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Daniel's Prayer

The last verse of the previous chapter will help to shed some light on the reason for Daniel's prayer of supplication in the text.

Dan 8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king 's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

What could have so astonished Daniel? Clearly that there would be another temple built, and that his people were going to be in distress, but more so that they would be tested to the limit of their doctrine under the "little horn" of Antiochus. The vision continued to describe how the reign of God over His people would be trampled underfoot before finally the sanctuary is cleansed in the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ.

The sanctuary would be later cleansed from heaven - by preserving only the throne of God sanctified, Daniel's vision ended with 2300 maps that may be "trodden out" by the remnant preserved of Israel (under Antiochus) whilst the earthly sanctuary was profaned. There was one "daily sacrifice" yet occurring, the one in heaven that is continuous and without end.

Daniel's people were in Babylon and held captive - Daniel was then astonished not just that there would be another temple and a sacrifice made in (or before) heaven but also that his people would return to their homeland - and more so, that they would yet once more transgress to the limit of God's patience and the episode under Antiochus would play out. The Jewish people in captivity do not recognise each other as the "Jewish people" - they have blended in to the Babylonian society, having "confusion of faces", unable to tell each other apart from the Babylonians.

Daniel prays for the Lord to show mercy to Israel, to bring them back into their land and to Jerusalem. Daniel in effect prays for the greatest number of his people to return to the land as possible - that in confessing his own sin and that of his people toward God Daniel asks for mercy rather than for the sake of their righteousness, because Daniel is fully aware they have very little. They are in captivity for their transgression, and Daniel knows that they will transgress again before the coming of Christ.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Dan ch9:v1-19
Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
Dan 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Dan 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Dan 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spoke in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Dan 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
Dan 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
Dan 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Dan 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Dan 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
Dan 9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
Dan 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Dan 9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
Dan 9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Dan 9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
Dan 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
Dan 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
Dan 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Daniel, immediately searched the prophets and found in Jeremiah's writings that the captivity would last 70 years. Something then, required explanation! How long would it be before the King (The He-Goat) Alexander the great arrived? Knowing that fact and expecting a literal 2300 days after the "little horn", could Daniel predict the coming of Jesus Christ? Gabriel it seems is sent to clear up Daniel's cogitations - giving him an answer in chronological time rather than spiritual "heaven-time".

None understood the 2300 days, clearly the vision of the little horn is explained to Daniel already and easily understood, yet the vision's interpretation in the spiritual time of seven cycles to the 2300 days is beyond the understanding of the time. In order for Daniel to more perfectly understand, Gabriel is sent to explain the difference in the reckoning of the "space" between the interruption of sacrifice and it's reinstatement in Christ once and for all.

Did Daniel think that the cleansing of the sanctuary was "physical" in a literal temple or that Jesus was on the way to accomplish it spiritually once and for all? Gabriel gives the correct answer of the coming of Christ, gifting Daniel in order to give him the necessary skill and understanding (in calculating the timing in either "worldly" or "spiritual time").


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