His Covenant of Love
Comments for Study 9
Memory Verse: 4
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I. Daniel Prays (1-19)
>1. When was it and this to the time when Daniel was taken into captivity? (1; 1:1,6)
* Daniel 9:1 "In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom"
* Daniel 1:1 "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it."
* Daniel 1:6 "Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah."
* "In the first year" -539 B.C., the first year of the Persian Empire as the world power. Cyrus was the ruler of the Mede-Persian Empire. Cyrus had not but would soon sign a decree allowing the Jews (a word meaning exiled Israel and Judah) to return to the promised land later this same year. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4)
* Prophecies concerning Cyrus' Persian army defeating Babylon are Isaiah 13:17-22, 21:2, 41:2, 44:28, 45:1-4, 13, 46:11, 48:14-15. These prophecies that mention Cyrus by name are around two hundred (200) years before they were fulfilled.
* "Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent)" -Xerxes is a Greek form of the Hebrew Ahasuerus. This is not the Xerxes in the book of Esther. Xerxes is believed to be a title. Darius here is not the Darius in earlier chapters of Daniel. This person has not been identified in ancient writing or through archaeology.
* "who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom" -Babylon was only part of the Mede-Persian Empire. Babylon slowly experienced a decline in glamour, power, and prestige during the Persian Empire.
* Daniel was taken into exile around the age of twenty. He was now an old man, over seventy years old. It appears that in this stage in life, Daniel was not in as high a position as he was under Babylonian rule probably because he had been in the Babylonian court and he was very old according to those days.
* Daniel was a Bible scholar. His Bible would have consisted of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, probably only one scroll) also called the Scroll of the Law. He also had the historical books Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel (originally one scroll), 1 & 2 Kings (originally one scroll) and 1 & 2 Chronicles (originally one scroll). The last two would have been just finished in his lifetime. The only prophetic books he would have would have been Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah (completed in his lifetime). Ezekiel was a contemporary prophet. Most of the prophetic books concerned the sins, warnings, and judgment of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. All these were in Daniel's past. Some like Joel and parts of Isaiah was about the future from Daniel's point of view. Daniel would have known that the Messiah was still to come. Yet, he would have had many questions about the future God had in store for Israel and Judah. The visions he was given earlier would have answered some of his questions. At the same time he found part of them confusing and troubling, leaving more questions than answers. The situation looked bleak for God's people. So Daniel prayed. His faith was rare among the exiles as is demonstrated in how few would return to the promised land.
* The year is 539 BC, the first year of the Persian Empire as the world power. Cyrus was the ruler. He put Darius in charge of the Babylonian kingdom. This is right after the events in Daniel 6.
Daniel was a Bible scholars. He studied Jeremiah, someone he had personally known, to learn the exile was almost over. He also knew from his earlier visions general events to take place. Yet he did not know the timeline. Persians new rule must have made him wonder. So he prayed, confessing his sin and the sin of God's nation Israel.
The Lord replied with a timeline of events that will happen to Israel. Here God gives the exact amount of time for all he prayed and more.
The "Anointed One, the ruler, comes," is speaking of Jesus, the Christ. God said, "After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing." Here seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.'" are years. Sevens are 7 years. Seven Sevens is 49. Sixty-two is 434. That's 483 years.
God also said, "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place." That's 490 years. Sevens are 7 years. 7 x 70 = 490 years.
God said when Jesus would come and when he would die for the atonement of my sins. God was very determined to save me. Jesus was cut off and had nothing so I could gain everything. Thank you Jesus.
>After many years of Bible study what did Daniel discover? (2; Jer. 25:11-12, 29:10-14)
* Daniel 9:2 "in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years."
* Jeremiah 25:11-12 "This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the Lord, "and will make it desolate forever."
* Jeremiah 29:10-14 'This is what the Lord says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
* "understood from the Scriptures" -Daniel studied the Bible.
* "Jeremiah the prophet" -Jeremiah was a prophet of the Lord in the generation just before Daniel. The Lord spoke through him pleading with Judah to repent, warning of the consequence if they didn't. One invasion, two invasion, and three invasion later his words were fulfilled. As the exile continued many began to accept that he was a prophet of the Lord. Daniel studied his book and found a time line was given. Since his earlier prophecies were fulfilled, Daniel believed the rest of Jeremiah's prophecies were to be fulfilled.
* "the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years" -Very precise, very accurate, very real. Desolation is an act or instance of abandoning, forsaking, misery and loneliness.
>What did he do? (3)
* Daniel 9:3 "So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.'
* "the Lord God" -Lord is "Adonai" in the original Hebrew used as a spoken substitute for the ineffable name of God. God is "Elohim" in the original Hebrew used first in Genesis 1:1.
* "pleaded with him in prayer and petition" -Earnest conversation with God. Daniel knew that the exile was about to end, Jerusalem would be reoccupied by God's people, and the temple was to be rebuilt. Yet nothing seemed to be happening. In fact, things at times got very bad for the Jews.
* "in fasting" -Refraining from eating some or all food in order to concentrate all time and energy on prayer.
* "in sackcloth and ashes" -The sign of remorse and repentance.
* See a picture of sackcloth to the right.
* "confessed" -Verbally confessing sins is very important. Confessing sins is not to men, but to God. Some sins need to be confessed to men to ask them for forgiveness and mercy. All sins should be confessed to God for forgiveness and mercy.
> Who was the Lord to Daniel? (4a)
* Daniel 9:4a "I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed"
* "the Lord my God" -Daniel had a sincere belief that he has a personal relationship with God. What was the basis for this belief? When did he first have this belief? When things didn't seem to go his way, how could he maintain this belief? What is his place in this relationship? If he was to doubt that relationship would it affect the relationship? Why did he feel the need to pray in this way?
>What can we learn from Daniel?
* What kind of relationship do you have with God? In the point above replace "he" and "his" with "I" and "me". Then answer the questions.
>2. What was the Lord's covenant with Israel? (4b, Ex. 19:3-8)
* Daniel 9:4b-6 "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands"
* Exodus 19:3-8 "Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, "We will do everything the Lord has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord."
* "O Lord, the great and awesome God" -Daniel showed respect for his Lord. He was humble and honest. He had fear of God and love for God.
* "his covenant of love" -Israel entered a covenant relationship at the Mount Sinai. (Exodus 19-24) All of God's covenants are based on love.
* "with all who love him and obey his commands" -The type of relationship that the Lord God seeks is a love relationship with him. Love can only be shared.
* The phrase "the love of God," when used by Christians, almost always refers to God's love for us. We must remember that it can also mean our love for God. (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge.)
* If literally God is love, then literally love is God, and we are in all duty bound to worship love as the only. God there is. If love is equal to God then God is only equal to love, and God and love are identical. Thus we destroy the concept of personality in God and deny outright all His attributes save one, and that one we substitute for God. (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)
>Considering his and Israel's situation what is amazing about his prayer? (5-7)
* Daniel 9:4b-6 "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land."
* "with all who love him and obey his commands" -Loving God is joined with obeying his commands. Love for and with God is not a vague emotion. Love includes action. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15) Just as James wrote faith without works is dead, so love without obedience is dead.
* "we have sinned and done wrong" -Sin is not doing what ought to be done, and doing what ought not be done.
* "We have been wicked and have rebelled" -Israel and Judah sinned in many ways. The worse sin was idolatry. Idolatry is placing something before and in place of God.
* "we have turned away from your commands and laws" -The covenant of love the Lord God had with Israel had stipulations which both sides needed to keep.
* "We have not listened to your servants the prophets" -As stated above the Lord sent prophets to tell the people they were breaking the covenant and that would mean that the Lord would have to invoke the part of the covenant that dealt with what would happen when they broke the covenant.
* "who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land." -The order of people that Daniel mentions here is important for that was the chain of leadership. Yet, all were required to obey the commands even if their leaders didn't.
* The Lord God kept his part of the covenant with Israel even though they didn't keep it with him.
* We must not, however, overlook the fact that God’s benefits are dispensed according to promise, and that each promise carries with it specific conditions which must be met if it is to be honored. Every blessing has its own terms; meet them and the blessing is yours. (The Early Tozer: A Word In Season)
>3. Why did the Lord scatter Judah and Israel? (7-8)
* Daniel 9:7-8 "Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame--the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. O Lord, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you."
* "Lord, you are righteous" -Everything the Lord does, says, and thinks is right. God does no wrong. Everything he does is good, even punishment for sins.
* "the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel" -Daniel was not just praying for the kingdom of Judah. He was praying for the kingdom of Israel too. He was praying for the Jews.
* "because of our unfaithfulness to you" -Daniel confessed that God's chosen people were unfaithful. A difference between God's people and the world is that we can and do confess our sins to God and ask for mercy. The difference between the God of Israel and other gods is that the Lord God forgives sins when we come to him in humble repentance.
* "covered with shame because we have sinned against you." -Shame is the result of sin. Shame is a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, and disgrace. Today does anybody feel shame?
>Even though they were the ones who broke the covenant, what did Daniel know about the Lord? (9-10)
* Daniel 9:9-10 "The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets."
* "The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving" -God's love is so amazing it is hard to comprehend. Who would have mercy for Israel if they were in God's place? No man or woman ever to have lived and ever to live would not love as God loves Israel. Someone very close to me has been and is treating me similar to the way Israel treated the Lord God. How does my love compare to his? Jesus said an amazing thing to his disciples when Peter asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven)." (Matthew 18:22) Jesus' answer and the parable that followed has very much to do with this chapter in Daniel.
>What do we know about the extent of God's mercy and forgiveness? (Rom. 5:6-8, 8:38-39)
* Romans 5:6-8 "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
* Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
* God's love for us is shown in Jesus suffering, crucifixion, death, and resurrection.
>4. What are the curses written by Moses? (11-12; Deut. 11:26-29)
* Daniel 9:11-12 "All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem."
* Deuteronomy 11:26-29 "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse-- the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses.'
* "All Israel" -Not just Judah, Daniel was praying for all the spiritual descendants of Jacob.
* "transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you" -A repeat of earlier prayer topics. "Turned away" is "wrong repentance". Refusing to obey includes knowing it and rejecting it.
* "the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses" -Leviticus 26:33 and Deuteronomy 28:63-67.
* "You have fulfilled the words spoken against us" -God keeps his promises even the ones we don't like to endure because of sin.
>Though they received the promised curses what had they not done yet? (13-14)
* Daniel 9:13-14 "Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him."
* "yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth" -Daniel knew that most of his piers were not repenting. His conclusions about them were proven true by how many actually returned to the promise land when Cyrus issued the decree.
* "for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does" -Repeated.
* "yet we have not obeyed him" -Repeated.
* Daniel begins to repeat himself.
>What can we learn about what the Lord requires when we sin? (1 John 1:8-9; 2:1-2)
* 1 John 1:8-9 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.'
* 1 John 2:1-2 "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
* Daniel's prayer is a good example of how to react when we sin and when we endure God's wrath because of sin. God's wrath is his last tool to get people to return to him.
* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.
>5. How is it possible the Lord's name endured even though Jerusalem was destroyed and his people taken into captivity?
* Daniel 9:15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong."
* "who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand" -As recorded in Exodus.
* "made for yourself a name that endures to this day" -All the nations to this very day knows the events of the exodus out of Egypt, whether they believe God did it or not.
* "we have sinned, we have done wrong" -Repeated
>What happens when God's people sin? (16)
* Daniel 9:16 "O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us."
* "in keeping with all your righteous acts" -The Lord's wrath, grace, and mercy are all part of his righteous acts.
* "turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill" -The Lord God chose Jerusalem to be the place where his temple was to be located. The temple was on a hill called Mount Moriah.
* "your people an object of scorn to all those around us" -This was true not only in Daniel's time, but since the time that they rejected Jesus as the Messiah to this very day.
* When a person becomes a child of God and then rejects his leadership we are no longer a good witness to his name. He warns us. If we ignore the warnings he will bring wrath and make our name a scorn word amongst the people so that all will know this is how God disciplines his children. (Deuteronomy 8:5, 21:18-21)
>What was the reason for Daniel's request?
* Daniel 9:17-19 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name."
* "hear the prayers and petitions of your servant"
* "For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary"
* "Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name"
* "We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy."
* "O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake,"
* "O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name"
II. As Soon As You Began to Pray (20-24)
>6. While Daniel was confessing sins who came to him? (20-21; Luke 1:19)
* Daniel 9:20-21 "While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill-- while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice."
* "Gabriel" -Gabriel is the first angel that we know the name of. (Daniel 8:16, 9:21) He looks like a man. He was sent to Zechariah to tell him about his son, John the Baptist (Luke 1:19) and then to Mary to tell her about her son Jesus (Luke 1:26).
* "came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice" -Gabriel looked like a man (Daniel 8:16) but could fly. Because of this description many paintings, drawings, and statues show angels with wings. However, angels are recorded in the Bible with other appearances.
* Michael is the only other angel name in the Bible. (Daniel 10:13, 10:21, 12:1; Jude 1:9, 12:7)
* The Bible does not say much about angels. Sadly today more interest and information is supplied concerning angels than the Lord God to the point where some pray to and even worship angels.
>Why might the Lord know that Daniel wanted and needed insight and understanding? (23; 7:28, 8:27, 9:2)
* Daniel 9:22 "He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.'
* Daniel 7:28 "This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself."
* Daniel 8:27 "I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king's business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding."
* Daniel 9:2 "in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years."
* God knows the heart of all people. He knows what we want and what bothers us. He knows what we will as before we ask. (Matthew 6:8)
>Why was he given help so quickly?
* Daniel 9:23 "As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:"
* "As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given" -The Lord always hears and answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear; either a no, or not at this time.
* "for you are highly esteemed" -Three times Daniel is stated bo highly esteemed. (Daniel 9:23, 10:11, 19) Mary was told by Gabriel that she was highly favored. (Luke 1:28)
* "consider the message and understand the vision" -Daniel would need to think about what he saw to understand it.
* Studying the Bible often is not easy. Much prayer, effort, and grace is needed to understand the deeper truths in the Bible. I've been studying for years as can be seen by this site. However, I have to admit that I know very little compared to what it has to say. Some of what the Lord has revealed to me is not recorded here. I've learned that if I don't understand something in the Bible, or that it doesn't make sence, I need to pray and wait for eventually the Lord will later reveal it to me. Sometimes the "later" is many years later.
III. Seventy "Sevens" (25-27)
>7. What are seventy "sevens"? (Lev. 25:8-24; Matthew 18:21-22)
* Daniel 9:24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.'"
* Leviticus 25:8-24 "Count off seven Sabbaths of years--seven times seven years--so that the seven Sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property. If you sell land to one of your countrymen or buy any from him, do not take advantage of each other. You are to buy from your countryman on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And he is to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what he is really selling you is the number of crops. Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God. Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. You may ask, "What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?" I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in. The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land."
* 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 "He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its Sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah."
* Matthew 18:21-22 "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven (or seventy times seven) times."
* Leviticus 26:34 "Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths."
* "Seventy 'sevens'" -Seventy sevens is all over the internet, all talking about time. Although I address this too, the Lord had me think about what Jesus taught his disciples about continually forgiving a brother who sins against me; seventy times seven I am to forgive. (Matthew 18:22-23) The parable he taught after he said that is about "the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants". A man who owed more than a lifetime was graciously forgiven his debt by the king. However, later than man refused to forgiven someone who owed him less than an hours wage but couldn't pay it. So the man refused to forgive the debt even though the man begged and even put him in jail. Later, when the master heard of this he called the wicked man in, rebuked him, and turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, "until he should pay back all he owed". (Matthew 18:34)
Jesus' parable is very similar to what Israel and Judah experienced and to what the Jews are now experiencing. Yet at the same time the Lord continually forgives his people over and over again. When I sin I can approach God and ask for forgiveness based on the blood of Jesus. God will forgive a repetitive heart. It does not matter how many times I sin, if I am truly repetitive and ask for forgiveness the Lord will and does forgive me. Seventy times seven is a way of stating endlessly. The seventy times seven that was revealed to Daniel is all about wrath and forgiveness. Its about mercy from God and mercy towards our brothers. Its about doing what God seeks. What does the Lord desire. Jesus said, "If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:7-8)
* "Seventy 'sevens'" -This equal 490.
* Blackstone wrote in his book Jesus is Coming “The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic Law was the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8). This was based upon God's great rest day in Genesis 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks leading to Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven days feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatic year (Lev. 25:4); and the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatic year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12).” He continues with more and quotes 2 Peter 3:8 then continues, “…so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand-year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand-year of rest.” He is not the first to see the significance.
God, through Moses, designated Nisan (originally called Abib) as the first month of the year (Ex. 12:1-11, 13:3-10). At the same time God called the season of the fall Festival of Booths (aka Tents, Tabernacles, Ingathering, and Sukkoth) the end of the year even though it is in the seventh month. The Festival of Booths is one of seven feasts the Lord established.
* The first and second day of the seventh month is the holiday, Zicaron Terua, meaning "a memorial with the blowing of horns" (Lev. 23:23-25, Num. 29:1-6). Numbers 29:1 calls it the festival of Yom Teruah, meaning "Day of blowing the trumpet (horn)". (Modern Jewish celebration Rosh Hashanah, meaning Head of the Year, is not the same). Two more holidays associated with and following it are also in the seventh month; Yom Kippur (aka Day of Atonement and Awe, Lev. 29:7-11) and Sukkot (aka Feast of Tents or Booths, Lev. 29:12-40).
* The book of Revelation chapters 8 through 11 look forward to the sounding of seven trumpets during the Tribulation. The six blasts in chapters 8 and 9 are judgments. Revelation 10:7 states, “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets," and 11:15 states, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.’"
* In Mesopotamia the numbers seven and seventy represent a full measure of time. Schematic usage of the term “weeks” can be seen in Jewish literature in the book of 1 Enoch (in the Apocalypse of Weeks), and the period of seventy weeks is also found at Qumran. The schematic use of time has been referred to as chronography,” which is to be differentiated from chronology.” (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – Old Testament)
* "Seventy 'sevens' are probably seven-year periods of time, making a total of 490 years, but the numbers may be symbolic. Of the six purposes mentioned (all to be fulfilled through the Messiah, some believe that the last three were not achieved by the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ but await his further action: the establishment of everlasting righteousness on earth) the complete fulfillment of visions and prophecy, and the anointing of the "most holy". (NIV Study Bible)
>What are they decreed for?
* "your people" -Daniel was a part of God's people. However, the Lord God didn't refer to them as "my" people.
* "your holy city to finish transgression" -Daniel was from Jerusalem. However, the Lord God didn't refer to it as "my" city. "Finish" transgression can also be translated "restrain" transgression. It implies that though they would return the year Daniel received this vision the city and the Jews would still be subject to wrath. Transgression means a violation of the Law, and the exceeding of bounds and limits.
* "to put an end to sin" -Why did the Lord God allow this to continue? To put an end to sin. Why doesn't God take us to heaven the moment we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord? He has a plan to us. He has a mission for us. He wants to train and discipline us. Remember, physical death is not the end to life.
* "to atone for wickedness" -How is wickedness atoned for? Can we do something to atone for wickedness? No. We do not have enough time nor can enough punishment atone for our wickedness because we are not pure. Proverbs 16:6 says, "Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil." 1 John 2:1-2 records, "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 4:9-10 records, "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
* "to bring in everlasting righteousness" -Jesus' blood is so powerful that it takes away sins forever. Psalm 103:11-12 says, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
* "to seal up vision and prophecy" -See below.
* "and to anoint the most holy" -See below.
* Stages to achieve these six objectives are outlined in verses 25-27.
* The six verbs divide into two sets of three; the first three are concerned with the problem which exercised Daniel in his prayer, namely the grounds on which God could forgive human sin, and the second three with the positive fulfilment of God's right purposes. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary, Daniel)
>What does it mean to seal up vision and prophecy?
* "to seal up vision and prophecy" -God was going to finish what he promised. He had revealed to the prophets God's six step plan that centered around the Messiah. To seal up a document was to give one's stamp to it, proving it to be authentic.
* Daniel had learned from the Jeremiah the prophet that the Jews would soon be allowed to return to the promised land. God here reveals that not only that prophecy, but all of Jeremiah's prophecies and all the other prophets was authentic and true. God would fulfill his will.
* Jeremiah 31:31-34 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
* Luke 22:20 "In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
* 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
>What does it mean to anoint the most holy? (c.f. 25b, 26a)
* "to anoint the most holy" -The Lord is the most holy. The angels sing, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:3) And, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come." (Revelation 4:8) The inner most chamber of the temple is called the "Holy of Holies" because that is where the Lord's presence was. The consecration ceremony that involves anointing and purification of the Holy of Holies in Exodus 29:36-37 helps in understanding the statement "anoint the most holy". The temple needed to be purified in order for the Lord's presence to arrive and be used.
>8. What is the starting point of the time line given to Daniel?
* Daniel 9:25 "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble."
* "Know and understand this" -Daniel was to consider and think about the words just as we are. God did not create nor does he want mindless zombies.
* "From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" -"Decree" here can also be "word" referring to God's word to rebuild and restore. In other chapters of the book the starting-point for revelation has been the historical setting indicated by the date or, in chapter 8, by the geographical details, which indicated a new capital city. On the face of it the same is true here. The starting-point of the interpretation is the command to rebuild the Temple, given by Cyrus in 539 B.C. unless a distinction is made between the Temple and the city; in which case the time of Nehemiah would be the starting-point. No other alternative seems possible. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary, Daniel)
* "there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens."-Seven 'sevens" is forty nine (49). Sixty-two "sevens" is four hundred thirty-four (434). Added together they are four hundred eighty-three (483).
* This identification of the word is even more likely in light of the fact that Daniel is reflecting on the writing of Jeremiah, who proclaimed the prophetic oracle concerning return and restoration in his letter to the exiles (Daniel 9:2). Notice especially Jeremiah 29:10. The going forth of this word would then be dated to sometime between 597 and 594. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament)
>What is the ending?
* "until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes" -This is Jesus' first coming. The Anointed One in Hebrew is Messiah and in Greek it is Christ. Daniel is the first prophet to use the term Messiah other than perhaps Habakkuk 3:13 (Isaiah 45:1 is for Cyrus). Jesus is the Anointed One. Matthew 3:16-17 records when John baptized Jesus, "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
* Kings and high priests are the only anointed positions in the Bible. Jesus is the fulfilment of both.
* 2 Peter 1:16-18 "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain."
* Hebrews 1:1-3 "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
* CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF PROPHECIES JESUS FULFILLED INCLUDING DANIEL 9:25.
>What will the rebuilt Jerusalem have?
* "It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench" -Streets refers to the city squares and plazas, the place where commerce and law took place. A trench is a dry moat that was part of the city's defences. Some have stated that its the aqueduct that the Roman's built.
* The combination indicates that Jerusalem will again be a place of security and prosperity, providing all of the civic functions of a smoothly operating urban center. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – Old Testament)
>What characterizes the times it is rebuilt?
* "in times of trouble" -The Roman occupation as indicated in earlier visions that Daniel received shows that the Roman occupation of Israel was cruel and harsh.
* The combination of Rome and Herod political presence was crushing to the average Jew. The religious leaders only added to the misery of the time. Jesus called the people "sheep without shepherds".
>When was it rebuilt? (Nehemiah 2:1, 4-5, 8)
* Nehemiah 2:1 "In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before"
* Nehemiah 2:4-5 "The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it."
* Nehemiah 2:8 says the king granted his request. Artaxerxes in the month Nisan gives edict to rebuilt Jerusalem. This would be March or April 445 B.C. This puts the ending of the sixty-nine (69) 'sevens" in the A.D.
* Some commentaries give different dates for Artaxerxes issuing the decree for Nehemiah's return and rebuilding Jerusalem, but all within thirteen (13) years of the date above. Thus the date of Jesus' crucifixion is stated as different years, all around 30 A.D.
* The city walls were finished fifty-two days after it was started, the same year the decree was issued. (Nehemiah 6:15)
>9. What are sixty-two "sevens" and what happens after them? (26a)
* Daniel 9:26a "After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing."
* "After" -"After" implies just as the sixty-nine (7 + 62) 'sevens' end.
* "After the sixty-two 'sevens,'" -This is the time that the Messiah (the title of the Anointed One) was to die. The Jews had a hard time understanding how their Messiah would die when all they wanted was the Messiah to establish Israel as an independent nation and a world power, if not the only world power. (John 6:15) The Dead Sea Scrolls establishes the only thing they really wanted was a Messiah who was a political leader of an independent state. They wanted the gifts of the Messiah, not the person. They loved what he could bring, not who he was.
* "the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing." -Here to "be cut off" means Jesus' crucifixion. For some odd reason some place this on Onias III, the high priest who was murdered in 171 B.C. and the desecration of the temple in 167 B.C. (seven years later) by Antiochus even though this happened way before the 69 'sevens" were ended. I guess they are trying to link Daniel's previous vision of the ram and goat with this one. Antiochus was a type of antichrist, but the time line does not fit for Antiochus. The Romans did mix pig's blood with the sacrifice and set up an emblem of Rome on the temple shortly before Jesus' crucifixion. (Luke 13:1)
* Jesus' crucifixion marks the end of the sixty-two week clock.
* The final seven years starting and completion has two schools of interpretation. Some claim that the next seven years took place right after the sixty-two weeks ended (the no-gap theory). However, most believe that there is a gap after the sixty-two weeks ended before the last seven start (the gap theory). I believe the later.
>When was Jerusalem and the temple destroyed? (26b)
* Daniel 9:26b "The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary."
* "The people of the ruler who will come" -The believers of the no-gap theory say that the Roman Titus and his army fulfilled this in 70 A.D. They say he is the leader of the army (people) and Caesar was his ruler. Yet, the timing is not right for it wasn't seven years but around forty years. The rest say that the antichrist and his army will fulfill this prophecy.
* "will destroy the city and the sanctuary" -Titus did do this. Will the antichrist? The exact timing is not given here, but must fall within the last seven years. See below for more on the timing.
* The antichrist is the antitype of the Roman Titus and Caesar.
>What happens next? (26c)
* Daniel 9:26b "The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed."
* "The end will come like a flood" -The end of the age. The day of judgement on the kingdom's of men as was predicted in earlier visions given to Daniel. (Daniel 2: 44-45, 7:26-27, 8:25)
* "War will continue until the end" -Jesus said this too. (Matthew 24:4-8; Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11)
* Matthew 24:4-8 "Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
* Mark 13:5-8 "Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains."
* Luke 21:8-11 "He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."
* "desolations have been decreed" -Desolations are acts that remove inhabitants. The desolation is either by the wars just mentioned or God's wrath or most likely both. Matthew 24:21-22 records Jesus saying, "For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."
* Matthew 24:29-31 "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."
* Mark 13:24-27 "But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."
* Luke 21:25-28 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
>10. Who will confirm a covenant with whom and for how long? (27a)
* Daniel 9:27a "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'"
* "He will confirm a covenant with many" -"He" is the ruler in verse 26. The Roman Titus never did this so it will be fulfilled by the "little horn", the antichrist.
* "one 'seven.'" -Seven years.
* The summation of these verses point only to a future leader, not to a leader in the past. Though some of the past leaders met some of the descriptions, they do not meet all the descriptions.
>What will he do in the middle of the covenant? (27b)
* Daniel 9:27b "In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.
* "In the middle of the 'seven'" -This is obviously three and one half years. So now we have a time line for the prophecies in verse 26.
* "he will put an end to sacrifice and offering" -Repeated from verse 26.
* Again, no leader of the past fulfilled this prophecy.
>What else will he do? (27c; Matt. 24:15-16)
* Daniel 9:27c "And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation"
* Matthew 24:15-16 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand-- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.'
* Mark 13:14 "When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
* "And on a wing [of the temple]" -The phrase here is obscure. Young pionts out that the 'pinnacle' of the Temple is literally 'little wing' and argues that 'wing' is the summit of the Temple.
* "he will set up an abomination that causes desolation" -An abomination is something filthy and loathsome.
* As noted above history records the Romans doing this sometime before they destroyed it in 70 A.D.
>What is poured out on him? (27d; Rev. 20:1-3)
* Daniel 9:27d "until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
* Revelation 20:1-3 "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time."
* "until the end that is decreed" -Repeated from above.
* "is poured out on him." -The ruler.
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