-In the first year of Darius’ reign (so this more than likely goes back in time before Daniel’s lion’s den experience under Darius’ rule in Daniel 6), Daniel observes the prophecies of Jeremiah by the Word of the LORD for “the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10-13, Daniel 9:1-2).” At this point, Daniel seeks the LORD with “prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes (Daniel 9:3).” Further, He confessed the sins of iniquity, wickedness, rebellion, and turning away from God for himself and his people, the Jewish nation, before the “great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments (Daniel 9:4-5).” He acknowledged that his people had not listened to God’s servants, the prophets, who spoke in the LORD’s Name to the kings, princes, fathers, and all the people of the Promised Land (Daniel 9:6). Open shame therefore belonged to the unfaithful and exiled people of God, while He deserved all the glory as the Righteous One (Daniel 9:7-8). Daniel then pleas for God’s gentler side in proclaiming His compassion and forgiving qualities even in the midst of their rebellion and disobedience against His Voice (Daniel 9:9-10). This is an eloquent discourse on the plight of the Jews owning up to the real issues that surrounded their current position of slavery to a foreign power. Daniel goes on, “Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your Law and turned aside, not obeying Your Voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him (Deuteronomy 27:15-26; 28:15-67, Daniel 9:11).” Daniel sees the recompense of the LORD for his nation’s deeds and the fulfillment of what God had warned of way back in the giving of the Law. Even with all this calamity that had befallen them, they still neglected the LORD to call upon His Name in their distress for His favor and restoration. They wallowed in their iniquity, disobedience, and false ways instead of turning back to the God of truth, righteousness, and forgiveness (Daniel 9:12-14). The prophet Daniel reiterates his confession before the LORD on behalf of his wayward people and earnestly begs for God’s mercy and His turning away from anger and wrath. He calls for God’s Face to once again shine on His desolate sanctuary, and His Ears and Eyes to open in His great compassion (Daniel 9:15-18). He specifically asks for the LORD to hear, for forgiveness, for the Almighty to listen, and for Him to take action for His own glory and sake without delay (Daniel 9:19).
-While Daniel was doing all of this confessing, praying, and supplication for his sins and the sins of his people, the angel Gabriel shows up, who he had seen in a previous vision (Daniel 8:16; 9:20-21a). Daniel was in a state of extreme weariness at about the time of the evening offering when the angel came to give him instruction, talking with him and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision. Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophesy and to anoint the most holy place. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who make desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate (Daniel 21b-27).”
-*Application* This amazing prophecy gives us the exact time of the first coming of Messiah Jesus, which should encourage and help us develop a stronger faith in Him as the True and Living Savior. It also heightens our expectations for His second coming at the last week (these are symbolic periods of seven years) and the fulfillment of His Kingdom (Revelation 17:14). What is in-between the sixty-nine weeks of His first coming and the last week of His second coming is the sort-of “time out” stage in this age of the Gentiles where all the nations are having a chance to hear the gospel and come to salvation (Matthew 24:14). Times will indeed be hard, but Christ’s victory is prophetically assured and we can rejoice and be glad (Revelation 19:7). It is also very worthy of noting Daniel’s position to indeed hear the vision and Voice of God. He was confessing for himself and his people with a sincere and earnest heart. We too can beg and petition God for insight, understanding, wisdom, and vision when we cry out to Him in our distress. See the need, call upon the LORD.
Verse to Memorize: Daniel 9:24