Rebuilding the Temple (539 – 517 BC)

Read Ezra 1-6; Ezekiel 40-48; Daniel 9-12; Haggai
& Zechariah
Those who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple were vitally concerned with religious and ethnic purity, carefully obeying Torah and checking each person’s genealogy to verify their claim to Jewish heritage. A deeply religious society, intolerant of others, was being built.

Response to prophetic promises – prayer and repentance on behalf of the people…

Jeremiah had prophesied that Israel would be desolate for 70 years then God would destroy forever the Babylonian empire and cause the captives in Babylon to return to their land (Jer.25:12; 29:10; 2 Chron.36:21; Dan.9:2 & Zech.7:6).   Isaiah had prophesied:

See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.                                      Isaiah 13:17 NIV

Daniel records: 

Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.          Daniel 5:30-31 NIV

The “Babylonian Chronicles” tell us the exact date which Babylon fell, October 13, 539 B.C.  Darius the Mede (Gubaru) led the division of Medo-Persian troops that conquered Babylon.  He was born in 601 B.C. which would make him 62 years old when he invaded Babylon and was appointed by the Persian king, Cyrus, to be ruler in Babylon. Historians believe that the name Darius was not a proper name at all, but a title of honour meaning “Holder of the Sceptre.”  Hence Gubaru was called Darius “The Scepter Holder (King) of the Medes.” (1)   

After the fall of Babylon Daniel went back to Jeremiah’s letters and this time as he read them he realised that the 70 years prophesied for the Jews’ exile in Babylon was almost finished (Jeremiah 25:10-14 & 29:10-14), and so prayed for his people and confessed their sins with messianic expectations of not only a return to their land but also of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), of a new spirit within his people (Ezekiel 11:19) and of God’s glory filling the earth (Hab.2:14).  In response Daniel received a fourth vision, in which the angel Gabriel brought revelation about a coming 70 ‘sevens’ (Daniel 9). The context makes it clear that a ‘seven’ was a period of 7 years. 

Seventy sevens to accomplish six purposes…

The scope and purpose of what was to come was described in this fourth vision:

Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.” Daniel 9:24 NIV

Gabriel’s prophetic revelation to Daniel in this fourth vision began with the words, “Seventy sevens are decreed …” (Daniel 9:24a).  Many English versions have translated the phrase to read “seventy weeks.” But this translation is not totally accurate and has caused some confusion about the meaning of the passage.  Most Jews know the Hebrew for “weeks” because of the observance of the Feast of Weeks, and that Hebrew word is Shavuot.  However, the word that appears in the Hebrew text is shavuim, which means “sevens.” The word refers to a “seven” of anything, and the context determines the content of the seven.  Here it is obvious that Daniel had been thinking in terms of years—specifically the 70 years of captivity. Daniel had assumed that the kingdom of God would be established when the captivity ended, after the 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah. But here Gabriel was using a play upon words in the Hebrew text, pointing out that insofar as Messiah‘s kingdom was concerned, it was not “70 years,” but “70 sevens of years,” a total of 490 years (seventy times seven – interestingly, the same response that Yeshua gave in Matthew 18:22 when asked how many times we are to forgive others).

This period of 70 x 7 years had been “decreed” over the Jewish people and over the holy city of Jerusalem. The Hebrew word translated “decreed” literally means “to cut off” or “to determine.” In chapters 2, 7 and 8, God revealed to Daniel the course of future world history in which gentiles would have dominion over the Jewish people. This lengthy period, which began with the Babylonian Empire, was to continue until the establishment of Messiah‘s kingdom.  It is for that reason often referred to as the “Times of the Gentiles.”  Now Daniel was told that a total of 490 years was to be “cut out” of the ‘Times of the Gentiles’, and a 490-year period had been “determined” or “decreed” for the accomplishment of the final restoration of Israel and the establishment of Messiah‘s kingdom.

These seventy sevens were to accomplish six purposes (Daniel 9:24b). The first was ‘to finish transgression’. The Hebrew word translated “to finish” means “to restrain completely” or “to bring to completion.” The Hebrew word translated “transgression” is a very strong word for sin and more literally means “to rebel.”  The Hebrew text has this word with the definite article, so it literally means “the transgression,” or “the rebellion.”  Some specific act of Jewish rebellion is finally going to be completely restrained and brought to an end. This concurs with Isaiah 59:

“A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from disobedience in Jacob,” says Yahweh.               Isaiah 59:20 WEB

The second purpose of the seventy sevens is ‘to put an end to sin’. The Hebrew word translated “to put an end” literally means “to seal up” or “to shut up in prison.” It means to be securely kept, locked up, not allowed to roam at random. The Hebrew word translated as “sin” literally means “to miss the mark.”  These sins are also to be put to an end. This, too, concurs with predictions by other Jewish prophets that proclaim that in the Messianic kingdom, sinning would cease from Israel (Isaiah 27:9, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 37:23, Jeremiah 31:31-34), they would no longer miss the mark.

The third purpose is ‘to atone for wickedness’. The Hebrew word translated “to atone” is “kaphar,” which has the same root meaning as the word “kippur,” as in Yom Kippur (the Hebrew ‘Day of Atonement’), with the verb form being “kaphar” which means “to cover, purge, make reconciliation.”
The word translated “wickedness” refers to inward sin. This has sometimes been referred to as the sin nature, or perhaps a more common term among Jewish people would be yetzer hara, the evil inclination.” The third purpose, then, is to cover and purge human sinful nature so as to reconcile us to our holy God.  Thus, it is by means of this atonement that the first two purposes will also be accomplished, that of finishing the transgression (rebellion) and putting an end to sin (missing the mark).

The fourth purpose of the 70 sevens is ‘to bring in everlasting righteousness’.  More literally this could be translated “to bring in an age of righteousness,” since the Hebrew “olam” is better translated as “age” rather than as “everlasting.” This age of righteousness is to be the Messianic kingdom spoken of in the Prophets (Isaiah 1:26, 11:2-5, 32:17; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:15-18). It is this very age that Daniel had been expecting to see established after the 70 years of captivity, but now he is told that it will not be until after 70 sevens of years.

The fifth purpose is ‘to seal up vision and prophecy’.  Here Daniel used a word which means “to affix a seal” or “to certify by making a seal imprint”.   The Hebrew word translated ‘vision’ here refers to ‘divine communication that requires response; and the one translated ‘prophesy’refers to ‘speaking God’s message’ or ‘speaking God’s mind’.  Divine communication that requires response and God’s message are to be certified and completely fulfilled.

The final purpose of the seventy sevens is ‘to anoint the Most Holy Place’.  This is a reference to the Jewish temple which is to be rebuilt when Messiah comes.  It refers to the same temple that Daniel‘s contemporary, Ezekiel, described in great detail (Ezekiel 40-48).  (2)

Daniel acted with total integrity in fulfilling all his duties – no wrongdoing, corruption or negligence, and could not be deterred from prayer …

Darius installed governors in Babylon, including Daniel.  Once again Daniel, who was now about 82yo, distinguished himself among the administrators and the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.  At this the other administrators and leaders sought to discredit Daniel but could find no wrongdoing, no corruption or negligence of any of his duties.  So, they tricked king Darius into issuing an edict forbidding prayer to any god during the next thirty days with the punishment for breaking such being thrown into the lion’s den.   Daniel was unmoved, he continued getting down on his knees facing Jerusalem three times a day and praying, giving thanks to God and asking Him for help.   Darius could find no way to repeal his law, so the aged Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and a large stone placed over the mouth of the den.  God sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions and prevented Daniel from being hurt by them, so Darius ordered that those who had schemed to get rid of Daniel be thrown to the lions and decreed that everyone in his kingdom fear and reverence the God of Daniel.  Thus, Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Jeremiah’s prophesy fulfilled

Darius died after only a year’s rule.  Following Darius’ death Cyrus took over being ‘king of Babylon’ as well as ‘king of Lands’. (3) (4) (5).

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia – in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah – the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,  “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.'”
(2 Chronicles 36:22-23)      For the full decree see Ezra 1:2-4.

Some suggest that this was in response to reading Isaiah’s prophesy:

Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure,’ even saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built;’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.                       Isaiah 44:28 WEB

In 537 BCE, 70 years after the first Babylonian invasion and captivity, the first company of Jews returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel and his uncle, Sheshbazzar, descendants of the royal family of David through Solomon.  To Sheshbazzar was given the remaining articles of the house of the LORD, but this did not include the Ark of the Covenant which, just as Jeremiah had prophesied (Jer. 3:16) was lost and neither remembered nor remade.  Cyrus sent the Jews home for religious purposes – to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Judah was re-established so Yahweh could be worshipped, and the Jews were sent to Judah for the express purpose of building the temple and worshiping Yahweh. Before the Exile, Judah and Israel were kingdoms; now Judah was a theological state within the Persian Empire. (6); (7)

Most of the Jewish people, however, chose not to return to the Promised Land as they had now built comfortable lives for themselves in Babylon. With many becoming wealthy and rising to positions of prominence, Babylon had come to feel like home, and they reasoned that Abraham had come from this region; so, a tradition built up, which was later affirmed in the Talmud, that living in Babylon was as though they were living in the Land of Israel with all the spiritual benefits thereof (8). Most had no desire to uproot and move back to the desolation that had been the homeland of their ancestors (5).  For much of the Jewish population the desperate longing of Psalm 137 had faded into a nice ideal.   Of what was probably a million Jews living in the Persian Empire, only 42,360 went back (Ezra 2:64), while the vast majority chose to stay in Babylon (9).

Those who did return included the heads of the houses of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and the Levites. They all returned to their ancestor’s former cities but gave for the work of rebuilding the temple and gathered together in Jerusalem for the important first task of building the altar of Yahweh so the regular burnt offerings could once again be made to the Lord.

Sacrifices offered even before the foundation of the temple was laid.

This daily sacrificial system was considered of such importance that it, and the keeping of the feasts, was commenced even before the foundation for the Temple (BethHamikdosh) was laid. 

In the second year construction began on the temple. Those who returned were vitally concerned with religious and ethnic purity, carefully obeying all the laws of Moses and searching their genealogies to verify each person’s claim to Jewish heritage.  A deeply religious society, intolerant of others, was being built. 

When Cyrus overcame the Babylonians, the Achaemenids (first Persian Empire) accepted the dominance of Aramaic and made it the official language of Syria and Palestine (Ezra 4:7), thus permitting a special Imperial Aramaic to develop.  So even after they returned to the land of Israel, the Jewish people continued to speak Aramaic. Hebrew remained the language of Jewish religious practice, but Aramaic became the generally spoken language of the Holy Land (10).

Daniel’s last vision

535 BC, in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, after three weeks of mourning and fasting for his people, Daniel had his last recorded and most impacting vision.  This fifth vision was of a man whose face was like lightening and eyes like flaming torches who told of four kings to come and the time of the end (Daniel 10-12).  

Daniel's vision of a man whose face was like lightening and eyes like flaming torches.

In this vision Daniel is warned about a coming prince of Greece, but before him were to be more Persian rulers to come after Cyrus: “Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than them all” (WEB).  It is interesting that Daniel’s last vision emphasized the reign of the fourth king, whom we now know was Xerxes whom Esther married and during whose reign the Jews were delivered from a threat of extermination.  Daniel’s five visions covered the whole timeframe from the Babylonian conquest to Roman rule, and profoundly impacted Jewish hopes and Messianic expectations throughout this period.

Work on the temple halted

Cyrus died in 530 B.C and during the reign of his son, Cambyses (Ahasuerus), work on the Temple was halted by royal decree.

God sent two prophets with His word to resume the work of rebuilding the temple – obedience opened the door and brought unexpected blessings…

Cambyses died in 522 B.C. and after a few months his distant cousin Darius was able to take the throne and restore peace to the Persian Empire.  Haggai and Zechariah both prophesied during the second year of the reign of Darius (Ezra 5:1; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1).  At their urging, Zerubbabel resumed the work of rebuilding the Temple.  When challenged by the Persian officials, he made claim to the permission that had originally been granted by Cyrus (Ezra 5:13).  When this was reported to Darius he called for a search to be made of the royal records at Babylon and Ecbatana. Cyrus’ edict was found so Darius ordered it to be followed and even decreed that the Temple project be funded by the royal treasury of Persia (Ezra 6:2-12). As a result, the Temple was completed in the 6th year of Darius. 

In 517 BCE, 70 years after its destruction, the people celebrated the dedication of this house of God with great joy and the priests and Levites were assigned to their temple functions as instructed in the Torah

The first Passover celebrated after the dedication of the temple was a joyous event.  The piety of the returned children of Israel and God’s blessing on them had impacted others in the land who responded by separating themselves from the filth of the nations in order to seek Yahweh, God of Israel.  The priests and Levites had purified themselves according to Torah and sacrificed the Passover lambs for all the children of Israel who had returned from captivity.   They ate together with all who had separated themselves to seek Yahweh. All were filled with the joy of the Lord throughout the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Reference List

1. Historical Evidence Belshazzar & Darius the Mede. Bible History. [Online] 2013. [Cited: 22nd Oct. 2016.]
2. Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. The Messianic Time Table According to Daniel the Prophet. Jews for Jesus. [Online] [Cited: 20th Oct. 2016.]
3. Shea, William H. Darius the Mede: an Update. Andrews University. [Online] Andrews University Press. , 1982. [Cited: 22nd Oct. 2016.]
4. Cyrus King Of Persia aka King Darius The Mede, Son of Ahasuerus. Power of Prayer, Praise and the Word of God. [Online] 17th July 2010. [Cited: 22nd Oct. 2016.]
5. Stevenson, John T. Israel After The Exile. John Stevenson Bible Study Page. [Online] 2000. [Cited: 24th Aug 2016.]
6. Bible Timeline. Bible Hub. [Online] [Cited: 23rd Oct. 2016.]
7. Hooker, Richard. The Jewish Temples: After the Babylonian Exile (538 – 332 BCE). Jewish Virtual Library. [Online] [Cited: 24th Aug 2016.]
8. Astor, Berel Wein adapted by Yaakov. Babylon and Beyond. Jewish We bring Jewish History to life. [Online] [Cited: 24th Aug 2016.]
9. Spiro, Rabbi Ken. History Crash Course #43: The Jews of Babylon. [Online] 1st September 2001. [Cited: 26th Aug 2016.]
10. Keyser, John D. Hebrew and Aramaic – Languages of First Century Israel. Hope of Israel. [Online] [Cited: 25th Aug 2016.]

In the comments section below share your thoughts on some of the following questions…

* What can we learn from Daniel’s example?
* What was Daniel’s response to reading the prophesies concerning his time?
* How can we repent on behalf of our nation?
* How can we discern if a prophesy is from God?
* What was the purpose of the “seventy sevens” that God told Daniel about, and how has that been fulfilled?
* What is yet to be fulfilled from Daniel’s visions?

Author: Anita

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:26-30 ESV These verses are the story of my life. A shy, introverted woman who didn't know how to relate to others and had a fear of anyone in authority - foolish, weak, low and despised. The most unlikely candidate for any position of leadership. But God delights to choose such, to take those who are not and make them something in Christ, to do the impossible through the unlikely. In 2006 Jesus sent me to the nations with His glorious gospel to set the captives free and prepare His bride for the wedding of the Lamb.

6 thoughts on “Rebuilding the Temple (539 – 517 BC)”

  1. 1. There are so many examples concerning Daniel that we can learn from.
    i. Daniel was not willing to compromise his standards. In Daniel 1, Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s food and drink. Though the Scriptures are silent as to why Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat of the food king had provided. Whatever the reasons for not eating the king’s food, Daniel determined to uphold the law of God. We can learn this example to act against the standard imposed by ungodly people
    ii. God was the central aspect of Daniel’s life. I really love this. There was nothing more important to Daniel than God. Everything in Daniel’s life revolved around God. We can learn from Daniel that, God was first and last in his life. He acknowledged God in all his ways. We need to learn from this example.
    iii. Daniel did not waver when difficulty and hardship arose. Even in his time of persecution, he did not give up on God. This reminds me of what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11 “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Obviously, Paul was not referring so much to his geographical location as to his circumstances. Centuries before Paul, Daniel understood this principle. Daniel did not complain in times of difficulty and hardship. We can learn to trust God in times of hardship situations.
    iv. Daniel genuinely cared for the King Nebuchadnezzar’s welfare. Daniel encouraged the king to repent in Daniel 4:27. He urged the king to avoid the circumstances shown to him in the dream, by “showing mercy to the poor”. We can learn something here. Do we care about those who have mistreated us, who are in fact, our “enemies” and to whom we think we own nothing, except “vengeance”? The chapter on “love” in 1 Corinthians 13 is a good explanation of what Daniel expressed here. He had the welfare of the King at heart.
    v. Another example we can learn from Daniel is; he was a man of prayer. Daniel developed a habit of praying to God at least three times daily. One thing we can learn from Daniel at this point is, he always speaks to God in prayer on every thing he wanted to do.
    vi. Daniel was faithful to God and to King Darius. This can be seen in Daniel 6. From his unusual commitment to walking with God, we can learn several valuable truth about living for God in an evil and difficult world.
    vii. We can learn from Daniel’s example of humility. Daniel humble himself to study in Babylon. The training he went through helped him to all the assignments.

    2. As Daniel 9:2 informs us, Daniel remembered reading in the book of the prophet Jeremiah that Babylonian Captivity was to last seventy years. He calculated that the completion of that time was at hand. He felt a greater need for communion with God as a result. He prayed the beautiful prayer we find in Daniel 9:4-19. Daniel was eager for God’s people to return to their homeland, so he said, “I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplication…(v.13). He approached the Lord with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. His attitude was one of sincere penitence and confession. Daniel’s prayer was in part a response to the ordinance prescribed in 1kings 8:47-48. There we read what Solomon, in his dedication of the temple, had declared what must be done if Israel should ever rebel against God and be removed from their land. He had specified that wherever they were, in the places to which God might carry them, the people should face the land and the city of Jerusalem and penitently make supplication. Then God would hear them and restore them. All this was surely on Daniel’s mind as he offered this prayer dominated by confession of sin. Daniel asked for forgiveness for himself, and those of the nation as well. As he prayed, Daniel specifically cited the sins and rebellions of God’s people against Him. Throughout his prayer, he stressed that they had rejected the Word of the Lord – the law, the prophets, and the commandments. He petitioned Jehovah to turn away His wrath from Jerusalem and permit the temple to be rebuilt (9:16-17). The Lord responded to Daniel’s prayer in a message delivered by the angel Gabriel (9:21-27).

    3. To repent on behalf of a nation is a beautiful step Daniel took. It is a godly work for us to know and practice. Now, To repent on behalf of our Nation, first, we have to give our attention to God.
    Second, we have to make a request by prayer and supplication to God. Third, approach the Lord with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. Fasting is a way to humble yourself before God. Sackcloth is a sign of mourning, and ashes symbolised the repentance with which we come to represent our nation before God. Our attitude should be one of sincere penitence and confession. We should ask for forgiveness for ourselves and for our nation.

    4. If the gift of prophecy is to be exercised in the Church today, believers must have a guidelines to determine whether or not a particular prophetic utterance has come from God.
    First, prophesy must conform to God’s Word. The first thing that prophesy should be tested by is the revealed Word of God. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says that, if a prophecy does not come true, it is not from God. Is the prophesy in harmony with Scripture? 1 John 4:1 encourage us to test every Spirit because false prophets are around. Any prophesy that contradict the Word of God is not from God and it is false.
    Second, this is similar to the first. The Scripture is clear that prophesy should be reveal Jesus Christ; Revelation 19:10 “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy”. Prophesy should magnify Jesus Christ and Him alone. Again, if the one giving the prophesy denies that Jesus was fully divine and fully human, then that prophesy is not fry God.
    Third, there is also moral test that the prophet must pass. Is the person giving the prophesy exhibiting moral character consistent with his office? Jesus Christ warned of this in Matthew 7:15-16.

    5. The “seventy sevens” that God told Daniel about was to accomplish six purposes, and they are:
    i. The first purpose is “to finish the transgression.” The word “to finish” in Hebrew translation means “to bring to completion.” And the Hebrew word translated “transgression” is a very strong word for sin. First, the Messiah would come to deal with the problem of human sin. He would “finish transgression,” make an “end of sin,” and effect “reconciliation for iniquity.” If “finish the transgression” is indeed a reference to the time of Jesus, then the accomplishment is effected in the work of the gospel. It could also refer to the transgression mentioned in Daniel 8:12, the transgression of Israel, referring first to them and second to the atonement that Jesus brought about for all sin.
    ii. The second purpose is “to make an end of sin.” It is translated in Hebrew word, which means “to seal up” or “to shut up in prison.” This means to be locked up. This agree with predictions by other Jewish prophets that proclaim that in the Messianic kingdom, sinning would cease from Israel – Jeremiah 31:31-34; Isaiah 27:9. Jesus’ sacrifice brought to an end the need for continual sin offerings (Hebrews 10:1-18).
    iii. The third purpose is “to make reconciliation for iniquity” or to make “atonement”. Certainly, Jesus’ sacrifice is portrayed throughout the New Testament as the atonement for our sins.
    iv. The fourth purpose is “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” The righteousness of God is “everlasting”, and Christ establishes it (Romans 1:17). In addition to His redemptive work in connection with sin, Daniel showed that the Messiah would usher in an era of “everlasting righteousness.” This era of righteousness is to be the Messianic kingdom spoken by Isaiah 1:26; Jeremiah 23:5-7. And this obviously is a reference to the Gospel Dispensation.
    v. The fifth purpose is “to seal up vision and prophecy.” That is the visions and prophecies would be sealed up in the sense of being fully and finally completed. The angel’s message suggested that as a result of the Messiah’s work, divine communication that requires response and God’s message would be certified and completely fulfilled.
    vi. The sixth purpose is “to anoint the Most Holy.” This expression gives a reference to the rebuilding of the Jewish temple when Messiah comes. This refer to the same temple Ezekiel described in Ezekiel 40-48.
    The purposes of the seventy sevens that God told Daniel was fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah and the mission.

    6. Most of the Daniel’s vision are already fulfilled. What is yet to be fulfilled is the hope and expectation of deliverance for God’s people.

  2. Rebuilding The Temple (539–517 BC ).
    Daniel’s example shows that one can stand in for many in times of difficulties. Daniel though according to the scriptures was an upright before God but he did not consider himself as being advantaged but stood in for his people– the Jews. He prayed and interceded for God’s forgiveness for his people the Jews.
    We as christian leaders must copy the example of Daniel by standing in on behalf of our community, country, region , districts as well as our churches to pray and fast so that God would provid with the needed solution to a particular problem.
    We have to do everything possible to invite God’s mercy to descend whenever there is a calamity.
    Daniel’s response to the reading of the prophesies concerning his time made him aware of God’s appointed time to establishe His kingdom on earth.Daniel had been thinking in terms of years .He understood that aftert he Jews had completed the 70 year captivity, the kingdom of God would be established as being prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah.

    A journey of thousand miles begins with a step.One person starts something for many to enjoy.
    Just as Daniel did for his nation as one person, one can also walk with God in truth and pray to Him on behalf of one’s nation.In so doing, one has to humble before God in the manner in which He desired.

    we can see that a prophesy is from God if it come to pass.prophesies that are not from God do not come to pass, so any prophesy that is from God must be fulfil. If it doesn’t then it means it is not from God.
    We can therefore discern true prophets from false prophets.

    The purpose of the “seventy sevens” per the scriptures has six purposes: Tje first has do with the rebellion of the Jewish people against God,
    to put an end to sin and to establish a new covenant as prophesy by Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 31:31 ff.
    To atone for wickedness and reconciliation, to bring everlasting righteousness, to bring visions to an end and to anoint the holy place.
    All these were to happen before the coming of the messiah– Yeshua.
    Since the messiah has come, then it means all these have fulfilled.

    From the eyes of the scriptures, there is nothing more left in Daniel’s dream to fulfil. All the prophesies had been fulfilled.The kingdoms and kings have come and gone, the messiah had come and gone.
    The only stable kingdom now is the kingdom of God which is the church which is trying to mould the world around the word of God that admits people into the kingdom of God .

  3. Repentance on behalf of a nation

    I am persuaded that if we want to learn prayer from someone who knows prayer, one who prayed and God answered, then our mentor on this question of national prophetic intercession is the prophet Daniel. Daniel was considered one of the most righteous men in history. He was accused and punished for praying, he persisted, was thrown into the lion’s den, and he conquered their terror. One of his prayers was resisted by the “prince of Persia,” but God sent the answer (Daniel 10:12-13). He served at a higher rank of a pagan government without compromising his relationship with God. He was an intercessor for the entire nation of Israel and prayed a model prayer that we can learn from. And copying from the man Daniel, I have considered the insights in the sketch below as some of the steps to be followed when conducting repentance for our nation:
    1. Acknowledge God first as “the great and awesome God, and appreciate Him for our nation.
    2. Acknowledge God’s love, kindness, and mercy. Notice that Daniel is quite aware that the people of Israel don’t qualify for mercy under the covenant, since it is a covenant “with all who love him and obey his commands” (Daniel 9:4b). The Israelites had not kept his commands, but broke them and sinned by worshipping other gods. And instead of the blessings of the covenant, they faced the curses of the covenant.
    3. When praying for our nation, we need to identify with our people and their sins, and confess them as ours. This is commonly known as identification repentance. The taking on the sins of another as a mediator between God and sinful man is the role of an intercessor, and of Christ our Lord.
    4. Confession of past and present sin and ask for God’s forgiveness. Normally the past sins of a nation can greatly hinder cohesion, as well as delay the spiritual, political, social and economic transformation. It is important to openly confess all rampant sins of a nation such as idolatry, witchcraft, shedding of innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, corruption and bribery, dishonesty, intrigue, betrayal, pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility, sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery, bitterness, hatred and revenge, injustice, oppression and exploitation; rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict. This is the time to plead with the Lord to take away all the above mentioned sins (etc.) and give us a new beginning, a heart to love and fear Him.
    5. Renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft by our fathers, past and present leaders and representatives of the people that are in opposition against God. Renounce all the satanic influence on the nation and covenant it back to God; pledging to walk in His ways in order to experience all His blessings forever.
    6. Dedicate the nation back to God for supernatural guidance and direction. That we may be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice in accordance with (Psalm 33:12 – Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own).
    7. Conclude the prayer in Jesus name…..Amen!

  4. This comment is posted in response to question #2

    After the fall of Babylon, Daniel devoted his time to study the prophetic letters of Jeremiah. Daniel’s study of “the books” focused on the years prophesied for the captivity. Since the end of the span was near, he prayed for God’s next move on behalf of Israel, where it is indicated that the 70 years of exile were intended to restore the Sabbath rests that Israel had ignored for so many years.
    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 desolation of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes (Daniel 9:1-3).

    This discovery inspired him to respond by launching in fervent prayer and supplication for his people, confessing his own sins and the sin of the nation, and petitioned God to fulfill His word. This would also setup the platform for the manifestation of the Messiah. Daniel was a very humble man, careful in his ways and knew that his true wisdom was a gift from God. The fasting, sackcloth, and ashes, tells us of the seriousness of Daniel’s prayer. He was reaching out to God in humility.

    Daniel believed God’s promises for the restoration of Israel and began to pray in fervently for his people, that God would forgive their sin and enable this restoration to take place. Like any other human being who loves himself and enjoys the “comfort zone” he could have folded his hands and decided that God should take care of whatever comes. Instead he was burdened and responded by taking it upon himself to pray, to intercede, and to plead with God. Daniel’s prayer was not a casual one, but rather a serious resolution of the heart to seek God for his people until an answer came. The seriousness of the prayer is expressed by the phrase, “in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Fasting was a way of humbling himself before God. The sackcloth and ashes he put on was an outward desperate sign of mourning symbolizing sorrow, regret, and repentance as Daniel came to represent his people before the God.

  5. One of the most exciting portions of scripture about the experience of Daniel is that; “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself”(Daniel 1:8). Almost all of what he experienced was because of the above decision. It is from this example that we learn the following lessons below:
    1 – A Christian should not compromise his standards
    The scripture we read above says that Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat of the food Nebuchadnezzar had provided. The intention was “that he might not defile himself.” Those statements sound like the food that King Nebuchadnezzar used to serve in his palace was not the kind of food acceptable for the Jews to eat. So Daniel was not ready to compromise and eat food that would defile his conscience. Copying from the example of Daniel, as followers of Christ we have to decide in advance not to compromise our faith and biblical principles no matter the situation. The clear truth is that as long as we are still on earth, the pressure will come. But if you consider that pleasing God and living according to His will is important to you like it was to Daniel, it can be quite easier than you imagine.

    2 – The main focus of our lives should be on God
    In the book of Daniel chapter 6, the scripture speaks about the discipline he exhibited by praying to God 3 times a day. Now you know that this was the reason why he was thrown into the den of lions. From scripture we learn that there was nothing more important to Daniel than God. Everything in Daniel’s life rotated around God. This is a very great example for us to learn as Christians. God should be the ultimate, most central part of our lives, with everything else rotating around Him. As shown in the life of Daniel, He needs to be the central part of your life that everything else revolves around.

    3 – A Christian should use his influence
    Christians in the world today are influenced by so many things every single day. Some negative and some positive. In all this each one of us also has the power of influence. The bad thing is that many Christians don’t use their influence to advance God’s kingdom. In Christian and ministry experience, not all people are brought to Christ through direct evangelism. Some just come to Christ through our influence in their life. In chapter 2, we see Daniel interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and the king proclaiming that; “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings…” (vs 47). Also in chapter 6:25-27, after Daniel was saved from the wrath of lions, King Darius decreed that no one should worship anyone except the God of Daniel. In the above situations that he encountered, he used his influence in an extremely positive and powerful way. It is possible that as Christians today, we may never have the ability to influence the legislation in our country or communities just like the case of Daniel, but our influence can strongly be used for the glory God.
    4 – Do not waver when hardships arise
    One of the most difficult situations in the life of Daniel was when his enemies in the palace were moved by jealousy to set him up to face the wrath of the king. They were well aware that he was enjoying the favor of king Darius because of his success as a governor. So they tried to find something they could charge Daniel with, either in his administrative leadership or his personal life that would weaken his influence with the king. But as we see in 6:4, they couldn’t find any error or fault in Daniel because he was a faithful man. To fulfill their mission the satraps and governors clandestinely tricked the king into signing a law prohibiting anyone in the kingdom to worship anyone as God, but king Darius. In 6:10 the bible says, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” Daniel was aware of the new decree, but that didn’t matter to him. But pleasing God was the most important thing to him. This was an example of political persecution. As Christians the bible says that if we must follow Christ the way we should, we will likely suffer persecution (John 15:20). The persecution may be political or personal. Whichever way it manifests, it is important that we don’t surrender to the temptation or tricks of the enemy, but be fully armed and ready to challenge him in accordance with Ephesians 6:16. And we should be strong to serve and honor God without wavering even in the midst of trials like Daniel.

  6. A .We can learned from Daniel’s example as follows:
    1. To have passion to serve our fellow Christians and non Christians alike
    2. As Daniel prayed for his people we should also without
    Hesitation pray always on behalf of brothers and sisters.
    3. We should seek total repentance firstly for ourselves and
    our brethren.
    4. Daniel waited patiently for the Lord, even though he was expecting his prayer to have been answered that very day it almost three weeks until Angel Gabriel came with the result, therefore we need to learn from this in every area of our lives.
    5. Daniel faced persecution, yet he never gave up, he trusted God and was thrown into Lion’s den, we too must remain stand fast in the Lord whenever we faced such problems in our daily lives.
    B. Daniel’s response to reading the prophesies concerning his time was that he prayed for his people, and confessed their sins with messianic expectations of not only a return to their land but also of a new covenant of new spirit within his people and of God’s glory filling the earth. In a response Daniel received a fourth vision in which the angel Gabriel brought revelation about a coming 70 sevens.
    C. We can repent on behalf of our nation by sincerely going to God in prayer through fast and prayer as Daniel did without informing others about his intention.
    D. We can discerned if a prophesy is from God is by His spoken Word
    E. 1. To finish transgression
    2. To put and end to sin
    3. To atone for wickedness
    4. To bring in everlasting righteousness
    5. To seal up vision an project
    6. To anoint the Most Holy Place
    This has been fulfilled by the death of Jesus on the Cross for our sins.
    F. What is yet to be fulfilled from Daniel’s last vision is Jewish hopes and expectations

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