A message from heaven through the angel Gabriel, that’s the “Seventy Weeks of Daniel” (Daniel’s 70 Weeks). The background behind the Seventy Weeks of Daniel helps us understand how the spiritual realms operate. Daniel was a captive in Babylon for about 67-years, and Daniel knew the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon was limited to 70-years as foretold by the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11). We first meet Daniel as a young boy taken into Babylonian captivity in 605 BC, by armies of Babylon in Daniel Chapter 1. Daniel chapter 9 takes place in Daniel’s old age. At this point in history, Persia under the reign of Cyrus the Great had defeated Babylon in 539 BC. Daniel knew change was due, and he prayed accordingly.
Daniel was about 83 to 85 years old, so Daniel started praying for the restoration of the Jewish people back to the land of Israel and the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple. Daniel had been a resident of Babylon from the time of his youth, and was now an official in the Persian kingdom, he had survived the Lion’s den(Daniel chapter 6) and witnessed the “Handwriting on the wall” (Daniel chapter 5), he knew it was time for God to act, so Daniel prayed (Daniel 9:4-19).
Daniel 9:4-19 ESV
(4) I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
(5) we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
(6) We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
(12) He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.
(13) As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.
(18) O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
(19) O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”
Daniel knew why God had punished the Jewish people with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Solomon’s Temple, he confessed the sins of his people. He admitted the justification of God’s judgement as recorded in the Law of Moses. He interceded for God’s mercy; Daniel pleaded that God would restore his people to the land of Israel as foretold by Jeremiah the prophet. God heard Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel was dispatched to answer his prayer and give Daniel the skill to understand.
Daniel 9:20-23 ESV
(20) While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God,
(21) while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.
(22) He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.
(23) At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.
Gabriel’s answer to Daniel was not only for him, but it was also to everybody. The message is known as the Seventy Weeks of Daniel or Daniel’s 70 Weeks. In this message, God through the angel Gabriel gives a blueprint for Bible Prophecy. God creates a prophetic clock, with specific events that will take place leading to the end of the age. This amazing prophecy gives us the exact day the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will be rejected and killed by the Jewish leaders over 539 before his birth.
Gabriel answering his prayer, tells Daniel:
- He assures Daniel Jerusalem, and the Temple (2nd Temple) would be rebuilt.
- He gives Daniel the starting point of the clock.
- The exact day Messiah would be cut off (killed).
- The future destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple after Messiah (Christ).
- The period of Desolation on the Jewish people.
- The rebuilding of the Third Temple
- The Abomination of Desolation in the third Temple
- The completion of God’s plan.
Another fantastic aspect of Daniel chapter 9 is learning we can have reputation in Heaven. Gabriel tells Daniel, from the moment he prayed he was sent out… “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out,”, Gabriel then tells Daniel you are “greatly loved” (Daniel 9:23). What this tells us is that what we are doing on earth is being observed in Heaven. Daniel had a reputation in Heaven, they knew who he was, and he was famous in Heaven. Can you imagine that we can be famous in Heaven through our prayers and actions here on the earth. They, at least the angels, are watching what is taking place on the earth, and they are involved with the events.
Daniel word’s activated God’s mercy, God operates through the prayers of his people, we can be like Daniel and intercede for God’s mercy and action. This is what Daniel did, he knew the circumstances on the ground, and he prayed for God to act according to His Word. Daniel Chapter 9 shows us the power of our prayers in Heaven.