Daniel 9

This chapter is entirely taken up by Daniel’s prayer and prophecy.

v. 2 Daniel is reading from the book of Jeremiah.

He prophesied that the desolation of Jerusalem would be fulfilled in seventy years.

Jeremiah wrote his prophecies in the closing days of Jerusalem before its destruction by the Babylonians. He predicted 70 years of captivity. The prophet had been taken captive at this time and carried off to Egypt where he died and is buried in a nameless grave.

The timeless Scriptures which he wrote found their way across the desert and mountains to far away Babylon and fell into the hands of Daniel.

As Daniel read these prophecies he realized that the seventy years had about run their course. 67 years to be exact.

Jeremiah prophesied: “This whole land shall be desolate and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass when seventy years are accomplished that I will punish the “king of Babylon and that nation, saith the Lord for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeons, and will make it perpetual desolation.” 25:11, 12.

Daniel’s preparation for prayer. V. 3-4

When Daniel realized that the time of captivity had almost run its course, and the return to Jerusalem was imminent, he was disturbed as to the spiritual condition of the nation. They had been absorbed into the life of Babylon, many had adopted its ways and worship and were totally unprepared for the return to Jerusalem.

He turned to prayer.

This is a description of real prayer.

1. Daniel turned from other things to concentrate on his prayer … “I set my face unto the Lord God.”

2. He fasted … he would not be divested from prayer by food.

3. He put on sackcloth … speaking of abject need.

4. Ashes … the traditional symbol of grief and humility.

Daniel left nothing undone that would make his prayer more effective or more persuasive.

Effective prayer requires (1) faith in the Word of God, (2) proper attitude of mind and heart, (3) privancy, (4) and unhurried confession and petition.

Humility, reverence and earnestness are the hallmarks of effective prayer.

Daniel’s prayer of confession. V. 5-14

At a glance we see how Daniel identifies himself with the nation’s in, rebellion, transgression and general wickedness. Though he had no part in them.

Of all the Bible characters, Daniel appears to be the purest.

The failures of Abraham, Moses, Aaron, David and others are recorded, but Daniel appears without flaw in his character.

Despite this note the words of this aged saint.

“We have sinned … we hearkened not unto thy servants … we have rebelled against The … neither have we obeyed your voice … we have sinned and done wickedly …

Oh the grandeur of the stature of this holy aged prophet = Christ.

This is the way to blessing.

The interrupted prayer. V. 20-23.

Daniel was not permitted to finish his prayer.

Suddenly Gabriel stood before him.

He informed him that he had come to give him skill and understanding.

He addresses him as “greatly blessed”.

Then he tells Daniel that when he began his supplications, he, Gabriel, received the command to fly swiftly and bring Daniel the answers to his prayer.

This brings up an interesting question, How far, as how near is heaven?

Astronomy tells us of the immeasurable depths of the universe.

And beyond the most distant constellations there is the Heaven of heavens, where God site on His throne in all his glory.

Yet to the Christian heaven is not far away.

Before Daniel was finished praying Gabriel was at the intercessors side. This is inconceivable speed.

Beloved heaven is not far away.

There is no distance with God.

The moment we raise our voice in earnest prayer, in the Spirit, and in the Lord’s name our prayer are heard in heaven.

The Lord’s answer to Daniel’s prayer. V. 20-27

This one of the most important prophecies in the O.T.

v. 20-23 Gabriel appears to Daniel to give him skill and understanding of the revelation about to follow. The over-all picture is given in vs. 24-27.

v. 24 The prophecy as a whole is presented here.

v. 25 Describes the first 69 weeks.

v. 26 Describes some events which will take place between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week.

v. 27 Describes the final period of the seventieth week.

This prophecy has to do with Daniel’s people and Daniel’s city. It is the revelation of the entire future of Israel from the end of the Babylonian captivity to the time of the end, when they will be delivered by the return to earth of the Lord Jesus.

What is the seventy weeks?

The literal translation of this is “seventy sevens.”

From a host of evidence the sevens means “years”.

So then, Gabriel revealed to Daniel what would take place regarding Israel in a period of 490 years. Not necessarily running consecutively.

v. 24 Describes the great things which are to be accomplished during this time.

1. to finish the transgression

2. to make an end of sin

3. to make reconciliation for iniquity

4. to bring in everlasting righteousness

5. to seal up the vision and prophecy

6. to anoint the most Holy.

v. 25 shows the division of the seventy weeks.

These are the parts

The first consists of 49 years. The second 434 years. The third 7 years and is still future.

This prophecy started with the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.

From this time to Messiah the Prince there will be 49 years plus 434 years making a total of 483 years.

Nehemiah 2 tells us when this commandment was given the 20th year of Artaxerxes which was 445 B.C. The month Nisan.

History shows that it took 49 years to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.

Then the prophet writes that after 434 years, Messiah would be cut off.

Exactly 434 years after Jerusalem was rebuilt the Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem presenting Himself as the Messiah, a few days later he was “cut off” = crucified.

Then a prince shall come and destroy the city. A.D. 70.