Prayer Relating to Prophecy in Daniel 9 -- By: James E. Rosscup

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 03:1 (Spring 1992)
Article: Prayer Relating to Prophecy in Daniel 9
Author: James E. Rosscup

Prayer Relating to Prophecy in Daniel 9

James E. Rosscup

Professor of Bible Exposition
The Master’s Seminary

Daniels prayerfor Israel in Daniel 9 precedes the famous prophecy of theseventy sevens in the same chapter. The prayer models submission to Gods will both in heartfelt confession of Israelite sin and passionate intercession for deliverance from exile and the blessing of restoration. Daniel adeptly uses OT books such as Deuteronomy, Psalms, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Chapter 9 is one of many OT examples of how God uses human prayer to accomplish His predetermined sovereign plan.

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The prayer of Daniel 9 ranks high among OT texts that demonstrate a unity between prayer for God to work out His will and prophecy that He will fulfill His sovereign purposes. Coming from the man most noted for prayer among OT prophets, the passage is all the more significant. As he does in Daniel 2, 6, and 10, Daniel exemplifies a servant sensitive to God’s concerns and expends himself in prayer for the fulfilling of the divine program.

The Authenticity of Daniel’s Prayer

Before an examination of the text, attention must be directed to efforts that impugn the prayer as an artificial patchwork interpolated by a second century writer borrowing from others of post-exilic days.1 There is no valid cause to fault the prayer, as though it mixes together

phrases from prayers in Ezra 6:6–15; Neh 9:5–38; 2 Baruch 1–3. Charles urged seven reasons against the prayer’s authenticity,2 but, Leupold answered these in some detail.3

Jones, though erring in holding a second century date, rebuts several arguments to show how the prayer blends appropriately with its context.4 First he notes that it is mere arbitrary opinion to conjecture that the prayer was composed in Palestine, not Babylon. Second, he sees it as unconvincing to deny the validity of the prayer because of “unnecessary” repetitions. It is natural to repeat in prayers...

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