Daniel 9 The Voice (VOICE)
9 Daniel: 1-2 In the first year that Darius the Mede (Ahasuerus’ son) ruled over the Babylonians, I, Daniel, was studying the word of the Eternal One according to the prophet Jeremiah and discovered in the scrolls the number of years that Jerusalem must lie desolate before it is restored, that is, seventy years.
Darius is a title and may refer to Cyrus about 539 b.c. or Artaxerxes I (Ahasuerus’ son) in 465 b.c.
3 After learning this, I turned to the Lord God, praying diligently, begging for His mercy, grieving and fasting in sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Eternal One my God, praising His greatness and confessing our sins: Lord God, You are great and awesome! You are always faithful to the covenant You made with us. Your unfailing love extends to all who love You and keep Your commandments. 5 But we have sinned and wronged You. We have acted wickedly in our rebellion, going so far as to disregard Your commandments and regulations. 6 We have ignored the message given through Your servants, the prophets, who spoke on Your behalf to our kings, princes, ancestors, indeed every last person of the land. 7 O Lord, You always do what is right. It is Your due, but we deserve nothing this day but public and open shame. The people of Judah, Jerusalem—indeed of all Israel, those who are in neighboring regions and those who are in the farthest reaches, driven into exile by You for all the treacherous acts they committed against You—we all deserve nothing but shame. 8 Eternal One, public and open shame is our due, for we have sinned against You, all of us, our kings, princes, and ancestors. 9 But You, O Lord our God, still show us compassion and forgiveness even though we have openly rebelled against You. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Eternal our God, for we have failed to live by the teachings You gave us directly through Your servants, the prophets. 11 All the people of Israel have abandoned Your teachings, deserted Your covenant, and refused to obey Your voice. This is why the curse and the oath inscribed in the law of Moses,[a] the servant of God, has been poured out on us—for we have sinned against You. 12 By unleashing on us this great calamity, You have carried out Your solemn words warning us and our leaders who led us astray. Under all of heaven, nothing like what happened to Jerusalem has ever happened before. 13 All the calamity that has befallen us fulfills the warnings written in Moses’ law; but despite our adversity, we have not sought the favor of the Eternal our God by walking away from our sins and pursuing insight into Your truth. 14 And now we have earned the misery that the Eternal has stored up for us. Truly, the Eternal our God was right to do all He has done, for we refused to obey His voice.
Daniel is just one man, yet he carries the sins of his nation to God and pleads with the Almighty to forgive and rescue His people. Their collective failures to live up to the covenant they made with God has scattered the chosen people to the four corners of the earth and have brought ruin to Jerusalem. After reading the prophet Jeremiah, Daniel knows that the calamity will not be over until God’s people come back to Him. With fasting and prayer, Daniel hopes to begin the process of restoration.
God’s covenant with Israel includes provisions for both blessings and curses. When the people follow God and keep His teaching, they can expect to live peacefully in the land God promised. But when the covenant people rebel against God and ignore His teaching, their actions—or lack of actions—bring into effect the curses. Daniel appeals to God’s own interest as the One who cares about His name and His reputation. The fate of Jerusalem and His people reflects on Him.
15 Now, Lord our God, You have made Your name great among the nations to this day by liberating Your enslaved people from the land of Egypt with powerful deeds; yet we have sinned against You, our Liberator, and we have acted wickedly. 16 Lord, the reputation of Your city Jerusalem has suffered, and Your people are mocked by those around us because we and our ancestors have done wrong. I beg You to spare Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; turn away Your burning anger and fiery wrath from Your people according to all Your covenant mercies. 17 Now, God, please hear the prayers and petitions voiced today by your servant. Shine Your face on Your destroyed and desolate sanctuary for the sake of Your name, my Lord. 18 Lend an ear, my God, and hear this prayer. Open Your eyes and see our deserted streets and witness the devastation across the city that bears Your name. We are crying to You and asking for mercy, not because we are righteous and deserve it. No, we bring these petitions to you because we know of Your great mercy. 19 Lord, hear our prayer! Lord, forgive our sins! Lord, pay attention to our plight and act without delay, not for our sake, my God, but for Yours because these people and this city bear Your name.
20 For much of the day I was pleading and praying, confessing my sin and the sins of my people Israel, presenting my case to the Eternal One my God on behalf of Jerusalem, His holy mountain. 21 About the time of the evening sacrifice, while I was still pleading and praying and almost completely exhausted, the man Gabriel, who had appeared to me in an earlier vision, appeared again and reached out to me.
Gabriel (to me): 22 Daniel, I have come for one purpose: to offer you insight and understanding into these matters. 23 When you began your pleading earlier today, a word was issued. I was instructed to come and tell you about it, for you are highly regarded by God. So pay close attention so you can understand the vision.
24 The decree has been issued: your people and your holy city have 70 sevens of time[b] to bring rebellion to a close, to put an end to sin, to wipe away guilt, to bring in a righteousness that endures, to seal up the prophet’s vision, and to anoint the most sacred place. 25 Know and understand this: from the proclamation of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the arrival of the Anointed Ruler, there will be 7 weeks of time. For 62 weeks of time the community will be restored, the city rebuilt with broad streets and deep defenses, even through times of trouble. 26 After those 62 weeks of time the Anointed One will be cut down and have nothing; then the warriors[c] of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and defile the sanctuary. Its end will come swiftly as in a flood and to the end there will be war. The decree has been issued: Desolation.
27 And that prince will make a binding treaty with many people for a one-week period of time. In the middle of that one period he will put a stop to all sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. And at the height[d] of his atrocities he will set up an abominable idol that desecrates the most holy place, until the desolation decreed is finally poured out on the defiler.[e]
Daniel 9 New International Version (NIV)
9 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]