9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of a Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the b realm of the Chaldeans;
(a) Who was also called Astyages. 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by c books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
(b) For Cyrus led with ambition, and went about wars in other countries, and therefore Darius had the title of the kingdom, even though Cyrus was king in effect.
(c) For even though he was an excellent Prophet, yet he daily increased in knowledge by the reading of the scriptures. 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to d seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
(d) He does not speak of that ordinary prayer, which he used in his house three times a day, but of a rare and vehement prayer, lest their sins should cause God to delay the time of their deliverance prophesied by Jeremiah. 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the e great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
(e) That is, has all power in yourself to execute your terrible judgments against obstinate sinners, as you are rich in mercy to comfort those who obey your word and love you. 9:7 O Lord, f righteousness [belongeth] unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, [that are] near, and [that are] far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
(f) He shows that whenever God punishes, he does it for just cause: and thus the godly never accuse him of rigour as the wicked do, but acknowledge that in themselves there is just cause why he should so treat them. 9:8 O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our g kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
(g) He does not excuse the kings because of their authority, but prays chiefly for them as the chief occasions of these great plagues. 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the h voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
(h) He shows that they rebel against God, who do not serve him according to his commandment and word. 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the i curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
9:16 O Lord, according to all thy k righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people [are become] a reproach to all [that are] about us.
(i) As in ( Deuteronomy 27:15 ), or the curse confirmed by an oath.
(k) That is, according to all your merciful promises and the performance of them. 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to l shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the m Lords sake.
(l) Show yourself favourable. 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our n righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
(m) That is, for your Christs sake, in whom you will accept all of our prayers.
(n) Declaring that the godly flee only to Gods mercies, and renounce their own works, when they seek for remission of their sins. 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, o hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
(o) Thus he could not content himself with any vehemency of words: for he was so led with a fervent zeal, considering Gods promise made to the city in respect of his Church, and for the advancement of Gods glory. 9:24 Seventy p weeks are determined upon q thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the r transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
(p) He alludes to Jeremiahs prophecy, who prophesied that their captivity would be seventy years: but now Gods mercy would exceed his judgment seven times as much, which would be 490 years, even until the coming of Christ, and so then it would continue forever. 9:25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from s the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven t weeks, and u threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
(q) Meaning Daniels nation, over whom he was careful.
(r) To show mercy and to put sin out of remembrance.
(s) That is, from the time that Cyrus gave them permission to depart. 9:26 And after threescore and two x weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but y not for himself: and the people of the z prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
(t) These weeks make forty-nine years, of which forty-six are referred to the time of the building of the temple, and three to the laying of the foundation.
(u) Counting from the sixth year of Darius, who gave the second commandment for the building of the temple are sixty-two weeks, which make 434 years, which comprehend the time from the building of the temple until the baptism of Christ.
(x) In this week of the seventy, will Christ come and preach and suffer death. 9:27 And he a shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to b cease, c and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
(y) He will seem to have no beauty, nor to be of any estimation; ( Isaiah 53:2 ).
(z) Meaning Titus, Vespasianss son, who would come and destroy both the temple, and the people, without any hope of recovery.
(a) By the preaching of the Gospel he affirmed his promise, first to the Jews, and after to the Gentiles.
(b) Christ accomplished this by his death and resurrection.
(c) Meaning that Jerusalem and the sanctuary would be utterly destroyed because of their rebellion against God, and their idolatry: or as some read, that the plague will be so great, that they will all be astonished at them.