CHAPTER 9 - verses 1-9

Most of this chapter is dedicated to Daniel’s prayer. In this prayer Daniel reveals to us that it was because of Israel’s disobedience to the Word of God that they went into exile. Many people who are replacement theologians (believing that God has finished with Israel, and has replaced all the promises that He gave to her by giving them to the church instead) use this prayer to say that because Israel had been disobedient and cast from the land they no longer had any right to it. However, what they fail to recognise is that God was not going to abandon His people in exile. 

Daniel’s prayer points to the fact that the 70 years of exile were coming to an end. God was going to take His people back to the land for a Messianic purpose – Messiah was going to be born in Israel. Likewise, in the last days, God is going to bring the people back to the land. He has been taking them back since 1947. Israel, after nearly 2000 years of exile, once again became a nation state on the 14th of May 1948. In the same way God brought the people back to the land for Messiah’s first coming, He is bringing the people back to the land for His second. 

Verse 1: “It was in the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, from the lineage of the Medes, that he ruled over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.” Note: Darius was part of the Mede and Persian empire. They conquered Babylon and greatly expanded their territory. 

Verse 2: “In the first year of his kingdom I, Daniel, understood by the books that the number of years, which was the word of the L-rd to Jeremiah the prophet, was fulfilled in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem – 70 years.” 

Understood by the books: Daniel was studying the Word of God prophetically. This is a wise thing to do. Books: He is referring to Biblical books – the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. The number of years…was fulfilled: God had revealed to Jeremiah, the prophet, that 70 years had been set aside for Jerusalem’s destruction (Jeremiah 29:4-14). According to Daniel’s calculations these years were coming to an end. That meant that God was about to move to take His people back to the land of Israel – out of the land of exile. 

Verse 3: “And I set my face to the L-rd God to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting, with sackcloth and with ash.” 

I set my face: Daniel knew that God was about to move. A transition was about to take place. Daniel did a wise thing in this circumstance – he sought God. If we have spiritual discernment, rooted in prophecy, we will know that God is beginning to move in a mighty way in these last days. We should be readying ourselves -praying to God, approaching God to hear His truth so that we can be found faithful in these last days – leaders for the truth of God. 

Verse 4: “I was praying to the L-rd my God and confessing, and I said: ‘Please, my L-rd, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and grace with those who love Him and those who keep His commands.”  

Keeps…covenant: God had made a covenant with the Jewish people. God does not keep that covenant based upon Israel’s faithfulness (just as God does not keep His New Covenant with us based on our faithfulness). He keeps it according to His grace and mercy, based on His faithfulness. Grace: God wants His covenant promises to be realized by His people. 

Therefore He gives grace in order that the covenant might be maintained. Those who love Him… keep His commands: This same teaching was given by Messiah Yeshua in John 15:10. Disobedience towards God shows a lack of love. In Revelation 2:4-5 we find that the church of Ephesus was told that they had lost their first love – the remedy: to return to doing the works (deeds) that they had at first done. 

Verse 5: “For we have sinned and have done iniquity; we have acted wickedly and have rebelled. We have turned away from Your commandments and Your judgments.” 

Note: When we do not accept God’s grace we are going to be in disobedience and in rebellion toward the commandments and the judgments of God. 

Verse 6: “And we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, when they spoke in your name concerning our kings, our leaders, our fathers and all the people of the land.” 

We have not listened to Your servants the prophets: Daniel is going to repeat (therefore emphasise) this in Daniel 9:10. Israel disobeyed, rebelled, sinned etc because they were not sensitive to the message of the prophets. Are we? Prophecy has a renewing effect in our lives. Prophecy drives us to obedience. It speaks about the hope that God has set before us, and the judgment that will come if we do not pursue this hope. 

All the people of the land: There is a debate as to whether this is simply talking about the land of Israel, or if this is a reference to all the people of the earth. 

Verse 7: “To You, my L-rd, is righteousness, but to us is a shameful face to this day – to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all of Israel, those who are close and those who are far away in every land where You have driven us. For they have rebelled against You.” 

They have rebelled: There has been no change in the people, but nevertheless God, because of His mercy, grace and faithfulness was going to take them back to the land of Israel. 

Verse 8: “O L-rd, to us is the shameful face, and to our kings, and to our leaders, and to our fathers which have sinned against You.” Shameful face: Repetition shows emphasis. 

Verse 9: “To the L-rd our God is mercy and forgiveness, but we have rebelled against Him.” 

Note: We are totally guilty (rebelled) before God, but we have a God who is merciful and forgiving!  


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