Dani. 9:1 It was in the first year for Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was the king over the domain of the Chaldeans.
The Ahasuerus mentioned here is not the king in the book of Esther. That Ahasuerus was the king of Persia, not of Media. The date is apparently one year after the conquest of Babylon (which occurred in 539 BCE), so it would be 538 BCE. Thus it was 48 years after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. You may recall that Darius was first mentioned in Dani. 6:1, and several more times in the rest of that chapter.
הַנָּבִיא לְמַלֹּאות לְחָרְבֹות יְרוּשָׁלִַם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה׃
Dani. 9:2 In his reign's first year I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of years that the word of the Lord had occurred to Jeremiah, the prophet, to be fulfilled for the desolations of Jerusalem: Seventy years.
The phrase “observed in the books” seems to imply more than one book. To many bible scholars Daniel was thinking of more than just the book of Jeremiah (see Jere. 25:11). They conclude he was also considering passages in Leviticus Chapter 26 (Levi. 26:18, for example) in which God says He will visit Israel’s sins on it seven times.. See my remarks below related to Dani. 9:24.
וָאֶתְּנָה אֶת־פָּנַי אֶל־אֲדֹנָי הָאֱלֹהִים לְבַקֵּשׁ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּנִים בְּצֹום וְשַׂק וָאֵפֶר׃ 9:3
Dani. 9:3 And I set my face to my Lord, to God, seeking prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
וָאֶתְפַּלְלָה לַיהוָה אֱלֹהַי וָאֶתְוַדֶּה וָאֹמְרָה אָנָּא אֲדֹנָי הָאֵל הַגָּדֹול וְהַנֹּורָא שֹׁמֵר הַבְּרִית וְהַחֶסֶד 9:4
לְאֹהֲבָיו וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתָיו׃
Dani. 9:4 And I prayed to the Lord, my God, and confessed and said, “I beseech You, my Master, the great and awesome God, Keeper of the covenant, and Who is merciful to those loving Him and to those observing His commandments,
חָטָאנוּ וְעָוִינוּ (וְהִרְשַׁעְנוּ) [הִרְשַׁעְנוּ] וּמָרָדְנוּ וְסֹור מִמִּצְוֹתֶךָ וּמִמִּשְׁפָּטֶיךָ׃ 9:5
Dani. 9:5 we have sinned and have done wrongfully and done wickedly and rebelled and turned away from Your commandments and from Your ordinances,
I find it difficult to understand why the word in the parentheses, which I translate as and done wickedly, is considered an error. The only change in the correction in the brackets is to remove the vav prefix, which removes the second and in the verse. I see no problem with the and remaining there.
וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ הַנְּבִיאִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרוּ בְּשִׁמְךָ אֶל־מְלָכֵינוּ שָׂרֵינוּ וַאֲבֹתֵינוּ וְאֶל כָּל־עַם הָאָרֶץ׃ 9:6
Dani. 9:6 and 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.”
לְךָ אֲדֹנָי הַצְּדָקָה וְלָנוּ בֹּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה לְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה וּלְיֹושְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּלְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַקְּרֹבִים 9:7
וְהָרְחֹקִים בְּכָל־הָאֲרָצֹות אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתָּם שָׁם בְּמַעֲלָם אֲשֶׁר מָעֲלוּ־בָךְ׃
Dani. 9:7 “Righteousness is Yours, my Master, but confusion of face is ours, as it is this day, each one's of Judah and the inhabitants' of Jerusalem and everyone's of Israel, those near and those far away in all the lands to which You have driven them in their unfaithfulness by which they transgressed against You.”
יְהוָה לָנוּ בֹּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים לִמְלָכֵינוּ לְשָׂרֵינוּ וְלַאֲבֹתֵינוּ אֲשֶׁר חָטָאנוּ לָךְ׃ 9:8
Dani. 9:8 “Lord, confusion of face is ours, our kings', our princes', and our fathers, because we sinned in regard to You.”
לַאדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ הָרַחֲמִים וְהַסְּלִחֹות כִּי מָרַדְנוּ בֹּו׃ 9:9
Dani. 9:9 “The acts of compassion and forgiveness are the Master's, our God, for we rebelled towards Him,
וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ בְּקֹול יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לָלֶכֶת בְּתֹורֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְפָנֵינוּ בְּיַד עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִיאִים׃ 9:10
Dani. 9:10 and did not listen to the voice of the Lord, our God, to walk in His ways that He set before us by the hand of His servants, the prophets.”
וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָבְרוּ אֶת־תֹּורָתֶךָ וְסֹור לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹועַ בְּקֹלֶךָ וַתִּתַּךְ עָלֵינוּ הָאָלָה וְהַשְּׁבֻעָה אֲשֶׁר כְּתוּבָה 9:11
בְּתֹורַת מֹשֶׁה עֶבֶד־הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי חָטָאנוּ לֹו׃
Dani. 9:11 “And all Israel transgressed Your law and turned away, thus not listening to Your voice, so the curse and the oath that was written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, was poured out upon us -- because we sinned towards Him.”
וַיָּקֶם אֶת־(דְּבָרָיו) [דְּבָרֹו] אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר עָלֵינוּ וְעַל שֹׁפְטֵינוּ אֲשֶׁר שְׁפָטוּנוּ לְהָבִיא עָלֵינוּ רָעָה גְדֹלָה 9:12
אֲשֶׁר לֹא־נֶעֶשְׂתָה תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמַיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר נֶעֶשְׂתָה בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃
Dani. 9:12 “And He confirmed his words that he warned concerning us and concerning our judges who judged us, bringing in upon us an evil so great that had not been done under the whole of heaven as was done in Jerusalem.”
I have a problem with the word in the parentheses in this verse being designated in error as well. The “correction” in the brackets changes the translation of the word from his [Moses’] words to his word. In my opinion, this change is not only unnecessary, but actually incorrect.
כַּאֲשֶׁר כָּתוּב בְּתֹורַת מֹשֶׁה אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת בָּאָה עָלֵינוּ וְלֹא־חִלִּינוּ אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ 9:13
לָשׁוּב מֵעֲוֹנֵנוּ וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל בַּאֲמִתֶּךָ׃
Dani. 9:13 “As is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us, yet we do not entreat the presence of the Lord, our God, turning back from our iniquities and having insight into Your truth.”
וַיִּשְׁקֹד יְהוָה עַל־הָרָעָה וַיְבִיאֶהָ עָלֵינוּ כִּי־צַדִּיק יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל־כָּל־מַעֲשָׂיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ 9:14
Dani. 9:14 “So the Lord had watched over the evil and brought it upon us, for the Lord, our God, is righteous in all His works that He has done, but we do not listen to His voice.”
וְעַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֲשֶׁר הֹוצֵאתָ אֶת־עַמְּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וַתַּעַשׂ־לְךָ שֵׁם כַּיֹּום הַזֶּהּ 9:15
Dani. 9:15 So now, my Master, our God, Who brought forth Your people from the land of Egypt with a mighty ‘hand’ and made a name for Yourself as it is this day, we sin, we do wickedly.”
אֲדֹנָי כְּכָל־צִדְקֹתֶךָ יָשָׁב־נָא אַפְּךָ וַחֲמָתְךָ מֵעִירְךָ יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַר־קָדְשֶׁךָ כִּי בַחֲטָאֵינוּ וּבַעֲוֹנֹות אֲבֹתֵינוּ 9:16
יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְעַמְּךָ לְחֶרְפָּה לְכָל־סְבִיבֹתֵינוּ׃
Dani. 9:16 “My Master, according to all Your righteousness, I pray You, let Your ‘anger’ be turned away, and Your ‘rage,’ from Your city, Jerusalem, mountain of Your holiness, for because of our sins and because of the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are for a reproach to all surrounding us.”
וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶל־תְּפִלַּת עַבְדְּךָ וְאֶל־תַּחֲנוּנָיו וְהָאֵר פָּנֶיךָ עַל־מִקְדָּשְׁךָ הַשָּׁםֵם לְמַעַן אֲדֹנָי׃ 9:17
Dani. 9:17 “So now listen, our God, to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and make Your countenance shine upon Your devastated sanctuary, for the sake of my Master.”
הַטֵּה אֱלֹהַי אָזְנְךָ וּשֲׁמָע (פִּקְחָה) [פְּקַח] עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה שֹׁמְמֹתֵינוּ וְהָעִיר אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלֶיהָ כִּי 9:18
לֹא עַל־צִדְקֹתֵינוּ אֲנַחְנוּ מַפִּילִים תַּחֲנוּנֵינוּ לְפָנֶיךָ כִּי עַל־רַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים׃
Dani. 9:18 “My God, extend Your ‘ear’ and listen! Open Your ‘eyes’ and see the places of devastation and the city by which Your reputation is proclaimed, for not on behalf of our righteousness we are lying prostrate making supplication before You but because of Your great acts of compassion.”
The (paragogic -- a grammatical term) heh suffix in the word in the parentheses is assumed to be an error. I’m not sure it is, as there is no other occurrence of this phenomenon in the bible. Thus I’m not sure the “correction” in the brackets is necessary. However, as the word appears without the heh suffix in 16 other verses, I can understand why the word is considered an error.
אֲדֹנָי שְׁמָעָה אֲדֹנָי סְלָחָה אֲדֹנָי הַקֲשִׁיבָה וַעֲשֵׂה אַל־תְּאַחַר לְמַעֲנְךָ אֱלֹהַי כִּי־שִׁמְךָ נִקְרָא עַל־עִירְךָ 9:19
Dani. 9:19 “My Master, hear! My Master, forgive! My Master, attend and do! You must not delay, for Your own sake, my God, because Your reputation is proclaimed by Your city and by Your people.”
וְעֹוד אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר וּמִתְפַּלֵּל וּמִתְוַדֶּה חַטָּאתִי וְחַטַּאת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמַפִּיל תְּחִנָּתִי לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהַי עַלָ 9:20
Dani. 9:20 And still I was speaking and interceding and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, Israel, and offering my supplication before the Lord, my God, concerning the holy mountain of my God,
Dani. 9:21 and while I was talking in prayer, then the man, Gabriel (whom I saw in the vision at the beginning), flying swiftly, was coming to me about the time of the evening offering.
I believe this reference is to the “angel” in Daniel’s vision in Chapter 7, specifically, Dani. 7:16.
וַיָּבֶן וַיְדַבֵּר עִמִּי וַיֹּאמַר דָּנִיֵּאל עַתָּה יָצָאתִי לְהַשְׂכִּילְךָ בִינָה׃ 9:22
Dani. 9:22 And he understood, and he spoke with me and said, “Daniel, now I have come forth to teach you understanding.”
בִּתְחִלַּת תַּחֲנוּנֶיךָ יָצָא דָבָר וַאֲנִי בָּאתִי לְהַגִּיד כִּי חֲמוּדֹות אָתָּה וּבִין בַּדָּבָר וְהָבֵן בַּמַּרְאֶה׃ 9:23
Dani. 9:23 “A word came forth at the beginning of your supplications that I have come to declare, for beloved are you, so give heed to the word and find understanding in the vision.”
חַטָּאת] וּלְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וּלְהָבִיא צֶדֶק עֹלָמִים וְלַחְתֹּם חָזֹון וְנָבִיא וְלִמְשֹׁחַ קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים׃
Dani. 9:24 “Seventy seventies have been decreed for your people and for your holy city to finish the transgression and to close off sinning and to atone for iniquity and to bring everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the holy of holies.”
As I translate the two words alleged to be errors, they seem correct, and the “corrections” are not necessary. Next, the phrase I translate as “seventy seventies” is translated variously as “seven sevens,” “seventy sets of seven,” “seventy weeks” (the most numerous translation), and “seventy sets of seven time periods” in the popular bibles.
שִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם תָּשׁוּב וְנִבְנְתָה רְחֹוב וְחָרוּץ וּבְצֹוק הָעִתִּים׃
Dani. 9:25 “So you know and comprehend, from the word going forth to the restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem until the anointed one, a prince, shall be seven seventies, then sixty-two seventies the plaza shall return and be rebuilt, and the moat, but it shall be in times of distress.”
וְאַחֲרֵי הַשָּׁבֻעִים שִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם יִכָּרֵת מָשִׁיחַ וְאֵין לֹו וְהָעִיר וְהַקֹּדֶשׁ יַשְׁחִית עַם נָגִיד הַבָּא וְקִצֹּו 9:26
בַשֶּׁטֶף וְעַד קֵץ מִלְחָמָה נֶחֱרֶצֶת שֹׁמֵמֹות׃
Dani. 9:26 “Then after the sixty-two seventies, an anointed one shall be cut off and there shall be nothing of his, and the people of a prince that is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Then its end shall be in a flood, and until the end of a decisive war there shall be desolations.”
וְהִגְבִּיר בְּרִית לָרַבִּים שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וַחֲצִי הַשָּׁבוּעַ יַשְׁבִּית זֶבַח וּמִנְחָה וְעַל כְּנַף שִׁקּוּצִים מְשֹׁםֵם 9:27
וְעַד־כָּלָה וְנֶחֱרָצָה תִּתַּךְ עַל־שֹׁםֵם׃
Dani. 9:27 “And one shall confirm a covenant for many one seven, that half the seven he shall make an end of sacrifice and offering, and on the wing shall be an appalling thing of abominations, and during the annihilation, then the decreed shall be poured out upon the appalling thing.”
As before, I have to admit ignorance about this prophecy. Maybe we will learn what it means 4,900 years from the beginning of construction of the second Temple. That’s still about 2,370 years from now.