Introduction: Daniel is now an old man. He has been a captive and a foreigner for most of his life. His fondest hope has been to have his country and God's sanctuary rebuilt so that the Jewish people could go home and properly worship God again. With that background, let's jump into our study of Daniel 9!
- The Prayer
- Read Daniel 9:1-3. When was Daniel praying? (The first year of King Darius. The Bible Knowledge Commentary identifies this as 539 B.C. - 66 years after Daniel had been exiled.)
- Do you remember Darius?(Read Daniel 5:30-31. Darius, the Mede, followed Belshazzar as ruler when the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians. This tells us that Daniel's prayer follows in time his vision of chapter 8. Compare Daniel 8:1.)
- What is Daniel praying about? (Daniel is praying about Jeremiah's prophecy ( Jeremiah 29:10)that the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews would last for only 70 years. Since Daniel is 66 years into his exile, we can understand why he is praying about this topic.)
- Read Daniel 9:4-6. What got the people into trouble?
- What does Daniel say about the people and prophecies? (Daniel tells us that the people have a rebellious attitude. They act on that attitude by disobeying God. Further, they do not listen to God - this is shown by the fact that they ignore His prophets.)
- Why is the attitude of the people so important? (Daniel says that God keeps His covenant of love with those who love and obey Him. Daniel may be concerned that God will not bring His people back home after 70 years if they are out of line with God's will.)
- Read Daniel 9:11-13. What did Moses write that had been fulfilled against Jerusalem? (In Deuteronomy 28 Moses wrote that if God's people were faithful they would be blessed. If they were not faithful, things would not go well for them. Daniel is writing that God's people have gotten what they deserved.)
- Is the Deuteronomy 28 principle still at work today?
- Read Daniel 9:14. What is the bad news? (That after all this, God's people have still not learned their lesson.)
- Read Daniel 9:15-16. To what historical fact does Daniel refer? (The Exodus from Egypt.)
- Why does he refer to the Exodus? (It shows that God has, in the past, been willing to rescue His people from slavery. Even people who had not turned back to Him. God has shown mercy and love to rebellious people. Thus, Daniel suggests that God should do this again to his people who are in captivity in Medo-Persia.
- Read Daniel 9: 17-19. On what basis does Daniel ask God to consider and do something about His promise regarding Jerusalem? ( Daniel 9:17: Because Daniel, God's servant is asking. Daniel 9:18:God's mercy. Daniel 9:19: God's name.)
- In Daniel 9:19 Daniel asks God to forgive His people. Can Daniel confess the sins of others? (Consider 1 John 5:16-17 and Job 1:4-5.)
- The Answer
- Read Daniel 9:20-21. Who shows up? (Gabriel - the angel who came to see him before. We previously learned that Gabriel stands in the presence of God.)
- How do you like the timing of God's response? (Gabriel left heaven when Daniel began his prayer and arrived while he was still praying!)
- What time of day did Gabriel show up? (The time of the evening sacrifice.)
- What "evening sacrifice" is Daniel talking about? (Daniel was so focused on the sanctuary service that he "tells time" based on when the evening sacrifice would have taken place. Of course, no sacrifice is taking place on earth because the sanctuary was destroyed before. Indeed, that was the main reason Daniel was praying, he looked forward to God fulfilling His promise to rebuild the sanctuary in Jerusalem.)
- Read Daniel 9:22-23. Understanding about what? What is the topic on which Daniel needs greater understanding? (Clearly the topic of the sanctuary in the vision of Daniel 8. Daniel is thinking and praying about restoring God's sanctuary. The last time Gabriel spoke to him ( Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 8:26) it was about the sanctuary service. But, Daniel did not understand then. (Daniel 8:27) So, Gabriel picks up where he left off last and continues his prior discussion. An interesting point is the Hebrew word used for the vision in Daniel 8:26, 8:27 and 9:23 is the same root word: "mareh." Thus, Gabriel's insight and understanding about the "vision" in Daniel 9:23 is about the same vision spoken of in Daniel 8:26 & 27.)
- Read Daniel 8:13-14 and Daniel 8:26-27. What is of continuing interest to Daniel? (Daniel wants to go home. Daniel wants the Jewish sanctuary to be rebuilt and God's people to properly worship him. Daniel has the most keen interest in this, but so far he cannot understand this prophecy that deals with this subject.)
- Let's get back to Daniel 9. We are going to take just a peek at next week's study. Read Daniel 9:24. "Seventy `sevens'" is an odd term. What do you think a "seven" means? ("Seven" would logically refer to a week. A week has seven days. Thus, Gabriel is speaking about 70 weeks.)
- How long is seventy weeks? (Seventy weeks would be about a year and a third (1 1/3).
- Read Daniel 9:25. Who do you think is the "Anointed One?" (See Acts 10:37-38. This refers to the Messiah - Jesus.)
- If you were Daniel, what would you be thinking right now?
- Will the sanctuary in Jerusalem be rebuilt? (Yes! Daniel's fondest hope is going to be fulfilled.)
- Will it be easy to rebuild?
- Read Daniel 9:26. What is the bad news? (The sanctuary gets destroyed again! The Anointed One is cut off. It sounds like a terrible tragedy.)
- Friend, next week we will study in detail this seventy week prophecy that so concerns and excites Daniel. Our God is interested in us and He wants us to know that He controls kings and kingdoms and our future. Our future depends in part upon our actions. Jesus is coming again! Are you ready? Have you confessed your sins and relied upon God's mercy for your salvation?
- Next Week: 70 Weeks.