Daniel’s Prayer In Chapter 9 -- By: Charles E. McLain
DBSJ 9 (2004) p. 265
Daniel’s Prayer In Chapter 91
That Daniel 9 contains perhaps the most significant prophecy for understanding most other OT and NT eschatological passages can hardly be denied. It has been described as “the ‘key’ to prophetic interpretation…the ‘backbone’ of prophecy.”3 Desmond Ford says that it is “not only the devotional heart of the book but also contains ‘the crown jewels’ of Old Testament prophecy.”4 Alva J. McClain claims that no other prophecy is “more crucial in the fields of Biblical Interpretation, Apologetics, and Eschatology.”5 Henry Guinness claims that “of all prophecies in the Bible, Daniel’s of the ‘seventy weeks’ is the most
DBSJ 9 (2004) p. 266
wonderful and the most important. It stands erect among the ruins of time like the solitary and colossal obelisk amid the mounds of Heliopolis.”6 Boice identifies it as “a decisive passage for all the various systems of prophetic interpretation.”7 If space permitted, the accolades of the four prophetic verses of this chapter (vv. 24–27) could continue for many pages.
Though the “seventy weeks” prophecy of Daniel 9 is certainly of great significance, however, the chapter contains more than these four verses of prophecy. Yet while multiple volumes have been written on the last four verses of the chapter, the first twenty-six verses have received comparatively little attention. Many articles and discourses on this chapter begin abruptly with verse 24, giving no reference at all to the verses that precede. At times it appears as if verses 24–27 were the chapter and verses 1–23 were a kind of apocryphal appendage deserving less than slight attention. This reality is perhaps based in mankind’s insatiable appetite to gorge on the future and what it holds while viewing the past, if not as tasteless fare, at least as twice-chewed food unfit for present consumption. So we hurry through the chapter’s extended opening as through a salad appetizer, assuming that the “main course” contains all the flavor and nutrients we seek.
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