Xerxes' son Darius, who was a Mede by birth, was made ruler of the kingdom of Babylon.
In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from the Scriptures the number of years that Jerusalem would remain in ruins. The LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah that Jerusalem would remain in ruins for 70 years.
So I turned to the Lord God and looked to him for help. I prayed, pleaded, and fasted in sackcloth and ashes.
I prayed to the LORD my God. I confessed and said, "Lord, you are great and deserve respect as the only God. You keep your promise and show mercy to those who love you and obey your commandments.
We have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from your commandments and laws.
We haven't listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, leaders, ancestors, and all the common people.
You, Lord, are righteous. But we--the men of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, and all the Israelites whom you scattered in countries near and far--are still ashamed because we have been unfaithful to you.
We, our kings, leaders, and ancestors are ashamed because we have sinned against you, LORD.
"But you, Lord our God, are compassionate and forgiving, although we have rebelled against you.
We never listened to you or lived by the teachings you gave us through your servants the prophets.
All Israel has ignored your teachings and refused to listen to you. So you brought on us the curses you swore in an oath, the curses written in the Teachings of your servant Moses. We sinned against you.
So you did what you said you would do to us and our rulers by bringing a great disaster on us. Nowhere in the world has anything ever happened like what has happened to Jerusalem.
This entire disaster happened to us, exactly as it was written in Moses' Teachings. LORD our God, we never tried to gain your favor by turning from our wrongs and dedicating ourselves to your truth.
So you were prepared to bring this disaster on us. LORD our God, you are righteous in everything you do. But we never listened to you.
"Lord our God, you brought your people out of Egypt with your strong hand and made yourself famous even today. We have sinned and done evil things.
Lord, since you are very righteous, turn your anger and fury away from your city, Jerusalem, your holy mountain. Jerusalem and your people are insulted by everyone around us because of our sins and the wicked things our ancestors did.
"Our God, listen to my prayer and request. For your own sake, Lord, look favorably on your holy place, which is lying in ruins.
Open your ears and listen, my God. Open your eyes and look at our ruins and at the city called by your name. We are not requesting this from you because we are righteous, but because you are very compassionate.
Listen to us, Lord. Forgive us, Lord. Pay attention, and act. Don't delay! Do this for your sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name."
I continued to pray, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel. I humbly placed my request about my God's holy mountain in front of the LORD my God.
While I was praying, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the first vision, came to me about the time of the evening sacrifice. He was exhausted.
He informed me, "Daniel, this time I have come to give you insight.
As soon as you began to make your request, a reply was sent. I have come to give you the reply because you are highly respected. So study the message, and understand the vision.
"Seventy sets of seven time periods have been assigned for your people and your holy city. These time periods will serve to bring an end to rebellion, to stop sin, to forgive wrongs, to usher in everlasting righteousness, to put a seal on a prophet's vision, and to anoint the Most Holy One.
Learn, then, and understand that from the time the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed prince comes, seven sets of seven time periods and sixty-two sets of seven time periods will pass. Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt with a city square and a moat during the troubles of those times.
But after the sixty-two sets of seven time periods, the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The city and the holy place will be destroyed with the prince who is to come. His end will come with a flood until the end of the destructive war that has been determined.
He will confirm his promise with many for one set of seven time periods. In the middle of the seven time periods, he will stop the sacrifices and food offerings. This will happen along with disgusting things that cause destruction until [those time periods] come to an end. It has been determined that this will happen to those who destroy [the city]."