caused by Jacob-Israel when he blessed his sons, giving the Scepter to Judah and the Birthright to Joseph. The division was determined from the beginning and written in the blueprint of history. Jacob-Israel merely followed the script, whether consciously or unconsciously. Years earlier, when Jacob stopped to make camp on his way home from Haran, the angels of God met him, and so he called the place Mahanaim, “two camps.” Genesis 32:1, 2 says,
1 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2 And Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s camp.” So he named that place Mahanaim [“two camps,” or “two companies”].
It is possible that Mahanaim was named for two angels leading two companies of angels. In Jacob’s wilderness journey, his camps foreshadowed the feast days that were yet to be established. On his way to Haran, his camps prophesied of the Spring feasts; on his way back to Canaan, his camps prophesied of the Autumn feasts.
Mahanaim, then, represents the feast of Trumpets, which prophesies of the resurrection of the dead. Hence, it appears that Michael was present at this camp, establishing the division between the Leah company and the Rachel company. Leah was the mother of Judah, who received the Scepter; Rachel was the mother of Joseph, who received the Birthright. It appears that Jacob divided up his family as well as his cattle. This division necessitated the protective ministry of both Michael and Peniel against Esau.
It is also interesting to note that Michael’s natural enemy is the Red Dragon, as seen in Revelation 12:7. Hence, at Mahanaim the threat was coming from Esau, whose nickname was Edom, or “Red” (Genesis 36:19). The Red Dragon was the one fomenting the hatred and conflict between Jacob and Esau in order to kill Jacob just as he was about to be given a “new birth” as Israel.
Other Manifestations of the Spiritual Battle
This situation was to be repeated in a different way many years later when Jesus was born. On that occasion, King Herod, who was half-Edomite, was the one through whom the Red Dragon worked. Herod attempted to kill Jesus at the time of His birth (Matthew 2:13). In both cases (Jacob and Jesus), we see earthly events reflecting the same spiritual battle in the heavens as pictured in Revelation 12.
When we begin to understand Michael’s calling in the divine plan, it becomes apparent that he was also the one called to protect Moses from the decree of Pharaoh (Exodus 1:22). Eighty years later, Michael was called to protect and to deliver Israel, whom God called “My son, My first-born” (Exodus 4:22), so that Peniel could lead them out of Egypt by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21).
Michael presided over Israel’s birth, while Peniel was to lead Israel to the inheritance, the Promised Land.
Michael also presided over the birth of Jesus, but Peniel brings the overcomers into their inheritance, the glorified body.
Peniel fortifies Michael in the performance of his calling. Michael fortifies Peniel in the performance of his calling. Neither archangel is complete in himself, any more than the Scepter and Birthright are complete in themselves.
And so, in our time, we see by the Spirit of God a holy alliance between Michael and Peniel to overcome the unholy alliance between the two beasts in Revelation 13:11, 12. The earthly manifestation of that unholy alliance came about 200 years ago in 1815 in what the historians call “The Holy Alliance.” They called it “holy” because the Church was involved. But it was actually unholy, because a "deal with the devil" was formed between the Roman Church and the Rothschild banking system.
That story must be reserved for our future study of the book of Revelation. However, I did a study of this in 2004, so if you wish to look at that material, see here: