Original Research

Daniel 9 as part of an apocalyptic book?

Marius Nel
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 1 | a707 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i1.707 | © 2013 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2012 | Published: 02 September 2013

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Daniel 9 relates how Daniel studies the Hebrew Holy Scriptures and finds the prophecy of Jeremiah that Jerusalem will lie desolate for seventy years. He reacts by devoting himself to prayer and fasting in order to remind God of this promise of restoring his people. The better part of the chapter is dedicated to the contents of his prayer. During the prayer, the man, Gabriel, appears with the intent to give Daniel an understanding of the meaning of the seventy years, which is the measure of the punishment of Israel’s transgression and sin and which will end with eternal righteousness, when the Holy of Holies will be anointed. The Book of Daniel consists of two sections: the tales of the first six chapters and the visions of the last six chapters. This article asked the question: what role does Daniel 9 play as a part of the apocalyptic section of the book? Is Daniel’s prayer and Gabriel’s revelation apocalyptically conditioned? Why did the author or compiler include it in the book and, especially, in the second, apocalyptic section of the book? The conclusion of this article was that Daniel 9 was placed intentionally by the compiler in the latter half of the book because of the revelation about the seventy weeks, which is in line with the last three chapters’ indication of the end times and Israel’s elevation to become the ruler of the earth. Several arguments were formulated to support this conclusion.


Apocalypticism; 70 weeks; View of history; Prophetic announcement; Tales


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