Daniel 9

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Daniel's Prayer for His People

1 1In the first year of 2Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a 3Mede, who was made king over the realm of the 4Chaldeans--
2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to 5the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by 6prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and 7made confession, saying, 8"O Lord, the 9great and awesome God, who 10keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
5 11we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly 12and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
6 13We have not listened to 14your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to 15our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7 To you, 16O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, 17those who are near and 18those who are far away, in 19all the lands to which you have driven them, because of 20the treachery that they have committed against you.
8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because 21we have sinned against you.
9 22To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him
10 23and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by 24his servants the prophets.
11 25All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, 26refusing to obey your voice. 27And the curse and oath 28that are written in the Law of 29Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because 30we have sinned against him.
12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against 31our rulers who ruled us,[a] by 32bringing upon us a great calamity. 33For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.
13 34As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, 35turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.
14 36Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, 37for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and 38we have not obeyed his voice.
15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt 39with a mighty hand, and 40have made a name for yourself, as at this day, 41we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 "O Lord, 42according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, 43your holy hill, 44because for our sins, and for 45the iniquities of our fathers, 46Jerusalem and your people have become 47a byword among all who are around us.
17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,[b]48make your face to shine upon 49your sanctuary, which is desolate.
18 50O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see 51our desolations, and 52the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. 53Delay not, 54for your own sake, O my God, because 55your city and 56your people are called by your name."

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20 57While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for 58the holy hill of my God,
21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man 59Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, 60came to me in swift flight at 61the time of the evening sacrifice.
22 62He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you 63insight and understanding.
23 64At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, 65and I have come to tell it to you, for 66you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word 67and understand the vision.

The Seventy Weeks

24 68"Seventy weeks[c] are decreed about your people and 69your holy city, to finish 70the transgression, to put an end to sin, 71and to atone for iniquity, 72to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and 73to anoint a most holy place.[d]
25 74Know therefore and understand that 75from the going out of the word to restore and 76build Jerusalem to the coming of an 77anointed one, a 78prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, 79but in a troubled time.
26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall 80be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come 81shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. 82Its[e] end shall come with a flood, 83and to the end there shall be war. 84Desolations are decreed.
27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,[f] and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. 85And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until 86the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."

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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 86

  • 1. Daniel 11:1
  • 2. See Daniel 5:31
  • 3. [Daniel 8:20]
  • 4. Daniel 5:30
  • 5. [Ezra 1:1; Jeremiah 25:12]
  • 6. ver. 17, 18, 23; [Nehemiah 1:4]
  • 7. ver. 20; [Ezra 10:1; Nehemiah 1:6]
  • 8. Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32
  • 9. Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32
  • 10. Deuteronomy 7:9
  • 11. ver. 15
  • 12. Lamentations 3:42
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16
  • 14. Ezra 9:11; Zechariah 1:6
  • 15. Ezra 9:7; Nehemiah 9:34
  • 16. [ver. 14; Lamentations 1:18]
  • 17. [Esther 9:20]
  • 18. [Esther 9:20]
  • 19. See Jeremiah 8:3
  • 20. Leviticus 26:40
  • 21. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 22. Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 86:15
  • 23. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 24. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 25. See Isaiah 1:4-6
  • 26. [Jeremiah 40:3; Jeremiah 44:23]
  • 27. Jeremiah 44:22
  • 28. See Leviticus 26:14-45; Deuteronomy 28:15-68
  • 29. 1 Chronicles 6:49; 2 Chronicles 24:9; Nehemiah 10:29
  • 30. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 31. [Psalms 82:2, 3]
  • 32. Jeremiah 39:16
  • 33. Ezekiel 5:9; [Lamentations 1:12]
  • 34. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 35. Hosea 7:10
  • 36. [Jeremiah 1:12]
  • 37. Nehemiah 9:33; See ver. 7
  • 38. ver. 10
  • 39. Exodus 32:11; [Exodus 6:1; Nehemiah 1:10]
  • 40. Exodus 14:18; Nehemiah 9:10
  • 41. See ver. 5
  • 42. Psalms 31:1; Psalms 71:2
  • 43. ver. 20; Daniel 11:45; Jeremiah 31:23; Zechariah 8:3
  • 44. Lamentations 1:5
  • 45. [Exodus 20:5]
  • 46. Lamentations 2:15, 16
  • 47. Psalms 44:13; Psalms 79:4; Ezekiel 36:4; Micah 6:16
  • 48. Numbers 6:25
  • 49. Lamentations 5:18
  • 50. 2 Kings 19:16; Isaiah 37:17
  • 51. ver. 26; See ver. 27
  • 52. Jeremiah 25:29
  • 53. Psalms 40:17; Psalms 70:5
  • 54. Psalms 25:11; Psalms 79:9
  • 55. [See ver. 18 above]
  • 56. Jeremiah 14:9
  • 57. Isaiah 65:24
  • 58. See ver. 16
  • 59. See Daniel 8:16
  • 60. See Daniel 8:18
  • 61. Exodus 29:39; [1 Kings 18:36; Ezra 9:4, 5]
  • 62. [Daniel 8:16]
  • 63. [Daniel 1:4, 17]
  • 64. [ver. 20]
  • 65. [Daniel 10:12, 14]
  • 66. Daniel 10:11, 19
  • 67. [Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14]
  • 68. [Ezekiel 4:6]
  • 69. Nehemiah 11:1
  • 70. Daniel 8:13
  • 71. [Psalms 78:38; Hebrews 2:17]; See Jeremiah 31:34
  • 72. Romans 3:25, 26; See Jeremiah 23:5, 6
  • 73. [Psalms 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:26, 27]
  • 74. [ver. 23]
  • 75. [2 Chronicles 36:23; Ezra 1:3; Ezra 4:24; Ezra 6:15; Neh. Ezra 6:15]
  • 76. [Psalms 51:18]
  • 77. John 1:41
  • 78. Isaiah 55:4
  • 79. See Neh. 4:7, 8, 16-18
  • 80. Isaiah 53:8; [Mark 9:12; Luke 24:26]
  • 81. [Matthew 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:43, 44]
  • 82. Nahum 1:8; [Daniel 11:10, 22, 26, 40]
  • 83. Matthew 24:6, 14
  • 84. ver. 18; See ver. 27
  • 85. Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; [Luke 21:20]
  • 86. Isaiah 10:23

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or our judges who judged us
  • [b]. Hebrew for the Lord's sake
  • [c]. Or sevens; also twice in verse 25 and once in verse 26
  • [d]. Or thing, or one
  • [e]. Or His
  • [f]. Or seven; twice in this verse

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.