Daniel 9

Daniel’s Prayer

1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes[a] (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian[b] kingdom—
2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.
6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you.
8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you.
9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;
10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.
11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.
12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.
13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.
14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.
16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.
18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

The Seventy “Sevens”

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill—
21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.
22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.
23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[c] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[d] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[e]
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[f] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[g] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[h] In the middle of the ‘seven’[i] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[j] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.[k][l]

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Daniel 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

Daniel considers the time of the captivity. (1-3) His confession of sin, and prayer. (4-19) The revelation concerning the coming of the Messiah. (20-27)

Verses 1-3 Daniel learned from the books of the prophets, especially from Jeremiah, that the desolation of Jerusalem would continue seventy years, which were drawing to a close. God's promises are to encourage our prayers, not to make them needless; and when we see the performance of them approaching, we should more earnestly plead them with God.

Verses 4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions against it. It must be our confession, the language of our convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only, but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers this must be our plea, we must make mention of his righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.

Verses 20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and it is a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God should send answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray with fervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith take the promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He is faithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and more glorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work out for his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquainted with Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The evening offering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offer in the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrifice Daniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, this glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have, in verses ( 24-27 ) , one of the most remarkable prophecies of Christ, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jews are guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting another Messiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming. The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About the end of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making full atonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for the complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, in the crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which the measure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles would come upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful man come through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of our entrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirms the covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings of salvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. How can those escape who neglect so great salvation!

Cross References 74

  • 1. S Daniel 5:31
  • 2. S Ezra 4:6
  • 3. S 2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 29:10; Zechariah 1:12; Zechariah 7:5
  • 4. S 2 Chronicles 20:3
  • 5. S 2 Samuel 13:19; S Nehemiah 1:4; Jeremiah 29:12; Daniel 10:12; John 3:6
  • 6. S 1 Kings 8:30
  • 7. S Deuteronomy 7:21
  • 8. Deuteronomy 7:9; S 1 Kings 8:23
  • 9. S Jeremiah 8:14
  • 10. Psalms 106:6
  • 11. Isaiah 53:6
  • 12. ver 11; Lamentations 1:20; S Lamentations 3:42
  • 13. S 2 Kings 18:12
  • 14. S 2 Chronicles 36:16; S Jeremiah 44:5; James 5:10; Revelation 10:7
  • 15. S 2 Chronicles 29:6
  • 16. S Ezra 9:15; S Isaiah 42:6
  • 17. Ezra 9:7; Psalms 44:15
  • 18. Deuteronomy 4:27; Amos 9:9
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 7:3
  • 20. S Jeremiah 3:25; S Jeremiah 24:9; S Ezekiel 39:23-24
  • 21. S Nehemiah 9:33; S Jeremiah 14:20; S Ezekiel 16:63
  • 22. S Exodus 34:7; S 2 Samuel 24:14; Jeremiah 42:12; Psalms 130:4
  • 23. S Nehemiah 9:17; Jeremiah 14:7
  • 24. 2 Kings 17:13-15; S 2 Kings 18:12; Revelation 10:7
  • 25. S Jeremiah 2:29
  • 26. 2 Kings 22:16
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 11:26; S Deuteronomy 13:15; S Deuteronomy 28:15
  • 28. 2 Kings 17:23
  • 29. Isaiah 1:4-6; Jeremiah 8:5-10
  • 30. S Isaiah 44:26; Zechariah 1:6
  • 31. S Jeremiah 44:23
  • 32. Jeremiah 30:7
  • 33. Jeremiah 44:2-6; Ezekiel 5:9; Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Zechariah 7:12
  • 34. S Deuteronomy 4:29; S Isaiah 31:1
  • 35. S Isaiah 9:13; Jeremiah 2:30
  • 36. S Jeremiah 18:8; S Jeremiah 44:27
  • 37. S Genesis 18:25; S 2 Chronicles 12:6; S Jeremiah 12:1
  • 38. S Nehemiah 9:33; S Jeremiah 32:23; S Jeremiah 40:3
  • 39. S Exodus 3:20; S Jeremiah 32:21
  • 40. S Nehemiah 9:10
  • 41. S Judges 5:11; Psalms 31:1
  • 42. S Isaiah 5:25
  • 43. S Psalms 85:3
  • 44. Jeremiah 32:32
  • 45. S Exodus 15:17; S Psalms 48:1; Zechariah 8:3
  • 46. S Psalms 39:8; S Ezekiel 5:14
  • 47. Numbers 6:24-26; Psalms 80:19
  • 48. S Psalms 5:1
  • 49. Psalms 116:1
  • 50. Psalms 80:14
  • 51. S Deuteronomy 28:10; S Isaiah 37:17; Jeremiah 7:10-12; Jeremiah 25:29
  • 52. Luke 18:13
  • 53. Psalms 44:23
  • 54. S 1 Samuel 12:22
  • 55. S Ezra 10:1
  • 56. S ver 3; Psalms 145:18; S Isaiah 58:9
  • 57. S Daniel 8:16; S Luke 1:19
  • 58. S Exodus 29:39
  • 59. S Daniel 7:16; Daniel 10:14; Amos 3:7
  • 60. S Isaiah 65:24
  • 61. Daniel 10:19; Luke 1:28
  • 62. Daniel 10:11-12; Matthew 24:15
  • 63. S Isaiah 1:26
  • 64. S Isaiah 53:10
  • 65. S Isaiah 56:1; Hebrews 9:12
  • 66. S Ezra 4:24; S Ezra 6:15
  • 67. Matthew 1:17; John 4:25
  • 68. S 1 Samuel 13:14
  • 69. S Ezra 3:3
  • 70. S Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 16:21
  • 71. Isaiah 28:2; Daniel 11:10; Nahum 1:8
  • 72. S Psalms 46:8
  • 73. Isaiah 61:1; S Ezekiel 4:5-6; Haggai 2:23; Zechariah 4:14
  • 74. S Isaiah 10:22

Footnotes 12

  • [a]. Hebrew "Ahasuerus"
  • [b]. Or "Chaldean"
  • [c]. Or "‘weeks’" ; also in verses 25 and 26
  • [d]. Or "restrain"
  • [e]. Or "the most holy One"
  • [f]. Or "an anointed one" ; also in verse 26
  • [g]. Or "death and will have no one" ; or "death, but not for himself"
  • [h]. Or "‘week’"
  • [i]. Or "‘week’"
  • [j]. Septuagint and Theodotion; Hebrew "wing"
  • [k]. Or "it"
  • [l]. Or "And one who causes desolation will come upon the wing of the abominable temple, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolated city"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL 9

This chapter contains a prayer of Daniel, and the answer to it. The time, occasion, and manner of his prayer, or circumstances of it, are observed, Da 9:1-3, the parts of it, an address unto God, under various suitable epithets and characters, Da 9:4 confession of sin, of his own, of the inhabitants of the land, kings, princes, and people, which are largely dwelt upon and exaggerated, Da 9:5-15 and petitions for mercy, Da 9:16-19, then the answer follows; the time when it was ordered and given, and the person by whom it was sent, are expressed, Da 9:20-23 who delivered to him the vision of the seventy weeks to be considered by him; in which both the work of the Messiah, and the time of his coming, are clearly pointed out, Da 9:24-27.

Daniel 9 Commentaries

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