Wesley's Notes on the Bible
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
9:1 In the first year of Darius - That is, immediately after the overthrow of the kingdom of Babylon, which was the year of the Jews deliverance from captivity. Of the Medes - This Darius was not Darius the Persian, under whom the temple was built, as some have asserted, to invalidate the credibility of this book; but Darius the Mede, who lived in the time of Daniel.
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.
9:2 By books - By the sacred books.
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
9:12 Judged us - Whose duty it was to govern the people, and to judge their causes; wherein if there was a failure, it was a sin, and judgment upon the people, and upon the rulers and judges themselves also. Upon Jerusalem - A place privileged many ways above all others, and punished above all others.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
9:14 The Lord watched - God's watching denotes the fit ways that he always takes to punish sinners.
And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
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.
9:17 For the Lord's sake - For the sake of the Messiah: to whom the title Lord is frequently given in the Old Testament.
O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
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.
And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
9:21 About the time - The time of the evening sacrifice was a solemn and set time of devotion. Tho' the altar was in ruins, and there was no oblation offered upon it, yet the pious Jews were daily thoughtful of the time when it should have been offered, and hoped that their prayer would be set forth before God as incense, and the lifting up of their hands, as the evening sacrifice. This was peculiarly a type of that great sacrifice, which Christ was to offer: and it was in virtue of that sacrifice, that Daniel's prayer was accepted, when he prayed for the Lord's sake.
And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
9:24 Seventy weeks - These weeks are weeks of days, and these days are so many years. To finish the transgression - The angel discovers first the disease in three several words, which contain all sorts of sin, which the Messiah should free us from by his full redemption. He shews the cure of this disease in three words. To finish transgression. To make an end of sin. To make reconciliation: all which words are very expressive in the original, and signify to pardon, to blot out, to destroy. To bring in everlasting righteousness - To bring in justification by the free grace of God in Christ, and sanctification by his spirit: called everlasting, because Christ is eternal, and so are the acceptance and holiness purchased for us. Christ brings this in, By his merit. By his gospel declaring it. By faith applying, and sealing it by the Holy Ghost. To seal up - To abrogate the former dispensation of the law, and to ratify the gospel covenant. To anoint - This alludes to his name Messiah and Christ, both which signify anointed. Christ was anointed at his first conception, and personal union, Luke 1:35. In his baptism, Matt 3:17, to his three offices by the holy Ghost, King, Matt 2:2. Prophet, Isa 61:1. Priest, Psal 110:4.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
9:25 From the going forth - From the publication of the edict, whether of Cyrus or Darius, to restore and to build it.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
9:26 And after - After the seven and the sixty two that followed them. Not for himself - But for our sakes, and for our salvation. And the people - The Romans under the conduct of Titus. Determined - God hath decreed to destroy that place and people, by the miseries and desolations of war.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
9:27 He shall confirm - Christ confirmed the new covenant, By the testimony of angels, of John baptist, of the wise men, of the saints then living, of Moses and Elias. By his preaching. By signs and wonders. By his holy life. By his resurrection and ascension. By his death and blood shedding. Shall cause the sacrifice to cease - All the Jewish rites, and Levitical worship. By his death he abrogated, and put an end to this laborious service, for ever. And that determined - That spirit of slumber, which God has determined to pour on the desolate nation, 'till the time draws near, when all Israel shall be saved.