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. 9:3 So I turned my attention 9 to the Lord God 10 to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 11 9:4 I prayed to the LORD my God, confessing in this way:
“O Lord, 12 great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant 13 with those who love him and keep his commandments, 9:5 we have sinned! We have done what is wrong and wicked; we have rebelled by turning away from your commandments and standards. 9:6 We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets, who spoke by your authority 14 to our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors, 15 and to all the inhabitants 16 of the land as well.
9:7 “You are righteous, 17 O Lord, but we are humiliated this day 18 – the people 19 of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far away in all the countries in which you have scattered them, because they have behaved unfaithfully toward you. 9:8 O LORD, we have been humiliated 20 – our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors – because we have sinned against you. 9:9 Yet the Lord our God is compassionate and forgiving, 21 even though we have rebelled against him. 9:10 We have not obeyed 22 the LORD our God by living according to 23 his laws 24 that he set before us through his servants the prophets.
9:11 “All Israel has broken 25 your law and turned away by not obeying you. 26 Therefore you have poured out on us the judgment solemnly threatened 27 in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against you. 28 9:12 He has carried out his threats 29 against us and our rulers 30 who were over 31 us by bringing great calamity on us – what has happened to Jerusalem has never been equaled under all heaven! 9:13 Just as it is written in the law of Moses, so all this calamity has come on us. Still we have not tried to pacify 32 the LORD our God by turning back from our sin and by seeking wisdom 33 from your reliable moral standards. 34 9:14 The LORD was mindful of the calamity, and he brought it on us. For the LORD our God is just 35 in all he has done, 36 and we have not obeyed him. 37
9:15 “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with great power 38 and made a name for yourself that is remembered to this day – we have sinned and behaved wickedly. 9:16 O Lord, according to all your justice, 39 please turn your raging anger 40 away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. For due to our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
9:17 “So now, our God, accept 41 the prayer and requests of your servant, and show favor to 42 your devastated sanctuary for your own sake. 43 9:18 Listen attentively, 44 my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins 45 and the city called by your name. 46 For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, 47 but because your compassion is abundant. 9:19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, pay attention, and act! Don’t delay, for your own sake, O my God! For your city and your people are called by your name.” 48
9:20 While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my request before the LORD my God concerning his holy mountain 49 – 9:21 yes, while I was still praying, 50 the man Gabriel, whom I had seen previously 51 in a vision, was approaching me in my state of extreme weariness, 52 around the time of the evening offering.
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
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.”
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.
9 tn Heb “face.”
10 tn The Hebrew phrase translated “Lord God” here is אֲדֹנָי הָאֱלֹהִים (’adonay ha’elohim).
11 sn When lamenting, ancient Israelites would fast, wear sackcloth, and put ashes on their heads to show their sorrow and contrition.
13 tn Heb “who keeps the covenant and the loyal love.” The expression is a hendiadys.
14 tn Heb “in your name.” Another option is to translate, “as your representatives.”
16 tn Heb “people.”
17 tn Heb “to you (belongs) righteousness.”
18 tn Heb “and to us (belongs) shame of face like this day.”
19 tn Heb “men.”
20 tn Heb “to us (belongs) shame of face.”
21 tn Heb “to the Lord our God (belong) compassion and forgiveness.”
22 tn Heb “paid attention to the voice of,” which is an idiomatic expression for obedience (cf. NASB “nor have we obeyed the voice of”).
23 tn Heb “to walk in.”
24 tc The LXX and Vulgate have the singular.
25 tn Or “transgressed.” The Hebrew verb has the primary sense of crossing a boundary, in this case, God’s law.
26 tn Heb “by not paying attention to your voice.”
27 tn Heb “the curse and the oath which is written.” The term “curse” refers here to the judgments threatened in the Mosaic law (see Deut 28) for rebellion. The expression “the curse and the oath” is probably a hendiadys (cf. Num 5:21; Neh 10:29) referring to the fact that the covenant with its threatened judgments was ratified by solemn oath and made legally binding upon the covenant community.
28 tn Heb “him.”
29 tn Heb “he has fulfilled his word(s) which he spoke.”
30 tn Heb “our judges.”
31 tn Heb “who judged.”
32 tn Heb “we have not pacified the face of.”
33 tn Or “by gaining insight.”
35 tn Or “righteous.”
36 tn Heb “in all his deeds which he has done.”
37 tn Heb “we have not listened to his voice.”
38 tn Heb “with a powerful hand.”
39 tn Or “righteousness.”
40 tn Heb “your anger and your rage.” The synonyms are joined here to emphasize the degree of God’s anger. This is best expressed in English by making one of the terms adjectival (cf. NLT “your furious anger”; CEV “terribly angry”).
41 tn Heb “hear.” Here the verb refers to hearing favorably, accepting the prayer and responding positively.
44 tn Heb “turn your ear.”
45 tn Heb “desolations.” The term refers here to the ruined condition of Judah’s towns.
47 tn Heb “praying our supplications before you.”
49 tn Heb “the holy mountain of my God.”
50 tn Heb “speaking in prayer.”
51 tn Heb “in the beginning.”
52 tn The Hebrew expression בִּיעָף מֻעָף (mu’af bi’af) is very difficult. The issue is whether the verb derives from עוּף (’uf, “to fly”) or from יָעַף (ya’af, “to be weary”). Many ancient versions and modern commentators take the first of these possibilities and understand the reference to be to the swift flight of the angel Gabriel in his coming to Daniel. The words more likely refer to the extreme weariness, not of the angel, but of Daniel. Cf. 7:28; 8:27; 10:8-9, 16-17; also NASB.