November - Reading 24

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    The ninth chapter of Daniel contains two primary passages: Daniel's prayer and The Seventy "Sevens." Daniel's prayer is a very good model of how a prayer should be constructed. It contains the speaker's humility, Worship, confession, and petitions. It should be noted that in verse 18 the prayer is answered not because God is in some way required, but it is through His Grace that any prayer is answered.

    In the Gospel of John, Jesus seems to be offering Judas one last chance as He offers him the bread in verse 27. Handing the bread to Judas first shows that he was in a place of honor until that moment. The final verse of this passage, verse 30, shows Judas departing into the night, away from the Light and into the darkness.

    Verses 9 & 14 of Jude quote works from the Apocrypha. This is the only occassion in which the uncanonical books arequoted. This placed the Book of Jude in a precarious position as far as its acceptance into our Bible, but the truths presented, though from uninspired writings, still attest to the truth as found in other Scriptures and should be accepted as the metaphors that they represent.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 8/28/05

    Daniel 9

    The visions of chapter 2, 7, and 8 left Daniel troubled (Daniel 8:27). In those visions it was revealed to Daniel that the beast that represented nations and the little horn representing an unnamed anti-messianic figure would be destroyed. They were in fact no matches for the overwhelming power of God. Now chapters 9-12 offer a more refined explanation of the visions to which Daniel had been subjected. These Passages give substance to the hope expressed in Daniel’s visions.

    It is fitting for the modern believer that this section of Scriptures begins with Daniel receiving further revelation not from visions or direct communion with angels but from a study of the Scriptures themselves. Jeremiah, who had remained in Judah and later followed the exiles who had assassinated Gedaliah, had written to the exiles in Babylon in chapter 29 of the Book that bears his name telling them in part that the time of the exile would be “seventy years.” In addition to this letter it is possible that Jeremiah’s prophecies had been copied and sent to the exiles as Jeremiah had a good relationship with the Babylonian leaders.

    That time of seventy years was drawing to a close. Perceiving Jeremiah as a true prophet Daniel now looks to the immediate future of his exiled countrymen. Chapter 9 is a message of hope for those people. What then is the relevance to the modern Christian? How could a message of hope broadcast 25 centuries ago be important to us today?

    The Bible, while preserving and relaying historic events to us today, serves a much greater and much more significant purpose. It acts as a compass for all men in all times in all situations. It is not a road map that predicts every twist and turn in the road of history, much to the disappointment of those who would seek so-called Bible codes and numerology. In today’s study, that compass pointed towards God’s grace and mercy and faithfulness to His promises. It inspired for him a prayer of confession and petition.

    Daniel 9:1-2 The Scriptural Background

    The historical data of chapter 9 places us in the first year of Darius, credited with the overthrow of the Babylonians at the end of chapter 5. Ahasuerus mentioned in verse 1 as the father of Darius is a Hebrew transliteration of the name. The Greek form is more widely recognized, Xerxes. This is not, however, the Xerxes mentioned in Esther. That Xerxes was the son of Darius. The Xerxes (Ahasuerus) mentioned here is unknown in secular records to date. We are therefore looking at the year 539 or 538 BC.

    The defeat of the Babylonians must have left the exiles with a sense of uncertainty. With the defeat of those who had oppressed them, what would become of them now? For Daniel, the answer lay in the authority of Scripture. He viewed the writings of Jeremiah as being the “word of the Lord.” In that word he found that the time of “desolation” for Jerusalem would be seventy years. This figure was probably seen as a round number, just as it is in Psalm 90:10 when a man’s life is described as being “three score and ten.” Nonetheless, the overthrow of the Babylonians by the Medes certainly marked a ray of hope for Daniel and his deposed countrymen.

    Daniel 9:3-19 The Reward of Faith

    This section contains a liturgical prayer that breaks suddenly into the historical and visionary accounts that compose the Book of Daniel. The prayer, however, shows a knowledge of Jeremiah 29 where the Judean prophet tells the exiles:

    Daniel 9:3-10 Confession of Sin

    Daniel prepares for prayer by turning his face to the Lord. It is significant that this was a preparation to “seeking” Him. Daniel was preparing for a revelation. Further, Daniel would entreat his God with prayer and supplication (earnest beseeching), wearing the marks of mourning – sackcloth and ashes. Daniel was penitent in this prayer. Though certainly a righteous man by comparison to many other figures, he recognized that in the sight of God he was blackened with sin. True penitence begins with recognition of our shortcomings and a mourning of our state.

    The prayer follows a formula reflected throughout Old Testament Scripture, most notably in Nehemiah 1:5-10. He addresses the Lord as the “great and terrible God.” He was all powerful and to be feared. He had kept His promises and been faithful to the Covenant. It was the people who had failed.

    In contrast to God, the people are described as wicked and rebellious. Daniel includes himself in the group reflecting the strong sense of corporate guilt that still existed in his theology. The breaking of the covenant was a group act. They had all turned from God’s commandments and ordinances. The prophets had given the people warning from king to commoner to no avail.

    Daniel states that to the Lord belongs righteousness. In a prayer of penitence such a statement is an acknowledgement that God is legally vindicated as right. In contrast to this the people are described as shameful. “Confusion of face” is a disgrace that involves the reproach of other men. They deserved the punishment that had been meted out to them. “As at this day” also in verse 7 indicates that even after all these years the people of Israel were still a reproach instead of a light. As a result, they could only throw themselves upon God’s mercy. God was merciful, but the people were rebellious.

    Daniel 9:11-14 Punishment Was Just

    The curse and oath written in law of Moses are recorded in Leviticus 26:14-33 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68. These establish the justification for the punishment in the form of the Babylonian captivity. The destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC was a fulfillment of the curse. Yet the people still did not entreat God’s favor, turn from their sins or obey His commands. Therefore God kept ready the calamity.

    Daniel 9:15-19 The Supplication for the Restoration of Jerusalem

    Daniel in his confession had established that the calamity that had come upon Jerusalem was the fault of the people. Justice demanded that God invoke the curse spoken of in the Mosaic Law. Therefore the petition for restoration is based solely upon the mercy of God, not upon the people’s merit. It was He who had freed them centuries before from the Egyptians with a mighty hand. The miracle of the Egyptian deliverance played a significant role in Jewish prayer life.

    The grammatical arrangement puts much stress on the sins and wicked acts of the people. The hill that should have been a holy place was treated as a place of reproach. Daniel’s prayer is an entreaty that God would turn His wrath from Jerusalem and once again make His face shine upon the sanctuary. At the time of the prayer, the sanctuary was desolate.

    The basis of the prayer is “for thy own sake.” In the new political climate there was a new urgency. Those with whom God was associated ran the risk of being completely destroyed.

    Daniel 9:20-27 Angelic Revelation

    In answer to Daniel’s prayer of penitence and supplication the angel, Gabriel, appears. He appears to Daniel at the time of the evening sacrifice, though no sacrifices were occurring during this time. It does, however, give us a frame of reference for the time. It is also noteworthy that angels do not appear upon their own initiative but when they are sent forth as messengers. This angel was sent to give understanding to Daniel concerning the Jeremaic word that had inspired his prayer.

    The message delivered by Gabriel is a reinterpretation of Jeremiah’s “seventy years.” While the bondage of the Israelites would indeed be roughly seventy literal years, there was a deeper implication through Mosaic writing about the terminology (Leviticus 25:8). The seventy weeks of years spoken of here are an important prophecy and have inspired various interpretations. The term “weeks” in this application implies years, so the angel is telling Daniel that seventy times seven, or four hundred ninety, years was decreed until there would be an end to transgressions, sin and iniquity and an implementation of a new era for the true believers. Daniel was praying about the end of the physical captivity. By some interpretations, Gabriel was delivering a message about a much more important emancipation.

    Some see the Passage as a very literal reading. Seventy weeks is the seventy years of Babylonian captivity suffered by the Jews from the time of the original pronouncement by Jeremiah. The term “weeks of years” refers to the Sabbatical year and the festivals involved in their dating. Thus the prince spoken of in verse 25 is Cyrus who released the Jews under Zerubbabel.

    Others see the decree made by Cyrus as the beginning of the seventy years. By this interpretation the completion of the Temple marks the end of the period. There is no known coming of an anointed one during this history, however, so such an interpretation falls short.

    The third interpretation we will examine is that the four hundred ninety years refers to the time between Daniel’s revelation and the coming of Christ. This interpretation groups the “seven week” period of verse 20 and the “sixty-two week” period of verse 26 into one sixty-nine week period. This interpretation recalls the word to restore Jerusalem in the “seventh year of Artaxerxes the king” in Ezra 7:7, or 458 BC. Hence, sixty-nine seven year periods (483 years) later would be 25-26 AD, the approximate time of the beginning of Christ’s ministry. The one half of a week of years, or three and a half years, marks the time of Christ’s ministry, thus bringing us to the end of Jesus’ life in 29 AD.

    No interpretation is entirely satisfactory on these Passages. Nonetheless, as stated in the introduction, the Bible gives us direction and hope in all times and in all situations. God has always fulfilled His promises and continues to do so even today.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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