Daniel 9:17
Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of your servant, and his supplications, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Cause thy face to shine.—See Numbers 6:25. The meaning is “let thy works show the fulfilment of “thy Word.”

For the Lord’s sake.—Comp. Daniel 9:19, “because Thou art the Lord.” Never does prayer rise higher, than when the soul humbly appeals to God as the sovereign lord of all, and patiently waits for Him to do as He pleases. (Comp. Psalm 44:9-26.)

9:4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions against it. It must be our confession, the language of our convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only, but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers this must be our plea, we must make mention of his righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.Now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant - In behalf of the people. He pleaded for his people and country, and earnestly entreated the Lord to be merciful. His argument is based on the confession of sin; on the character of God; on the condition of the city and temple; on the former Divine interpositions in behalf of the people; and by all these considerations, he pleads with God to have mercy upon his people and land.

And cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary - Upon the temple. That is, that he would look upon it benignly and favorably. The language is common in the Scriptures, when favor and kindness are denoted by lifting up the light of the countenance, and by similar phrases. The allusion is originally, perhaps, to the sun, which, when it shines brightly, is an emblem of favor and mercy; when it is overclouded, is an emblem of wrath.

For the Lord's sake - That is, that he would be propitious for his own sake; to wit, that his glory might be promoted; that his excellent character might be displayed; that his mercy and compassion might be shown. All true prayer has its seat in a desire that the glory of God may be promoted, and the excellence of his character displayed. That is of more consequence than "our" welfare, and the gratification of "our" wishes, and that should be uppermost in our hearts when we approach the throne of grace.

17. cause thy face to shine—metaphor from the sun, which gladdens all that it beams upon (Nu 6:25; Mal 4:2).1. Here the prophet is most concerned for the sanctuary, and place of worship, a type not only of the church, and the worship of God, but also of Christ; because in all these the Lord is greatly concerned in honour, especially considering,

2. His argument, for the Lord’s sake; for Christ’s sake, the Messiah, who is meant here: which I prove,

1. Because the concurrent testimony of the best interpreters, and the synod of Sardis, is for this interpretation.

2. Because this construction is most agreeable to the text and the Hebrew: the contrary is against it, and forced and figurative, when there is no need of it.

3. The plurality of persons is expressed thus.

4. The word

Lord is often attributed to Christ in the Old Testament, Psalm 110:1; and in the New Testament, Luke 1:43 2:11 John 20:28 Revelation 17:145. Because the Jews had none else to trust to for salvation, John 14:13 Acts 15:11 Ephesians 3:12 1 Timothy 2:5. Thus in the Old Testament, Psalm 80:15-17; for the Son’s sake, whom he calls the Son of man, Daniel 9:17, for so the Chaldee paraphrase, for the King Messiah. So upon that place, Psalm 72:1,

Give the king thy judgments, and thy righteousness to the king’s son, i.e. the King the Messiah. 2 Samuel 7:21,

For thy word’s sake, i.e. Christ, John 1:1 2 Samuel 12:25, He called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord, of whom Solomon was a type. Now therefore, O our God,.... This being our miserable case, and the seventy years' captivity being at an end, and thou still our covenant God, whom we profess and worship:

hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications; which he had put up in an humble manner, consisting of various petitions for grace and mercy before expressed:

and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate; the temple; its walls demolished, its altars thrown down, and the whole in ruins; a melancholy scene! the Lord, suffering these things, seemed to frown upon it, and upon his people, that used to serve him there; wherefore it is entreated that he would smile upon it again, and upon them, and cause it to be rebuilt, and his worship restored in it: and this is asked

for the Lord's sake: that is, for Christ's sake, who is Lord of all, especially of his chosen people, by creation, redemption, and marriage, as well as by their own consent and profession; and for whose sake, and in whose name, all requests are to be made to God, he being the only Mediator between God and man; and for the sake of whose blood, righteousness, and mediation, all the blessings of goodness are given unto men; and who also was Lord and proprietor of the temple, and was to come into it, as well as was the antitype of it.

Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to {l} shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the {m} Lord's sake.

(l) Show yourself favourable.

(m) That is, for your Christ's sake, in whom you will accept all of our prayers.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. hearken unto the prayer, &c.] A reminiscence of 1 Kings 8:28 (= 2 Chronicles 6:19). Similarly Nehemiah 1:6; Nehemiah 1:11 (from 1 Kings 8:29).

cause thy face to shine upon] i.e. be favourable to: Numbers 6:25; Psalm 68:1; Psalm 80:3; Psalm 80:7; Psalm 80:19 (in a prayer for help, as here), Psalm 119:135.

desolate] The word (shâmçm) used in Lamentations 5:18, ‘mount Zion, which is desolate’ (cf. 1Ma 4:38), chosen perhaps at the same time with allusion to the transgression, or abomination, ‘causing appalment’ (shômçm, měshômçm), of Daniel 8:13, Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:31, Daniel 12:11.

for the Lord’s sake] The words in themselves occasion no difficulty (cf. Daniel 9:19; Isaiah 48:11, ‘for mine own sake’), though for thy name’s sake would be more usual (Jeremiah 14:7; Jeremiah 14:21; Psalm 79:9): Jehovah’s honour, or reputation, it is implied, would be impaired, if His sanctuary remained longer in a basement; out of regard to Himself, therefore, He is entreated to interfere. But the third person in the midst of a series of petitions in the second person, is very strange: it is probable, therefore, that either a letter or a word has dropped out in the Heb., and that we should read, either with Theod., Prince, for thine own sake, O Lord (cf. Daniel 9:19), or with LXX, Bevan, Marti, for thy servants’ sake, O Lord as in the very similar appeal of Isaiah 63:17).

17–19. The supplication becomes more urgent, especially in Daniel 9:18-19.Verse 17. - Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. The Septuagint differs here, "Now give ear, O Lord, to the prayer of thy servant, and to my supplications; for thy servant's sake lift up thy countenance upon thy holy mountain which is desolate, O Lord." The omission of the vav in tahenoonayiv would occasion the LXX. rendering, "my supplications." They had read אדני before, עבדך. Certainly the Septuagint rendering gives better sense than the violent change to the third person from the second. Keil would escape the difficulty by translating, "because thou art the Lord" - a translation that is independent of Hebrew grammar. The conjunction would not naturally be lema'an (לְמַעַן), but possibly 'eqeb asher (עֶקֶב אֲשֶׁר). Further, the covenant name would certainly have been used in such a connection, and it would necessarily have been followed by "thou." As it stands, it really asserts that the desolations are on account of the Lord - an assertion which would not be germane to the tenor of the prayer. The reading of the LXX. is thus better here. Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic text, but instead of "O our God," reads, "O Lord our God," and avoids the change of person in the last clause by reading אדני as a vocative, and inserting σου. The Peshitta has, "our supplication," and avoids the awkward change of person by reading, "for thy Name's sake." Jerome gives a fairly accurate rendering of the Massoretic. only in the last clause he omits "Lord" and renders temet ipsum. The influence of the Psalter is to be seen in this verse. The first clause is a slightly altered and condensed version of Psalm 143:1. The verb that ought to open the second member is omitted. The word tahooneem is not a very common one. Cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary has a close resemblance to Psalm 80:3, 7, 19. As they had no temple sacrifices in Babylon, the captive Jews would have only the psalms of the sanctuary to keep the sense of worship alive in their hearts. Daniel interprets to the king his dream, repeating only here and there in an abbreviated form the substance of it in the same words, and then declares its reference to the king. With vv. 17 (Daniel 4:20) and 18 (Daniel 4:21) cf. vv. 8 (Daniel 4:11) and 9 (Daniel 4:12). The fuller description of the tree is subordinated to the relative clause, which thou hast seen, so that the subject is connected by הוּא (Daniel 4:19), representing the verb. subst., according to rule, with the predicate אילנא. The interpretation of the separate statements regarding the tree is also subordinated in the relative clauses to the subject. For the Kethiv רבית equals רביתּ, the Keri gives the shortened form רבת, with the elision of the third radical, analogous to the shortening of the following מטת for מטת. To the call of the angel to "cut down the tree," etc. (Daniel 4:20, cf. Daniel 4:10-13), Daniel gives the interpretation, Daniel 4:24, "This is the decree of the Most High which is come upon the king, that he shall be driven from men, and dwell among the beasts," etc. על מטא equals Hebr. על בּוא. The indefinite plur. form טרדין stands instead of the passive, as the following לך יטעמוּן and מצבּעין, cf. under Daniel 3:4. Thus the subject remains altogether indefinite, and one has neither to think on men who will drive him from their society, etc., nor of angels, of whom, perhaps, the expulsion of the king may be predicated, but scarcely the feeding on grass and being wet with dew.
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