Daniel 9

1These things happened during the first year that Darius was king. Darius was the son of a man named Ahasuerus. Darius belonged to the Median people. He became king over Babylon. 2During the first year that Darius was king, I, Daniel, was reading some books. In the books, I saw that the Lord told Jeremiah how many years would pass before Jerusalem would be built again. The Lord said 70 years would pass. 3Then I turned to God, my Master. I prayed to him and asked him for help. I did not eat any food, and I put on the clothes that showed I was sad. And I put dirt on my head. 4I prayed to the Lord my God. I told him about all of my sins. I said: “Lord, you are a great and awesome God. You keep your agreement of love and kindness with people that love you. You keep your agreement with the people who obey your commands. 5“But Lord, we have sinned! We have done wrong. We have done bad things. We turned against you. We turned away from your commands and fair decisions. 6We did not listen to the prophets. They were your servants. The prophets spoke for you. They spoke to our kings, our leaders, and our fathers. They spoke to all of the people from Israel. ˻But we did not listen to those prophets!˼ 7“Lord, you are good, and goodness belongs to you! But shame belongs to us today. Shame belongs to the people from Judah and Jerusalem. Shame belongs to all the people of Israel—to the people that are near, and to the people that are far away. Lord, you scattered those people among many nations. And the people of Israel in all those nations should be ashamed. They should be ashamed of all the bad things they did against you, Lord. 8“Lord, we should all be ashamed. All of our kings and leaders should be ashamed. Our ancestors should be ashamed. Why? Because we sinned against you, Lord. 9“But Lord, you are kind. You forgive people for the bad things they do. And we really turned against you. 10We have not obeyed the Lord our God. The Lord used his servants, the prophets, and gave us laws—but we have not obeyed his laws. 11None of the people of Israel obeyed your teachings. They all have turned away. They did not obey you. There are curses and promises written in the Law of Moses. (Moses was God’s servant.) Those curses and promises tell about the punishment for not obeying the law—and all those things have happened to us. Those things happened to us because we sinned against the Lord. 12“God said those things would happen to us and our leaders—and he made them happen. He made terrible things happen to us. No other city suffered the way Jerusalem suffered. 13All of those terrible things happened to us. This happened just like it is written in the Law of Moses. But we still have not asked the Lord for help! We still have not stopped sinning. We still do not pay attention to your truth, Lord. 14The Lord kept the terrible things ready for us—and he made those things happen to us. The Lord did this because he is fair in everything he does. But we still have not listened to him. 15“Lord, our God, you used your power and brought us out of Egypt. We are your people. You are famous because of that even today. Lord, we have sinned. We have done terrible things. 16Lord, stop being angry at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is on your holy mountain. You do the right things, so stop being angry at Jerusalem. People all around us insult us and make fun of your people. This happens because we and our ancestors sinned against you. 17“Now, Lord, listen to my prayer. I am your servant. Listen to my prayer for help. Do good things for your holy place. That building was destroyed. But Master, do these good things for your own good. 18My God, listen to me! Open your eyes and see all the terrible things that have happened to us! See what has happened to the city that is called by your name! I am not saying we are good people. That is not why I am asking these things. I am asking these things because I know you are kind. 19Lord, listen to me! Lord, forgive us! Lord, pay attention, and then do something! Don’t wait! Do something now! Do it for your own good! My God, do something now, for your city and your people that are called by your name.” 20I was saying those things in my prayer to God. I was telling about my sins and the sins of the people of Israel. I was praying for God’s holy mountain. 21While I was praying, the man Gabriel came to me. Gabriel was the person I saw in the vision. Gabriel came flying quickly to me. He came at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22Gabriel helped me understand the things I wanted to know. Gabriel said, “Daniel, I have come to give you wisdom and to help you understand. 23When you first started praying, the command was given. And I came to tell you. God loves you very much! You will understand this command, and you will understand the vision. 24“God has allowed 70 weeks for your people and your holy city, Daniel. The 70 weeks are ordered for these reasons: to stop doing bad things, to stop sinning, to make people pure, to bring the goodness that continues forever, to put a seal on visions and prophets, and to dedicate a very holy place. 25“Learn these things, Daniel. Understand these things! From the time that the message went out to go back and build Jerusalem again until the time for the chosen king to come will be seven weeks. Then Jerusalem will be built again. There will again be places for people to meet together in Jerusalem. And there will be a ditch around the city to protect it. Jerusalem will be built for 62 weeks. But there will be many troubles during that time. 26After the 62 weeks, the chosen person will be killed. He will be gone. Then the people of the future leader will destroy the city and the holy place. That end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed. 27“Then the future ruler will make an agreement with many people. That agreement will continue for one week. The offerings and sacrifices will stop for a half of a week. And a destroyer will come. He will do terrible, destructive things! But God has ordered that destroyer to be completely destroyed.”

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