2 December 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Daniel 9, Daniel fasts and prays, confessing the sins of his people. The curses in the Law of Moses, found at the end of Deuteronomy, have come to pass. As he prays, Daniel is visited by Gabriel. Gabriel says that in seventy weeks (meaning seventy sets of seven years, 490 years), reconciliation will be made for iniquity, everlasting righteousness will be brought in, and the Most Holy anointed.
Because of their apostasy, Jeremiah prophesied the Jews would be captive in Babylon for 70 years. This prophecy came true and provides a “starting point” for the prophecy given here, since Gabriel is sent in response to Daniel’s prayer, revealing God’s will for what would happen next. A decree would be handed down to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. God would also send the Anointed One. The description of the Anointed One make it obvious that it foretells Jesus and His mission as the Messiah. In this prophecy, God is revealing what will happen next in His plan for His people and when it will happen.
The length of time is 70 weeks, 490 days, and each day represents a year. The time is organized into three periods:
- 7 weeks
- 62 weeks
- in the middle of the 70th week, sacrifice would end
The beginning of the time was the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The ending point was the “cutting off”, or death, of the Anointed One. There are three possible dates for the start:
- Zerubbabel led a group out of captivity in 536 b.C., but 486 years from this would be 50 b.C., 80 years prior to the crucifixion
- Nehemiah led a group back in 444 b.C., but 486 years from this would be A.D. 42, or 12 years after the crucifixion
- Ezra led a group back in 457 b.C., 486 years from this would be A.D. 30, the year of the crucifixion
Ezra and the people came for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the 7 weeks, or 49 years, covers the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 62 weeks added to the 7 weeks, or 483 years, was A.D. 26. This is the baptism and anointing of Jesus. In the middle of the 70th week, 3 ½ years later, he would be “cut off” or killed. The Jews rejected the Anointed One, Jesus. This prophecy foretells the consequences of that sin: a prince would destroy the city and the temple. That prince was Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian. He burned Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in the summer of A.D. 70. This completed the “abomination of desolation” referred to by Daniel.
9 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the offspring of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years. 3 I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances; 6 neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as it is today; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you. 8 Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him; 10 neither have we obeyed Yahweh our God’s voice, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses the servant of God has been poured out on us; for we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil; for under the whole sky, such has not been done as has been done to Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come on us: yet have we not entreated the favor of Yahweh our God, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in your truth. 14 Therefore has Yahweh watched over the evil, and brought it on us; for Yahweh our God is righteous in all his works which he does, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 Now, Lord our God, who has brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have gotten yourself renown, as it is today; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 Lord, according to all your righteousness, let your anger and please let your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a reproach to all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and to his petitions, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18 My God, turn your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and see our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our petitions before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies’ sake. 19 Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, listen and do; don’t defer, for your own sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name. 20 While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening offering. 22 He instructed me, and talked with me, and said, Daniel, I have now come to give you wisdom and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your petitions the commandment went out, and I have come to tell you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. 25 Know therefore and discern, that from the going out of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times. 26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end shall be with a flood, and even to the end shall be war; desolations are determined. 27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three whole weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled. 4 In the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel, 5 I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose thighs were adorned with pure gold of Uphaz: 6 his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flaming torches, and his arms and his feet like burnished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; for the men who were with me didn’t see the vision; but a great quaking fell on them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face toward the ground. 10 Behold, a hand touched me, which set me on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 He said to me, Daniel, you man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright; for am I now sent to you. When he had spoken this word to me, I stood trembling. 12 Then he said to me, Don’t be afraid, Daniel; for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard: and I have come for your words’ sake. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days: 15 and when he had spoken to me according to these words, I set my face toward the ground, and was mute. 16 Behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke and said to him who stood before me, my lord, by reason of the vision my sorrows are turned on me, and I retain no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, immediately there remained no strength in me, neither was there breath left in me. 18 Then there touched me again one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me. 19 He said, “Greatly beloved man, don’t be afraid: peace be to you, be strong, yes, be strong.”
When he spoke to me, I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me.”
20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I go out, behold, the prince of Greece shall come. 21 But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth: and there is no one who holds with me against these, but Michael your prince.”
21 “As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
1 John 2:18-3:6
18 Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour. 19 They went out from us, but they didn’t belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have continued with us. But they left, that they might be revealed that none of them belong to us. 20 You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn’t have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24 Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father. 25 This is the promise which he promised us, the eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who would lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him. 28 Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
3 See how great a love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. 6 Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him and doesn’t know him.
A Song of Ascents.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from Yahweh,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved.
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 Yahweh is your keeper.
Yahweh is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 Yahweh will keep you from all evil.
He will keep your soul.
8 Yahweh will keep your going out and your coming in,
from this time forward, and forever more.
27 One who gives to the poor has no lack;
but one who closes his eyes will have many curses.
28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
but when they perish, the righteous thrive.