Introduction: Last week we learned that Daniel’s pleasant virtual
stroll by the water of the Ulai Canal turned into a nightmare that
made him sick for several days. He was sick because he learned that
Babylon, in which he held a very high position, was about to fall.
Worse, he learned that the temple in Jerusalem, that we determined
was either in the planning or actual rebuilding stage, was going to
be destroyed again! The dream of his lifetime (going home) was going
down the drain. That caused Daniel to turn to God in earnest prayer
for the future. God gives Daniel a prophetic answer that is one of
the most important for our confidence in the divinity of Jesus. Let’s
jump into our study and learn more!

  1. Hope

    1. Read Daniel 9:1. Who is Darius? (He is the new king of
      “Babylon.” The text says he is a “Mede.” This means that
      the conquest of the Babylonians by the Medo-Persian
      kingdom that was prophesied in Daniel 8 (the long-horned
      Ram) has taken place.)

    2. Read Daniel 9:2. Is Daniel talking about the future
      destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman
      Empire? (No. Remember that the Babylonians destroyed the
      temple(Solomon’s temple) the first time – which was how
      Daniel was in captivity in Babylon.)

    3. Read Jeremiah 25:12 and 29:10-11. This is the “70 years”
      prophecy to which Daniel is referring in Daniel 9:2. What
      “hope” is Jeremiah 29:11 providing? (God had given Daniel
      (and others who read God’s Word) hope for the future by
      letting them know that the temple would be rebuilt and the
      people could return after a 70 year period of captivity.)

    4. Imagine having a son or daughter who you know will live
      only 20 years. What kind of attitude would you have about
      this situation? (You would be sad about the future, but
      you would put that behind you and try to put as much joy
      into the 20 years as possible. I think that is Daniel’s
      attitude here. He knows(from Daniel 8) that the rebuilt
      temple will be destroyed in the future. But, he is anxious
      to get it rebuilt now so God’s people can “enjoy” it while
      they still have it.)

  2. Crisis Prayer

    1. Read Daniel 9:3. Tell me what Daniel is doing to get God
      to listen to him. (He is doing several special things: not
      eating (fasting), wearing unpleasant clothes (sackcloth),
      pleading and putting dirt (ashes) on his body.)

      1. Why? Is God more likely to answer us if we plead, not
        eat, wear rough clothes and put ashes on ourselves?

      1. Will God answer your prayers if you do this, but not
        answer them if you do not? (At first thought, this
        seems geared towards a primitive god and is works
        oriented. However, as we read on we will see that
        Daniel wanted God to understand that they were truly
        sorry for their sins. These “things” that Daniel was
        doing showed humility and emptying of self. I think
        that is his point with God. He is not doing this to
        make God listen to him, he is doing this to show
        there is no arrogance here.)

    1. Read Daniel 9:4-7, 11. Why had bad things happened to the
      people? (Daniel’s reference in v.11 is to Deuteronomy 28
      where God essentially says to His people “You have a
      choice – obey Me and be blessed or disobey Me and be
      cursed.” Christians seem to have lost this message in the
      (proper) belief that not every bad thing that happens to
      you is because of your sin. We need to get back to the
      “middle road” of saying a lot of the bad that happens to
      us IS because of our sin.)

      1. Daniel, as we have learned, has been one faithful
        fellow. Why does he include himself in this
        confession of sin?

      2. Read Daniel 9:17-19. Daniel is confessing the sins of
        others. Can he do that? Does God allow us to confess
        the sins of others? (There is something happening
        here that I do not understand. Daniel includes
        himself in the group of disobedient, even though I
        doubt he was disobedient in this area. He also seeks
        to confess the sins of others – something that we see
        elsewhere in the Bible. Look at Job 1:5. Job seemed
        to be confessing the sins of his children after they
        had “feasts.” In the New Testament, consider what 1
        John 5:16 says about the idea of praying for the sins
        of others. Logically, it makes no sense to me that we
        can confess the sins of others. However, I do pray
        for forgiveness for the sins of my children because
        of these texts.)

  1. The Answer

    1. Read Daniel 9:20-23. You tell me how long you think Daniel
      was praying? However long it was, the Bible clearly says
      that Gabriel traveled from heaven to earth in that period
      of time. Has God mastered travel beyond the speed of
      light? (There is scientific theory to support “time
      travel,” and I believe God is the author of it. That is
      why God says He is beyond time. Psalms 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8,
      Revelation 1:4)

      1. Do you think that the next time you pray you will
        fast, will wear rough clothes and will put dirt on
        yourself? (Whatever we may have thought about
        Daniel’s prayer aids, we cannot argue with the

    2. Read Daniel 9:24-25. What question did Daniel have of God?
      How is this an answer to his question? (Daniel was praying
      for the end of captivity for God’s people and the
      restoring of the temple. We discussed last week that
      restoring the temple was critical to Jews for the
      forgiveness of sins. God, in His normal practice of doing
      more than we request, gives Daniel a vision about the
      ultimate answer to sin – Jesus.)

      1. Last week I noted a difference of opinion among
        Christians as to the meaning of the 2300 days of
        Daniel 8:11-14. However, as to the prophecy of Daniel
        9:24-27 I believe there is general agreement on the
        broad points. So let’s explore this prophecy!

      2. What do you think are “Seventy `sevens’?” (Other
        translations say “weeks” instead of “sevens.” Both
        Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs’ definition of the
        Hebrew word “shabuwa,” which is translated “sevens”
        or “weeks,” indicate that this means a period of
        either 7 days or 7 years. I notice that the Revised
        Standard Version actually incorporates this idea by
        translating this: “Seventy weeks of years…”)

      3. What does verse 24 say is going to happen during this
        “Seventy weeks” – 490 years? (It involves both the
        Jews and Jerusalem. It involves the end of sin,
        transgression and the atonement for sin. It brings in
        “everlasting righteousness.”)

      4. Who is the “Anointed One” of verse 25? (When you add
        verses 24 and 25 together, you get the picture of an
        “Anointed One” who ends sin by atoning for it. This
        can only point to Jesus, the Messiah!)

      5. What is the timing of Jesus coming? (Verse 25 tells
        us 7 weeks plus 62 weeks. This equals 69 weeks or
        483 prophetic years. This period begins to run from
        the decree to restore Jerusalem. The decree of
        Artaxerxes to rebuild the city and the temple (Ezra
        7:11-28) took place in 458/457 B.C. If you add to
        this date 483 years, you come to 27 A.D.)

        1. What happened in 27 A.D.? (Jesus was baptized by
          John the Baptist. See Luke 3:21-23)

    3. Read Daniel 9:26-27. Does this 62 weeks fit into the
      timing of the death of Jesus? (No – since 62 would
      obviously come before the 69 weeks we just discussed.)

      1. What answer do you have to this apparent conflict?
        (The text says “after” the 62 weeks. It does not use
        this to date the death of Jesus.)

      2. What do you think verse 27 means when it says in the
        middle of one “seven” “He” will put an end to
        sacrifice and offering? (Half of seven is 3.5. Jesus’
        ministry lasted for 31/2 years.)

    4. Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder if Jesus was
      really God?” “Was He really the Messiah sent from God?”

      1. If you have, what does this prophecy in Daniel teach
        us? (Three of the major religions of the world,
        Judaism, Islam and Christianity accept the inspired
        nature of the Old Testament. This 70 weeks prophecy
        of Daniel 9 clearly points to Jesus as our Messiah
        and our Lord. He is the one who “fulfilled” the
        sacrificial service of the temple. He is the one who
        overcame sin by His life and death.)

    5. Friend, how about you? Are you willing to acknowledge
      Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you willing to accept
      that He is the only answer to our sinful life? The
      prophecy given to Daniel gives us great confidence that
      Jesus is indeed the Messiah. He came exactly when God
      told Daniel He would come!

  1. Next Week: The Eschatological Day of Atonement