Reading of the Book of Jeremiah (v1-3)
v1: The 1st year of Darius is 539BC
v2: God had foretell Daniel regarding the fall of Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (ch 2), in Daniel’s dream of four beasts (ch 7).
Actually Isaiah and Jeremiah had already prophesied the falls on Babylon. That may be the reason why Daniel is studying afresh the book of Jeremiah.
Jer 25:1-14 talks about the reason of the exile and the length of the exile. [But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, and the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt] (Jer 25:12)
Jer 29:10-14 God said: ” I wil bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
v3: Example for us to follow. We need to read God’s word afresh. Once we receive God’s revelation and burden, we turn to the Lord in prayers, to make petition, to confess sins, to repent and to praise the Lord
Israel’s Babylonian captivity was to last 70 years because the people of Israel violated 70 sabbatic years over the course of 490 years (Lev. 26:34-35; 2 Chr. 36:21; Jer 25:11-12; Dan 9:1-2):
Daniel’s Prayer (v4-20)
This is one of the most beautiful prayers in the bible. We truly see the humble and contrite heart of Daniel. His prayer is not to request things for himself, but to plead on behalf of God’s people, God’s city and God’s nation (v16). Daniel’s heart was in anguish because God’s people become an object of scorn (v16), the city that bear God’s name has became desolate (v18). Daniel’s was thinking about God’s needs instead of his own needs. Oh, how we ought to learn how to pray like Daniel.
v4: God is faithful to keep His covenant, only to those who love Him and obey His commands.
v5-6: Noticed Daniel used “we” in the prayers. He put in himself together with the rest of Judah as people who have sins and turned away from God.
v7- 13: God is faithful in His covenant with Israel. God has made covenant with Israel in the beginning of the journey in Sinai (Lev 26) and at the end of their journey, before they enter the land of promise (Deut 28). God promised to the Jews that God would bless them when they obey Him, and He would punish them when they reject Him. God has sent many prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc) to warm them, to give them time and opportunity to repent for hundred of years.
v14: [“The Lord our God is righteous in everything He does”] God is righteous. Everything He does is righteous. He is the standard and the definition of righteousness.
v15-19: Pay attention to how Daniel focused on God’s needs. This prayer shows that Daniel’s heart is thinking about God’s people and God’s city.
Angel Gabriel’s Revelation (21-27)
Gabriel told Daniel one of the most famous prophesies in the bible.
The time line of this prophesy involves four time frames, all used “seven” or “week” (H7620, shabuwa) as time unit. One shabuwa is seven days, or seven years. Most bible students agree shabuwa in here is referring to 7 years in the Jewish calendar. One year is Jew calendar is 360 days. Our current calendar system, the Gregorian calendar was only used after 1582 AD, one year is 365 or 366 days.
The four timelines mentioned in this prophesy are:
- 70 shabuwa
- 62 shabuwa
- 1 shabuwa
- 1/2 shabuwa
The major events covered are:
- 7 shabuwa and 62 shabuwa – Issuing the decree to restore Jerusalem until Messiah the Price (v25)
- three returns to Jerusalem:
- 538 BC – Cyrus – Ezra 1 – Jeshua and Zerubbabel
- 457 BC – Artaxerxes – Ezra 7-12-26 – Ezra
- 445 BC – Artaxerxes – Neh 2:5-8 – Nehemiah
- Gabriel was probably referring to the return of Nehemiah in 445 BC to build the city wall in 7 shabuwa – 49 years
- To calculate when Messiah will be crucified:
- 7 shabuwa + 62 shabuwa = 483 shabuwa.
- 483 shabuwa = 477 Gregorian years (because of 5 days different (6 on leap year))
- 445 BC + 477 = 32AD
- three returns to Jerusalem:
- 62 shabuwa – The Messiah will be cut off, the people of the prince will come to destroy the city and the sanctuary (v26)
- 1 Shabuwa – antichrist (People of the prince) will make covenant (v27)
- 1/2 shabuwa – antichrist will broken his covenant and cause complete destruction on Israel and the world (v27)