Daniel 9

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 19, 2006

Daniel 9

:1-19 Daniel’s Confession

:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

As we mentioned several weeks ago, this is the same year that Daniel was arrested for praying and was thrown to the lions (Daniel 6).

The year is 538 BC, Babylon has just fallen and is now being ruled by the Medes and Persians. 

:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Apparently Daniel had access to Jeremiah’s prophecies.  He considered them to be valuable.

You kind of get the idea from Jeremiah that there weren’t a lot of people who really believed that he spoke for God.  And even if they did believe he was a prophet, their actions seemed to indicate that they didn’t take God too seriously.

Daniel believed Jeremiah was a prophet.  He trusted the prophecies.

(Jer 25:11-12 NKJV)  'And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. {12} 'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a perpetual desolation.
(Jer 29:10 NKJV)  For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
Daniel has been in Babylon for 67 years.  He knows it’s close to the time when the seventy years is up.

This same year, king Cyrus of Persia, who was the overall king and was over Darius, would make a decree:

(Ezra 1:1-4 NKJV)  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, {2} Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. {3} Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. {4} And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
Josephus tells us that when Cyrus conquered Babylon, he found out about Isaiah’s ancient prophecies and began reading them, finding out that hundreds of years earlier God had spoken about him, even calling him by name.  Cyrus responded by making a decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. (Antiquities, 11:1:3-7)
Cyrus makes the decree 67 years into the captivity.
But it would take time for people to get packed up and go back to Jerusalem.
And then it was two more years into the return to Jerusalem that the Temple foundation is laid (Ezr. 3:8).
Sounds like 70 years to me.

:3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.


The Word and Prayer

I believe Daniel’s prayer in this chapter comes not only from the prophecies of Jeremiah, but also from the promised that God made to King Solomon when the Temple was built.  Solomon had asked God to honor the Temple by making it a place where people could pray and God would hear.  In part of Solomon’s prayer, he asked God to listen to the prayers of His people even when they had been rebellious and had been taken captive to a distant land (1Ki. 8:46-50).
God responded to Solomon, saying that He had heard and would honor Solomon’s prayer (1Ki. 9:3), and then God promised:
(2 Chr 7:14 NKJV)  "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

I believe Daniel’s actions and prayers are directly influenced by these promises in God’s Word.

The Bible says:
(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. {15} And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Daniel has been studying the Scriptures and has come up with some definite things he needed to be praying for.

How does your study of the Scriptures affect our prayer life?  Do the things you learn from the Bible show up in your prayer time?

According to what John was writing, these are going to be prayers that God is going to listen to.

:4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,

:5 "we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.

:6 "Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.

:7 "O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day; to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

:8 "O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

:9 "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

:10 "We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

:11 "Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.


:12 "And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

God’s Word was proven true when the promised judgment came and the people were taken captive to Babylon.

:13 "As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth.

We’ve looked at the prayer and promises made to Solomon, but even those things were based upon the warnings given to Moses if the people should continually stray from the Lord:

(Lev 26:31-33 NKJV)  I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas. {32} I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. {33} I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.

:14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.

:15 "And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

:16 "O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.

:17 "Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord's sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.

:18 "O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.

:19 "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name."


The power of confession

Sometimes we can talk ourselves into thinking that it’s not that big of a deal that we have to actually “confess” our sins.
We can tell ourselves, “Jesus has already paid for my sins, so I am already forgiven.”  And there is a sense of truth about this.
But there is a great power from God that is connected to our learning to admit our wrong doings.
Confession to God
(Psa 32 NKJV)  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. {3} When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. {4} For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

Selah – think about it.

It’s terrible to be under the weight of guilt from sin.

{5} I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah {6} For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. {7} You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah {8} I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. {9} Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. {10} Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. {11} Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Look at the things that flow from confessing sin –

Forgiveness (vs. 5)

Protection from the “flood” (vs. 6)

Songs of deliverance (vs. 7)

Guidance (vs. 8)

Sensitivity to God’s leading (vs. 9)

Mercy (vs. 10)

Joy (vs. 11)

Confession to people
Some folks get the idea that we must confess all of our sins to a person, like a priest in the Catholic church.  The truth is that we need to confess our sins to God.
But there are times when we’ve sinned directly against another person and we need to learn to confess our sin and ask for forgiveness.
(James 5:13-18 NKJV)  Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. {14} Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. {15} And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. {16} Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. {17} Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. {18} And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Answered prayer and healing can sometimes be related to confessing our sins to one another

(1 Pet 3:7 NKJV)  Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

:20-27 Seventy Weeks

:20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God,

:21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.

There were two daily burnt offerings that the Jews gave every day, a morning and an evening offering.

The evening offering began around 3:00 p.m., with the sacrifice of a perfect yearling lamb, which would be burnt on the altar.

The time of the evening sacrifice, as the morning sacrifice, was also a time of prayer.

Even though there had not been any sacrifices for years (47 years since the destruction of the Temple), Daniel still orients himself around this time of worship.


Though no one else does, I will

Daniel didn’t let his worship of God stop just because he was in Babylon.  He didn’t let it stop just because the Temple had been destroyed.
I think that sometimes I have a tendency to base my worship on what others are doing around me.
If the musicians are playing badly, or if the people around me don’t care about worship, I just might not worship either.
But in reality, worship is something that I do for God.  It’s a “performance” by me before my Creator.

God is still on His throne and I am still His servant.

So I must worship.

:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.

:23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

How would you feel if an angel told you that you were greatly beloved?  Wow.

:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.

This begins the prophecy we call the “Seventy Weeks of Daniel”.  It’s a keystone for prophecy.  It will predict the coming of the Messiah to the very day.  It will also speak of the person we refer to as the antichrist.

weeksshabuwa‘ - seven, period of seven (days or years)

The Jews not only referred to a week as a period of seven days, but also used it to refer to a period of seven years. (ie Gen.29:27; Lev.25:2-4,8; 26:34; Ez.4:6)

We will look at this as seventy weeks of years, or seventy groups of seven years, or, 490 years.

These “weeks” will be measured out in groups.  There will be a group of “7” weeks, which will describe the time to rebuild Jerusalem.  Then another “62” is added, which will be the time until Messiah comes.  Then there is one week that is yet to come.

your people and for your holy city

It’s important in prophecy to keep in mind who this period of time of for.

Who are Daniel’s people?

The Jews.

Why is this important?

Because we’re going to see that the last “week”, or group of seven years is going to be that period of time that we call the Great Tribulation period.
And I think that one of the reasons why people get confused over the Great Tribulation and whether or not we as the church will be there, is because they don’t take time to see what the Great Tribulation is aiming at.
It’s not for the Church, it’s for the nation of Israel.

to finish the transgression … -

Daniel is given a list of things that will be accomplished during these “70 weeks”.  The only thing that has been accomplished is the “Reconciliation for iniquity”, which took place on the cross when Jesus died for our sins.

:25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

Here is the prediction of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.

The command to rebuild Jerusalem is the start of the first part of the prophecy.

This took place (according to Neh.2:1) in March 14, 445 B.C.
From this point you add 69 weeks (7 + 62). 
Daniel worked off of the Babylonian calendar:

Prophetic year = 360 days (compare Dan.9:27, 7:24,25; Rev.13:4-7; Rev. 12:13,14; Rev.12:6)

69 weeks x 7 years x 360 days = 173,880 days

March 14, 445 B.C. + 173,880 days = April 6, 32 A.D.

The event that occurred on April 6, 31 A.D. is recorded in Luke 19:28-44.

(Luke 19:41-42 NKJV)  Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, {42} saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

What else happened that day?  It was Palm Sunday, the day when the Messiah made His grand entrance into the city of Jerusalem.  The Pharisees were upset that the crowd was making such a big deal over Jesus …

(Luke 19:40 NKJV)  But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."

Do you see why Jesus said this?  This was His grand day.  This was the day that Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled, to the day.

It’s too bad there weren’t any godly men like Daniel who were consulting the prophecies and understanding the times like Daniel did with Jeremiah’s prophecy.

:26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;

The Messiah was cut off when He died on the cross.

He didn’t die for Himself, but He died for the sins of the world.

When Jesus was “cut off”, God’s time clock for the 70 weeks was put on “pause”.

:26  And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

This is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in 70 AD.

Daniel is told that it is to happen by “the people of the prince who is to come”.  This “prince who is to come” is the antichrist.  The city was destroyed by the Roman army, and we can assume that the Romans are the people of the “prince who is to come”.

This fits pretty well with the prophecies of Daniel 2,7, where we talked about a revived Roman empire in the last days, an empire governed by the antichrist.

:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

The “he” is the prince who is to come.  We have now skipped into the near future, the time of the antichrist.

The antichrist will enter into some sort of agreement with the Jewish people, an agreement for seven years.

This is the final week of these “70 weeks”.  This is the time we refer to as the “Tribulation”.

In the middle of the “week”, or after 3 ½ years, the antichrist will stop the sacrifices in the Temple and do something “abominable”, something that will cause the Temple to become “desolate”, or forsaken by God.

We believe this will involve the antichrist declaring himself to be “god”:

(2 Th 2:4 NKJV)  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

By the way, this requires that there be a Temple, something which has not been built, but some Jews are preparing for.