Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Daniel 9:6

Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Intercession;   Nation;   Prayer;   Prophets;   Repentance;   Sin;   The Topic Concordance - Disobedience;   Iniquity;   Israel/jews;   Rebellion;   Servants;   Sin;   Transgression;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prayer;   Prayer, Intercessory;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Daniel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Confession;   Daniel;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Humility;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Reconciliation;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Confession;   Sanctification;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Captivity;   Chronicles, the Books of;   Prayer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of;   Ezekiel;   People of the Land;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Daniel, Book of;   Prayer;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Synagogue;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Confession;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Confession of Sin;   Prayer;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 17;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets - Who called upon us to turn from our sins; who made known the will of God, and who proclaimed that these judgments would come upon us if we did not repent.

Which spake in thy name to our kings … - To all classes of the people, calling on kings and rulers to turn from their idolatry, and the people to forsake their sins, and to seek the Lord. It was a characteristic of the prophets that they spared no classes of the nation, but faithfully uttered all the word of God. Their admonitions had been unheeded, and the people wow saw clearly that these calamities had come upon them because they had “not” hearkened to their voice.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-9.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Daniel 9:6

Neither have we harkened unto thy servants the prophets.

The Prophetic Ministry

It was the design of Daniel, in this sentence, to look back upon the whole course of the prophetic ministry that people had enjoyed from the time of its establishment to the time of their humiliation. We now consider the period from the death of Samuel to the close of the Babylonish captivity, a period of more than five hundred years.

I. SOME FACTS CONNECTED WITH THE PROPHETICAL ORDER. It was a class distinct from the priestly class. Their schools. The prophets were the founders of the seminaries of religion, learning, and philosophy, in which a class of men of cultivated minds and of holy hearts were raised up to influence their fellow-men. By the “sons of the prophets” we are to understand not children, but disciples. Samuel seems to have been the first tutor of these colleges.

2. How were the prophets called? It was not a matter of course, that because a man had been in a collegiate establishment, therefore he should be a prophet of God. God has never tied up His influence, never restricted His grace to any institutions of man, however wise and reasonable they may be. Thus Amos says--“I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son.” The Divine call was very discriminating.

3. The customs of the prophets. They were known by their costume. A garment of the coarsest sort--haircloth, and sometimes sackcloth. These were the signs of mourning; and they wore that attire to indicate their grief at the transgressions of the people. They were remarkable in their diet. Their deportment was very reserved and solemn.

4. The nature of their ministry. Their oral addresses were, no doubt, abundant. They addressed the multitude as popular preachers. And they sometimes acted parables. Their written predictions were a third part of their ministry. They were the historians of the church and nation of the Jews.

II. SOME REASONS WHY THE MINISTRY OF THE PROPHETS WAS ORDAINED.

1. It was partly to counteract the tendencies of an established priesthood. Under priesthoods men are in great danger of losing all view of the spiritual and moral part of their office, and sinking down into that which is merely ceremonial and ritual. The prophets often arraign the priests--often charge upon them, in very plain end faithful terms, their wickedness. Morality must ever take the lead of ceremonial institutions. God regards obedience rather than sacrifice.

2. They were to enforce the authority of the Divine law. No man can acheive anything great in reference to his fellow-men who has not first achieved the conquest of himself. The prophets were men who had learned to deny themselves, and then men who had seen visions of eternity.

3. To correct the tendency of the people to trust in heathen oracles.

4. To excite the hope of the Divine mercy in the minds of the people.

III. THE SUBJECTS INCLUDED IN THE MINISTRATIONS OF THE PROPHETS.

1. They embrace the whole social condition of the Jews during five hundred years. We say that history is the key to prophecy; but prophecy amongst the Jews was the key to history.

2. They were employed to announce the judicial visitations that should come upon the heathen.

3. A third class of subjects was a description of the Christian dispensation, as it should be set up by Messiah. (J. Blackburn.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Daniel 9:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/daniel-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets,.... To their explanations of the laws and judgments of God; to their admonitions, reproofs, and counsels; these they did not attentively listen to, nor give credit to them, nor yield obedience to them; but despised and rejected them, though they were the true prophets and servants of the Lord; such as Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others:

which spake in thy name; they came by the authority of God, being sent by him; they delivered their message in his name, being his ambassadors; and which as it was an honour done to this people to have such men sent unto them, so it was an aggravation of their sin that they showed no respect to them; since their words were not their own, but the Lord's, which they spoke to all sorts of persons:

to our kings; one after another, as to Ahaz, Manasseh, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah; kings of the house of David, and over the land of Judah:

our princes; princes of the blood, nobles, and courtiers:

and our fathers; meaning not only their immediate ancestors, but their subordinate rulers, civil magistrates, judges or elders of the people, as Jacchiades interprets it:

and to all the people of the land: of Judea; the common people, as distinguished from persons of rank and figure before expressed. These several persons are named, partly to observe how faithful the prophets were in delivering their message to all sorts of persons, high and low, not fearing the faces of any; and partly to show that none could plead ignorance, or excuse themselves with that, since all had had sufficient warning and instruction: as also to observe, that the sin of rejecting the true prophets of the Lord was universal among them, all were guilty of it.

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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 9:6". "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

prophets … spake … to our kings … to all the people — They fearlessly warned all without respect of persons.

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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 9:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Daniel 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Ver. 6. Neither have we hearkened.] Sins of omission are in a special manner to be lamented in prayer; [Jeremiah 9:1; Jeremiah 9:10; Jeremiah 9:13] for as omission of diet breedeth diseases, so of duties.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/daniel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For God to send his prophets to his people was their high privilege, and the highest act of favour to them, and of his authority over them, for they were God’s ambassadors, and came to them in the Lord’s name; and therefore their sin and punishment was the greater. God’s ambassadors have a large commission, and general instruction to speak in the name of their Lord with all authority, and without respect of persons. And this shows,

1. God’s authority over all.

2. God’s mercy towards all, of all sorts.

3. The aggravation of this sin, because it was of all sorts, as Genesis 6:12,13 2 Chronicles 36:16. Now the abuse of ambassadors hath by the law of nations ever been highly resented, 2 Samuel 10:12:29-31.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/daniel-9.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Nor have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.”

They had added to their sins in that they had refused to listen to the words of the true prophets, who had spoken in YHWH’s name. All were involved in this, from the king downwards. Compare Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19; Jeremiah 44:17; Jeremiah 44:21; Nehemiah 9:32; Nehemiah 9:34; Ezra 9:7. The verses in Jeremiah demonstrate where Daniel obtained his ideas from, but he had distant memories of having seen it for himself. The references in Nehemiah and Ezra are more formal indicating that they come later than Daniel.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/daniel-9.html. 2013.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

spake in Thy name. Compare Hebrews 1:1. Compare Exodus 7:1 with Exodus 4:16, and see App-49.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people. They fearlessly warned all, without respect of persons.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "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

(6) Neither have we hearkened.—The aggravation of guilt. All God’s warnings have been unheeded by high and low alike, by all to whom they were addressed.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/daniel-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
have we
10; 2 Kings 17:13,14; 2 Chronicles 33:10; 36:15,16; Isaiah 30:10,11; Jeremiah 6:16,17; Jeremiah 7:13,25,26; 25:3-7; 26:5; 29:19; 32:32,33; 44:4,5,16; Zechariah 1:4-6; Zechariah 7:8-12; Matthew 21:34-40; 23:37; Luke 20:10-12; Acts 7:51,52; 13:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16
our kings
Ezra 9:7; Nehemiah 9:32,34
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 18:12 - they obeyed not;  2 Kings 21:9 - they hearkened;  2 Chronicles 36:14 - all the chief;  Nehemiah 1:7 - dealt;  Isaiah 1:23 - princes;  Isaiah 46:9 - the former;  Jeremiah 2:26 - their kings;  Jeremiah 3:25 - we and our;  Jeremiah 34:19 - princes;  Jeremiah 44:17 - as we;  Jeremiah 50:7 - We offend;  Daniel 9:8 - to us;  Zechariah 7:7 - cried;  Malachi 2:8 - ye are;  Romans 10:3 - submitted

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Then he shews how impiously, and wickedly, and perfidiously the Israelites had rebelled, and how they had declined from God’s statutes and commandments. Daniel enlarges upon the people’s fault, as they had no pretext for their ignorance after they had been instructed in God’s law. They were like a man who stumbles in broad daylight. He surely is without excuse who raises his eyes to heaven or closes them while he walks, or casts himself forward with blind impulse, for if he fall he will find no one to pity him. So Daniel here enlarges upon the people’s crime, for the law of God was like a lamp pointing out the path so clearly that they were willfully and even maliciously blind. (Psalms 119:105.) Unless they had closed their eyes, they could not err while God faithfully pointed out the way in which they ought to follow and persevere. This is the first point. But we ought to gather another doctrine from this passage, namely, there is no reason why men should turn away entirely from God, even if they have transgressed his commands, because, although. they please both themselves and others, and think they have obtained the good opinion of the whole world, yet this will avail men nothing if they decline from God’s commandments and statutes. Whoever, therefore, has the law in his hands, and turns aside in any direction, although he may use the eloquence of all the rhetoricians, yet no defense will be available. This perfidy is surely without excuse — to disobey the Almighty as soon as he shews us what he approves and what he requires. Then, when he forbids anything, if we turn aside ever so little from his teaching, we are perfidious and wicked, rebellious and apostate. Lastly, this passage proves that there is no rule of holy, pious, and sober living except a. complete performance of God’s commandments. For this reason he puts statutes and judgments to shew that the people did not sin in ignorance. He might have concluded the sentence in one word: we have departed from thy commandments; but he joins judgment to commands. And why so? To point out how easy and clear and sufficiently familiar was God’s institution, if the Israelites had only been teachable. Here we may notice the frequent recurrence of this repetition. The unskillful think these synonyms are heaped together without an object, when statutes, judgments, laws, and precepts are used, but the Holy Spirit uses them to assure us that nothing shall be wanting to us if we inquire at the mouth of God. He instructs us perfectly in regulating the whole course of our lives, and thus our errors become knowing and willful, when God’s law has been clearly set before us, which contains in itself a perfect rule of doctrine for our guidance.

He afterward, adds, We have not obeyed thy servants the Prophets who have spoken in, thy name We ought also diligently to notice this, because the impious often wickedly fail to discern the presence of God, whenever he does not openly descend from heaven and speak to them by angels; and so their impiety is increased throughout all ages. Thus, in these days, many think themselves to have escaped by boasting in the absence of any revelation from heaven: the whole subject, they say, is full of controversy; the whole world is in a state of confusion; and what do the teachers of the Church mean by promoting such strife among each other? Then they boast and think as they please, and are blind of their own accord. But Daniel here shews how no turning to God is of the slightest avail, unless he is attended to when he sends his prophets, because all who despise those prophets who speak it the name of the Lord are perfidious and apostate, wicked and rebellious. We see, then, the suitability of this language of Daniel, and the necessity of this explanation: The people were wicked, unjust, rebellious, and impious, because they did not obey the prophets He does not assert that this wicked, impious, contumacious, and perfidious character of the people arises from their not listening to God thundering from heaven, or to his angels when sent to them, but because they did not obey his prophets. Besides this, he calls the prophets servants of God who speak in his name He distinguishes between true and false prophets; for we know how many impostors formerly abused this title in the ancient Church; as in these days the disturbers of our churches falsely pretend to the name of God, and by this audacity many of the simple are deceived. Daniel, therefore, distinguishes here between the true and false prophets, who everywhere boast in their divine election to the office of teachers. He speaks here of the effect, treating all these boastings as vain and foolish, for we are not ignorant of the manner in which all Satan’s ministers transform themselves into angels of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14.) Thus the evil as well as the good speak in God’s name; that is, the impious no less than the righteous teachers put forth the name of God; but here, as we have said, Daniel refers to the effect and the matter itself, as the phrase is. Thus when Christ says, When two or three are gathered together in my name, (Matthew 18:20,) this is not to be applied to such deceptions as are observable in the Papacy, when they proudly use God’s name as approving certain assemblies of theirs. It is no new thing, then, for a deceiving Church to hide its baseness under this mask. But when Christ says, Where two or three are assembled in my name, this refers to true and sincere affection. So also Daniel in this passage says, True prophets speak in God’s name; not only because they shelter themselves under this name for the sake of its authority, but because they have solid proofs of the exercise of God’s authority, and are really conscious of their true vocation.

He afterwards adds, To our kings, our nobles, our fathers, and all the people of the land Here Daniel lays prostrate every high thing in this world with the view of exalting God only, and to prevent any pride rising in the world to obscure his glory, as it otherwise would do. Here, then, he implicates kings, princes, and fathers in the same guilt; as if he had said, all are to be condemned without exception before God. This, again, must be diligently noticed. For we see how the common people think everything permitted to them which is approved by their kings and counselors. For in the common opinion of men, on what does the whole foundation of right and wrong rest, except on the arbitrary will and lust of kings? Whatever pleases kings and their counselors is esteemed lawful, sacred, and beyond all controversy; and thus God is excluded from his supreme dominion. As, therefore, men thus envelop themselves in clouds, and willingly involve themselves in darkness, and prevent their approach to God, Daniel here expresses how inexcusable all men are who do not obey the Prophets, even if a thousand kings should obstruct them, and the splendor of the whole world should dazzle them. By such clouds as these God’s majesty can never be obscured; nay more, this cannot offer the slightest impediment to God’s dominion or hinder the course of his doctrine. These points might be treated more copiously: I am only briefly explaining the Prophet’s meaning, and the kind of fruit which ought to be gathered from his words. Finally, it is a remarkable testimony in favor of the Prophet’s doctrine, when kings and their counselors are compelled to submit, and all the loftiness of the world is brought under subjection to the prophets, as God says in Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 1:10) Behold! I have set thee above kingdoms, and above the empires of this world, to destroy and to build up, to plant and to root out. There God asserts the authority of his teaching, and shews its superiority to everything in the world; so that all who wish to be free from it, as if endowed with some peculiar privilege, are both foolish and ridiculous. This, then, must be noticed in the Prophet’s words, when he says, God spoke by his prophets to kings, princes, and fathers Respecting the “fathers,” we see how frivolous is the excuse of those who use their fathers as a shield in opposing God. For here Daniel unites both fathers and children in the same guilt, and shews how all equally deserve condemnation, when they do not listen to God’s prophets, or rather to God speaking by means of his prophets.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-9.html. 1840-57.