91Darius the Mede, who was the son of Xerxes, ruled over the kingdom of Babylonia. 2
In the first year of his reign, I was studying the sacred books and thinking about the seventy years that Jerusalem would be in ruins, according to what the LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah. 3And I prayed earnestly to the Lord God, pleading with him, fasting, wearing sackcloth, and sitting in ashes. 4I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed the sins of my people.
I said, “Lord God, you are great, and we honour you. You are faithful to your covenant and show constant love to those who love you and do what you command.
5“We have sinned, we have been evil, we have done wrong. We have rejected what you commanded us to do and have turned away from what you showed us was right. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our rulers, our ancestors, and our whole nation. 7You, Lord, always do what is right, but we have always brought disgrace on ourselves. This is true of all of us who live in Judah and in Jerusalem and of all the Israelites whom you scattered in countries near and far because they were unfaithful to you. 8Our kings, our rulers, and our ancestors have acted shamefully and sinned against you, Lord. 9You are merciful and forgiving, although we have rebelled against you. 10We did not listen to you, O LORD our God, when you told us to live according to the laws which you gave us through your servants the prophets. 11All Israel broke your laws and refused to listen to what you said. We sinned against you, and so you brought on us the curses that are written in the Law of Moses, your servant. 12You did what you said you would do to us and our rulers. You punished Jerusalem more severely than any other city on earth, 13giving us all the punishment described in the Law of Moses. But even now, O LORD our God, we have not tried to please you by turning from our sins or by following your truth. 14You, O LORD our God, were prepared to punish us, and you did, because you always do what is right, and we did not listen to you.
15“O Lord our God, you showed your power by bringing your people out of Egypt, and your power is still remembered. We have sinned; we have done wrong. 16You have defended us in the past, so do not be angry with Jerusalem any longer. It is your city, your sacred hill.9.16 sacred hill: Mount Zion (see Zion in Word List). All the people in the neighbouring countries look down on Jerusalem and on your people because of our sins and the evil our ancestors did. 17O God, hear my prayer and pleading. Restore your Temple, which has been destroyed; restore it so that everyone will know that you are God. 18Listen to us, O God; look at us, and see the trouble we are in and the suffering of the city that bears your name. We are praying to you because you are merciful, not because we have done right. 19Lord, hear us. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen to us, and act! In order that everyone will know that you are God, do not delay! This city and these people are yours.”
20I went on praying, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel, and pleading with the LORD my God to restore his holy Temple. 21
While I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came flying down to where I was. It was the time for the evening sacrifice to be offered. 22He explained, “Daniel, I have come here to help you understand the prophecy. 23When you began to plead with God, he answered you. He loves you, and so I have come to tell you the answer. Now pay attention while I explain the vision.
24“Seven times seventy years is the length of time God has set for freeing your people and your holy city from sin and evil. Sin will be forgiven and eternal justice established, so that the vision and the prophecy will come true, and the holy Temple9.24 Temple; or altar. will be rededicated. 25Note this and understand it: from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem, until God's chosen leader comes, seven times seven years will pass. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences, and will stand for seven times 62 years, but this will be a time of troubles. 26And at the end of that time God's chosen leader will be killed unjustly.9.26 One ancient translation unjustly; Hebrew unclear. The city and the Temple will be destroyed by the invading army of a powerful ruler. The end will come like a flood, bringing the war and destruction which God has prepared. 27
That ruler will have a firm agreement with many people for seven years, and when half this time is past, he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings. The Awful Horror9.27 The Awful Horror: A pagan image set up in the Jerusalem Temple by foreign conquerors (see 1 Macc 1.54–61). will be placed on the highest point of the Temple and will remain there until the one who put it there meets the end which God has prepared for him.”
101(In the third year that Cyrus was emperor of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who is also called Belteshazzar. The message was true but extremely hard to understand.10.1 but extremely hard to understand; or and it was about a great war. It was explained to him in a vision.)
2At that time, I was mourning for three weeks. 3I did not eat any rich food or any meat, drink any wine, or comb my hair until the three weeks were past.
4On the 24th day of the first month of the year, I was standing on the bank of the mighty River Tigris. 5
I looked up and saw someone who was wearing linen clothes and a belt of fine gold. 6His body shone like a jewel. His face was as bright as a flash of lightning, and his eyes blazed like fire. His arms and legs shone like polished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a great crowd.
7I was the only one who saw the vision. Those who were with me did not see anything, but they were terrified and ran and hid. 8I was left there alone, watching this amazing vision. I had no strength left, and my face was so changed that no one could have recognized me. 9When I heard his voice, I fell to the ground unconscious and lay there face downwards. 10Then a hand took hold of me and raised me to my hands and knees; I was still trembling.
11The angel said to me, “Daniel, God loves you. Stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say. I have been sent to you.” When he had said this, I stood up, still trembling.
12Then he said, “Daniel, don't be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13
The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia. 14I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the future. This is a vision about the future.”
15When he said this, I stared at the ground, speechless. 16Then the angel, who looked like a human being, stretched out his hand and touched my lips. I said to him, “Sir, this vision makes me so weak that I can't stop trembling. 17I am like a slave standing before his master. How can I talk to you? I have no strength or breath left in me.”
18Once more he took hold of me, and I felt stronger. 19He said, “God loves you, so don't let anything worry you or frighten you.”
When he had said this, I felt even stronger and said, “Sir, tell me what you have to say. You have made me feel better.”
20-21He said, “Do you know why I came to you? It is to reveal to you what is written in the Book of Truth. Now I have to go back and fight the guardian angel of Persia. After that, the guardian angel of Greece will appear. There is no one to help me except Michael, Israel's guardian angel.10.20–21 Probable text guardian angel; Hebrew guardian angel. And I, in the first year of Darius the Mede.
111He is11.1 One ancient translation He is; Hebrew I am. responsible for helping and defending me. 2And what I am now going to tell you is true.”
The angel said, “Three more kings will rule over Persia, followed by a fourth, who will be richer than all the others. At the height of his power and wealth he will challenge the kingdom of Greece.
3“Then a heroic king will appear. He will rule over a huge empire and do whatever he wants. 4But at the height of his power his empire will break up and be divided into four parts. Kings not descended from him will rule in his place, but they will not have the power that he had.
5“The king of Egypt will be strong. One of his generals, however, will be even stronger and rule a greater kingdom. 6After a number of years the king of Egypt will make an alliance with the king of Syria and give him his daughter in marriage. But the alliance will not last, and she, her husband, her child,11.6 Some ancient translations her child; Hebrew her father. and the servants who went with her will all be killed. 7Soon afterwards, one of her relatives will become king. He will attack the army of the king of Syria, enter their fortress, and defeat them. 8He will carry back to Egypt the images of their gods and the articles of gold and silver dedicated to those gods. After several years of peace 9the king of Syria will invade Egypt, but he will be forced to retreat.
10“The sons of the king of Syria will prepare for war and gather a large army. One of them will sweep on like a flood and attack an enemy fortress. 11In his anger the king of Egypt will go to war against the king of Syria and capture his huge army. 12He will be proud of his victory and of the many soldiers he has killed, but he will not continue to be victorious.
13“The king of Syria will go back and gather a larger army than he had before. When the proper time comes, he will return with a large, well-equipped army. 14Then many people will rebel against the king of Egypt. And some of the violent from your nation, Daniel, will rebel because of a vision they have seen, but they will be defeated. 15So the king of Syria will lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The soldiers of Egypt will not continue to fight; even the best of them will not have enough strength. 16The Syrian invader will do with them as he pleases, without opposition. He will stand in the Promised Land and have it completely in his power.
17“The king of Syria will plan an expedition, using his whole army. Then, in order to destroy his enemy's kingdom, he will make an alliance with him and offer him his daughter11.17 his daughter; or a young woman. in marriage; but his plan will not succeed. 18After that he will attack the nations by the sea and conquer many of them. But a foreign leader will defeat him and put an end to his arrogance; indeed he will turn the arrogance of Syria's king back on him.11.18 Probable text his arrogance… on him; Hebrew unclear. 19The king will return to the fortresses of his own land, but he will be defeated, and that will be the end of him.
20“He will be followed by another king, who will send an officer to oppress the people with taxes in order to increase the wealth of his kingdom. In a short time that king will be killed, but not publicly and not in battle.”
21The angel went on to explain: “The next king of Syria will be an evil man who has no right to be king, but he will come unexpectedly and seize power by trickery. 22Anyone who opposes him, even God's High Priest, will be swept away and wiped out. 23By making treaties, he will deceive other nations, and he will grow stronger and stronger, even though he rules only a small nation. 24He will invade a wealthy province without warning and will do things that none of his ancestors ever did. Then he will divide among his followers the goods and property he has captured in war. He will make plans to attack fortresses, but his time will soon run out.
25“He will boldly raise a large army to attack the king of Egypt, who will prepare to fight back with a huge and powerful army. But the king of Egypt will be deceived and will not be successful. 26His closest advisers will ruin him. Many of his soldiers will be killed, and his army will be wiped out. 27Then the two kings will sit down to eat at the same table, but their motives will be evil, and they will lie to each other. They will not get what they want, because the time for it has not yet come. 28The king of Syria will return home with all the loot he has captured, determined to destroy the religion of God's people. He will do as he pleases and then return to his own land.
29“Later on he will invade Egypt again, but this time things will turn out differently. 30The Romans will come in ships and oppose him, and he will be frightened.
“Then he will turn back in a rage and try to destroy the religion of God's people. He will follow the advice of those who have abandoned that religion. 31
Some of his soldiers will desecrate the Temple. They will stop the daily sacrifices and set up The Awful Horror.11.31 The Awful Horror: See 9.27. 32By deceit the king will win the support of those who have already abandoned their religion, but those who follow God will fight back. 33Wise leaders of the people will share their wisdom with many others. But for a while some of them will be killed in battle or be burnt to death, and some will be robbed and made prisoners. 34While the killing is going on, God's people will receive a little help, even though many who join them will do so for selfish reasons. 35Some of those wise leaders will be killed, but as a result of this the people will be purified. This will continue until the end comes, the time that God has set.
“The king of Syria will do as he pleases. He will boast that he is greater than any god, superior even to the Supreme God. He will be able to do this until the time when God punishes him. God will do exactly what he has planned. 37The king will ignore the god his ancestors served, and also the god that women love. In fact, he will ignore every god, because he will think he is greater than any of them. 38Instead, he will honour the god who protects fortresses. He will offer gold, silver, jewels, and other rich gifts to a god his ancestors never worshipped. 39To defend his fortresses, he will use people who worship a foreign god. He will give great honour to those who accept him as ruler, put them into high offices, and give them land as a reward.
40“When the king of Syria's final hour has almost come, the king of Egypt will attack him, and the king of Syria will fight back with all his power, using chariots, horses, and many ships. He will invade many countries, like the waters of a flood. 41He will even invade the Promised Land and kill tens of thousands, but the countries of Edom, Moab, and what is left of Ammon will escape. 42When he invades all those countries, even Egypt will not be spared. 43He will take away Egypt's hidden treasures of gold and silver and its other prized possessions. He will conquer Libya and Ethiopia11.43 Ethiopia: See Word List.. 44Then news that comes from the east and the north will frighten him, and he will fight furiously, killing many people. 45He will even set up his huge royal tents between the sea and the mountain on which the Temple stands. But he will die, with no one there to help him.”