Summary: Daniel 9 helps us answer the question of where we are in God’s prophetic time line.
Countdown to Armageddon
If you have ever taken a trip with your children to anyplace further than the grocery store, you have probably been asked repeatedly, “are we there yet?”
The world is moving toward the destination of God’s coming judgement. The question is, “are we there yet?”
Daniel 9 helps us answer the question of where we are in God’s prophetic time line.
In our chronological study, Daniel 9 reveals new details about God’s plan for Israel.
This monumental chapter reveals the following important details for Israel:
1. The Babylonian captivity would soon end
2. Israel’s kingdom would not be restored immediately
3. The coming Messiah would die
4. Israel will face great trouble before the promised Kingdom would be established.
Our main focus of attention will be Daniel 9:24-27
““Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”” (Daniel 9:24–27, NIV84)
In order to properly interpret this passage, we need to study the context of the chapter.
The Chronology of Daniel’s Prayer.
The “first year of Darius” refers to the beginning of the reign of Darius, which is likely a title for King Cyrus, the first king of the Medo-Persian empire. This is the second world empires revealed to Daniel in chapters 2 and 7!
This event takes place 13 years after the events of Daniel 8, which occurred in the third year of Belshazzar, the final king of the Babylonian empire.
“In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me.” (Daniel 8:1, NIV84)
Daniel 8:1 occurred in 551 BC, near the end of the Babylonian kingdom.
Daniel 9:1 occurred in 539 BC the first year of the reign of Darius, the first Medo-Persian king.
Daniel is now in his 80's,
The Babylonian captivity began in 605 BC.
Daniel 9 occurs in 539 BC
605-539 = 66 years have been completed!
The Circumstance of Daniel’s prayer.
We read in Daniel 9 that Daniel was in prayer for his people, the Israelites. “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—” (Daniel 9:20, NIV84)
Daniel knew from Jeremiah’s prophesy that the Babylonian captivity would last for 70 years. He is literally counting down the days until the captivity is over. Perhaps Daniel was thinking that once the captivity ended, God would establish the Kingdom that he promise to the descendants of David (2 Samuel 7). But God had other plans in mind. The Messiah would come, but he would not come now. There was more in store for Israel, and God wanted Daniel, the Israelites and us to know about it.
The text informs us that Daniel was reading from Jeremiah the Prophet (Daniel 9:2). Here is the passage that foretells that the Captivity would last only 70 years.
“This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. (11) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”” (Jeremiah 29:10–14, NIV84)