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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Daniel 9

Verses 1-2

DANIEL - CHAPTER 9

DANIEL AND EZEKIEL’S VISION OF THE 70 WEEKS

Verses 1, 2:

Verse 1 fixes the time of this event as occurring in the first year of Darius, who was the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made to be king over the Chaldeans, Daniel 1:21; Daniel 5:31; Daniel 6:28; Daniel 10:1. This was 537 B.C., one year after Cyrus took Babylon 538 B.C. It was 69 years after Daniel had been carried captive to Babylon 606 B.C.

Verse 2 adds that in or during the first year of the reign of Darius, Daniel understood by books or scrolls (of Jeremiah) the number of years the Lord had told Jeremiah that his people, the Jews, would be kept captive while Jerusalem and the temple were desolated. The time was definitively given to be seventy (70) years, as alluded to Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:8-10; See also 2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 31:38. The 70 years were completed with the commandment to rebuild the temple, Daniel 9:25.

Verses 3-19

DANIEL’S PRAYER AND CONFESSION

Verses 3-19:

Verse 3 is a testimony of Daniel, that when he had read and understood from the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, that the time of the desolation of Jerusalem and 70 years of captivity of his people was nearly finished, he was deeply moved to prayer to God. As a man of God who had experienced answered prayer from the den of lions, and through 69 years of captivity, he approached the living God, as one in old age. He set or fixed his face toward the Lord God with faith, making prayerful supplications, intercessions, with deepest humility of fasting, with sackcloth and ashes, Luke 18:14.

Verse 4 recounts Daniel’s continuing intercession and entreaty to God for mercy. He relates that Hebrews 1) made his confession directly to the great and dreadful (just judging) God; 2) he acknowledged that God was fair or just to keep His covenant and show mercy to those who loved and obeyed Him, Exodus 20:4-5; Jonah 2:2; Habakkuk 3:1-16. See also Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Jeremiah 29:12-14; James 4:10; God has promised to guard and deliver His own through mercy, not because of their merit, Ezekiel 36:22-23; John 15:15.

Verse 5 acknowledges that the people of Israel had sinned by lawless deeds, engaging in willful wickedness, and rebelled against the moral principles and ethical practices He had given for them to follow. They too had ’turned aside from His precepts and judgments, so willfully and obstinately, that the integrity of His Holy name could be vindicated only through sending captivity judgment on Israel, for a period of 70 years. Daniel understood this; and like Moses and Paul he stood in the gap, acknowledging their sins, and pleading God’s mercies for them, Psalms 106:23; Ezekiel 22:30; Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-3.

Verse 6 further confessed that they had not listened to the prophetic judgment warnings of their holy prophets who had faithfully, without respect, spoken to the kings and princes (rulers), and to their religious fathers, the priests and elders, and all the people of their land, as described Acts 7:51-53; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16; Jeremiah 25:3.

Verse 7 continues a confession that Daniel offered concerning his people. He confessed (agreed) that the Lord was righteous and the men of Judah, Jerusalem, Israel and all who were suffering, in their own land, wherever dispersed, were suffering a just and righteous sentence for their own chosen ways of guilt and anarchy against God and His commandments given to them, Romans 2:1; Romans 14:11-12.

Verse 8 reiterates that all classes of the people of Judah and Israel, princes, kings, their ruling fathers, faced confusion becaue they had sinned against God by choice, by their own volition, without excuse, Romans 2:15; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23. For such they had been, in shared guilt, driven from Jerusalem, the city of peace, and her temple, for seventy years, v. 2.

Verses 9-12 acknowledge that to the Lord God of Daniel and His people Israel belonged mercies and forgiveness, though they had sinned against Him; For he is the "God of all mercies,’ and "forgiver of sins," Isaiah 55:6-7; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 1 John 1:9, even after men have rebelled against Him.

Verse 13 further confirms that what happened in Israel’s captivity judgment had come because of their own chosen evil ways and their neglect of prayer and repentance as a means of restoration from the evil judgments that had befallen them, 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:8-9; James 5:16-17.

Verses 14, 15 note that God had been beholding their sins and brought the evil judgment upon them righteously, on account of their obstinate disobedience, Jeremiah 31:28; Psalms 11:4. That the Lord watched over, cared for, and brought His covenant people of Abraham out of Egyptian bondage is here given as evidence that God is a God of integrity, before the world. In His past mercies He may yet receive honor from the once disobedient, Psalms 80:8-14; Jeremiah 23:7-8; Jeremiah 32:21.

Verse 16 is a direct intercession of Daniel to the righteous God to turn away His anger and fury of extended judgment from the city of Jerusalem, His holy mountain. The appeal was made, not on Israel’s merit, but on God’s righteousness and faithfulness to keep and show mercy to those who would trust in Him, Psalms 31:1; Psalms 143:1. For he acknowledged that both their sins and judgment had caused them to become objects of shame and a reproach among the heathen. He asked mercy for them and another chance, 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 55:6-7.

Verses 17-19 conclude this emotional, earnest intercession of an aged saint, long faithful through Babylon’s captivity, and into that of Medo Persia, near 70 years. Daniel was motivated through faith in the inspired word of God, the law of Moses, and the writings of Jeremiah, of more recent date especially, v. 1, 2; Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:8-10. The Lord is called upon to cause His face to shine upon His now desolate sanctuary (to restore it) for His name:
Verse 18 appeals to the Lord to incline His ear (listen intently) to their prayers of confession and open His eyes to observe their utter desolation and the desolation of the city of Jerusalem that once bare (supported) His honorable name. Daniel again concedes that his prayer is not because of any righteous merit in Israel at all, but because of the great mercies He recognized in the character of their God, Titus 3:5.
Verse 19 concludes the prayer of intercession with strong, sobbing, emotional tones of a penitent child appealing to a pitying father for mercy and help. The short phrase "defer not" indicates that he expects God to act right away, as the 70 years of Jeremiah’s prophecy of the length of their captivity is now almost complete. So God can forgive in truth and integrity now, Jeremiah 14:21; Jeremiah 25:11; Psalms 79:9; Psalms 119:160; And he believes He will, 2 Chronicles 7:12.

Verses 20-27

GABRIEL EXPLAINS MEANING OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS

Verses 20-27:

Verse 20, 21 relate that as Daniel was speaking, before he had stopped praying, confessing his sins, the sins of his people, then interceding to the holy God for mercy on His people, Jerusalem, the holy mountain and sanctuary, the angel Gabriel came directly to him, Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 65:24; Psalms 32:5. The angel Gabriel came swiftly upon him, as on a former occasion, to give him help and information for his people then and in all following ages, Daniel 8:16. He came as a messenger of help to minister to him and deliver him from deathly grief, Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 1:14. He arrived in swift flight and touched Daniel at the end of a day of fervent prayer, about the time of the evening oblation or sacrifice, at the ninth hour, three o’clock in the afternoon, 1 Kings 18:36.

Verse 22 asserts that the angel Gabriel, chief of God’s informing angelic band, talked with Daniel and certified that he had come forth (from the throne of God) to give or dole out to him skill and understanding for writing, speaking, and relating the will and purpose of God in him and his people Israel, as well as certain judgments upon their Gentile enemies. This indicates that the symbolic vision of chapter 8:16 had not yet been shut up, concluded or cut off, Daniel 8:26.

Verse 23 relates that Gabriel established his own identity as a watching, listening, guarding angel, who looked on from the throne of God, Psalms 34:7. He told Daniel that at the very beginning of his prayer the mandate (from God) came to him to come down to Daniel and make known to him that he was "greatly beloved" of God. In response God sent Gabriel to Daniel to cause him to understand more fully the meaning of the vision, James 1:5; Ezekiel 23:6-12; Matthew 24:15.

Verse 24 asserts that 70 weeks (more accurately years) seventy weeks of seven years each had been determined, in the purpose of God, upon the holy city and the people of Israel for six things, beginning with Artaxerxes:

1) To finish the transgression, to shut up or restrain it, to abolish it, Psalms 51:9.

2) To make an end of sins, to hide it out of sight, to end, finish or complete its judgment, Job 9:7.

3) To make reconciliation for iniquity, to make an atonement (Heb kaphar) for iniquity of His people, Exodus 29:33. To cover or overlay lawlessness, as a payment, Genesis 6:14; Psalms 32:1.

4) To bring in everlasting righteousness, or to restore reconciliation between God and man forever, Jeremiah 23:5-6; Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 14:6.

5) To seal up the vision and prophecy. To give time for the prophecy to be fulfilled, as a confirmation of its trustworthiness, 1 Peter 1:20-21; Psalms 119:160.

6) And to anoint the most Holy One, or to consecrate the most Holy One, John 1:41; and holy place; See Luke 4; Luke 18 fulfilling Isaiah 62:1.

This too alludes to our Lord’s consecration of the Holy Temple, after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes, and perhaps at His return to earth again, after the pollution by the antichrist, Jeremiah 3:16-17; Ezekiel 37:27-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The seventy weeks of years covered this period, with certain parenthesis, during which time national chastisement would be completed, the Son would come as the redeemer and establisher of His church, and ultimately the reestablishment of national Israel, and everlasting righteousness will be brought in, at His second coming, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 19:16.

Verse 25 explains to Daniel that he and we are to know (recognize) and understand that from the going forth of the commandment (by the king of Persia, Ezra 6:14) to restore (refurbish) or reconstruct the city of Jerusalem, to the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of peace, (Psalms 2:2; Matthew 27:37; Matthew 27:42; Isaiah 9:6) would be: 1) seven weeks (of years) or 49 years, based on the scriptural prophetic measure; Ezekiel 4:6; Ezekiel , 2) sixty two weeks (of years) 434 years; and 3) one week of years. It was added, as an immediate hope for Israel, after 70 years that they had languished in Babylon and Persia, that they should rebuild the streets and walls of the Holy city, even in troublous times, under many hardships, as told by both Ezra and Nehemiah.

Verse 26 certifies that after the added 62 weeks of 434 more years the Messiah would be cut off, rejected, and crucified, Isaiah 53:8; Hosea 2:23; John 11:49; But His being cut off will not be for, or in, His own behalf, to gain any earthly profit for himself. It is added that thereafter the prince or ruler of the people who should come (the Roman Emperor’s armed destroyers) would "destroy the sanctuary" that the Lord had cleansed, in which He had taught, Luke 19:43-44; Matthew 24:2. This seems to have been fulfilled in the destruction of the city, temple, and holy place in A.D. 70, under Titus of Thespacia, the Roman General; After which the Jews were, by our Lord’s prophecy, dispersed among all nations, while the city should be and has been, trodden down of the Gentiles, "till the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled," Luke 21:24.

It is added that the end thereof would be "with a flood" or devastation of the city, Matthew 24:6-14. From then unto the end or completion of time, wars and desolations of dispersion judgment were determined or decreed upon "this people," the Jews in particular, for their national rejection of the Messiah, for which they were cut off, Matthew 23:37-39; Romans 11:15; Romans 11:25. See also flood judgments, Psalms 90:5; Isaiah 8:7-8; Isaiah 28:18-22.

Verse 27 concludes the angel Gabriel’s instruction to Daniel, regarding the future of his people Israel, in relation to this vision, v. 20-23. The "he" who shall "confirm the covenant with many for one week," or seven prophetic years, Ezekiel 4:6, is the "prince that shall come to destroy the city and the sanctuary," v. 26, (the antichrist), of whom Titus of Thespacia stood as a symbol. The "many" with whom he will make or "confirm the covenant" for the week of years or 7 years, refers to the people of Israel, in pledging to them the right to reestablish their morning and evening oblations or sacrifices that were taken away by Titus A.D. 70, which have never since been restored. They will be, only through Israel’s covenant with this "prince" or ruler, whom Israel will receive; Though they rejected the true Prince of peace; Jesus said. "Him ye will receive," John 5:43.

Gabriel further explains that "in the midst of the week" (prophetic week of 7 years), at the end of 3Yz years, or 42 months, he "the prince" or ruler that shall come, the antichrist, "shall cause (by force) the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," which he had promised in his 7 year covenant; But as a liar, deceiver, promise­breaker he ignores his promise at that time; Paul declares, that this person will even require that the Jewish people, all people, worship him as God, or be put to death, much as Nebuchadnezzar king of the first Gentile world Empire did; and as John describes the antichrist will do. See 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Daniel 3:4-8; Revelation 13:4-8; Revelation 13:12-18; John 5:43.

Note that the breaking of this covenant, made and kept for 3 1/2 years, is flaunted, disregarded, laid aside in the "midst of the week," and "sacrifices and oblations" restored shall too be cause to cease by this son of perdition, the antichrist. This occurs about the same time that war breaks out in heaven and the devil and his accusers of the brethren are cast down, never permitted to approach the throne to accuse brethren on earth any more, Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 12:14.

It is then asserted by Gabriel, to Daniel, that after this demon-like prince, the son of perdition, caused the Jewish worship of old to cease, after 31/2 years, there will be an "overspread of abominations," a spreading demand that he be worshipped. This demand shall be so strong that "he shall make it desolate," make totally desolate the ancient temple worship restored for a time (42 months). Such will remain, it is added "even until the consummation," the end of the 70th, this last week of 7 years of judgment on Israel, which has been determined, Daniel 9:24, "shall be poured out on the desolate or desolator," even upon the antichrist as well as all Jews for that latter 3 1/2 years, who have not become believers, received the Messiah during the first 3 1/2 years of the week, as their morning and evening oblations were offered.

The 144,000 who were sealed against death, and will be protected from death during the Tribulation the Great, are those who became Jewish believers in the Christ, as the Messiah, and worshiped Him as saints, during the first 31/2 years of the 70th week, until the antichrist arose and demanded that they worship him, Revelation ch. 12, 13. They will refuse.

From this point, the midst of the 70th week, The Tribulation the Great is poured out on the earth. With this view, scripture seems more nearly to harmonize than with any other interpretation. It is also at or about the time of this (not appearance, but revelation of the real character of who the antichrist is) that Jesus will appear in the air to raise the righteous dead, rapture the church, and begin Hls judgment of rewards and be married to His bride; while The Tribulation the Great fury is being completed on earth. After or about the end of the 70th week Jesus will be revealed (not just appear), in power and great glory, with the saints, to defeat the man of sin, end The Tribulation the Great, receive the 144,000 living tribulation-surviving Jewish saints, Revelation 12 th ch., and become King of kings and Lord of lords over all the earth. For an harmony of this 70th week see this author’s book and charts on the Book of Revelation; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 7:2-8; Revelation 19:5-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.

CHART II

WHAT HAPPENS? WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?

Antichrist Appearance--"In own name," John 5:43.

1) As "Little Horn," Daniel 7:8 (foreshadow).

2) "Little Horn" out of four notable ones, Daniel 8:9-14.

3) "King of fierce countenance" stands up, reveals his wicked anti-God character. . .foreshadowing antichrist, Daniel 8:23-27.

4) Division of 70th Week, Daniel 9:27.

FIRST 3 ½ Days (years):

1) Anti-christ enters with peaceful guile... confirms covenant for one week.

2) In midst or at end of 1st half of week, he causes sacrifice and oblations to cease

3) Spread of abominations make desolate temple of Jewish worship

4) He requires self-worship as God, for next 42 months, from this point on, 2 Thessalonians 2:4-10; Revelation ch. 13.

LAST 3 ½ Days (years):

1) About this time, in midst of the week, after Isreal has worshipped for 3 1/2 yrs. With oblations, and the church has witnessed, Jesus appears in the air to catch away the dead in Christ and rapture the church, those who look for Him, Revelation 12:3-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19:5-9.

2) At the end of the latter half of the week, Jesus will come, in power and great glory, to be glorified in His saint, the church and admired in all them that believe, and he will begin His reign on earth, Luke 1:32-34; 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Daniel 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/daniel-9.html. 1985.