Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Daniel 9:20

Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jerusalem;   Nation;   Prayer;   Prophets;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Confession of Sin;   Daily Sacrifice, the;   Prayer, Answers to;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Daniel;   Messiah or Messias;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Daniel;   Gabriel;   Vision;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Confess, Confession;   Humility;   Vision(s);   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Reconciliation;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Sanctification;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Prayer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Confession;   Daniel, Book of;   Ezekiel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Confession;   Daniel, Book of;   Prayer;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Confession (of Sin);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Confession;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Messiah;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Confession of Sin;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And whiles I was speaking … - In the very time when I was thus pleading.

For the holy mountain of my God - See the notes at Daniel 9:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-9.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Jehovah my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he instructed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision."

GABRIEL INTERRUPTS THE PRAYER

It is of interest that from the place where Gabriel was when God's commandment reached him, it evidently required some time, even at the velocity which the flight of an angel might attain, for Gabriel to reach Daniel. There are glimpses here of things mortals cannot know.

The instructions of Gabriel to "understand the vision" should evidently be applied to a vision previously written in Daniel; because, in the prophecy of the seventy weeks about to be imparted to Daniel by Gabriel, it does not appear to be by means of a vision at all. "This revelation was not communicated to Daniel in a vision, but while he was in the state of natural consciousness."[7]

Daniel mentioned the precise hour of Gabriel's touching him, "about the time of the evening oblation." That means about the time of the evening sacrifices; but of course, there were no "evening sacrifices" by God's people while they were captives in Babylon. Nevertheless, Daniel had observed the times of the prescribed sacrifices by engaging in prayer as seen here. Furthermore, we may in all likelihood suppose that this was a regular habit, marking Daniel's well-disciplined, godly life.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/daniel-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And while I was speaking and praying,.... Speaking to God in prayer; for it seems his prayer was vocal, and not mental only:

and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel; Daniel, though so holy and good a man, was not without sin, and thought it his duty to confess it before the Lord; and which he did in the first place, and then the sin of his people; which is the way to succeed with the Lord for the application of pardoning grace, and the enjoyment of other mercies and blessings:

and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; for the temple, and the service of God in it; which was the first and principal thing that lay upon the heart of the prophet, and he was most importunate and solicitous for.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/daniel-9.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

whiles I was speaking — repeated in Daniel 9:21; emphatically marking that the answer was given before the prayer was completed, as God promised (Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 65:24; compare Psalm 32:5).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I [was] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Ver. 20. And whilst I was speaking and praying.] When, haply, I had now new done; and yet not so done but that my heart was yet lifting and lifting, as a bell rope is oft hoising up after men have done ringing the bell.

And confessing my sins.] So precious a saint was not without his sins. These therefore he confesseth, that he might be the fitter to beg mercy for the Church; having first made his own peace with God, and so in case to lift up "pure hands" in prayer. The like doth David. [Psalms 26:6; Psalms 51:7]

For the holy mountain of my God.] This was his main request, and to God marvellously acceptable. Surely if the Lord saw us, Daniel-like studying his share more than our own, we might have what we would, and God even think himself beholden to us, as one phraseth it.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/daniel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Whiles I was speaking - repeated in Daniel 9:21; emphatically marking that the answer was given before the prayer Whiles I was speaking - repeated in Daniel 9:21; emphatically marking that the answer was given before the prayer was completed, as God promised (Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 65:24 : cf. Psalms 32:5).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(20) Whiles I was speaking.—The answer to Daniel’s prayer. He had not even finished his prayer when the answer came. The angel Gabriel, whom he had seen (Daniel 8:16), comes to him, and reveals to him the mystery of the seventy weeks.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/daniel-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
whiles
10:2; Psalms 32:5; 145:18; Isaiah 58:9; 65:24; Acts 4:31; 10:30,31
confessing
4; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 6:5; Romans 3:23; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8-10
for
16; Psalms 137:5,6; Isaiah 56:7; 62:6,7; Zechariah 8:3; Revelation 21:2,10
Reciprocal: Genesis 24:15 - before;  1 Kings 1:22 - General2 Kings 19:20 - I have heard;  2 Chronicles 7:1 - when Solomon;  2 Chronicles 20:14 - Then upon;  Ezra 10:1 - when Ezra;  Nehemiah 1:6 - confess;  Nehemiah 9:2 - confessed;  Psalm 7:1 - O;  Proverbs 18:12 - and;  Proverbs 28:13 - whoso;  Isaiah 37:21 - Whereas;  Daniel 10:12 - from;  Joel 2:1 - in my;  Zephaniah 3:11 - because of my holy;  Ephesians 6:18 - supplication;  James 5:16 - The effectual

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

As to the translation, some take it as I do; others say “flying swiftly,” implying fatigue and alacrity. Some derive the word for “flying” from עוף, gnof, which signifies to fly, and they join it with its own participle, which is common Hebrew; others again think it derived from יעף, yegnef; signifying to fatigue, and then explain it metaphorically as flying hastily. (108)

Here Daniel begins to shew us that his prayers were by no means useless, nor yet without their fruit, as Gabriel was sent to elevate his mind with confidence, and to lighten his grief by consolation. He next sets him forth as a minister of the grace of God to the whole Church, to inspire the faithful with the hope of a speedy return to their country, and to encourage them to bear their afflictions until God should open a way for their return. Next, as to ourselves, we need not wonder at God’s refusing at times an answer to our prayers, because those who seem to pray far better than the rest scarcely possess a hundredth part of the zeal and fervor required. On comparing our method of prayer with this vehemence of the Prophet, surely we are in truth very far behind him; and it is by no means surprising, if, while the difference is so great, the success should be so dissimilar. And yet we may be assured that our prayers will never be in vain, if we follow the holy Prophet at even a long interval. If the limited amount of our faith hinders our prayers from emulating the Prophet’s zeal, yet God will nevertheless listen to them, so long as they are founded in faith and penitence. Daniel says, therefore, While I was as yet speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel First of all, we must notice how the Holy Spirit here purposely dictated to the Prophet, how God’s grace would be prepared for and extended to all the wretched who fly to it and implore it. The Prophet, therefore, shews why we are so destitute of help, for if pain occasions so much groaning, yet we never look up to God, from whom consolation is always to be sought in all evils. He thus exhorts us to the habit of prayer by saying his requests were heard. He does not bring forward any singular example, but, as I have already said, he pronounces generally that the prayers of those who seek God as a deliverer will never be either vain or unfruitful. I have shewn how our supplications do not always meet with either the same or equal attention, since our torpor requires God to differ in the help which he supplies. But in this way the Prophet teaches us how those who possess true faith and repentance, however slight, will never offer up their prayers to God in vain.

He next adds what is necessary to conciliate God’s favor, namely, that men should anticipate God’s judgment by condemning themselves. So he asserts, He confessed his sin and that of his people He does not speak here of one kind of sin, but under the word חטא, cheta, he comprehends all kinds of wickedness; as if he had said, when I was confessing myself as steeped in sin and drowned in iniquity, I confessed the same on behalf of my people. We must notice also the phrase, the sin of my people Israel He might have omitted this noun, but he wished to testify before God to the Church being guilty and without the slightest hope of absolution, unless God, whom they had so deservedly offended, was graciously pleased to reconcile them to himself. But the first clause is more worthy of notice, where Daniel relates the confession of his own sins before God. We know what Ezekiel says, or rather the Spirit speaking through his mouth. (Ezekiel 14:14.) For God names the three most perfect characters which had then existed in the world, and includes Daniel among them, although he was then living. Although Daniel was an example of angelic justice, and is celebrated by so remarkable an honor, yet, if even he were before me, and were to entreat me for this state, I would not listen to him, but I would free him only on account of his own righteousness. As, therefore, God so extols his own Prophet, and raises him on high as if he were beyond all the pollution and vices of the world, where shall we find a man upon earth who can boast himself free from every stain and failing? Let the most perfect characters be brought before us — what a difference between them and Daniel! But even he confesses himself a sinner before God, and utterly renounces his own righteousness, and openly bears witness to his only hope of salvation being placed in the mere mercy of God. Hence Augustine with much wisdom often cites this passage against the followers of Pelagius and Celestius. We are well aware with what specious pretenses these heretics obscured God’s grace, when they argued that God’s sons ought not always to remain in prison, but to reach the goal. The doctrine indeed is passable enough, that the sons of God ought to be free from all fault, but where is such integrity really found? Augustine, therefore, with the greatest propriety, always replied to those triflers by shewing that no one ever existed so just in this world as not to need God’s mercy. For had there been such a character, surely the Lord, who alone is a fitting judge, could have found him. But he asserts his servant Daniel to be among the most perfect, if three only are taken from the beginning of the world. But as Daniel casts himself into the flock of sinners, not through any feigned pretense or humility, but when uttering the fullness of his mind before God, who shall now claim for himself greater sanctity than this? When, therefore, I confess my sins before the face of my God Here surely there is no fiction, whence it follows that those who pretend to this imaginary perfection are demons in human shape, as Castalio and other cynics, or rather dogs like him.

We must therefore cling to this principle: no man, even if semi-angelic, can approach God, unless he conciliates his favor by sincere and ingenuous confession of his sins, as in reality a criminal before God. This, then, is our righteousness, to confess ourselves guilty in order that God may gratuitously absolve us. These observations, too, respecting the Israelites concern us also, as we observe from the direction which Christ has given us to say, Forgive us our trespasses. (Matthew 6:12; Luke 11:4.) For whom did Christ wish to use this petition? Surely all his disciples. If any one thinks that he has no need of this form of prayer, and this confession of sin, let him depart from the school of Christ, and enter into a herd of swine.

He now adds, Upon the mountain of the sanctuary of my God. Here the Prophet suggests another reason for his being heard, namely, his anxiety for the common welfare and safety of the Church. For whenever any one studies his own private interests, and is careless of his neighbor’s advantage, he is unworthy to obtain anything before God. If, therefore, we desire our prayers to be pleasing to God, and to produce useful fruit, let us learn to unite the whole body of the Church with us, and not only to regard what is expedient for ourselves, but what will tend to the common welfare of all the elect people. While, therefore, says he, I was yet speaking, and in the midst of my prayer It appears that Daniel prayed not only with his affections, but broke forth into some outward utterance. It is quite true that this word is often restricted to mental utterance; for even when a person does not use his tongue, he may be said to speak when he only thinks mentally within himself. But since Daniel said, When I was yet speaking in my prayer, he seems to have broken forth into some verbal utterance; for although the saints do not intend to pronounce anything orally, yet zeal seizes upon them, and words at times escape them. There is another reason also for this: we are naturally slow, and then the tongue aids the thoughts. For these reasons Daniel was enabled not only to conceive his prayers silently and mentally, but to utter them verbally and orally.

He next adds, Gabriel came; but I cannot complete my comments on this occurrence today.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:20". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-9.html. 1840-57.