It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. a2
During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, was studying the writings of the prophets. I learned from the word of the LORD, as recorded by Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. b3
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I wore rough sackcloth and sprinkled myself with ashes.
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: "O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands.
But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.
We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke your messages to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.
"Lord, you are in the right; but our faces are covered with shame, just as you see us now. This is true of us all, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.
O LORD, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.
But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
We have not obeyed the LORD our God, for we have not followed the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.
All Israel has disobeyed your law and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice."So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out against us because of our sin.
You have done exactly what you warned you would do against us and our rulers. Never in all history has there been a disaster like the one that happened in Jerusalem.
Every curse written against us in the law of Moses has come true. All the troubles he predicted have taken place. But we have refused to seek mercy from the LORD our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.
The LORD has brought against us the disaster he prepared, for we did not obey him, and the LORD our God is just in everything he does.
"O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness.
In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city of Jerusalem, your holy mountain. All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.
"O our God, hear your servant's prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.
"O my God, listen to me and hear my request. Open your eyes and see our wretchedness. See how your city lies in ruins -- for everyone knows that it is yours. We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful.
"O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, for your people and your city bear your name."
I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sins of my people, pleading with the LORD my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain.
As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice.
He explained to me, "Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding.
The moment you began praying, a command was given. I am here to tell you what it was, for God loves you very much. Now listen, so you can understand the meaning of your vision.
"A period of seventy sets of seven c has been decreed for your people and your holy city to put down rebellion, to bring an end to sin, to atone for guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. d25
Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven e will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One f comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, g despite the perilous times.
"After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, h the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end.
He will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, i but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. Then as a climax to all his terrible deeds, j he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, k until the end that has been decreed is poured out on this defiler."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)