Daniel’s Prayer for His People
1 In the first year of Darius the son of (a)Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the realm of the (b)Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem would end; and it was seventy years.(A) 3 So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and extends lovingkindness toward those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed wrong, and have behaved wickedly and have rebelled, turning away from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 Further, we have not listened to and heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us confusion and open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away, in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the [treacherous] acts of unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. 8 O Lord, to us belong confusion and open shame—to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers—because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and lovingkindness and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His laws which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, even turning aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us and the oath which is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.(B) 12 And He has carried out completely His [threatening] words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers [the kings, princes, and judges] who ruled us, to bring on us a great tragedy; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything [so dreadful] like that which [He commanded and] was done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this tragedy has come on us. Yet we have not wholeheartedly begged for forgiveness and sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our wickedness and paying attention to and placing value in Your truth.(C) 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the tragedy ready and has brought it on us, for the Lord our God is [uncompromisingly] righteous and openly just in all His works which He does—He keeps His word; and we have not obeyed His voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name, as it is today—we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16 O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous and just acts, please let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain. Because of our sins and the wickedness of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become an object of scorn and a contemptuous byword to all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, listen to (heed) the prayer of Your servant (c)(Daniel) and his supplications, and for Your own sake let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and look at our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You because of our own merits and righteousness, but because of Your great mercy and compassion. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
Gabriel Brings an Answer
20 While I was still speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer and (d)extremely exhausted, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me about the time of the evening sacrifice.(D) 22 He instructed me and he talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and wisdom and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications, the command [to give you an answer] was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly regarded and greatly beloved. Therefore consider the message and begin to understand the [meaning of the] vision.
Seventy Weeks and the Messiah
24 “Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] (e)have been decreed for your people and for your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make atonement (reconciliation) for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness (right-standing with God), to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. 25 So you are to know and understand that from the issuance of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Messiah (the Anointed One), the Prince, there will be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it will be built again, with [a city] plaza and moat, even in times of trouble. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks [of years] the Anointed One will be cut off [and denied His Messianic kingdom] and have nothing [and no one to defend Him], and the people of the [other] prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.(E) 27 And he will enter into a binding and irrevocable covenant with the many for one week (seven years), but in the middle of the week he will stop the sacrifice and grain offering [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until the complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who causes the horror.”
a. Daniel 9:1: Not the Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the book of Esther.
b. Daniel 9:1: See note 1:4.
c. Daniel 9:17: Compare this verse with Ezek 14:12-20.
d. Daniel 9:21: Lit wearied with weariness.
e. Daniel 9:24: I.e. cut off, decided, determined. This phrase occurs only here and indicates a period of time set aside for a certain purpose. The prophecy that follows pertains only to the Jews and Jerusalem. It records six objectives to be achieved by the Messiah. The first three are resolved by the death and resurrection of Jesus; the final three are resolved at His second coming.