Who Is The Prince Of Persia In The Bible

In these important verse-by-verse Bible study lessons, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates takes an in-depth look at who the prince of Persia was in the Bible. He will also discuss, using large type for easy reading, names and places found in this section of Scripture. This is a definite must have study aid for pastors, teachers and serious students of God’s Word who want to quickly review and analyze this section without wading through countless reference books or struggling to understand ancient names and places.

The prince of Persia (Elam) was the son of king Hushang. He paved the way for the spread of Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion based on the teachings of the Prophet Zoroaster. His name means one who shows light and truth.

The Bible is a holy scripture wherein you will find all kinds of people. These are the anointed ones, and these are those who were known for their feisty ways. And then there were other characters who were portrayed by the very famous historians themselves. Some of them were known to have this bad boy reputation (which of course made it difficult to stay in line).

In this article, you’ll learn about the history of Persia, an Iranian people as well as an official region of Iran. In modern day, the Persian language is spoken by over half–a-billion people and is thought to be one of only four languages (the other being Latin and the two Chinese dialects) that have been in use for over 3,000 years.

Who Is The Prince Of Persia In The Bible

The reference comes in the Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter 10, verse 13. This prince is not a human being but an evil angel. He temporarily thwarts one of God’s angels, possibly Gabriel, who is attempting to deliver an answer to Daniel’s prayer seeking information and counsel about the future of his countrymen, the Jews. The narrative implies that wicked territorial spirits under the command of Satan were assigned to nations as a way of opposing God’s will and people.

This prince of Persia was responsible for trying to manipulate the decisions of the kingdom that had just been chosen to release many of the Jews held in captivity. He managed to struggle with God’s angel and delay for three weeks the response to Daniel’s prayer. His evil machinations were overcome by the assistance of God’s chief angel, Michael, who came to the aid of the heavenly messenger. It’s interesting that “Legion,” another Hollywood film released earlier this year, has Michael and Gabriel pitted against one another. Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re on the same page, the same team, serving God!

All of this sounds so far-fetched and hard to believe in our sophisticated, technological age. But evangelical theology affirms the truthfulness of it. Some lessons emerge.

For starters, spiritual warfare is a reality. There is a titanic, cosmic battle going on in the supernatural, invisible realm all around us. We can’t see it but good angels slug it out with demonic forces in a conflict to determine who will persuade and control nations and individuals. In the admittedly pictorial, apocalyptic book of Revelation you get strong hints of this in chapter 12, verses 7-9. It’s mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament, in Ephesians 6:12, where the Apostle Paul makes it clear that a monumental, ongoing struggle is being waged between spiritual forces.

Who Is The Prince Of Persia In The Bible

The prince of Persia is only mentioned in Daniel 10, a highly apocalyptic (and therefore at least partially symbolic) section of the book of Daniel. Most likely, the prince of Persia is a reference to an evil spiritual entity that wielded authority over the ancient kingdom of Persia.

The prophet Daniel had received a troubling vision concerning a great war (Daniel 10:1). He went into a three-week period of mourning, fasting, and prayer. In response to Daniel’s prayer, God sent a heavenly messenger to explain the vision. However, the messenger was delayed for those same three weeks, as he explains to Daniel: “But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). Later, the angel speaking to Daniel predicts further fighting: “Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince)” (verses 20–21).

Taking this passage at face value, it seems that the prince of Persia is a fallen angel who in some sense had authority or influence over the physical kingdom of Persia. In Daniel 10, the prophet is praying about the future of his people and their exile in Persia. A heavenly angel is dispatched with the answer, but a demonic “prince of Persia” obstructs the messenger. This action would make sense, as the divine answer involves the overthrow of the Persian Empire. The angelic messenger finally gets some help from the archangel Michael, who is apparently the prince (or one of the princes) of Israel in the angelic realm (Daniel 10:13, 21).

Then the angelic messenger says he will face even more spiritual warfare, returning to fight against the prince of Persia. After that, he will face another spiritual enemy, the prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20). We know from history (and as was prophesied in Daniel) that Greece would be the next world power after Persia, and that Greece would dominate Israel for a time. In this passage, three spiritual entities are mentioned in relation to three earthly nations: the prince of Persia, the prince of Greece, and the prince of Israel (Michael). As the New Testament reminds us, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). The battle is real.

It seems that, as events play out on earth, there is corresponding activity in the spiritual realm. Whether or not this spiritual prince of Persia’s fate was tied to that of the physical Persian Empire is unknown. We do know that, if his job was to keep the Persian Empire in a place of dominance over the nation of Israel, he failed. It is interesting to note that Iran is modern Persia, and the leaders of Iran still want to dominate or obliterate the nation of Israel. As a Shiite Muslim nation, Iran persecutes Christian believers as well—so perhaps the spiritual prince of Persia is still active today. But, as with all of Satan’s minions, his time is limited, and he can only go as far as God will allow in accomplishing His perfect will.

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