|Daniel Chapter 9|
by Charles Dailey
(Black underlined words match words in the Bible text.)
|1) In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans,||– Events of this chapter were about one year after the last vision. Butler places it in 538 B.C. Matthew Henry thinks this happened before the lion's den event.||2) in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years whereof the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years.||– Daniel was a busy prime-minister, but had time to study God's Word. Such an example!
- books. Daniel had separate scrolls of the prophets. Daniel the prophet was not reluctant to consult another prophet.
- God had driven Israel out of their land for not keeping the Sabbatical year. Leviticus 26:34, 2 Chron. 36:21.
- See Jeremiah 25;11,12; 29:10. The vocabulary here is similar.
- Paul Butler dates the beginning of the 70 years with the capture of Jerusalem in 606 B.C. The time was about up.
|3) And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.||– Did Daniel look toward Jerusalem? That was part of the lion's den charges. His whole being was focused on God. Note that his attire matched his focus.||4) And I prayed unto Jehovah my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments,||– Nearly perfect Daniel does not pray for them, he prays for us. He includes himself with his countrymen.
- keepeth covenant. Israel had not kept covenant with the Lord.
|5) we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from thy precepts and from thine ordinances;||– The Message: "Yet we have sinned in every way imaginable. We've done evil things, rebelled, dodged and taken detours around your clearly marked paths."
- Daniel is clear that the sin was purposeful.
|6) neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, that spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.||– 2 Chronicles 36:16 summarizes Israel's treatment of the prophets that God had sent to warn them.
- The failure was not maladjustment, lack of education or any other excuse from the pop-psychology manual. It was sin and the nation had to repent. 9:8.
|7) O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.||– Daniel acknowledges that God is right in keeping his warnings such as in Deuteronomy 28.
- Confusion of face is shame. So in The Message and Living Prophecies.
- far off probably refers to those still in Assyria. They had been in captivity for about 200 years.
- Daniel does not lay the dispersion of Israel to military weakness, but to the power of God to punish sin.
|8) O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.||– The Message reads: "Oh yes, GOD, we've been exposed in our shame, all of us--our kings, leaders, parents--before the whole world. And deservedly so, because of our sin."||9) To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him;||– God's mercy and forgiveness is shown in even dealing with Israel.||10) neither have we obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.||– When Israel did not follow the Law of Moses in later generations, God sent prophets to call them to obedience. But they did not heed.||11) Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even turning aside, that they should not obey thy voice: therefore hath the curse been poured out upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for we have sinned against him.||– The Message of Deut. 29:20: "GOD won't let him off the hook. GOD's anger and jealousy will erupt like a volcano against that person. The curses written in this book will bury him. GOD will delete his name from the records. 21 GOD will separate him out from all the tribes of Israel for special punishment, according to all the curses of the Covenant written in this Book of Revelation."||12) And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil; for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.||– The confirmation of God's word spoken in Deuteronomy is seen in the great calamity that has befallen Jerusalem.
- No other nation in history has suffered the degradation heaped on Israel. See comment below.
|13) As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet have we not entreated the favor of Jehovah our God, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in thy truth.||– The writings of Moses are clearly the word of God.
- Paul Butler writes: Just one illustration of such unparalleled degradation is in Deut. 28:53-57 where it is predicted that as a consequence of disobedience to God's law the covenant people will actually be driven to eat the flesh of their own children! It was fulfilled literally in 1 Kings 6:24-31 for Israel and in Jeremiah 19:9 for Judah! God means what He says!
|14) Therefore hath Jehovah watched over the evil, and brought it upon us; for Jehovah our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth, and we have not obeyed his voice.||15) And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.||– Daniel begins his entreaty to God.
- He speaks of history: God has saved his people from Egypt, but this bondage is also because of the nation's sin.
|16) O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, let thine anger and thy wrath, I pray thee, be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are round about us.||– Request #1 is for Jerusalem.
- Daniel is concerned that the nation has not sufficiently repented for God to send them back to Jerusalem. Daniel asks that God's wrath be turned away from thy city Jerusalem. Later, in verse 24, Gabriel will call it Daniel's city.
- The Message: "We know it's our fault that this has happened, all because of our sins and our parents' sins, and now we're an embarrassment to everyone around us. We're a blot on the neighborhood. 17 So listen, God, to this determined prayer of your servant. Have mercy on your ruined Sanctuary. Act out of who you are, not out of what we are."
|17) Now therefore, O our God, hearken unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.||– Request #2 is for the sanctuary - the temple.
- Daniel's impassioned prayer was answered. He had been in Babylon for 68 years. He must have been in his 80s.
|18) O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies' sake.||– Daniel prays the same prayer in several ways, asking God to make the requested changes, not because Israel was worthy, but to demonstrate his great mercy toward his people.||19) O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name.||– The Message: "Master, listen to us! Master, forgive us! Master, look at us and do something! Master, don't put us off! Your city and your people are named after you: You have a stake in us!"||20) And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Jehovah my God for the holy mountain of my God;||– Daniel's impassioned prayer was answered almost instantly. God responds to some prayer with a "no" and to some with a different time schedule than we have. But Daniel did not have to wait to learn about God's plan for Israel.||21) yea, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.||– Gabriel had been introduced in 8:16.
- This angel was like a man, but could fly. Perhaps he had just arrived from the throne of God.
- Touched to get his attention.
- This was an evening visitation from Gabriel. (3 pm)
|22) And he instructed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee wisdom and understanding.||– Daniel was already gifted with wisdom and understanding. 1:20. God was going to add more.||23) At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.||– God provided a glimpse of the future to Gabriel at the very beginning of Daniel's prayer time. This brought Gabriel to Daniel's side.
- It is remarkable that Daniel is greatly loved by God.
- Even with the plans for the future Jerusalem and the temple, it takes consideration to understand the answer.
|24) Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.||– Israel had been captive for 70 years. Now a period of seventy sevens (heptads) is in their future and the future of Jerusalem, the holy city. Matthew 27:53.
- to finish transgression. Israel is sinning and will bring it to culmination within the 70 weeks. Matthew 23:32.
- to make an end of sins. To seal up sin.
- reconciliation. These last two phrases point to the work of the Messiah. Romans 1:16,17.
|25) Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.||– There were several such commandments. See Ezra 1:1-8; 6:14; 7:11. It seems that the timing given here works best with the one in 7:11. See chart on the next page.
- The anointed one appears only here and in Psalm 2:2. This is the word for Christ (Messiah) that appears in the New Testament. He is also a prince. Acts 3:15.
- Two successive blocks of time are given, seven weeks followed by 62 weeks. The first one relates to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
|26) And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.||– After the second block of time, the Messiah is to be cut off speaks of violent death. Isaiah 53:8.
- shall have nothing meaning he will die without children.
- The people of the prince that shall come (General Titus) shall destroy the rebuilt city and the rebuilt temple. There will be a great war, but the outcome has been settled in heaven. See Jesus at: Luke 21:20; 23:28;
- A flood in figurative language is an army. Isaiah 8:7-8
- Jesus referred to this verse in Matthew 24:15.
|27) And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate.||– Jesus used the week to define and confirm a new covenant. In the first part of the week he confirmed the covenant and in the second part he supervised the invitation for the lost to be a part of the covenant. Heb.10:4-9.
- The death of Jesus was in the midst of the final seven year period.
- This other prince will make Jerusalem desolate and it will have a full end. All Jews were removed and not allowed to view the location for more than 30 years. The end of the world is not in view.
- These choices have already been determined in heaven. God's wrath is certain.
|The Next Chapter||
The questions raised in Daniel 9 are of extreme importance to believers now. The ancient view of the church is approximately the same as the one that I have set forth in the diagram at the top of the page. There is some variation about the ending point of the last 3½ years, but we are not aware of any early writers who believed in a gap such as the diagram directly above.
Excerpts are from Fred P. Miller's book, Revelation: a Panorama of the Gospel Age
|The Next Chapter|