Book of Daniel, part 11

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Daniel 9: Three Parts

  1. Daniel’s Study (9:1-3)
  2. Daniel’s Prayer (9:4-19)
  3. Gabriel’s Reply (9:20-27)
    1. Response to Study and Prayer

Daniel’s Study

Seventy Years

The Prayer

  1. Affirmation of God’s righteousness
  2. Acknowledgment of sinfulness
  3. Appeal to God’s righteousness

    Similar to prayers in 1 Kings 8, Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, Psalm 79

Apocalyptic Faith

Seventy Weeks

Seventy Weeks = 490 Years

Phase 1 – 7 Weeks

Phase 2 – 62 Weeks

1 Maccabees 1:11-15
In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, "Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us." This proposal pleased them, and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

2 Maccabees 4:7-15
When Seleucus died and Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, succeeded to the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias obtained the high priesthood by corruption ... When the king assented and Jason came to office, he at once shifted his compatriots over to the Greek way of life.

Phase 3 – 1 Week

So What? [The Message of Daniel 9]

Additional Notes:

  1. What are the number of years according to Jeremiah? The devastation of Jerusalem? (9:1-2)
    1. Apocalyptic meaning of 70 – 7 x 10. Completion and augmentation
    2. Daniel is studying Scripture.
    3. Jeremiah 25:11-12 and Jer. 29:10 [See also Isa. 40-55]
    4. The message of Jeremiah and the 70 years is: “None of you are going home. Make a life in exile. Your descendents will return.
  2. How did Judah and Jerusalem sin? What is the curse and oath written in the law of Moses? (vv. 11-13) See 9:3-14
  3. Note the structure of Daniel’s prayer – Affirmation of God’s nature; affirmation (confession) of sin; appeal for forgiveness; appeal to God’s nature and righteousness. [Other examples of prayer – 1 Kings 8:46-53; Ezra 9:6-15; Neh. 9:6-37; Psalm 79; Baruch 1:15-3:8; Prayer of Azariah 1-22; Prayer of Manasseh]
    1. Note the admission of sin. Another feature of apocalyptic is to hold accountable those who have been seduced or lost hope. It is not enough to promise the defeat and destruction of the persecutor. The persecuted have to be made accountable. (In Rev. chapter 18 functions in this way as do portions of the seven letters).
    2. The use of OT history is important in Daniel 9. It hasn’t been used like this before in the book
    3. Daniel’s prayer refers to the covenant, prophets, kings, law of Moses, Exodus. This is the history of God’s work among his people. It is core to Hebrew faith. If God has acted like so in the past, then we can count on him to be consistent in the future.
    4. The prayer of Daniel is similar to the prayers of 1 Kings and Ezra and Nehemiah and Baruch- they are a reaction to the fall of Jerusalem and the Exile. The Jewish people had to come to grips with this cataclysmic event just as we have had to come to grips with 9/11. One of the ways they interpreted the event was to accept it as God’s judgment and refinement.
  4. The concern of the prayer is the destruction and desolation of Jerusalem. Why is this a problem (in the 6th century)? Why is this a problem (in 2nd century)?
    1. For someone in Daniel’s time (6th c.) the 70 years is expanded to seventy “weeks of years” or seventy seven’s = 490 years. [Think decades being turned into definite periods – the 60’s 70’s 80’s etc.; one of their important multiples was 7] This could be depressing to the 6th century
    2. But the message is for the 2nd century and it promises change in their own day
    3. Sabbatical years (7 year cycle) and Jubilee years (49 year cycle)
    4. Israel continues to suffer because their sinfulness continues. [What was going on in the 2nd century?]
  5. What are the seventy weeks? [Note all that will be done in the 70 weeks] 9:24
    1. Gabriel is responding to Daniel’s concern to understand Jeremiah’s 70 years. The 70 years are redefined as 70 weeks. This is a common apocalyptic technique.
    2. Six things happen through these 70 years:
      1. To finish the transgression
      2. To put and end to sin
      3. To atone for iniquity
      4. To bring in everlasting righteousness
      5. To seal both vision and prophet
      6. To anoint a most holy place
    3. 7 weeks [49 years?] – Word goes out to restore Jerusalem and anointing of a prince
    4. 62 weeks [434 years?] – rebuilding of Jerusalem in a troubled time
    5. After 62 weeks – the anointed one is cut off, troops of the “prince who is to come” shall destroy city and sanctuary, end shall come with flood, war, desolations decreed
    6. 1 week [7 years – 3.5 years for half a week] – He makes strong covenant with many (for half of that week he makes sacrifice and offering cease and desolates with the abomination) All until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

Interpretation of Daniels’ Seventy Weeks

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 19 August 2007

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