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. Chapter 9.

Daniel prays for his people.

1 IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE REIGN OF DARIUS son of Ahasuerus (a Mede by birth, who was appointed king over the kingdom of the Chaldaeans) 2 I, Daniel, was reading the scriptures and reflecting on the seventy years which, according to the word of the LORD to the prophet Jeremiah, were to pass while Jerusalem lay in ruins. 3 Then I turned to the Lord God in earnest prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God, making confession thus:

'Lord, thou great and terrible God who faithfully keepest the covenant with those who love thee and observe thy commandments, 5 we have sinned, we have done what was wrong and wicked; we have rebelled, we have turned our backs on thy commandments and thy decrees. 6 We have not listened to thy servants the prophets, who spoke in thy name to our kings and princes, to our forefathers and to all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, the right is on thy side; the shame, now as ever, belongs to us, the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, and to all the Israelites near and far in every land to which thou hast banished them for their treachery towards thee. 8 O LORD, the shame falls on us as on our kings, our princes and our forefathers; we have all sinned against thee. 9 Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against him. 10 We have not obeyed the LORD our God, we have not conformed to the laws which he laid down for us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has broken thy law and not obeyed thee, so that the curses set out in the law of Moses thy servant in the adjuration and the oath have rained down upon us; for we have sinned against him. 12 He has fulfilled all that he said about us and about our rulers, by bringing upon us and upon Jerusalem a calamity greater than has ever happened in all the world. 13 It was all foreshadowed in the law of Moses, this calamity which has come upon us, yet we have done nothing to propitiate the LORD our God; we have neither repented of our wrongful deeds nor remembered that thou art true to thy word. 14 The LORD has been biding his time and has now brought this calamity upon us. In all that he has done the LORD our God has been right; yet we have not obeyed him.

15 'And now, O Lord our God who didst bring thy people out of Egypt by a strong hand, winning for thyself a name that lives on to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, by all thy saving deeds we beg that thy wrath and anger may depart from Jerusalem, thy city, thy holy hill; through our own sins and our fathers' guilty deeds Jerusalem and thy people have become a byword among all our neighbours. 17 And now, our God, listen to thy servant's prayer and supplication; for thy own sake, O Lord, make thy face shine upon thy desolate sanctuary. 18 Lend thy ear, O God, and hear, open thine eyes and look upon our desolation and upon the city that bears thy name; it is not by virtue of our own saving acts but by thy great mercy that we present our supplications before thee. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act; for thy own sake do not delay, O God, for thy city and thy people bear thy name.'

The prophecy explained.

20 Thus I was speaking and praying, confessing my own sin and my people Israel's sin, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God on behalf of his holy hill. 21 While I was praying, the man Gabriel, whom I had already seen in the vision, came close to [Or touched] me at the hour of the evening sacrifice, flying swiftly [flying swiftly: prob. rdg, Heb thoroughly wearied]. 22 He spoke clearly to me and said, 'Daniel, I have now come to enlighten your understanding. 23 As you were beginning your supplications a word went forth; this I have come to pass on to you, for you are a man greatly beloved. Consider well the word, consider the vision: 24 Seventy weeks are marked out for your people and your holy city; then rebellion shall be stopped [Or restrained], sin brought to an end [Or sealed], iniquity expiated, everlasting right ushered in, vision and prophecy sealed, and the Most Holy Place anointed. 25 Know then and understand: from the time that the word went forth that Jerusalem should be restored and rebuilt, seven weeks shall pass till the appearance of one anointed, a prince; then for sixty-two weeks it shall remain restored, rebuilt with streets and conduits. At the critical time, after the sixty-two weeks, 26 one who is anointed shall be removed with no one to take his part; and the horde of an invading prince shall work havoc on city and sanctuary. The end of it shall be a deluge, inevitable war with all its horrors. 27 He shall make a firm league with the mighty [Or many] for one week; and, the week half spent, he shall put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And in the train of these abominations shall come an author of desolation; then, in the end, what has been decreed concerning the desolation will be poured out.'

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