Daniel Chapter Nine

Prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years

Context (vv. 1-2)

VERSE 1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans (~yDIf.K; tWkl.m; l[; %l;m.h' rv,a] yd'm' [r;Z<mi vArwEv.x;a]-!B, vw<y"r>d'l. tx;a; tn:v.Bi [prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. shanah year + adj.f.s.abs. echad one + prep lamedh w/proper noun Darius + noun m.s.constr. ben son + proper noun Ahasuerus + prep min from w/noun m.s.abs. zera seed; "descent" + proper noun Mede + rel pro asher + hophal perf.3m.s. malak be king; "made king" + prep al over + noun f.s.constr. malkuth sovereignty; "kingdom" + proper noun Chaldean])ó

VERSE 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel (laYEnID' ynIa] Akl.m'l. tx;a; tn:v.Bi [prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. shanah year + adj.f.s.abs. echad one + prep lamedh w/qal infin.constr.w/3m.s.suff. malak become king; "of his reign" + pro ani I + proper noun Daniel], observed in the books the number of the years [~ynIV'h; rP;s.mi ~yrIp'S.B; ytinOyBi [qal perf.1c.s. bin understand; "observed" + prep beth w/noun m.p.abs. seper book; sopher = "scribe" + noun m.s.constr. misephar number + def.art.w/noun f.p.abs. shanah year] which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet [aybiN"h; hy"mir>yI-la, hw"hy>-rb;d> hy"h' rv,a] [re lasher + qal perf.3m.s. hayah to be; "was" + noun m.s.constr. dabar word + proper noun Yahweh + prep el to + proper noun abs. Jeremiah + def.art.w/noun m.s.abs. nabi prophet, spokesman] for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem namely, seventy years [hn"v' ~y[ib.vi ~l;iv'Wry> tAbr>x'l. twaL{m;l. [prep lamedh w/piel infin.constr. male to complete, fill, be full + prep lamedh w/noun f.p.constr. charebah desolation + proper noun Jerusalem + adj.m.p.abs. shib-im seventy + noun f.s.abs. shanah year]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 1-2

  1. "In the 1st year of Darius" = 538/9 BC, which is 67 years after Daniel and the 1st group of captives were taken to Babylon (605 BC).
  2. This is the Darius of chapter 6.
  3. He was responsible to administer the Babylonian territories under Cyrus the Great.
  4. Daniel as a consequence of the events in chapter 6 was Dariusí viceroy (cf. 6:3, 28).
  5. Somehow Daniel came in possession of the Book of Jeremiah who had died in Egypt a couple of decades prior to this.
  6. Jeremiahís ministry after the fall of Jerusalem included a brief stint with the Jews still remaining in the land and he finished his ministry to those same Jews who fled to Egypt (Jer.39:11-45:5).
  7. Jeremiahís secretary Baruch somehow got a copy (or the original) to the Jewish community in Babylon.
  8. It would seem logical that he would do so considering his understanding of the doctrine of the Babylonian captivity and its duration.
  9. The future was with the Jews in Babylon.
  10. Baruch was told that his life would be spared (Jer.45:5).
  11. Jeremiah died in Egypt.
  12. In any event, Daniel came into possession of Jeremiahís prophecy (he was the prominent prophet in the land when Daniel was taken into captivity).
  13. He recognized the book as inspired and was studying its contents when he came across a prophecy in the middle of the book which specified the length of the Babylonian captivity.
  14. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt and administered Godís wrath upon the disobedient remnant in 568-567 BC (after his chapter 4 episode; c. 583; Neb died in 556).
  15. Egypt was humiliated and added to Nebs Empire.
  16. Somehow Jeremiahís scrolls found their way to Babylon (perhaps Baruch returned with Neb to Babylon. Neb was well aware of Jeremiah and at this time Neb was a believer.).
  17. Daniel came to understand for the first time that the Jews would be in Babylon for just 70 years  no more, no less.
  18. The passages from Jeremiah that affirm this are Jer.25:11-13 and 29:10: "When the 70 years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place".
  19. Daniel knew from Isaiahís prophecy of the rise and career of Cyrus the Persian that he would permit the Jews to return to their land.
  20. In the 7th century BC during the reign of King Manasseh Isaiah was told: "It is I who says of Cyrus, ĎHe is My shepherd! And he shall perform all My desire.í And he declares of Jerusalem, ĎShe will be rebuilt,í And of the temple, ĎYour foundation will be laid."" (Isa.44:28).
  21. Again, in 45:1-2 we read: "Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him and to loose the loins of kings, to open doors so that gates will not be shut: "I will go before you and make rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut the bars of iron."
  22. Daniel must have been stirred up when he first heard reports of the young king of Anshan, Persian, who brilliantly overthrew his uncle Astyages in battle and made himself master of the entire Medo-Persian domain.
  23. When Cyrus finally launched his invasion of Mesopotamia and laid siege to Babylon itself, Daniel must have been excited as seeing prophecy fulfilled.
  24. Isaiah specified that Cyrus would set the captives free (45:13): "I have aroused him in righteousness and I will make all his ways smooth; he will build My city and will let My exiles go free, not for price or reward," says the LORD of the armies.
  25. Now with the information from Jeremiah Daniel had a time frame in which to work.
  26. Daniel only had to determine, "When did these 70 years begin?"
  27. Now since this episode took place in 539 ("the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus [Xerxes], less that fifty years had elapsed since the fall of Jerusalem in 587 or the destruction of the Temple in 586.
  28. But for the earliest possible terminus a quo for the 70 years of exile, the year of Danielís own captivity in Babylon (605), the elapsed time would leave only three or four years until Danielís people could leave.
  29. From the time Daniel learned of the impending departure of his people to that actual end of the 70 years was a mere four years.
  30. The Jews left Babylon in 535 BC.
  31. This understanding and his awareness of the need for his people to confess their sins in captivity in order for God to act on their behalf was the basis for his prayer that follows in vv. 3-19.
  32. Effective prayer is based on knowledge of Bible doctrine.

Prayer for Restoration (vv. 3-19)

VERSE 3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (rp,aew" qf;w> ~AcB. ~ynIWnx]t;w> hL'piT. vQeb;l. ~yhil{a/h' yn"doa]-la, yn:P'-ta, hn"T.a,w" [waw w/qal impf.1c.s. nathan + d.o.marker + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.s.suff. paneh face; "my attention" + prep el to + proper noun adon Lord + art.w/noun m.p.abs. elohim God + prep lamedh w/piel infin.constr. baqash to seek + noun f.s.abs. tepillah prayer + waw w/noun m.p.abs. tachanun supplication; cp. chin = grace + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. tsom fasting + waw w/noun m.s.abs. saq sackcloth + waw w/noun m.s.abs. eper ashes]).

Address (v.4)

VERSE 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said (hr'm.aow" hD,w:t.a,w" yh;l{a/ hw"hyl; hl'l.P;t.a,w" [waw w/hithpael impf.1c.s. palal pray, intercede + prep lamedh w/proper noun Yahweh + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.s.suff. elohim God + waw w/hithpael impf.1c.s yadah confess + waw w/qal impf.1c.s. amar say], "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness [ds,x,h;w> tyrIB.h; rmevo ar'ANh;w> lAdG"h; laeh' yn"doa] aN"a [interj anna ah now; "Alas" + proper noun adon Lord + art.w/noun m.s.abs. el God + art. w/adj.m.s.abs. gadol great + waw w/art.w/niphal part.m.s.abs. yare fear; "awesome" + qal part.m.s.abs. shamar keep + art.w/noun f.s.abs. berith covenant + waw w/art.w/noun m.s.abs. chesed loyal-love; "lovingkindness"] for those who love Him and keep His commandments [wyt'wOc.mi yrem.vol.W wyb'h]aol. [prep lamedh w/qal part.m.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. aheb love + waw w/qal part.m.p.constr. shamar keep + noun f.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. mitswah commandment],

ANALYSIS: VERSES 3-4

  1. Daniel begins his prayer for the restoration of the Jewish homeland with overt acts of contrition and humiliation (v.3).
  2. Prayer involves giving oneís attention or concentration toward God.
  3. The content is described by two words: "prayer" denoting the general word, and "supplication" denoting intense intercession based on difficult circumstances.
  4. Danielís fasting (going without normal food and drink), sackcloth and ashes also demonstrate the dire circumstances and the total helpless of the petitioner.
  5. His desire is to make the prayer as effective as possible considering the large demands he is making upon his God.
  6. Danielís prayer consists mainly of confession but also includes petition for restoration of the Jewish fortunes.
  7. He addresses his God as being "great and awe-inspiring."
  8. He recognizes the supremacy of his God based on His attributes and His past displays of power toward the needy.
  9. The first simple term "great" points to Godís sublime transcendence.
  10. He further addresses his God as the one who "keeps His covenant and loyal-love."
  11. The covenant in view here is Israelís national covenant made with the nation at Sinai.
  12. The Mosaic Covenant and the extreme violation of its commandments is the reason Danielís people were dispersed among the nations.
  13. The primary covenant term to portray Godís posture toward the race is chesed translated lovingkindness in the versions.
  14. It underscores Godís devotion and love for the people of His own choosing.
  15. This term places emphasis on Godís promise-keeping nature with respect to His covenant.
  16. The blessings of the covenant which the Jewish people had forfeited were still available at this juncture.
  17. All that was required for a reversal of fortunes was repentance and confession in captivity.
  18. Daniel fully recognized that genuine demonstration of love of God was contingent upon obedience to the commandments.
  19. The greatest commandment of the some 613 commandments was to "love the LORD your GodÖ."
  20. But the level of compliance for the individual and the corporate race was based on keeping all the commandments (Deut.6:1ff.).
  21. This same formula holds true in this dispensation (Jn.14:21): "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved of My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
  22. Daniel fully realized that Godís chosen people had forfeited all claim to any merit or righteousness as the basis for release from their predicament.
  23. While Daniel was an exception he nevertheless fully identified himself with the sins of his people and took up the overt posture of an undeserving supplicant.
  24. It is also of interest to note that for the first time in this chapter Daniel used the sacred Tetragrammaton, the covenant name of Yahweh (tr. LORD, v.2 and the preamble of v.4).

Confession (vv. 5-11)

VERSE 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled (Wnd>r'm'W ÎWn[.v;r>hiÐ ŅWn[.v;r>hiw>À WnywI['w> Wnaj'x' [qal perf.1c.p. chata miss the mark, sin + waw w/qal perf.1c.p. awah twist, distort; "committed iniquity" + waw w/hiphil perf.1c.p rasha act wickedly/criminally + waw w/qal perf.1c.p. marad rebel], even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances [waw w/qal infin.abs. sur turn aside, deviate + prep min from w/noun f.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. mitsewah commandment + waw w/prep min w/noun m.p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. mishpat ordinance, justice]).

VERSE 6 "Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets (~yaiybiN>h; ^yd,b'[]-la, Wn[.m;v' al{w> [waw w/neg. lo + qal perf.1c.p. shama hear, listen + prep el + noun m.p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. eber servant + art.w/noun m.p.abs. nabi prophet, spokesman], who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land [#r,a'h' ~[;-lK' la,w> Wnyteboa]w: Wnyref' Wnykel'm.-la, ^m.viB. WrB.DI rv,a] [rel asher who + piel perf.3c.p. dabar speak + prep beth w/noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. shem name + prep el to + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. melek king + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. sar prince + waw w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. ab father + waw w/prep el to + noun m.s.constr. kol all + noun m.s.abs. am people + art.w/noun both s.abs. eretz land]).

VERSE 7 "Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day (hZ<h; ~AYK; ~ynIP'h; tv,Bo Wnl'w> hq'd'C.h; yn"doa] ^l. [prep lamedh to w/2m.s.suff. you + proper noun adonai Lord + art.w/noun f.s.abs. tsedaqah righteousness + waw w/prep lamedh "but to us" + noun f.s.abs. bosheth shame + art.w.noun m.p.abs. paneh face; "open" + prep kaph w/noun m.s.abs. yom day + art.w/adj.m.s.abs. zeh this]-- to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel [laer'f.yI-lk'l.W ~l;iv'Wry> ybev.Ayl.W hd'Why> vyail. [prep lamedh w/noun m.s.abs. ish man + proper noun yehudah Judah + waw w/prep. lamedh w/qal part.m.p.abs. dwell; "inhabitants" + proper noun Jerusalem + waw w/prep lamedh w/noun m.s.constr. kol all + proper noun Israel], those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them [~v' ~T'x.D;hi rv,a] tAcr'a]h'-lk'B. ~yqixor>h'w> ~ybiroQ.h; [art.w/adj.m.p.abs. qarob near + waw w/art.w/adj.m.p.abs. rachoq far + prep beth w/noun m.s.constr. kol all + art.w/noun f.p.abs. eretz land + rel asher which + hiphil perf.2m.s.w/3m.p.abs. nadach banish, drive away + adv sham there], because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You [%b'-Wl[]m' rv,a] ~l'[]m;B. [prep beth w/noun m.s.constr.w/3m.p.suff. ma-al transpress (as in break covenant) + rel asher which + qal perf.3p. ma-al trespass; "commit" + prep beth w/2m.s.suff.]).

VERSE 8 "Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers (Wnyteboa]l;w> Wnyref'l. Wnykel'm.li ~ynIP'h; tv,Bo Wnl' hw"hy> [proper noun Yahweh + prep lamedh w/1c.p.suff. "belongs to us" + noun f.s.abs. bosheth shame + art.w/noun m.p.abs. paneh face; "open" + prep lamedh w/noun m.p.constr. melek + prep lamedh w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. shar prince + waw w/prep lamedh w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. ab father], because we have sinned against You [%l' Wnaj'x' rv,a] [re lasher; "because" or "in that" + qal perf.1c.p. chata sin + prep lamedh w/2m.s.suff. "against You"]).

VERSE 9 "To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him (AB Wnd>r;m' yKi tAxliS.h;w> ~ymix]r;h' Wnyhel{a/ yn"doal; [prep lamedh w/proper noun adonai, Lord + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. elohim, God + art.w/noun m.p.abs. rachamim compassion + waw w/art.w/noun f.p.abs. selichah forgiveness; vb. salach to forgive + part ki for + qal perf.1c.p. marad rebel + prep beth w/3m.s.suff. "against Him"]);

VERSE10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God (Wnyhel{a/ hw"hy> lAqB. Wn[.m;v' al{w> [waw w/neg. lo + qal perf.1c.p. shama hear; "obeyed" + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. qol voice + proper noun Yahweh + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. Elohim], to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets [~yaiybiN>h; wyd'b'[] dy:B. WnynEp'l. !t;n" rv,a] wyt'roAtB. tk,l,l' [prep lamedh w/qal infin.constr. halak walk (e.g., "apply") + prep beth w/noun f.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. torah law; "teachings" + re lasher which + qal perf.3m.s. nathan give; "set" + prep lamedh w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. paneh face; "before us" + prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. yadh power; "through" + noun m.p.constr/w/3m.s.suff. ebed servant + art.w/noun m.p.abs. nabi prophet]).

VERSE 11 "Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside (^t,r'AT-ta, Wrb.[' laer'f.yI-lk'w> [waw w/noun m.s.constr. kol all + proper noun Israel + qal perf.3p. abar pass over, transgress + d.o. marker + noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. torah + waw w/qal infin.abs. sur turn aside], not obeying Your voice [^l,qoB. [;Amv. yTil.bil. [prep lamedh w/part belet not + qal infin.constr. shama hear; "obeying"]; so the curse has been poured out on us [Wnyle[' %T;Tiw:. ^l,qoB. [prep beth w/noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. qol voice; "curse" + waw w/qal impf.3f.s. nathan give; "poured out" + prep al upon w/1c.p.suff. "on us"], along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him [Al Wnaj'x' yKi ~yhil{a/h'-db,[, hv,mo tr;AtB. hb'WtK. rv,a] h['buV.h;w> hl'a'h' [art.w/noun f.s.abs. alah "along with" + waw art.w/noun f.s.abs. shebu-ah oath + rel. asher + qal pass.part.m.s.abs. katab write + prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. torah law + proper noun Moses + noun m.s.constr. eber servant + art.w/noun m.p.abs. Elohim + part ki for + qal perf.1c.p. chata sin + prep lamedh w/3m.s.suff.]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 5-11

  1. After extolling the character and essence of the God of Israel Daniel confesses the waywardness of his people.
  2. Daniel deduced from the prophecy of the 70 year captivity that the Jews in Babylon were on the verge of restoration to their sacred homeland.
  3. If God had promised through the prophet Jeremiah that the people were going to be restored to the land of promise then it meant that they were going to confess (and repent) of their sins so as to be qualified to leave the land of their captivity as per the requirement of the Mosaic Covenant.
  4. This was an obvious deduction based on the doctrine Daniel knew.
  5. He was of course fully aware of Deut.30:1ff. and Lev.26:40-46.
  6. The confession that follows is Danielís application based on his study of Scripture and his knowledge of the requirements for restoration.
  7. In v.5 he employs a series of synonyms for STA activity on the part of his people while living in the land.
  8. "We have sinned" is the most basic term denoting the missing of the mark as when an archer misses his target.
  9. The next term "committed iniquity" denotes that which is twisted or bent.
  10. Our term perversion best represents the idea.
  11. The next term "acted wickedly" points to the criminality of the people with respect to the Law.
  12. "Rebelled" indicates rejection of Godís sovereignty.
  13. The final phrase of v.5, "even by turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances" quantifies the actions of the four previous verbs (all perfects).
  14. The qal infinitive "even turning aside" represents the negative volition of the Jews with respect to the contents of the Law which led to all the STA activity suggested by the four previous verbs.
  15. Here the Law of Moses is referred to with respect to its particulars as "commandments and ordinances."
  16. The first noun, "commandments" (mitswah) indicates authority and the second translated "ordinances" (mishpat) is better translated "judgments" and places emphasis on the justice behind the particular commandment.
  17. In v.6 Daniel confesses the sin of rejection of the Hebrew prophets sent periodically to call the nation back to God.
  18. The people were guilty of "not listening" to the prophets.
  19. All classes of society were guilty of rejection of Godís call to reversion recovery.
  20. "Kings and princes" are a single class and represent the ruling elite.
  21. "Fathers and all the people" encompass all the rest of Jewish society.
  22. Prophets were sent to all these classes but in the decades leading up to the 5th cycle there was no widespread response and the nation continued in spiritual decline with all the attendant miseries.
  23. Verses 7-11a stress the humiliation of the Hebrew people in the eyes of the heathen.
  24. Daniel ascribes absolute righteousness to Israelís God, who through all the Jewish unfaithfulness remains true to His perfect character.
  25. But contrast the Jews faced "open shame" before the nations at large.
  26. Back in the days of Moses, it was said of them: "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession" (Deut.7:6).
  27. He had promised them military success so long as they remained faithful to Him: "The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you" (Deut.28:7).
  28. They would enjoy the respect of all the nations around them: "Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you" (Deut.28:10).
  29. But now all that had been reversed.
  30. From the time when the northern kingdom of Israel had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 721 BC until the time when King Josiah of the southern kingdom died in battle at Megiddo (609 BC), the nation met with defeat by the Egyptians and the Babylonians.
  31. It was laid waste, and all its inhabitants were killed or exiled as slaves.
  32. Instead of respect from the pagan nations round about, the Jews became objects of scorn (vv. 7-8), deprived of property and freedom, and derided fro their claim to know the one true God.
  33. The "open shame" that was the Hebrew raceís is here in v.7 extended to the southern kingdom (e.g., "the inhabitants of Jerusalem"), the northern kingdom (e.g., "all Israel"), "those who are nearby" (Jews living in the Jewish quarter of Babylon), "and those far off" (ten lost tribes scattered).
  34. The reason for this humiliation: "because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against [God]."
  35. In v.8 Daniel again repeats the reason for the "open shame" aspect of the discipline of the race: "because we have sinned against You."
  36. Daniel mentions "kings," "princes," and "fathers" as being those especially responsible for the well-being of the people at large.
  37. In v.9 Daniel in his prayer ascribes "compassion and forgiveness" to the God of the Hebrews.
  38. This recognition is to highlight the basis for God to turn with favor toward His people in captivity.
  39. Grace was always available to the Jews in captivity.
  40. The this aspect of Godís character toward His people was revealed to Moses on the mountain: "Then the LORD passed by before him [Moses] and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth" (Ex.34:6].
  41. Here Daniel appeals to this aspect of Godís character to show that it is not anything in the corporate Jewish character that commends itself to Godís mercy but rather to the grace of the One who is always ready to forgive those who turn to Him not matter how bad they have been (cf. Jonah.4:2; Joel.2:13).
  42. The words "for we have rebelled against Him" show that there is no merit in those looking to God for forgiveness and blessing.
  43. Just as it is in Godís essence to discipline the race in horrific ways, so it is equally in His character to forgive and restore the race where there is a change of mind and confession.
  44. In v.10 Daniel confesses again the fact that at the heart of it all was unwillingness to "obey [listen as in GAP] the voice of the LORD our God, to walk [apply doctrine] in His laws" which had been repeatedly "set before [them] by [Godís] servants the prophets."
  45. In v.11a the phrase "all Israel" refers to the entirety of the race which placed itself under "the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses" by following the ISTA.
  46. What Daniel is referencing is Deuteronomy chapters 28-32 that contains the blessings and the curses for obedience and disobedience respectively.

Petition for Restoration (vv. 12-19)

Basis for the Captivity (vv. 12-16)

VERSE 12 "Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity (WnWjp'v. rv,a] Wnyjep.vo l[;w> Wnyle[' rB,DI-rv,a] ÎArb'D>Ð Ņwyr'b'D>À-ta, ~q,Y"w: [waw w/hiphil impf.3m.s. qum rise, stand; "has confirmed" + d.o. + noun m.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. dabar word + rel asher + piel perf.3m.s. dabar speak + prep al "against" w/1c.p.suff. + waw w/prep al "against" + qal part.m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. shapat judge; "rulers" + re lasher who + qal perf.3c.p.w/1c.p.suff. shapat judge; "ruled us" + prep lamedh w/hiphil infin.constr. bo go in, enter; "to bring" + prep al w/1c.p.suff. "on us" + adj.f.s.abs. ra-ah evil; "calamity" + adj.f.s.abs. gadol great]; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem [~l'iv'WryBi ht'f.[,n< rv,a]K; ~yIm;V'h;-lK' tx;T; ht'f.[,n<-al{ rv,a] [rel asher + neg. lo + niphal perf.3f.s. ashah do + prep tachath under + noun m.s.constr. kol all + art.w/noun m.p.abs. shamayim heaven + prep kaph w/rel asher what + niphal perf.3f.s. ashah do + prep beth w/proper noun Jerusalem]).

VERSE 13 "As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us (Wnyle[' ha'B' taZOh; h['r'h'-lK' tae hv,mo tr;AtB. bWtK' rv,a]K; [prep kaph w/rel asher + qal pass.part.m.s.abs. katab write + prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. torah law + proper noun Moses + d.o. + noun m.s.constr. kol all + art.w/adjf.s.abs. ra-ah evil; "calamity" + art.w/adj.f.s.abs. zoth this + qal perf.3f.s. go, come + prep al w/1c.p.suff.]; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth [^T,mia]B; lyKif.h;l.W WnnEwO[]me bWvl' Wnyhel{a/ hw"hy> ynEP.-ta, WnyLixi-al{w> [waw w/neg lo + piel perf.1c.p. chalah be sick, grieved, sorry; sought" + d.o. + noun both p.constr. paneh face; "favor" + proper noun Yahweh + noun m.p.constr. w/1c.p.suff. Elohim + prep lamedh w/qal infin.constr. shub turn + prep min w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. aon iniquity; based on root meaning to twist + waw w/prep lamedh w/hiphil infin.constr. shakal understand; "giving attention" + prep beth w/noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. emeth truth].

VERSE 14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us (Wnyle[' h'a,ybiy>w: h['r'h'-l[; hw"hy> dqov.YIw: [waw w/qal impf.3m.s. shaqad watch; "has watch" + proper noun LORD + prep al upon + art.w/adj.f.s.abs. ra-ah "calamity" + waw w/hiphil impf.3m.s.w/3f.s.suff. bo go; "brought" + prep al w/1c.p.suff.]; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done [hf'[' rv,a] wyf'[]m;-lK'-l[; Wnyhel{a/ hw"hy> qyDIc;-yKi [part ki for + adj.m.s.abs. tsadiq righteous + prep al "with respect to" + noun m.s.constr. kol all + noun m.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. ma-sheh deed, work + rel asher + qal perf.3m.s. ashah do], but we have not obeyed His voice [AlqoB. Wn[.m;v' al{w> [waw w/neg lo + qal perf.1c.p. shama hear; "obeyed" + prep beth w/noun m.s.constr.w/3m.s.suff. qol voice]).

VERSE 15 "And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself (~ve ^l.-f[;T;w: hq'z"x] dy"B. ~yIr;c.mi #r,a,me ^M.[;-ta, t'aceAh rv,a] Wnyhel{a/ yn"doa] hT'[;w> [waw w/adv atah now + proper noun adon lord + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. Elohim + rel asher + hiphil perf.2m.s. yatsa come out; "have brought" + d.o. + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. am people + prep min w/noun both s.abs. eretz land + proper noun mitsrayim Egypt + prep beth w/noun f.s.abs. yad hand + adj.f.s.abs. chazaq strong + waw w/qal impf.2m.s. ashad do, make + prep lamedh w/2m.s.suff. + noun m.s.abs. shem name], as it is this day -- we have sinned, we have been wicked [Wn[.v'r' Wnaj'x' hZ<h; ~AYK; [prep kaph w/noun m.s.abs. yom day + art.w/adj.m.s.abs. zeh this + qal perf.1c.p. chata sin + qal perf.1c.p. rasha be wicked]).

VERSE 16 "O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts (^t,qod>ci-lk'K. yn"doa] [proper noun Lord + prep kaph w/noun m.s.constr. kol all + noun f.p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. tsedaqah righteous deeds], let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain [^v,d>q'-rh; ~l;iv'Wry> ^r>y[ime ^t.m'x]w: ^P.a; an"-bv'y" [qal impf.3m.s. jussive shub turn; "let turn away" + interj na now + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. aph nostril; anger + waw w/noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. chemah heat wrath + prep min w/noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. ir city + proper noun Jerusalem + noun m.s.abs. har mountain, hill + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. qodesh holiness; "holy"]; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us [Wnyteboybis.-lk'l. hP'r>x,l. ^M.[;w> ~l;iv'Wry> Wnyteboa] tAnwO[]b;W Wnyaej'x]b; yKi [part ki for + prep beth w/noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. chete sin + waw w/prep beth w/noun m.p.abs. aon iniquity + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. ab father + proper noun Jerusalem + waw w/noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. am people + prep lamedh w/noun f.s.abs. cherepah reproach + prep lamedh w/noun m.s.constr. kol all + adv sabib around]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 12-16

  1. In verses 13-14 Daniel switches from addressing God in the 2nd person to addressing Him in the 3rd person.
  2. A curiosity that demonstrates that this is a legitimate way of addressing God in prayer.
  3. The 3rd person functions as a kind of excursus in the midst of Danielís prayer of confession to show the historical and doctrinal basis for the judgment that came upon Godís chosen people.
  4. For God to be God He had to "confirm His words" which He had repeatedly "spoken" through the prophets to the people ("us") and those responsible to lead them ("rulers").
  5. Verse 12 relates the Jewish plight to the spoken word of God via the long line of prophets.
  6. The "calamity" brought upon "Jerusalem" through Gentile agency was unique "under the whole heaven."
  7. "Jerusalem" was the spiritual center and heartbeat of the faith and it was here that great apostasy took place.
  8. Jerusalem was the last stronghold of the people and the city and its people suffered destruction that was unlike anything else.
  9. During the period of abandonment it was not rebuilt or occupied.
  10. It languished while the people were in exile.
  11. Verse 13 relates "this calamity" to the written word of God, specifically to the "law of Moses" where curses are set forth for violation of the covenant (see Lev.26:14-45; Deut.28:15-68; cp. v. 11).
  12. The continuation of the captivity to this point is due to the peopleís refusal to "seek the favor (grace) of the LORD."
  13. The requirement for restitution of the fortunes of the Jewish nation was repentance in the lands of their captivity.
  14. They must "turn from iniquity" and " give attention to the truth."
  15. This process began with the prophet Daniel in 539 and was begun shortly thereafter by the Jews living in Babylon.
  16. By 535, seventy years after the first captives were taken to Babylon, a remnant was on their way back to their homeland.
  17. In verse 15 Daniel returns to addressing God in the 2nd person.
  18. In his prayer for forgiveness and restoration he now appeals to Godís intervention at the Exodus.
  19. The idea being that since the people was helpless and in bondage so now he appeals to divine intervention to deliver from the Babylonian captivity.
  20. In that momentous event, occurring at the outset of Israelís national history, God make a name for Himself before the nations.
  21. So now, Daniel prepares to ask God (vv. 16-19) for yet another witness to the nations that God has not abandoned His people and is more than capable of delivering them from captivity.
  22. Yet again, acting as spokesman for his people, he confesses generically to their STA activity that got them in their current predicament "ówe have sinned, we haven been wicked."
  23. The whole prayer to this point is a build up to what we see in vv. 16ff.
  24. He asks God to act in accordance with His perfect righteousness.
  25. For God to bless the restoration of the people, the city and the homeland would be another example of His "righteous acts."
  26. Obviously their deliverance, considering the circumstances that resulted in their calamity, would not only be a manifestation of Godís grace and mercy, but would require it to be an act of +R.
  27. Godís righteousness was expressed in "anger and "wrath" in bringing the Jews low, but so were His actions to reverse the situation.
  28. Godís wrath using human agents (Babylonians) was against all that made the Jews the special people of God, including Godís "city" and "Holy Mountain," the most sacred spot in what is the land of promise (Ps.87:2).
  29. As a result of the calamity that befell the people of God "for [their] sins" they became an object of "reproach" among the nations.
  30. The talk of the nations was to disparage the claim of the Jews that they were a chosen and special people and their land was given to them by their God.
  31. As a result the holy city of God and the people were abused verbally among the heathen.
  32. The appeal is that God would once again demonstrate that the people and the city called by His name had a future.
  33. This was demonstrated in the day of Daniel.
  34. What God did for His people in the return from captivity and the eventual restoration of the city of Jerusalem blunted the reproach of the nations.
  35. It proved that the promises to Israel were secure.

Petition (vv. 17-19)

VERSE 17 "So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications (wyn"Wnx]T;-la,w> ^D>b.[; tL;piT.-la, Wnyhel{a/ [m;v. hT'[;w> [waw w/adv atah now + qal imper.m.s. shama hear + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. Elohim, God + prep el + noun f.s.constr. tepillah prayer + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. ebed servant + waw w/prep el + noun m.p.constr.w/3m.s.suff. tachanun supplication], and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary [yn"doa] ![;m;l. ~meV'h; ^v.D'q.mi-l[; ^yn<P' raeh'w> [waw w/hiphil imper.m.s. or shine + noun both p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. paneh face + prep al upon + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. miqedash sanctuary + art.w/adj.m.s.abs. shamem desolate, deserted + proper noun adon lord]).

VERSE 18 "O my God, incline Your ear and hear ([m'v]W ^n>z>a' yh;l{a/ hJeh; [hiphil imper.m.s. nata extend; "incline" + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. Elohim + noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. ozen ear + waw w/qal imper.m.s. shama hear])!

Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name (h'yl,[' ^m.vi ar'q.nI-rv,a] ry[ih'w> Wnytemom.vo haer>W ^yn<y[e Îxq;P.Ð Ņhx'q.PiÀ [qal imper.m.s. paqach open + noun f. dual constr.w/2m.s.suff. ayin eye + waw w/qal imper.m.s. ra-ah see + qal part.f.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. shamam be desolate, appalled; "desolations" + waw w/art.w/noun f.s.abs. ir city + rel asher + niphal perf.3m.s. qara call + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. shem name + prep al w/2m.s.suff.]); for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own [WnynEWnx]T; ~yliyPim; Wnx.n:a] Wnyteqod>ci-l[; al{ yKi [part ki for + neg lo + prep al upon; "on account" + noun f.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. tsedaqah righteousness; "our merits" + prep 1c.p. anahnu we; "our" + hiphil part.m.p.abs. naphal fall; "presenting" + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.p.suff. tachanun supplication + prep lamedh w/noun both p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. paneh face; "before You"], but on account of Your great compassion [~yBir;h' ^ym,x]r;-l[;

yKi [part ki for + prep al "on account of" + noun m.p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. rachamim compassion + art.w/adj.m.p.abs. rab great]).

VERSE 19 "O Lord, hear (h['m'v. yn"doa] [proper noun adon Lord + qal imper.m.s. shma hear])!

O Lord, forgive (hx'l's. yn"doa] [proper noun adon Lord + qal imper.m.s. shalach forgive])!

O Lord, listen and take action (hfe[]w: hb'yviq]h; yn"doa [proper noun adon Lord + hiphil imper.m.s. qashab be attentive + waw w/qal imper.m.s. ashah do; "take action"])!

For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name (^M,[;-l[;w> ^r>y[i-l[; ar'q.nI ^m.vi-yKi yh;l{a/ ^n>[]m;l. rx;a;T.-la; [adv of negation al; here expressing a negative wish; "do not" + piel impf.2m.s.juss. achar delay, tarry + prep lema-an in order that; "because" + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.s.suff. Elohim; "my God" + part ki for + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. shem name + niphal perf.3m.s. qara call + prep al "by" + noun f.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. ir city + waw w/prep al "by" + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. am people])."

ANALYSIS: VERSES 17-19

  1. Daniel asks God to "listen" to his "prayer" and "supplication."
  2. The issue for Daniel hangs on Godís reputation/name and not of "any merit" with His people who have been under the chastening rod of God.
  3. Though not mentioned, Godís fidelity to the race and the real estate is based on the Abrahamic Covenant.
  4. Because of this covenant God cannot permanently cast off His chosen people and remain true to His unconditional promise.
  5. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob He promised a people and a landed inheritance in perpetuity.
  6. God was free to severely discipline the race but He was not free to permanently turn His back on them.
  7. In v.17 Daniel asks God to "cause [His] face to shine on [His] sanctuary."
  8. Solomonís temple lay in ruins because the people had forsaken the truths it held.
  9. But now, they would turn back to the God of their fathers and so it would be logical that God would restore the "desolate sanctuary."
  10. The temple and its ministry was the spiritual heartbeat of the Jews living in the land.
  11. God who never sleeps or slumbers cannot become oblivious to the plight of His people.
  12. So the language of supplication in verse 18 is language of accommodation.
  13. Hearing and seeing are anthropomorphisms of divine omniscience.
  14. God sees and hears all things at all times, but when He is against someone for STA activity it seems to the individual that God is unawares.
  15. Godís eyes and ears are never closed.
  16. He may choose not to respond to the pleas of those who are unwilling to act in accordance with His will.
  17. Repentance and confession were prerequisites for the Jews living in exile.
  18. By 539 the time was ripe for the captives to make this plea as their hearts were in the right place and the full measure of DD was almost full.
  19. Seventy years of captivity were punishment for 490 years of non-compliance with the Jubilee law.
  20. Daniel appeals to Godís "name" which is His perfect essence and the promises it sponsored on behalf of the race.
  21. In 539 His reputation was on the line.
  22. So Danielís appeal is not based on any merit residing with the people but with the One who promised certain inviolable promises.
  23. As far as the people were concerned the restoration of their fortunes must be based on Godís "great mercies" or "compassion."
  24. As far as God was concerned the petition for the restoration from "desolations" was based in His absolute righteousness; as far as the people were concerned it was based on His "mercies."
  25. In v.19 Daniel in a flurry of petitions asks God to "hear," "forgive," "listen," "take action" and "take action."
  26. His intense appeal is based on Danielís zeal for Godís "name."
  27. God chose to attach His name to His "city and His "people" as so He must make good on His word.
  28. To do any less would open the floodgates to legitimate reproach by the nations at large.
  29. No matter how bad the Jews have behaved God is bound to keep His promises first made in the days of the first Hebrew Abraham.

Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (vv. 20-27)

Gabriel Visits Daniel (vv. 20-23)

VERSE 20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel (laer'f.yI yMi[; taJ;x;w> ytiaJ'x; hD,w:t.miW lLeP;t.miW rBed;m. ynIa] dA[w> [waw w/adv odh while + pro.1c.s. ani I + piel part.m.s.abs. dabar speak + waw w/hithpael part.m.s.abs. palal pray + waw w/hithpael part.m.s.abs. yadah confess + noun f.s.constr.w/1c.s.suff. chatta-ah sin + waw w/noun f.s.constr. chatta-ah sin + noun m.s.constr.w/1c.s.suff. am people + proper noun Israel], and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God [yh'l{a/ vd,qo-rh; l[; yh;l{a/ hw"hy> ynEp.li ytiN"xiT. lyPim;W [waw w/hiphil part.m.s.abs. naphal fall; "presenting" + noun f.s.constr.w/1c.s.suff. techinnah supplication + prep lamedh w/noun both p.constr. paneh face; "before" + proper noun Yahweh + noun m.p.const.w/1c.s.suff. Elohim + prep al upon; "in behalf" + noun m.s.abs. har mountain + noun m.s.abs. qodesh holiness; "holy" + noun m.p.constr.w/1c.s.suff. Elohim]),

VERSE 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel (laeyrIb.G: vyaih'w> hL'piT.B; rBed;m. ynIa] dA[w> [waw w/adv odh while + pro.1c.s. ani I + piel part.m.s.abs. dabar speak + prep beth w/noun f.s.abs. tephilah prayer + waw w/art.w/noun m.s.abs. ish + proper noun Gabriel], whom I had seen in the vision previously [hL'xiT.B; !Azx'b, ytiyair' rv,a] [re lasher + qal perf.1c.s. ra-ah see + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. chazon vision + prep beth w/noun f.s.abs. techillah beginning, first; 22x in three ways; here of 1st in a series; "previously"], came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering [br,['-tx;n>mi t[eK. yl;ae [;gEnO @['yBi @['mu [hophal part.m.s.abs. ya-eph be weary; "extreme" + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs.ye-aph ya-eph weary; "weariness" + qal part.m.s.abs. naga- touch, reach; "came" + prep el w/1c.s.suff. + prep kaph w/noun both s.abs. eth time + noun f.s.constr. minchah meal-offering; "offering" + noun m.s.ab.s ereb evening]).

VERSE 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said (rm;aYOw: yMi[i rBed;y>w: !b,Y"w: [waw w/hiphil impf.3m.s. bin understand; "He gave instruction" + waw w/piel impf.3m.s. dabar speak; "talked" + prep w/1c.s.suff. im with + waw w/qal impf.3m.s. amar say], "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding [hn"ybi ^l.yKif.h;l. ytiac'y" hT'[; laYEnID' [proper noun Daniel + adv atah now + qal perf.1c.s. yatsa go out, go forth + prep lamedh w/hiphil infin.constr.w/2m.s.suff. shakal have insight; sakal relates to an intelligent knowledge of the capacity to reason; there is the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in use of good common sense; another end result is the emphasis upon being successful + noun f.s.abs. binah understanding; this synonym denotes "distinguishing between"]).

VERSE 23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you (dyGIh;l. ytiaB' ynIa]w: rb'd' ac'y" ^yn<Wnx]T; tL;xit.Bi [prep beth w/noun f.s.constr. techillah first, beginning + noun m.p.constr.w/2m.s.suff. tachanun supplication + qal perf.3m.s. yatsa go forth; "issued" + noun m.s.abs. dabar word, speech, thing; "command" + waw w/pro.1c.s. ani I + qal perf.1c.s. bo go in, come + prep lamedh w/hiphil infin.constr. nagad relate, tell], for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision [ha,r>M;B; !beh'w> rb'D'B; !ybiW hT'a' tAdWmx] yKi [part ki for + adj.f.p.abs. chamudoth desirableness; "highly esteemed" + pro.2m.s. atah you + waw w/qal imper.m.s. bin understand; "give heed" + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. dabar word; "message" + waw w/hiphil imper.m.s. bin understand, consider; "gain understanding" + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. mare-eh appearance, vision]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 20-23

  1. While Daniel was engaged in the business of prayer the angel Gabriel suddenly appeared in his prayer chamber.
  2. Daniel was engaged in audible intelligible confession based on his recent awareness of the prophecy of the 70 year captivity as a result of his study of the book of Jeremiah.
  3. A simple calculation made him aware for the first time that the time for restoration of the Jewish fortunes was at hand.
  4. In fact, only four years of the 70 were left.
  5. This prophecy and its soon realization led him to deduce that the Jews in Babylonian captivity would soon fulfill the requirement in the law of Moses for restoration from captivity (see Lev.26:40ff.).
  6. For this to happen it required a significant percentage of the captive population to confess the sins of the race.
  7. Daniel was but one member of the race but he humbled himself and confessed not only the sins of the "people" but his own sins as well.
  8. His prayer consisted of confession and supplication.
  9. The supplication is described in terms of restoration of the temple on the hilly complex that made up the city of Jerusalem.
  10. On one of those hills is a place called Mt. Zion.
  11. Here it is called "the holy mountain of My God."
  12. It is in this place that God chose to build the temple in the days of Solomon.
  13. That structure lay in ruins due to the Babylonian siege.
  14. In fact, it was the last stronghold of the beleaguered Jews in the siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
  15. Here is where the post-exilic temple was built.
  16. This prominence is the most holy turf on the planet (cf. Ps.2:6; 48:1-2; 87:1; Isa.28:16).
  17. It is here that God plans to establish His King, the Messiah, the Reality, of which the temples of old were types.
  18. Daniel reports that while he was praying that "the man (ish) Gabriel" suddenly appeared before him.
  19. The noun "man" indicates that the angel was male in gender as is all angels.
  20. They were created as a celibate race of beings (cp.8:16 where Gabriel is given orders by a "man" so Daniel could understand the vision of verses 2-14).
  21. He further reports that this was the same individual whom he had seen in the theatre of his mind.
  22. Now Daniel sees him for real apart from any visionary phenomenon.
  23. The term "man" does not signify "man" in contrast to angels.
  24. It rather indicates that this mighty archangel had appeared in a humanlike form and spoke to Daniel intelligibly as one man speaks to another.
  25. Similar terms are used of angels who announced Christís resurrection to the disciples who had come seeking the corpse: "Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them (Lk.24:4).
  26. So also was it at the Ascension: "Suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them" (Acts.1:10).
  27. At the time of his arrival, which Daniel records as "about the time of the evening sacrifice," or around 3 to 6 pm.
  28. This was the time that the "evening meal-offering" would have been offered had the Jews been in their land with a temple complex and altar.
  29. The devout Jews in the Babylon would have observed both sunrise and sunset as the times of praise and remembrance and supplication.
  30. This offering is connected with the "regular sacrifice" of chapter 8 that was suspended by Antiochus in 168 BC.
  31. There was both a lamb and a meal offering (minchah here).
  32. The spiritual exercise of fasting, confession and supplication had taken its toll on Daniel as he makes mention of his extreme fatigue.
  33. So in addition to this he has an unexpected and surprising visitor.
  34. No doubt, Gabrielís appearance was most impressive and intimidating (cp. 8:17-18).
  35. But no mention is made of Daniel receiving a touch the invigorated him.
  36. Gabriel, who was on assignment from the 3rd heaven begins by telling Daniel why he had been sent.
  37. The "command," he says, was given just when Daniel had begun his prayers that day.
  38. So this demonstrates the speed at which the angel traveled all the way from the 3rd heaven to Danielís residence.
  39. Daniel was praying for something specific and he received more than he asked for as indicated by the prophetic doctrine of verses 24-27.
  40. Gabriel informs Daniel that he is "highly esteemed."
  41. This assessment was a part of Gabrielís message to Daniel.
  42. This simple expression (lit., "thins to be desired" or "a precious treasure") put Daniel in a special class.
  43. This expression of honor was based on not just one thing but a lifetime of devotion to the directive will of God under difficult and challenging conditions.
  44. From his teenage years to his old age Daniel keep himself focused on the will and word of God.
  45. This heavenly announcement was a part of his SG2.
  46. Next Daniel is given two related commands.
  47. He is told to "heed the message" meaning he is to take it to heart as the absolute truth of God.
  48. Further he is told, to "gain understanding" meaning that he is to take the information supplied in verses 24-27 and integrate it with the doctrine he already understands.
  49. What he already understands is based on two sources.
  50. These two sources are the existing OT canon and the doctrine given him in the dream-visions over the course of his life.
  51. Daniel was challenged to separate the near-term prophetical from the long-term prophetical.
  52. The long-term information relates to the days and years just before the setting up of the messianic kingdom on earth.

Revelation of the 70 Weeks (vv. 24-27)

Events Beyond the 70th Week (v.24)

VERSE 24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city (^v,d>q' ry[i-l[;w> ^M.[;-l[; %T;x.n< ~y[ib.vi ~y[ibuv' [noun m.p.abs. shabua a week, a period of seven, the Feast of Weeks + adj.m.p.abs. shib-im seventy + niphal perf.3m.s. chathak are determined, decreed; this verb appears in the passive stem, and only in this verse + prep al "for" + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. am people + waw w/prep al "for" + noun f.s.abs. ir city + noun m.s.constr.w/2m.s.suff. qodesh holiness; "holy"], to finish the transgression [[v;P,h; aLek;l. [prep lamedh w/piel infin.constr. kalah forbid, keep back, withhold, refrain; "finish" + art.w/noun m.s.abs. pasha transgression], to make an end of sin(s) [ÎtaJ'x;Ð ŅtAaJ'x;À Î~teh'l.WÐ Ņ~Tox.l;WÀ [waw w/prep lamedh w/qal infin.constr. chatham seal up, affix a seal; "make an end" + noun f.s. or p.abs. chata sin], to make atonement for iniquity [!wO[' rPek;l.W [waw w/prep lamedh w/piel infin.constr. kaphar make atonement; verb means to atone by offering a substitute + noun m.s.abs. aon iniquity; root means to bend or twist], to bring in everlasting righteousness [~ymil'[o qd,c, aybih'l.W [waw w/prep lamedh w/hiphil infin.constr. bo go in; "bring in" + noun m.s.abs. tsedeq righteousness + noun m.p.abs. olam everlasting], to seal up vision and prophecy [aybin"w> !Azx' ~Tox.l;w> [waw w/prep lamedh w/qal infin.cosntr. chatam affix a seal, seal up; same verb as in #2 above + noun m.s.abs. chazon vision + waw w/noun m.s.abs. nabi prophet; "prophecy"] and to anoint the most holy place [~yvid'q' vd,qo x;vom.liw> [waw w/prep lamedh w/qal infin.constr. mashach anoint (by liquid) + noun m.s.abs. qodesh holiness; "holy" + noun m.p.abs. qodesh holiness; "most"].

ANALYSIS: VERSE 24

  1. This verse sets forth the approach of the "seventy Ďsevensí" of years during which God would accomplish His plan for the national and spiritual redemption of Israel.
  2. The seventy "weeks" of years are 490 years.
  3. This entire period of has to elapse before the accomplishment of the six achievements specified under the six infinitives of this verse.
  4. The first three relate to the removal of Israelís sin.
  5. The second three have to do with other matters related to the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom.
  6. The entire period of the seventy weeks of years concerns the race and their city.
  7. The first achievement is "to finish transgression."
  8. The verb "finish" (kalah) has the nuance of "refrain" or "forbid."
  9. The singular noun "transgression" with the definite article refers to a specific action on the part of the race.
  10. It does not refer to sins in general.
  11. That action is their historical blindness with respect to Who and What their Messiah is.
  12. This act of rebellion (pasha) was in full demonstration by the time of the 1st Advent of Messiah (cf. Jn.1:11 "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.").
  13. After the Rapture and during the period of the 70th week blindness will be removed from Israel (2Cor.3:13-16; Rom.11:23-32).
  14. Jesus was a stumbling block to the race at the 1st Advent and since according to their own scripture (cf. Isa.28:16).
  15. In this 1st infinitive we have the promise that the "rebellion" of racial Israel will be ended.
  16. It will take all 70 weeks of years for this to be realized.
  17. The 2nd infinitive is "to make an end of sin(s)."
  18. This relates to the STA activity of the Jews in the world (cf. Ezek.36:16-38).
  19. It includes all manner of spiritual and moral uncleanness.
  20. In the golden age they will learn to distinguish between "the holy and the profane" (Ezek.44:23).
  21. The verb "make an end" (chatam) is literally to "seal up."
  22. It is used in Job.14:17: "My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You wrap up my iniquity."
  23. The idea here and in Job is that God not only forgives but He also forgets.
  24. The sin or sins of the race will not be a hindrance to their phenomenal blessing in the Kingdom Age.
  25. The translation "make an end of sins" is somewhat misleading.
  26. Jews living in the Kingdom will still sin.
  27. Here it is their past that is in view.
  28. The principal that "where sin abounds grace much more abounds" is on full display.
  29. Item # 3 is: "to make atonement for iniquity."
  30. The verb (kaphar) means "to pay a ransom."
  31. There is the noun kaper which means "ransom" or "gift to secure a benefit."
  32. Then there is the noun kippur used especially in the expression "day of atonement."
  33. The noun "iniquity" refers to that which is bent or twisted.
  34. It is used without the article and in the singular.
  35. Here is refers to the general STA activity of the chosen people.
  36. Now the problem is this: are we to view this as the work of Christ on the cross toward sin or are we to view this as something related to the prophetic/historical context in which we interpret the other five achievements?
  37. To view this as the reality is problematic.
  38. Christ died after the 69th week and before the 70th week (see Dan.9:26).
  39. To interpret this achievement as referring to the cross violates the preamble to these six items, namely, "Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy cityÖ"
  40. So, what could it be referring to?
  41. The answer: The celebration of the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.
  42. This observance is specified for national Israel in Lev.23:26-32.
  43. This is the most solemn celebration within the cycle of feasts.
  44. It was a one-day observance in which the sins of the past year of the entire nation were "atoned" for under the ritual code of Israel.
  45. This holy day was to be followed five days later by a joyous one-week celebration of the yearís past blessings.
  46. This is called the Feast of Tabernacles and the regulations for its observance are to be found in Lev.23:33-43.
  47. So, following this line of reasoning, the Millennial Age of Blessing for the redeemed race, is inaugurated by the observance of Yom Kippur.
  48. We know that Israel in the Millennium will function under the Mosaic Covenant and will perform the ceremonial regulations specified under the covenant made at Sinai.
  49. Even though the Reality has come God will require them to perform their sacred institutions in the land of promise.
  50. As we shall note in the last item (#6) they will have a temple and priesthood and all the appropriate services that go with it.
  51. The big difference is that the Reality, their Redeemer will be in their midst.
  52. The ritual code will be reenacted with some modifications.
  53. The 4th item is: "to bring in everlasting righteousness."
  54. "Bring in" is the simple verb bo.
  55. This is perhaps the easiest one to deal with.
  56. Godís +R is everlasting (Ps.119:142).
  57. The redeemed and regathered race from will all live under Godís perfect righteousness.
  58. They will enter into a New Covenant with their Maker and Redeemer that will not be annulled or violated by either party.
  59. The righteousness instituted will rule not only Israel but the Gentile nations living in this golden age.
  60. Christ the Messiah of the nations will rule the earth from Jerusalem and the principles of truth (BD) and righteousness will be faithfully upheld (Isa.9:7)
  61. The sin nature, while existing in mortal man, will not be permitted to flourish during those centuries.
  62. Satan and his angels will be removed from the earth and only at the end will he be released from his prison to deceive the accumulated negative volition.
  63. This rebellion will be short-lived and destroyed.
  64. "Everlasting righteousness" will prevail and Godís word will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
  65. The 5th item is "to seal up vision and prophecy."
  66. This refers to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy specifically the prophecy of Danielís 70 weeks of years seen in this particular "vision."
  67. This prophecy and its fulfillment will usher in the Son of Man who receives from His Father "authority, glory and sovereign power" (Dan.7:14) so that all peoples, nations, and races will serve Him.
  68. The verb "seal" here carries the idea of "protect" or "secure the integrity of a thing" rather than conceal from view.
  69. The 6th and final item is "to anoint the most holy place (qodesh kadashim)."
  70. There will be a Millennial Temple.
  71. This will involve the consecration of the newly built temple prophesied in Ezekiel chapters 40-44.
  72. It will be the house of doctrine and prayer for all the nations.
  73. It will be the center of spirituality for 1000 years, then comes the eternal state with its new heavens and earth.
  74. All six of these items and their realization require the completion of the 70th week or what we call the Tribulation.

First Sixty-Nine Weeks of Years (v.25)

VERSE 25 "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince (dygIn" x;yvim'-d[; ~l;iv'Wry> tAnb.liw> byvih'l. rb'd' ac'mo-!mi lKef.t;w> [d;tew> [waw w/qal impf.2m.s. yada know + waw w/hiphil impf.2m.s. shakal understand; "discern"; of intelligent knowledge based on the faculty of reason + prep min from + noun m.s.constr. motsa act of going out; "issuing" + noun m.s.abs. dabar word; "decree" + prep lamed w/hiphil infin.const. shub (re)turn; "restore" + waw w/lamedh w/qal infin.const. banah build + proper noun Jerusalem + prep ad until + adj.m.s.abs. mashiyach Messiah; based on the verb masach "to anoint"; NT "Christ" + noun m.s.abs. nagid leader, captain; "Prince"] there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [~yIn:v.W ~yVivi ~y[ibuv'w> h['b.vi ~y[ibuv' [noun m.p.abs. shabu-a a period of seven, a week; "weeks" + adj.m.s.abs. sheba seven + waw w/noun m.p.abs. shabua "weeks" + adj.m.p.abs. shishshim sixth; "sixty" + waw w/adj.m. dual abs. shenayim two]; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress [~yTi[ih' qAcb.W #Wrx'w> bAxr> ht'n>b.nIw> bWvT' ~yIn:v.W [qal impf.3f.s. shub return; "built again" + noun f.s.abs. rechob open place; "plaza" + waw w/noun m.s.abs. chruts trench; "moat" + waw w/prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. tsoq distress + art.w/noun f.p.abs. eth time]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 25

  1. This verse contains the chronology of the first 69 Weeks of Years.
  2. This computes to 483 years (7 x 7 + 62 x 7) or 173,880 days (483 x 360) based on a 360 day calendar (12 months of 30 days).
  3. While Daniel was in the Babylonian captivity (605-539 BC), he was given the prophecy of the seventy weeks (vv. 24-27).
  4. In the 1st year of Darius, 539 BC (Dan.1:1; 2Chron.36:21-23; Ezra 1:6:3-5), Daniel observed that the seventy-year captivity prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer.25:11-12; 29:10) was nearing completion.
  5. The reason for Israelís captivity was their refusal to obey the Word fro the Lord from the prophets (Jer.29:17-19) and to give the land sabbatical rests (2Chron.36:21).
  6. God had stated that Israel, because of her disobedience, would be removed from her land and scattered among the Gentiles until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths (Lev.26:33-35).
  7. According to 2Chronicles 36:21 the land would be desolate for seventy years.
  8. On may therefore conclude that in the eight hundred year history of Israel in the land (1405 to 586 BC), seventy sabbatical years were not kept.
  9. Now Daniel, seeing that the seventy years of captivity were nearing their completion, realized that before the exiles could return to their homeland they needed to confess and repent of their disobedience (Lev.26:40-46).
  10. Hence, Daniel confessed on behalf of the his people and pleaded that Godís wrath would be turned away so the people might return to their land.
  11. Over the centuries the meaning of the seventy weeks has been the subject of controversy.
  12. Some writers see the seventy weeks already fulfilled in some way during the Maccabean times.
  13. Others view the weeks as merely symbolic.
  14. However, in the light of Danielís understanding about the end of literal seventy-year captivity in Babylon, it seems most reasonable that the seventy weeks are not symbolical but must be interpreted literally.
  15. The fact of Danielís use of definite numbersseven, sixty-two, and onemakes it difficult to think of symbolical periods of time.
  16. Hence in the light of the context the literal interpretation makes the most sense.
  17. The term ~y[ibuv' is the plural form of [;Wbv' which is a unit or period of seven, or week.
  18. It is used 20x in the OT.
  19. Three times it means a unit of seven and is followed by "days" (~ymiy"; cf. Ezek.45:21; Dan.10:2,3); six times it means "week(s)," a normal seven-day week (Gen.29:27,28; Lev.12:5; Deut.16:9; Jer.5:24); five times it refers to the Feast of Weeks (Ex.34:22; Num.28:26; Deut.16:10, 16; 2Chron.8:13); and six times it is used as a "unit of seven" without reference to days (Dan.9:24,25,26).
  20. Therefore, the context determines its meaning.
  21. In conclusion the term [;Wbv' means "a unit of seven" and its particular meaning must be determined by the particular context.
  22. In Dan.9:24-27 the term refers to units of seven years and thus Daniel is speaking of seventy of these units of seven years or a total of 490 years.
  23. The reasons for this conclusion are as follows:

    1. In the context Daniel had been thinking in terms of years as well as multiples (ten times seven) of years (Dan.9:1-2).
    2. Daniel had been considering Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10 regarding the seventy-year captivity. The captivity was a result of violating the sabbatical year, which was to have been observed after every six years (2Chron.36:21); cf. Lev.26:34-35,43). Each year of captivity represented one seven-year cycle in which the seventh or Sabbath year had not been observed. Thus it is clear that the context refers to years, not days. The seventy-year captivity was due to the Jews having violated seventy sabbatical years over a 490-year period and Daniel now saw the seventy units of seven decreed for another 490 years into Israelís future.
    3. The only other usage of ~y[ibuv' by Daniel is in 10:2,3 were the phrase ~ymiy" ~y[ibuv' hv'l{v. is literally, "three units of seven days" or twenty-one days. This has reference to Danielís mourning for three weeks since the word ~ymiy" indicates that he did not want his readers to think of the unit of seven the same way it was used in chapter nine. Everyone would have realized that Daniel would not have fasted twenty-one years, but the fact that he inserted ~ymiy" "days" in 10:2,3 when it was not necessary would seem to indicate that he would have used ~ymiy" in 9:24-27 if there he meant 490 "days." Therefore, in 9:24-27 Daniel was referring to years and not days.
    4. It is impossible to fit the events described in 9:24-27, regardless of the terminus a quo into 490 days or weeks. Only "years" is viable.
    5. In 9:27 a covenant will be confirmed for "one unit of seven" (dx'a, [;Wbv') and in the middle of a unit of seven a stop to sacrifice and grain offering will be instituted. This means that a seven-year covenant will be struck with the Jews at the mid-point of a unit of seven. This fits well with the expression "time, times, and half a time" in Dan.7:25 as well as in Rev.12:14, since three and one-half years is one-half of seven.
    6. Although the term [;Wbv' does not refer to years elsewhere in the Bible it has this meaning in the Mishnah (Mishnah: Baba Metzia ix. 10; Sanhedrin v. 1).

  1. In conclusion, the term [;Wbv' in Daniel 9 most reasonably refers to a unit of seven years.
  2. However, for the sake of clarity this unit of seven years will be called "week(s)" for the remainder of this study, for it is simpler to refer to seventy "weeks" than to seventy "units of seven years."
  3. Therefore, Danielís reference to seventy weeks means a period of 490 years.
  4. Here in Daniel 9:25 the starting point of the seventy weeks is the issuance of a command/decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem where a plaza (city square) and a moat (or trench) will be built during distressing times.
  5. Three things are to be noted in the description of the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
  6. First, the words tAnb.liw> byvih'l. ("to restore and to rebuild") suggests that the city was raised to its former state.
  7. It is not a partial rebuilding but a complete restoration.
  8. Second, the words #Wrx'w> bAxr> ("plaza and moat") give weight to the position for a complete restoration of the city.
  9. The first of these words means a plaza, street, or square, "the broad spaces, generally inside the city gates, the centre of city life" (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, p.358).
  10. It is a wide and free unoccupied place in the city (cf. Ezra 10; Esther 4:6; 2Chron.32:6; Neh.8:1,3).
  11. The second word #Wrx' is more difficult to define.
  12. It is a passive participle of charats meaning "to cut, to sharpen, to decide."
  13. In the OT it is used 14x; 4x it refers to a sharpened threshing instrument, a threshing sledge (Isa.28:27; 41:15; Amos 1:3); 1x it suggests the idea of being cut or mutilated (Lev.22:22); 6x it is useds poetically of gold from the idea of the sharp bright color or from the idea that it is eagerly desired by men (charatz can have the ideaw "to be eager, to covet") (Ps.68:14; Prov.3:14; 8:10,19; 16:16; Zech.9:3); 2x it refers to "something decided," a strict decision as in the phrase "valley of decision" (Joel 3:14); and 1x it is used in Dan.9:25. Outside the Bible this term is used in Aramaic of a "trench;" in Akkadian it has the idea of a "city moat;" in the Qumran writings it is used of a "moat of the rampart or bulwark;" and in mishnaic and targumic literature it has the idea of an incision, furrow, or trench. It is best to take the first word plaza as referring to the interior of the city and the second word trench as referring to a moat going around the outside of the city. Part of Jerusalemís natural defenses consisted of a great cutting in the rock along the northern wall, which is still visible today, for the purpose of building a defense wall. These two details provide a graphic picture of a complete restoration.
  14. Finally or thirdly, it should be noted that the rebuilding of Jerusalem would be done in times of distress or oppression.
  15. Next we move to the question of the time of the rebuilding or the terminus a quo (i.e., starting point of the "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks").
  16. There is the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple, probably given on October 29, 539 BC (2Chron.36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5; John C. Witcomb, Jr., Darius the Mede, pp. 70-71).
  17. This decree concerned the return of the captives and the rebuilding of the temple, but not the complete restoration of the city.
  18. A distinction should be maintained between the rebuilding of a city and the restoration of a city to its former state.
  19. The next decree in is the decree of Darius which was the upshot of the governor of Judah, one Tattenai, who questioned the right of the Jews to rebuild the temple (Ezra 5:13-17).
  20. Darius had a search made of the original Cyrusí decree and upon locating it issued a decree himself about 519/518 BC to confirm Cyrusís original decree (Ezra 6:1-12).
  21. This decree will not serve as the beginning date for the seventy weeks because it has specific reference to the temple and not to the city, and because it really is not a new decree but only confirms a former one.
  22. The third decree was the decree issued by Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 BC.
  23. It encouraged the return of more exiles with Ezra, the further enhancement of the temple and is accompanying worship, and the appointment of civil leaders.
  24. There are (or were) those who propose that this decree to Ezra marks the beginning of the seventy weeks and that the end of the sixty-ninth week brings one to AD 26 or 27, which marks the commencement of Christís ministry.
  25. Further the proponents of this view (Pusey, Boutflower, Payne) would see the middle of the 70th week as the crucifixion of Christ in AD 30 and the terminus ad quem of the 70th week as AD 33, the probable date of Stephenís death.
  26. Again, this decree has not a word about the rebuilding of the city but only the temple.
  27. The proponents of this theory say that a wall was permitted to be built because Artaxerxes granted unlimited freedon t use the leftover silver and gold (Ezra 7:18) and because Ezra was to appoint civil authorities (Ezra 7:25) who would want to build a wall.
  28. But the leftover silver and gold was to be used for the temple worship and the civil authorities were appointed for the purpose of judging and not for building defense walls.
  29. Also, to have the sixty-nine weeks terminate at the commencement of Christís ministry in AD 26 or 27 is untenable for two reasons: (1) the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan.9:26) is a very inappropriate way to refer to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at the commencement of His ministry.
  30. And, (2) the date for the beginning of Jesusí ministry is not AD 26 or 27 but AD 29.
  31. Third, to what does Daniel refer in 9:27 when he states he is confirming a covenant? If it refers to Christ, then what covenant was it?
  32. Fourth, to say the middle of the 70th week refers to Christís crucifixion in AD 30 is untenable on two grounds (1) the sacrifices did not cease at Christís crucifixion, and (2) though the date of AD 30 is possible that AD 33 date is far more plausible.
  33. Fifth, to say the end of the 70th week refers to Stephenís death and Paulís conversion in AD 33 is pure speculation. There is no hint of this in the texts of Daniel 9:27 and Acts 8-9 to denote fulfillment of the 70th week. Also, the dates of Paulís conversion as well as Stephenís martyrdom were more likely AD 35.
  34. In conclusion, the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 BC, serving as the starting point of the 70 weeks is untenable.
  35. The final decree is that of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 BC to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (Neh.2:1-8).
  36. Several factors commend this decree as the one prophesied by Daniel in 9:25 for the commencement of the 70 weeks.
  37. First, there is a direct reference to the restoration of the city (2:3,5) and of the city gates and walls (2:3,8).
  38. Second, Artaxerxes wrote a letter to Asaph to give materials to be used specifically for the walls (2:8).
  39. Third, the Book of Nehemiah and Ezra 4:7-23 indicate that certainly the restoration of the walls was done in the most distressing circumstances, as predicted by Daniel (9:25).
  40. Fourth, no latter decrees were given by the Persian kings pertaining to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
  41. Keil objects to calling this a decree.
  42. He thinks it would more appropriately be seen as a "royal favor."
  43. However, Daniel 9:25, though not requiring a decree, does require a command (rb'd' word; "command") and certainly this was the case with Artaxerxes as seen in the letters he wrote to the governors of the provinces beyond the river and to Asaph (Neh.2:7-9).
  44. In conclusion, this is the only decree that adequately fits the parameters given in Daniel 9:25.
  45. Hence this decree of Artaxerxes is considered the terminus a quo (starting point/commencement) of the 70 weeks.
  46. The date of the decree is given in the biblical record.
  47. Nehemiah 1:1 states that Nehemiah heard of Jerusalemís desolate conditions in the month of Chislev (November/December) in Artaxerxesís 20th year.
  48. The later in Artaxerxersí 20th year in the month Nisan (March/April) Nehemiah reports that he was granted permission to restore the city and build its walls (2:1).
  49. To have Nisan later than Chislev (in the same year) may seem strange until one realizes that Nehemiah was using a Tishri-to-Tishri (September/October) dating method.
  50. Nehemiah was following what was used by the kings of Judah earlier in their history (Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (rev. ed.; Grand Rapids, 1965), pp. 28-30, 16).
  51. This method is confirmed by the Jews living in Elephantine who used this method during the same time period as Nehemiah (S. H. Horn and L. H. Wood, "The Fifth-Century Jewish Calendar at Elephantine," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, XIII (January, 1954), 4, 20).
  52. Next, one needs to establish the beginning of Artaxerxesí rule.
  53. His father Xerxes died shortly after December 17, 465 BC, and Artaxerxes immediately succeeded him.
  54. Since the accession-year system was used the first year of Artaxerxesí reign according to the Persian Nisan-to-Nisan reckoning would be Nisan 464 to Nisan 463 and according to the Jewish Tishri-to-Tishri reckoning would be Tishri 464 to Tishri 463.
  55. Then the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign, mentioned in Nehemiah 1:1 and 2:1, would be in Nisan (March/April) of 444 BC.
  56. Therefore, Nisan 444 BC marks the terminus a quo of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:25.
  57. Now we move on to the question of the culmination (terminus ad quem) of the sixty-nine weeks (7 + 62).
  58. The clause "from the issuing of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there will be seven and sixty-two weeks" refers to a total of sixty-nine weeks of 483 years or 173,880 days.
  59. The seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks are successive or continuous making a total of sixty-nine weeks between the decree to rebuild the city and Messiah the Prince.
  60. The probable reason for not just saying "sixty-nine weeks" has to do with the time it took to rebuild Jerusalem.
  61. In other words, it took 49 years (7 x 7) or the first seven of the 70 weeks.
  62. The sixty-two weeks to up an additional 434 years and advanced Jewish history to the times of the Messiah leaving but one week or the 70th week to be accounted for.
  63. From Dan.9:26 we learn that the 69th week (7 + 62) expired before the death of Messiah/Christ.
  64. The terminus ad quem (culmination) of the sixty-nine weeks was shortly before Christís death.
  65. In previous studies we have seen that Christís death occurred on Friday, Nisan 14 in AD 33 (Friday, April 3, 33 on the Julian calendar).
  66. If one multiplies the sixty-nine weeks by seven solar years (483 x 365.25 = 176,415.75 days) the total is 483 years.
  67. Subtracting this from 444 BC gives a date of AD 38, five years after Christís crucifixion.
  68. So it is obvious that a calculation using the solar year does not square with the prophecy.
  69. The solution that squares with the data found in these verses is the one proposed by Anderson (Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince (15th ed.: London, 1895), pp. 67-75).
  70. He proposed that the length of the year should be calculated as 360 days.
  71. He called these 360 years "prophetic years."
  72. This makes good sense for several reasons.
  73. First, with modern astronomy one can reckon a year very precisely as being "365.24219879 days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.975 seconds" (Jack Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Princeton, 1964), p. 19).
  74. However, in ancient times various systems were used.
  75. When one investigates the calendars of ancient India, Persia, Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, Central and South American, and China it is interesting to notice that they uniformly had twelve thirty-day months (a few had eighteen twenty-day months) making a total of 360 days for the year and they had various methods of intercalating days so that the year would come out correctly.
  76. Although it seems strange to modern day thinking, it was common in those days to think of a 360-day year.
  77. In the prophetic literature of the Bible, the 360-day year is used.
  78. Danielís 70th week is a good illustration of this fact.
  79. A covenant will be made for seven years at the mid-point of the seven year tribulation and at the mid-point the sacrifices will cease in the tribulational temple.
  80. In the last half of the 70th week terrible persecution will occur, or for three and one-half years.
  81. This matches with the persecution mentioned in 7:24-25, which will last for "a time, times, and half a time" or three and one-half years.
  82. This phrase is also mentioned in 12:7.
  83. However, it is not until one comes to the NT that the duration of the year is known.
  84. John uses the same terminology of time, times and half a time in Rev.12:14.
  85. Speaking of the same situation within the same chapter, John says that the persecution will be for 1,260 days (12:6).
  86. John again uses this figure of 1,260 days in 11:3 and that period is also listed as being forty-two months n the previous verse (11:2).
  87. Also, the forty-two months is mentioned in 13:5, which speaks of the same period of persecution.
  88. Thus the forty-two months (3 1/2 years) equals the 1,260 days, and that equals the time (one year), times (two years), and half a time or three and one-half years, which in turn equals half the week in Dan.9:27.
  89. Hence the month is thirty days and the year is 360 days.
  90. Outside the prophetic literature the 360-day year is used one other time in the Bible.
  91. Genesis 7:11 states that the flood began on the 17th day of the 2nd month.
  92. According to Genesis 8:4 the flood ended on the 17th day of the 7th month, exactly five months later.
  93. Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 state that the duration of the flood was 150 days.
  94. Hence five months equals 150 days or each month equals 30 days.
  95. Therefore, in the light of these observations the 360-day year should not be too surprising.
  96. Does the 360-day year correlate with the date of the cutting off of the Messiah?
  97. Anderson multiplies the sixty-nine weeks by seven years for each week by 360 days and comes to a total of 173,880 days.
  98. His terminus a quo for the sixty-nine weeks is Nisan 1 in Artaxerxesí 20th year or March 14, 445 BC, and his terminus ad quem is the triumphal entry on Nisan 10, April AD 32.
  99. He shows that this works out perfectly.
  100. The time between 445 BC and AD 32 is 476 years; multiplying 476 by 365 days totals 173,740 days.
  101. He adds 116 days for leap years and 24 days for the difference between March 14 (of 445 BC) and April 6 (of 32 AD) and thus arrives at a total of 173,880 days.
  102. Andersonís calculations include some problems.
  103. First, the 445 BC date is not acceptable since Andersonís day, the 445 BC date is not acceptable for Artaxerxesí 20th year; instead the decree was given in Nisan 444 BC.
  104. Second, the AD 32 date for the crucifixion of is untenable.
  105. It would mean that Christ was crucified on either a Sunday or a Monday.
  106. Reckoning Christís death according to the Julian calendar, Christ died on Friday, April 3, AD 33.
  107. Nehemiah 2:1 does not specify which day of Nisan the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued.
  108. Nisan 1 in 444 BC was March 4, or more likely March 5 since the crescent moon would have been first visible so late at night (ca. 10p.m.) on March 4 and could easily have been missed.
  109. Using the 360-day calculation would be as follows: multiplying the 69 weeks by 7 years for each week by 360 days gives a total of 173,880 days.
  110. The difference between 444 BC and AD 33, then, is 476 solar years.
  111. By multiplying 476 by 365.24219879 or by 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.975 seconds, one comes to 173,855.28662404 days or 173,855 days, 6 hours, 52 minutes, 44 seconds.
  112. This leaves only 25 days unaccounted for between 444 BC and AD 33.
  113. By adding the 25 days to March 5 (of 444 BC) one come to March 30 (of AD 33) which was Nisan 10 in 33 AD.
  114. This day is the day of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem or Monday, March 30, AD 33!
  115. This means that decree spoken of in Dan.9:25 must have been issued on March 30, BC 444.
  116. As predicted in Zechariah 9:9, Christ presented Himself to Israel as Messiah the king for the last time and multitudes shouted loudly by quoting from a messianic psalm: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord" (Ps.118:26; Matt.21:9; Mk.11:10; Lk.19:38; Jn.12:13).
  117. This occurred on Monday, Nisan 10 (March 30) and only four days later on Friday, Nisan 14, April 3, AD 33, Jesus was cut off or crucified.
  118. Jesus alludes to this the culmination the sixty-nine weeks on the very day He made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see Lk.19:29-44; esp. v.42).
  119. This was the 173,880 day or the last day of the sixty-nine weeks of years with only one week to be fulfilled.
  120. From this point forwards it was possible for believers to know the time when Messiah would appear and live out his life (from 65th week thru 69th week).
  121. Jesus was 34 years of age (born on 9/11, 3 BC; count 1 BC and 1 AD as one year) when he died (Friday, April 3, 33 AD).

After the 69th Week and Before the 70th Week

(v.26)

VERSE 26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing (Al !yaew> x;yvim' treK'yI ~yIn:v.W ~yVivi ~y[ibuV'h; yrex]a;w> [waw w/adv achare afterwards + art.w/noun m.p.abs. shabua a period of seven, week + adj.m.p.abs. shishshim sixty; "sixty-two" + waw w/adj.m. dual abs. shenayim two + niphal impf.3m.s. karath cut off + adj.m.s.abs. mashiach Messiah + waw w/adv ayin nothing + prep lamedh w/3m.s.suff.], and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary [@j,V,b; ACqiw> aB'h; dygIn" ~[; tyxiv.y: vd,Qoh;w> ry[ih'w> [waw w/art.w/noun f.s.abs. ir city; based on a root which means "excitement" + waw w/art.w/noun m.s.abs. qodesh sanctuary + hiphil impf.3m.s. chachath destroy, corrupt + noun m.s.abs. am people; here of the Romans + noun m.s.abs. nagidh leader; "prince"; here of the Antichrist + art.w/qal part.m.s.abs. bo go, come; "who is to come"]).

And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined (tAmmevo tc,r,x/n< hm'x'l.mi #qe d[;w> @j,V,b; ACqiw> [waw w/noun m.s.constr.w/3m.s.suff. qets end + prep beth w/noun m.s.abs. sheteph flood; Roman invasion in 70 AD + waw w/part ad until; "even to" + noun m.s.ab.s qets end; of the 70th week or tribulation + noun f.s.abs. milechamah war + niphal part.f.s.abs. charats decide, determine, decree +qal part.f.p.abs. chamem be desolate; appalled]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 26

  1. Before we enter into the interpretation of this verse we must first explore the problem of whether the 70th week immediately follows the 69th week as is the case with weeks one through sixty-nine or whether the 70th week is disconnected from all the other weeks.
  2. Keil, Leupold, Payne, Young, and others contend that the 70th week follows immediately after the sixty-ninth week.
  3. However, it is far more plausible to see the sixty-nine weeks fulfilled historically and the seventieth week as yet unfulfilled.
  4. The reasons follow.
  5. First, to view the six things in v.24  "to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the holy place"  as having been fulfilled in the seven years immediately following the triumphal entry in March of 33 AD is impossible.
  6. All these have reference to Israel and the city and certainly none of these has been realized.
  7. Paul sees Israelís national and spiritual redemption as still in the future (Rom.11:25-27).
  8. Second, the Messiah was cut off "after" (adv. yrex]a; acharay afterwards) the sixty-ninth week and not "during" the seventieth.
  9. Gundry has stated it well: "If the cutting off of the Messiah occurred in the middle of the seventieth week, it is very strange that the cutting off is said to be "after" the sixty-nine weeks (figuring the sum of the seven and the sixty-two weeks). Much more naturally the text would have read "during" or "in the midst of" the seventieth week, as it does in verse twenty-seven concerning the stoppage of the sacrifices. The only adequate explanation for this unusual turn of expression is that the seventieth week did not follow on the heels of the sixty-ninth, but that an interval separates the two. The crucifixion then comes shortly "after" the sixty-ninth but not within the seventieth because of an intervening gap. The possibility of a gap between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week is established by the well-accepted OT phenomenon of prophetic perspective, in which gaps such as that between the first and second advents were not perceived" (Gundry, p. 190).
  10. An example of a gap between the two advents of Christ is seen in Lk.4:18-19 when Christ quoted Isa.61:1-2 leaving in the words referring to His first advent but omitting the words referring to His second advent.
  11. Third, the person who confirms or makes a firm covenant in verse 27 cannot refer to Christ.
  12. The nearest antecedent is "the prince who is to come," in v.26.
  13. At no time in Christís ministry did He confirm an already-existing covenant.
  14. Certainly Payneís attempt to say the Christ "cause[d] to prevail" an existing covenant rather then making a new covenant on the basis of the absence of the word "new" in some Greek manuscripts in Matt.26:28 is tenuous to say the least, for, as Gundry points out, the adjective "new" is in Lk.22:20 and 1Cor.11:25 and the new covenant is twice quoted in Hebrews.
  15. If Christ did not confirm a covenant at His first advent, when did He suspend it?
  16. Would Christ suspend a covenant He has made?
  17. Thus the one who confirms a covenant does not refer to Christ but to a prince who is yet to come.
  18. Fourth, Christís death did render inoperative the animal sacrifices but did not cause them to cease three and one-half years after the end of the 69th week.
  19. In fact, the Jews sacrificed animals until Jerusalemís destruction in AD 70.
  20. Fifth, the abomination of desolation has not yet been fulfilled.
  21. In Matt.24:15 Jesus said that it would occur after His first advent.
  22. He spoke of the appearance of the abomination of desolation in the Jerusalem temple as the signal of the great tribulation which is immediately followed by Christís Second Advent.
  23. It is true that Jerusalem suffered destruction in AD 66-70 but Christ did not return in AD 70.
  24. In fact, the Book of Revelation speaks of Jerusalemís desolations as yet future and not as having been fulfilled nearly a quarter century before Revelation was written!
  25. Sixth, the person in view in Daniel 9:27 correlates very well with the wicked person in 7:25 and in Rev.12 and 13, who has not yet appeared and been judged as described in Rev.19.
  26. Seventh, the event of the last half of the seventieth week, described in Dan.9:27b, fit well into the second three and one-half years of the tribulation described in the Book of Revelation, which is yet future.
  27. In conclusion, there is an intervening gap between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth weeks.
  28. The seventieth week is yet to be fulfilled.
  29. It corresponds to the tribulation which is the subject of Revelation chapters six through nineteen.
  30. As it turns out the intervening gap comprises the events from Palm Monday until the Rapture of the Church.
  31. The Church Age is the greater part of this gap.
  32. From Palm Monday (March 30, AD 33) to Pentecost (Sunday, May 24, AD 33) is 55 days.
  33. The CA began on the day of Pentecost.
  34. This is the first part of the gap.
  35. The rest is the current dispensation of the Church.
  36. With the Rapture of the Church the 70th week will commence and run for 2,560 days until the 2nd Advent.
  37. Now to the specifics of verse 26.
  38. First, "after the sixty-two weeks (includes the weeks 1 through 7 making a total of sixty-nine weeks or 483 years) the Messiah will be cut off" refers to Christís crucifixion and death on Friday, April, 3, AD 33.
  39. The clause "and have nothing" refers to Christís rejection by His people Israel.
  40. He was rejected and put to death and from that day to this He is persona non gratis by the Jewish race.
  41. Next is a prophetic reference to the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in AD 70: "and the people [Roman] of the prince [Antichrist] who is to come [in Danielís 70th week] shall destroy the sanctuary [temple complex and city was razed according to Jesusí words in Matt.24:2]Ö"
  42. The clause "And its end will come with a flood" is a reference to the overwhelming final assault by the Roman legions of Titus and Vespasion.
  43. And finally, in verse 26 is a prophetic sentence that speaks to wars "even to the end"  the end being the end of the 70th week.
  44. Jesus taught this in Matt.24:6 and history so far has proven Him correct.
  45. In fact, the last great battle is Armageddon in which Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords personally vanquish all the nations gathered against Jerusalem and His ancient people (Rev.19).
  46. Following this will be a 1000 years of peace in which the nations will learn war no more (Isa.2:4 cp. Joel 3:10).
  47. The very last clause "desolations are determined/decreed" tells us that these things are a part of Godís wrath upon the nations.
  48. War is a part of human experience.
  49. There are just wars and unjust wars.
  50. All the armed conflicts past, present and future are "determined" by the Lord of the armies who controls the course of human events without violating volition.

70th Week (v.27)

VERSE 27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week (dx'a, [;Wbv' ~yBir;l' tyrIB. ryBig>hiw> [waw w/hiphil perf.3m.s. gabar prevail, be mighty; "he will make firm" + noun f.s.ab.s berith covenant, treaty + prep lamedh w/art.w/adj.m.p.abs rab great, much, many + noun m.s.ab.s shabu period of seven, week + adj.m.s.abs. echad one; or for 7 years], AND [corrected translation from "but"]in the middle of The Week [emphasis] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering [hx'n>miW xb;z< tyBiv.y: [;WbV'h; ycix]w: [waw w/noun m.s.abs. chati middle; + art.w/noun m.s.ab.s shabua week; of the 7yr tribulation or at the 3 and Ĺ year mark + hiphil impf.3m.s. shabath cease; "he will put a stop" + noun m.s.abs. zabach sacrifice, slaughter + waw w/noun f.s.abs. minchah meal offering]; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate [~mevom. ~yciWQvi @n:K. l[;w> [waw w/part al on + noun f.s.constr. kanaph wing + noun m.p.abs. shiqqets destetable thing; i.e., an idol + poel part.m.s.abs. shamem be desolate; "who makes desolate"; stresses the fact that someone has caused the sanctuary to be polluted while the hiphil indicates physical destruction], even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate [~mevo-l[; %T;Ti hc'r'x/n<w> hl'K'-d[;w> [waw w/part ad until; "even until" + noun f.s.abs. kalah full end; "complete destruction" + waw w/niphal part.f.s.abs. charats determine, decree; "one that is decreed" + qal impf.3f.s. natak be poured out + prep al upon + qal part.m.s.abs. shamam be desolate; "who makes desolate" in polel above; here "the desolater"])."

ANALYSIS: VERSE 27

  1. Following the long extended gap between the 69th week and the 70th weeks, which is a period characterized by armed conflicts around the globe, there will arise a final tyrant who will seduce the Jews of the 3rd commonwealth and enter into a covenant/treaty with them.
  2. He is referred to antecedently in verse 26 as "the prince who is to come."
  3. The closest antecedent to "he shall make a firm covenant" or "he shall confirm a covenant" is the prince of the previous verse.
  4. Both Messiah and this individual are designated "prince" (dygIn" nagid leader, ruler).
  5. The root denotes "to place a matter high, conspicuous before a person."
  6. The Arabic nagada means "be conspicuous" and the noun nagdun means "highland."
  7. The idea of prominence is in view with this particular term.
  8. The word is used almost 50x and is applied to leaders in several fields (governmental, military, religious).
  9. The word is usually a singular and refers to the man at the top.
  10. The Messiah is so designated (v.25) as is His great antagonist the Antichrist (v.27).
  11. We are informed that this prince/leader will "make a firm covenant (hiphil perfect gabar prevail, be mighty) with the many."
  12. "The many" has the definite article with the preposition lamedh.
  13. The many refer to the Jewish people who have been regathered from the nations to form a Jewish state on their ancient land.
  14. For prophetic information on the regathering of the Jewish race from the nations of her captivity while still in unbelief see Ezekiel chapters 34 through 37.
  15. This designation also used of the entire human race and of believers (Isa.53:11; Rom.5:15 [used 2x; once without and once with the article],19; 1Cor.10:33).
  16. Here the context demands identification with national Israel.
  17. National Israel "will make (same verb as in v.27) a covenant with death" and the punishment will be the Russian invasion of Ezek.38 and 39 (see Isa.28:15,18).
  18. The time parameter of the treaty/pact is "one week."
  19. Consistency with the prophetic context requires that we view "one week" as a seven-year agreement.
  20. The conventional pre-millennial view has the "prince" or "supreme leader" (e.g., Antichrist) signing a treaty with the Jews at the outset of the seven-year tribulation.
  21. This school of interpreters universally believes that at the mid-point of the tribulation the Antichrist "breaks" the treaty and turns on the Jews.
  22. In other words, he engages in treachery.
  23. This view is impossible or highly improbable if the Antichrist is a man who comes up out of hell via a resurrection as suggested by Rev. 11:7,8 (cp. Lk.8:31; Rom.10:7; Rev.9:1,2,11; 20:1,3).
  24. If the Antichrist shows up on the earth for the first time since his death in ancient times it stretches the powers of reason to see him immediately engaging in diplomatic activity with the Jewish State.
  25. There is nothing in this verse that is against a seven-year treaty being made with the Jewish State at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
  26. The conjunction translated "but" is the common inseparable prefix.
  27. It is most often translated "and."
  28. If it connects opposing ideas it is translated "but, or, nor."
  29. It is an assumption on the part of interpreters that the making of a covenant with the Jews and the bringing an end to sacrifice are necessarily at odds.
  30. In other words, he does one thing at the outset of the 70th week and quite another at the mid-point.
  31. But based on the doctrine of the true identity of the Antichrist he does not officially declare himself to be God until the televised ceremony in the tribulational temple at the mid-point of the 70th week.
  32. The agreement with Israel is that if they will declare him to be their Messiah he will in turn protect them from all their enemies.
  33. Naturally, this requires that they suspend the recently instituted ancient sacrificial system.
  34. The supreme irony is that this Satan-possessed individual makes a seven-year agreement "in the middle of the week."
  35. Note that the term "week" is used twice in this verse once without the definite article and once with the article.
  36. At the mid-point of "the week" a covenant is made for "one week."
  37. The Antichrist does not through the use of force make the Jews stop their sacrifices in the temple like his counterpart Antiochus Epiphanes did.
  38. He sets himself up as Israelís benefactor and protector.
  39. He is pseudo pro-Semitic.
  40. He does not publicly call for the elimination of world-wide Jewry.
  41. He is for anyone who acknowledges him as God/Messiah (2Thess.2:4).
  42. Even the promoter of his cult, the false prophet, is a Jew (Rev.13:11)!
  43. He persecutes believing Jews (and Gentiles; as well as all other religions).
  44. Back to the waw consecutives of v.27.
  45. The 3rd "and" is followed by "on the [a] wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate"
  46. The poetic term "wing" indicates he is an unclean bird who comes to roost in the form of his computerized image in the most holy place of the tribulational temple (Rev.13:14,15; 14:9,11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4).
  47. We know that his image/idol will be set up in the temple (Matt.24:15).
  48. Some think "wing" refers to a wing of the temple.
  49. The term "abominations" refers to all the doctrine of demons he promotes and all the evil deeds he sponsors (cp. Rev.17:3).
  50. An abomination is something or someone that causes revulsion.
  51. The singular expression "abomination of desolation" first mentioned in Dan.11:31 and 12:1 refers to his idol.
  52. Jesus used the expression in Matt.25:15//Mk.13:14 for its only other occurrence in the Bible.
  53. The desolation that he brings about is not physical but rather is spiritual.
  54. Gross idolatry in the Most Holy Place of the temple is what is in view (2Thess.2:4).
  55. The clause "even until a complete destruction" (hl'K'-d[;w>) is literally: "even until a full end/consummation."
  56. The noun kalah means "full end."
  57. The basic idea of this root is "to bring a process to completion."
  58. Processes which are brought to completion include the building of the temple (2Chron.8:16), speaking (Gen.17:22), eating (1Kgs.1:41), drinking (Gen.24:19), offering (1Sam.13:10), harvesting (Ruth 2:21) and various other things.
  59. The emphasis is upon totality; it is not that a person simply came to a certain point in the process and stopped, but that the process was carried out in full.
  60. In Ruth 3:18 Naomi tells Ruth that Boaz will not rest "until he has finished the thing."
  61. The noun (here) demonstrates the same idea in that it must be translated "full end" to differentiate it from some other end which may be merely a stopping place.
  62. On the negative side something is "used up" is also finished.
  63. The idea of being consumed is most commonly applied to violent destruction, often by war (Deut.7:22; 1Sam.15:18; Jer.16:4).
  64. Those who forsake the Lord will be consumed (Isa.1:28) as will scoffers (Isa.29:20), the wicked (Ps.37:20, and all enemies (Psa.18:37).
  65. The noun kalah denotes the limits of a thing.
  66. Here in the NAS the translation "complete destruction" is interpretative and not misleading.
  67. So what we have is a reference to the end of the rule of the last tyrant which takes place three and one-half years after he makes a covenant with the Jews.
  68. Or, at the end of the 70th week of years.
  69. The phrase "and one that is decreed" (niphal participle charats decree, decide, determine) is a reference to the specified judgment which will befall the Antichrist.
  70. It does not refer antecedently to the conclusion of the 70th week.
  71. While both things are a part of the divine decrees it is the judgment upon the desolater that it is view here.
  72. And finally, the phrase "is poured out on the one who makes desolate" is in reference to the specific judgment that will fall upon the man of lawlessness.
  73. That judgment is to be captured alive in battle, prosecuted and cast alive into the lake of fire (Rev.19:20).

END: Daniel Chapter Nine

Jack M. Ballinger

October, 2004