New American Standard Bible
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
King James Bible
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Darby Bible Translation
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes;
World English Bible
I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Young's Literal Translation
and I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.
Daniel 9:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And I set my face unto the Lord God - Probably the meaning is, that he turned his face toward Jerusalem, the place where God had dwelt; the place of his holy abode on earth. See the notes at Daniel 6:10. The language, however, would not be inappropriate to denote prayer without such a supposition. We turn to one whom we address, and so prayer may be described by "setting the face toward God." The essential idea here is, that he engaged in a set and formal prayer; he engaged in earnest devotion. He evidently set apart a time for this, for he prepared himself by fasting, and by putting on sackcloth and ashes.
To seek by prayer and supplications - To seek his favor; to pray that he would accomplish his purposes. The words "prayer and supplications," which are often found united, would seem to denote "earnest" prayer, or prayer when mercy was implored - the notion of "mercy" or "favor" implored entering into the meaning of the Hebrew word rendered "supplications."
With fasting - In view of the desolations of the city and temple; the calamities that had come upon the people; their sins, etc.; and in order also that the mind might be prepared for earnest and fervent prayer. The occasion was one of great importance, and it was proper that the mind should be prepared for it by fasting. It was the purpose of Daniel to humble himself before God, and to recal the sins of the nation for which they now suffered, and fasting was an appropriate means of doing that.
And sackcloth - Sackcloth was a coarse kind of cloth, usually made of hair, and employed for the purpose of making sacks, bags, etc. As it was dark, and coarse, and rough, it was regarded as a proper badge of mourning and humiliation, and was worn as such usually by passing or girding it around the loins. See the notes at Isaiah 3:24; Job 16:15.
And ashes - It was customary to cast ashes on the head in a time of great grief and sorrow. The principles on which this was done seem to have been,
(a) that the external appearance should correspond with the state of the mind and the heart, and
(b) that such external circumstances would have a tendency to produce a state of heart corresponding to them - or would produce true humiliation and repentance for sin.
Compare the notes at Job 2:8. The practical truth taught in this verse, in connection with the preceding, is, that the fact that a thing is certainly predicted, and that God means to accomplish it, is an encouragement to prayer, and will lead to prayer. We could have no encouragement to pray except in the purposes and promises of God, for we have no power ourselves to accomplish the things for which we pray, and all must depend on his will. When that will is known it is the very thing to encourage us in our approaches to him, and is all the assurance that we need to induce us to pray.
LibraryWhether the Time of the Future Judgment is Unknown?
Objection 1: It would seem that the time of the future judgment is not unknown. For just as the holy Fathers looked forward to the first coming, so do we look forward to the second. But the holy Fathers knew the time of the first coming, as proved by the number of weeks mentioned in Daniel 9: wherefore the Jews are reproached for not knowing the time of Christ's coming (Lk. 12:56): "You hypocrites, you know how to discern the face of the heaven and of the earth, but how is it that you do not discern …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
From the Supplement to the Summa --Question Lxxii of the Prayers of the Saints who are in Heaven
The Return of the Exiles
'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Now while 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 in behalf of the holy mountain of my God,
"Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.
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