The Book of Daniel is one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. This is perhaps due to the fact that the latter part of the book is mostly apocalyptic in nature. Symbols are used to describe events that would occur many years from the time they were recorded. Daniel, the author, as a young man was among those that were taken into Babylonian captivity in 606 BC. He chose righteousness despite the trials of captivity and God rewarded him handsomely. By Chapter 9 of this book, which by the way, is categorized among the major prophets, Daniel had become old. At least, he must have been an octogenarian.
Because of the content of this chapter, it has been called the backbone of Biblical Prophecy. Let's take a look at it.
Daniel Chapter 9 is divided into two major parts:
1. LEGENDARY PRAYER
2. SEVENTY 'SEVENS'
Legendary Prayer. Daniel 9:1-19
This chapter is set at 538BC i.e. 68 years after they were taken to captivity in 606BC. Jeremiah had prophesied that they were going to be in captivity for 70 years. Jer.25:11,12; 29:10
Vss. 1-3 At his old age, Daniel is still seen studying the word of God and acting on it. Everybody recites Jer.29:11 but how many people do the work mentioned in vss.12 and 13
Vss. 4-10 Daniel is very blunt in describing the state of Israel and how they have deviated from divine pattern. Though God recognizes him to be among the "Top 3" godly men, (Eze. 14:19) Daniel does not separate himself from the sins of his people. In fact, he uses pronouns 'we' and 'us' 33 times in this chapter alone. How many of us walk about with "holier than thou" attitudes? We blame the church, the government and everything else but ourselves!
Vss. 11-14 The word of God is the standard Daniel used to compare the deplorable state of his people. He did not use the good old days neither did he compare them with Babylonians. Many preachers today are fond of comparing the church of Christ with denominations or with how things used to be when certain brethren were around. Should this be?
"Daniel speaks a lot about sin in his prayer. But do you know what Israel’s sin actually was at this time? You see, you could be mistaken for thinking that Israel had a lot of immorality or violence or theft or adultery etc and you would of course be dead wrong. That wasn’t the case. They were actually quite religious at the time of the exile into Babylon. They still had the priesthood, the temple, the prophets (both true and false)… the wheels were turning and everyone carried on
with their religious duties… but their hearts were long gone."
Vss. 15-19 In this last portion of his prayer, Daniel moves from confession to supplication. He appeals to God's nature and to the fact that the children of Israel were called by His Name. His request was also specific. He didn't beat about the bush.
In my next blog, I will do exegesis of the latter part of this chapter. It promises to be informative and fun. Stay tuned!
Leave your comments and questions and I assure you they will be given the due attention and response.
Truly yours and of course without dross!
Twitter handle: @danieljimi