The LORD Answers Daniel's Prayer for His
People - Part 2
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of
my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for
the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man
Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in
swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me
understand, speaking with me and saying, "O Daniel, I have now come
out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your
pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you,
for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and
understand the vision.
"Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city,
to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone
for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both
vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place."
Daniel 9:20-24 (ESV)
Daniel understood from "the
word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet"
that the "desolations of Jerusalem"
would last "seventy years" (Daniel 9:2 ESV). He was greatly
perplexed by such limited information; but rather than wallow in
anxiety, he responded in humility with repentance and a plea for
The LORD sent his messenger angel Gabriel to Daniel once again,
this time to impart "insight and understanding" of the future. Although Gabriel couches this
vision to Daniel in terms of "your people and your holy
city," the near fulfillment of this vision
is eclipsed by language that suggests a final apocalyptic
fulfillment, the timeline for which is given cryptically and
figuratively in "weeks" (literally
and in some versions, sevens).
Many have undertaken to work out in great detail the actual
timing of this "seventy weeks" of
the end times. Since they have arrived at differing conclusions,
and because Jesus Himself declared that no one but the Father
knows the time, no calendar of
cosmic events is offered here, only a listing from this
Scripture of what must take place, further elucidated by the
details that follow:
- "finish the
- "put an end to sin"
- "atone for iniquity"
- "bring in everlasting righteousness"
- "seal both vision and prophet"
- "anoint a most holy place"
Jesus: "But concerning
that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in
heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep
awake. For you do not know when the time will come." (Mark 13:32-33 ESV)
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.