1 IN the first year of the reign of Darius son of Ahasuerus (a Mede by birth, who was appointed ruler over the kingdom of the Chaldaeans) 2I, 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. 3Then I turned to the Lord God in earnest prayer and supplication with fasting and with sackcloth and ashes. 4I prayed and made this confession to the LORD my God:
‘Lord, great and terrible God, keeping covenant and faith with those who love you and observe your commandments, 5we have sinned, doing what was wrong and wicked; we have rebelled and rejected your commandments and your decrees. 6We have turned a deaf ear to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings and princes, to our forefathers, and to all the people of the land. 7Lord, the right is on your side; the shame, now as ever, belongs to us, the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, and to all the Israelites near and far in every land to which you have banished them for their disloyal behaviour towards you. 8 LORD, the shame falls on us, on our kings, our princes, and our forefathers. We have sinned against you. 9Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, because we have rebelled against him. 10We have not obeyed the LORD our God, in that we have not conformed to the laws which he laid down for our guidance through his servants the prophets. 11All Israel has broken your law and refused to obey your command, so that the oath and curses recorded in the law of Moses, the servant of God, have rained down upon us; for we have sinned against God. 12He has made good the warning he gave about us and our rulers, by bringing on us and on Jerusalem a disaster greater than has ever happened in all the world; 13and this whole disaster which has come upon us was foretold in the law of Moses. Yet we have done nothing to appease the LORD our God; we have neither repented of our wrongful deeds, nor remembered that you are true to your word. 14The LORD has kept strict watch and has now brought the disaster upon us. In all that he has done the LORD our God has been just; yet we have not obeyed him.
15‘Now, Lord our God who brought your people out of Egypt by a strong hand, winning for yourself a name that lives on to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16Lord, by all your saving deeds we beg that your wrath and anger may depart from Jerusalem, your own city, your holy hill; on account of our sins and our fathers' crimes, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all our neighbours. 17Listen, our God, to your servant's prayer and supplication; for your own sake, Lord a 9:17 for … Lord: so Gk (Theod.); Heb. for the Lord's sake. , look favourably on your sanctuary which lies desolate. 18God, incline your ear to us and hear; open your eyes and look upon our desolation and upon the city that bears your name. It is not because of any righteous deeds of ours, but because of your great mercy that we lay our supplications before you. 19Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, listen and act; God, for your own sake do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name.’
20I was speaking and praying, confessing my own sin and the sin of my people Israel, and laying my supplication before the LORD my God on behalf of his holy hill; 21indeed I was still praying, when the man Gabriel, whom I had already seen in the vision, flew close to me at the hour of the evening offering. 22He explained to me: ‘Daniel, I have now come to enlighten your understanding. 23As you began your supplications a decree went forth, and I have come to make it known, for you are greatly beloved. Consider well the word, consider the vision: 24seventy times seven years b 9:24 seventy … years: Heb. seventy weeks (of years). are marked out for your people and your holy city; then rebellion will be stopped, sin brought to an end, iniquity expiated, everlasting right ushered in, vision and prophecy ratified, and the Most Holy Place anointed.
25‘Know, then, and understand: from the time that the decree went forth that Jerusalem should be restored and rebuilt, seven of those seventy will pass till the appearance of one anointed, a prince; then for sixty-two it will remain restored, rebuilt with streets and conduits. At the critical time, 26after the sixty-two have passed, the anointed prince will be removed, and no one will take his part. The horde of an invading prince will work havoc on city and sanctuary. The end of it will be a cataclysm, inevitable war with all its horrors. 27The prince will make a firm league with the many c 9:27 many: or mighty. for one of the seventy; and, with that one half spent, he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And in the train of these abominations will come the perpetrator of desolation; then, in the end, what has been decreed concerning the desolation will be poured out.’