Lesson 424 - Senior

Memory Verse

"Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Psalm 141:2).

Cross References

I Daniel's Confession of the Sins of His People

1. He perceives, through Jeremiah's writings, the end of their captivity, [DAN:9:1-2]; [JER:25:11]; [JER:29:10]; [PS:137:1-4].

2. He begins his prayer with a tribute to God for His covenant of mercy, [DAN:9:3-4]; [GEN:12:3]; [ISA:55:3].

3. He confesses their sins in not keeping God's law or obeying His prophets, [DAN:9:5-6]; [DEU:32:29]; [PS:81:13-14].

4. Righteousness belongs to the Lord, but confusion and shame to Israel, [DAN:9:7-8]; [PS:25:3].

II Daniel's Intercession for Mercy upon His People

1. He trusts in God's mercy, while Israel is worthy only of punishment, [DAN:9:9-15]; [LEV:26:18].

< p>2. He pleads for mercy, forgiveness and restoration of Jerusalem, [DAN:9:16-19]; [PS:51:16-19].


3. The Angel Gabriel appears while Daniel is yet praying, [DAN:9:20-23]; [HEB:1:14].

III The Prophecy of "Seventy Weeks" Unfolded by Gabriel

1. "Seventy weeks" (weeks of years) are given to the time of the "most Holy," [DAN:9:24].

2. Sixty-nine weeks (483 years) are given from the "commandment" to the "Messiah," [DAN:9:25-26].

3. The final "week" (7 years) of the antichrist is at the end of the age, [DAN:9:27]; [MAT:24:15]; [2TS:2:3-4]; [ISA:28:18].


A Man of Prayer

Daniel stands out in sacred history as a man in whom no fault could be found. One of the secrets of his success as a statesman, interpreter of dreams, and a godly man, lies in his continual prayer life. He would allow nothing to hinder his communion with his God. Captivity, lions' den, overthrow of governments, could diminish naught from his fervency in prayer and supplication to the God of Heaven.

Daniel also knew the Scriptures, and in his study of Jeremiah he noticed that Jerusalem was to be desolate for 70 years. (See [JER:25:11].) Daniel was taken captive as a young boy, and now for many years had lived in a foreign land. Realizing that according to prophecy the captivity of the Jews was about to come to an end, he was concerned that his people return unto the Lord and that the promised restoration take place. He knew that Jerusalem was destroyed because of the sins of his people and that only true repentance would effect her perfect restoration.


Though Daniel lived a model life of godliness, he included himself in confessing the sins of his people. His sincere intercession, with fasting, shows the burden he carried for them. Daniel acknowledged the righteousness of God's judgments with no complaint, but pleaded for mercy.

Sinners might well take note of Daniel's approach to God. He showed humility by putting on sackcloth. The Lord has said: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" [ISA:57:15]). Daniel's deep concern is demonstrated by his fasting. Like Job, he could say, "I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food" [JOB:23:12]).

"We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments." A true confession of sin, with godly sorrow, is a sinner's way back to God. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" ([1JN:1:9]).

"Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets." There are those today who would justify their morality and yet fail to give heed to the Word of God. A strict life, good works, and church membership are not sufficient to enable one to enter Heaven. We must obey the Word of God. God's ways are right but all men "have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" [ROM:3:23]). Only true repentance can restore One to fellowship with God. Like the publican in the Temple, Daniel's plea was for the mercy of God. May the humble sincerity of this righteous man inspire all to a closer walk with God.

The Captivity

God gave wonderful laws for the Children of Israel, but they did not obey them. One of these laws stated, "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard" [LEV:25:3-4]). There was a curse pronounced if the Children of Israel failed to obey the law of the sabbath. "And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths" [LEV:26:33-34]). Jeremiah prophesied that the captivity would take place and continue "until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years."

When Daniel saw that these years were about fulfilled, he prayed for the restoration and future peace of Jerusalem. God answered his prayer by revealing to Daniel just how He would deal with the Jews.

Seventy Weeks

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city." The word "week" here is translated from the Hebrew, "Shabua," which might also be translated "sevens." Thus we might read "seventy sevens." It is quite evident here that seventy sevens of years are meant or a total of 70 x 7 or 490 years. Included in these 490 years, the following things were to be accomplished: "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." Let us analyse these statements. "To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins," indicates the salvation of Israel. "To make reconciliation for iniquity" reveals the Atonement of Christ for sin. "To bring in everlasting righteousness" reveals the Millennial Reign of Christ. "To seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" also refers to the completion of the prophetic vision and the establishment of Christ's Kingdom.

The Beginning of the Seventy Weeks

We are told just when these 490 years were to begin. It was "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem." If we study the Book of Ezra, especially chapters 1, 4, 6, and 7, we read decrees issued by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, but these concern the rebuilding of the Temple and temple worship. Rather than these decrees, it is quite possible that the decree referred to is that given in answer to Nehemiah's request to return "unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it" [NEH:2:5]). This was in 445 B. C.

The Sixty-Nine Weeks

From the commandment to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince (or the Christ) there was to be seven weeks (seven sevens) and 62 weeks (62 sevens). The total, 69, multiplied by seven equals 483. By figuring 360-day years, Bible scholars have been able to compute the time until the very day of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Authority for the use of a 360-day year is found in Genesis. We note that the Flood began on the 17th day of the 2nd month [GEN:7:11]), and ended on the 17th day of the 7th month [GEN:8:4]). This is a period of exactly 5 months, and [GEN:7:24] gives this period as being 150 days. We also have in [REV:12:6] the mention of 1,260 days which seems to correspond to the same period as [REV:13:5] mentioned as 42 months.

At this point we find a break in the continuity of the prophecy. When the Jews crucified Jesus, God turned from the Jews and opened the door to the Gentiles. The Church age, or Gentile dispensation, is not included in Daniel's vision, for God had said, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people." After the 69th week and before the 70th begins, the Messiah was to be cut off, and the "people of the prince that shall come" were to destroy the city and the sanctuary. We know that a few years after Christ was crucified, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.

The Seventieth Week

This prince that shall come is the antichrist who will be revealed after the Rapture of the Church. He will make a covenant with the Jews for seven years or the last week of Daniel's prophecy. This will be the week of the Great Tribulation, also known as the time of Jacob's Trouble. During this period of tribulation, the Jews will have their Temple and their temple worship will be resumed. In the middle of this period of seven years, the antichrist breaks his covenant with the Jews, and sets himself up as God in the Temple at Jerusalem. This is known as the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.

From many prophecies of the Word of God we understand that the gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel's prophecy is coming to a close. The judgments of God -- the wrath of the Lamb -- are about to be executed. Are there no Daniels today who will pour out their soul in intercession for our sinful nation, that God will have mercy and pardon our transgressions? "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" [LUK:21:36]).


1. Name some of the special occasions on which Daniel prayed.

2. Who prophesied of the 70 years of captivity?

3. What reason did God give for the Israelites being taken from their land?

4. Name some of the points in Daniel's prayer for Israel that are good examples of how a sinner should pray.

5. How soon did God give an answer to Daniel's prayer?

6. With whom was God dealing in these 70 weeks?

7. What event marks the beginning of the 70 weeks?

8. Explain how these 70 weeks are interpreted to mean 490 years.

9. How do we allow for the gap between the 69th and 70th week?

10. What period of time does the 70th week represent?