Daniel 9 and the “Prince who is to come.”
Daniel’s prayer, recorded here in Daniel 9:1-20 is based on Leviticus 26. It was while he was praying this prayer, that Gabriel returns to give him more details concerning the vision recorded in Daniel 8:1-14. Notice the connection to Jeremiah, and the information that is on Daniel’s mind. Daniel’s prayer reveals that he is very conscious of Leviticus 26:40-41, and he meets the conditions for repentance described there. I will put in bold those words in the prayer that directly refer to Leviticus 26.
Here is the Prayer:
Daniel 9:1-19 (NASB)
9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans—2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said,
"Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 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. 7 "Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day--to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8 "Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 "To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11 "Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12 "Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13 "As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. 14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice. 15 "And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day-- we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16 "O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. 17 "So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 "O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. 19 "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name."
Gabriel Brings the Answer. Notice that Gabriel does not say Israel is forgiven. He does not say that the punishment is over. He implies that Israel has not yet competed transgressing against Him.
Daniel 9:20-27 (NASB)
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, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said,
"O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
The Prophecy of the 70 Weeks
Daniel 9:24 (NASB)
The Purpose of the 70 weeks.
24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
Daniel 9:25-26 (NASB)
Two significant events pegged to dates during the 70 weeks.
25 "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary and its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
This means the 490 year countdown did not begin immediately after the first 70 years of the Babylonian captivity ended. Verse 25 is usually understood to mean that from one of the decrees of Cyrus until Jesus’ baptism was 463 years, or 69 times seven years. A significant event is often identified after week seven as well. So, Jesus died during the literal 70th Week. I do not know of anyone who disputes this. After Jesus’ death, an army will come in like a flood. Jerusalem and its sanctuary will again be destroyed. There will be war right up to the city’s end. Jerusalem will desolate again. (Do you remember Jesus’ teaching on this?) Daniel is given no hope after this. The Messiah is dead, and Jerusalem is totally destroyed a second time. Gabriel has no other information for Daniel, but does not want to leave him like this. So, he goes back to the to the “little horn” “insolent king” of Daniel 8. The prince who is to come….
Daniel 9:27 (NASB)
27 "And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
Josephus records all of this. This is history.
One more thing…going back to 9:26. The Roman Legions that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD were based in Syria. The Roman General Vespasian had conscripted many thousands of Syrian locals to become Roman soldiers, with the promise of Roman citizenship and a paycheck. Many of these were descendents or otherwise related to Antiochus IV. The “people of the prince who is to come” did destroy the city. A recent history channel program even showed a salary record found in the ruins of the Roman camps at Masada that named a Syrian soldier who had served in the siege of Jerusalem. There is no basis for saying that the Antichrist will come from Rome, based on this Daniel 9:26. For those who know more about this, you should know that those soldiers would have had images of Zeus/Jupiter on their breastplates and other items. The presence of the image of Zeus in the holy land is what Jesus was referring to when He told His disciples to flee Jerusalem when they saw the Abomination that causes Desolation. I will be glad to continue this discussion with anyone, and I am open to new information and ideas on this subject.
NOW...We have enough information to begin to learn something.