Daniel 9; Daniel 10

1 These things happened during the first year Darius son of Xerxes was king over Babylon. He was a descendant of the Medes. 2 During Darius' first year as king, I, Daniel, was reading the Scriptures. I saw that the Lord told Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be empty ruins for seventy years. 3 Then I turned to the Lord God and prayed and asked him for help. I did not eat any food. To show my sadness, I put on rough cloth and sat in ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and told him about all of our sins. I said, "Lord, you are a great God who causes fear and wonder. You keep your agreement of love with all who love you and obey your commands. 5 "But we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned against you, your commands, and your laws. 6 We did not listen to your servants, the prophets, who spoke for you to our kings, our leaders, our ancestors, and all the people of the land. 7 "Lord, you are good and right, but we are full of shame today -- the people of Judah and Jerusalem, all the people of Israel, those near and far whom you scattered among many nations because they were not loyal to you. 8 Lord, we are all ashamed. Our kings and leaders and our fathers are ashamed, because we have sinned against you. 9 "But, Lord our God, you show us mercy and forgive us even though we have turned against you. 10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God or the teachings he gave us through his servants, the prophets. 11 All the people of Israel have disobeyed your teachings and have turned away, refusing to obey you. So you brought on us the curses and promises of punishment written in the Teachings of Moses, the servant of God, because we sinned against you. 12 "You said these things would happen to us and our leaders, and you made them happen; you brought on us a great disaster. Nothing has ever been done on earth like what was done to Jerusalem. 13 All this disaster came to us just as it is written in the Teachings of Moses. But we have not pleaded with the Lord our God. We have not stopped sinning. We have not paid attention to your truth. 14 The Lord was ready to bring the disaster on us, and he did it because the Lord our God is right in everything he does. But we still did not obey him. 15 "Lord our God, you used your power and brought us out of Egypt. Because of that, your name is known even today. But we have sinned and have done wrong. 16 Lord, you do what is right, but please do not be angry with Jerusalem, your city on your holy hill. Because of our sins and the evil things done by our ancestors, people all around insult and make fun of Jerusalem and your people. 17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers of your servant. Listen to my prayer for help, and for your sake do good things for your holy place that is in ruins. 18 My God, pay attention and hear me. Open your eyes and see all the terrible things that have happened to us. See how our lives have been ruined and what has happened to the city that is called by your name. We do not ask these things because we are good; instead, we ask because of your mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear us and do something! For your sake, don't wait, because your city and your people are called by your name." 20 While I was saying these things in my prayer to the Lord, my God, confessing my sins and the sins of the people of Israel and praying for God's holy hill, 21 Gabriel came to me. (I had seen him in my last vision.) He came flying quickly to me about the time of the evening sacrifice, while I was still praying. 22 He taught me and said to me, "Daniel, I have come to give you wisdom and to help you understand. 23 When you first started praying, an answer was given, and I came to tell you, because God loves you very much. So think about the message and understand the vision. 24 "God has ordered four hundred ninety years for your people and your holy city for these reasons: to stop people from turning against God; to put an end to sin; to take away evil; to bring in goodness that continues forever; to bring about the vision and prophecy; and to appoint a most holy place. 25 "Learn and understand these things. A command will come to rebuild Jerusalem. The time from this command until the appointed leader comes will be forty-nine years and four hundred thirty-four years. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and a trench filled with water around it, but it will be built in times of trouble. 26 After the four hundred thirty-four years the appointed leader will be killed; he will have nothing. The people of the leader who is to come will destroy the city and the holy place. The end of the city will come like a flood, and war will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed. 27 That leader will make firm an agreement with many people for seven years. He will stop the offerings and sacrifices after three and one-half years. A destroyer will do terrible things until the ordered end comes to the destroyed city."
1 During Cyrus' third year as king of Persia, Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, received a vision about a great war. It was a true message that Daniel understood. 2 At that time I, Daniel, had been very sad for three weeks. 3 I did not eat any fancy food or meat, or drink any wine, or use any perfumed oil for three weeks. 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was standing beside the great Tigris River. 5 While standing there, I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothes with a belt of fine gold wrapped around his waist. 6 His body was like shiny yellow quartz. His face was bright like lightning, and his eyes were like fire. His arms and legs were shiny like polished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a crowd. 7 I, Daniel, was the only person who saw the vision. The men with me did not see it, because they were so frightened that they ran away and hid. 8 So I was left alone, watching this great vision. I lost my strength, my face turned white like a dead person, and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard the man in the vision speaking. As I listened, I fell into a deep sleep with my face on the ground. 10 Then a hand touched me and set me on my hands and knees. I was so afraid that I was shaking. 11 The man in the vision said to me, "Daniel, God loves you very much. Think carefully about the words I will speak to you, and stand up, because I have been sent to you." When he said this, I stood up, but I was still shaking. 12 Then the man said to me, "Daniel, do not be afraid. Some time ago you decided to get understanding and to humble yourself before your God. Since that time God has listened to you, and I have come because of your prayers. 13 But the prince of Persia has been fighting against me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the most important angels, came to help me, because I had been left there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people, because the vision is about a time in the future." 15 While he was speaking to me, I bowed facedown and could not speak. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, so I opened my mouth and started to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, "Master, I am upset and afraid because of what I saw in the vision. I feel helpless. 17 Master, how can I, your servant, talk with you? My strength is gone, and it is hard for me to breathe." 18 The one who looked like a man touched me again and gave me strength. 19 He said, "Daniel, don't be afraid. God loves you very much. Peace be with you. Be strong now; be courageous." When he spoke to me, I became stronger and said, "Master, speak, since you have given me strength." 20 Then he said, "Daniel, do you know why I have come to you? Soon I must go back to fight against the prince of Persia. When I go, the prince of Greece will come, 21 but I must first tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. No one stands with me against these enemies except Michael, the angel ruling over your people.
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