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Daniel 9:1-2

Context
Daniel Prays for His People

9:1 In the first year of Darius 1  son of Ahasuerus, 2  who was of Median descent and who had been 3  appointed king over the Babylonian 4  empire – 9:2 in the first year of his reign 5  I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books 6  that, according to the word of the LORD 7  disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem 8  were seventy in number.

1 sn The identity of this Darius is a major problem in correlating the biblical material with the extra-biblical records of this period. Most modern scholars treat the reference as a mistaken allusion to Darius Hystaspes (ca. 522-486 B.C.). Others have maintained instead that this name is a reference to the Persian governor Gubaru. Still others understand the reference to be to the Persian king Cyrus (cf. 6:28, where the vav (ו) may be understood as vav explicativum, meaning “even”). Under either of these latter two interpretations, the first year of Darius would have been ca. 538 B.C. Daniel would have been approximately eighty-two years old at this time.

2 tc The LXX reads “Xerxes.” This is the reading used by some English versions (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV). Most other English versions retain the Hebrew name “Ahasuerus.”

3 tc The present translation follows the MT in reading a Hophal (i.e., passive). Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate all presuppose the Hiphil (i.e., active). Even though this is the only occurrence of the Hophal of this verb in the Bible, there is no need to emend the vocalization to the Hiphil.

4 tn Heb “was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.”

5 tc This phrase, repeated from v. 1, is absent in Theodotion.

6 tn The Hebrew text has “books”; the word “sacred” has been added in the translation to clarify that it is Scriptures that are referred to.

7 sn The tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew letters which constitute the divine Name, YHWH) appears eight times in this chapter, and nowhere else in the book of Daniel.

8 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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