Daniel 9:2 Index
"In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."
Research Material

"...I Daniel understood by books..."

  • FAITH BUILDER #5 COMPLETE TRUST: Two elements through which faith works are Scripture and prayer. Daniel employed both in Daniel 9. The reading of Scripture to the believer's spiritual nature is the same as food to his physical nature. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). One of the biggest reasons to study the Bible is to increase our faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Roman 10:17). The reason we read God's Word is to give us faith. Daniel had read where Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be in captivity for seventy years. The seventy years were coming to an end. By faith he knew that soon the children of Israel would be freed to go back to Jerusalem. Understanding the time and circumstances, Daniel sought his God in prayer. Prayer in the spiritual life of the Christian is the same as breathing is to the physical life. Prayer is the breath of the soul. But prayer has to be mixed with faith in order for it to accomplish its work. "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:15). As Daniel mingled faith with his prayers, he could close his petition by saying, "O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." (Daniel 9:19). The promises in the Bible are sure. When we confess our sins and repent of them in faith, we can take hold of the assurances in His Word and know God will answer. In answer to Daniel's prayer, God sent an angel swiftly. (KC 108)
  • Although busy amid the affairs of state, the prophet did not cease to study the Word of God. Daniel was obviously perplexed as to how to relate what had been revealed to him in the vision of Daniel 8 to the events of the immediate future -- the return of the Jews at the end of the 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10) (Daniel 9:21). (4BC 848-849)
  • During the turmoil and bustle of all the change in affairs, while Daniel's hands were filled with court duties and business cares, he yet had time for prayer and study. (SNH 137)
  • Although Daniel, as prime minster of the foremost kingdom on the earth, was cumbered with cares and burdens, he did not let this deprive him of the privilege of studying into things of higher moment -- the purposes of God revealed to His prophets. He understood by books, that is, the writings of Jeremiah, that God would accomplish seventy years in the captivity of His people. This prediction is found in Jeremiah 25:12 and Jeremiah 29:10. The knowledge of it, and the use that was made of it, shows that Jeremiah was early regarded as a divinely inspired prophet; otherwise his writings would not have been so soon collected, and so extensively copied. Though for a time contemporary with him, Daniel had a copy of his works which he carried with him in his captivity. Though he was so great a prophet himself, he was not above studying carefully what God might reveal to others of His servants. (US 193)

"...whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet..."

  • Prophecy had foretold that Cyrus would restore to the Jews their freedom; the time of their deliverance drew near, and Daniel searched carefully for an understanding of the time. The prophecies of Jeremiah were the only ones which told plainly the length of the captivity. Doubtless the mind of Daniel was perplexed over the two thousand three hundred days, of which Gabriel had spoken, for to the Hebrews the temple in Jerusalem was God's sanctuary, and the cleansing, to them, meant the removal of unholy hands from Mount Zion.... Twice in the book of Jeremiah the length of the captivity is stated. "These nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when the seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon." (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Again the prophet had said, "After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." (Jeremiah 29:10; 2 Chronicles 36:21). Babylon had fallen, and Jerusalem had been desolate nearly seventy years. A crisis was near for God's people, and Daniel sough by prayer and fasting to understand the matter. (SNH 137)

"...seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."

  • This period had now almost expired. Little wonder that Daniel's attention was focused upon the time prophecy. He was anxious lest the Lord should delay the liberation of His captive people. (4BC 849)
  • The seventy years of captivity must not be confused with the seventy weeks that follow. Dating the period of the seventy hears of captivity from 606 B.C., Daniel understood that they were now drawing to their close, and that God had even begun the fulfillment of the prophecy by overthrowing the kingdom of Babylon. (US 193-194)