1It was the first year of Darius son of Artaxerxes, a Mede by race who assumed the throne of Chaldaea. 2In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, was studying the scriptures, counting over the number of years --as revealed by Yahweh to the prophet Jeremiah -- that were to pass before the desolation of Jerusalem wouldcome to an end, namely seventy years. 3I turned my face to the Lord God begging for time to pray and to plead, with fasting, sackcloth andashes. 4I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this confession: 'O my Lord, God great and to be feared, youkeep the covenant and show faithful love towards those who love you and who observe your commandments: 5we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed yourcommandments and rulings and turned away from them. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our chiefmen, our ancestors and al people of the country. 7Saving justice, Lord, is yours; we have only the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah,the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you havedispersed us because of the treachery we have committed against you. 8To us, our kings, our chief men and our ancestors, belongs the look of shame, O Yahweh, since wehave sinned against you. 9And it is for the Lord our God to have mercy and to pardon, since we have betrayed him, 10and have not listened to the voice of Yahweh our God nor fol owed the laws he has given us throughhis servants the prophets. 11The whole of Israel has flouted your Law and turned away, unwil ing to listen to your voice; and thecurse and imprecation written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have come pouring down on us, becausewe have sinned against him. 12He has carried out the threats which he made against us and the chief men who governed us -- thathe would bring so great a disaster down on us that the fate of Jerusalem would find no paral el under al heaven. 13And now, as written in the Law of Moses, this whole calamity has befallen us; even so, we have notappeased Yahweh our God by renouncing our crimes and learning your truth. 14Yahweh has watched for the right moment to bring disaster on us, since Yahweh our God is just in allhis dealings with us, and we have not listened to his voice. 15And now, Lord our God, who by your mighty hand brought us out of Egypt -- the renown you won thenendures to this day -- we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16Lord, by al your acts of saving justice, turn away your anger and your fury from Jerusalem, your city,your holy mountain, for as a result of our sins and the crimes of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people areobjects of scorn to al who surround us. 17And now, our God, listen to the prayer and pleading of your servant. For your own sake, Lord, let yourface smile again on your desolate sanctuary. 18Listen, my God, listen to us; open your eyes and look at our plight and at the city that bears yourname. Relying not on our upright deeds but on your great mercy, we pour out our plea to you. 19Listen, Lord! Forgive, Lord! Hear, Lord, and act! For your own sake, my God, do not delay -- sinceyour city and your people alike bear your name.' 20I was stil speaking, still at prayer, confessing my own sins and the sins of my people Israel, andplacing my plea before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God, 21still speaking, still at prayer, when Gabriel, the being I had originally seen in vision, swooped on me inful flight at the hour of the evening sacrifice. 22He came, he spoke, he said to me, 'Now, Daniel; I have come down to teach you how to understand. 23When your pleading began, a word was uttered, and I have come to tel you. You are a man speciallychosen. Grasp the meaning of the word, understand the vision: 24'Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, forplacing the seal on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting uprightness for setting the seal on visionand on prophecy, for anointing the holy of holies. 25Know this, then, and understand: From the time there went out this message: "Return and rebuildJerusalem" to the coming of an Anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and rampartsrestored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble. 26And after the sixty-two weeks an Anointed One put to death without his . . . city and sanctuary ruinedby a prince who is to come. The end of that prince wil be catastrophe and, until the end, there wil be war and althe devastation decreed. 27He wil strike a firm al iance with many people for the space of a week; and for the space of one half-week he wil put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the appal ing abominationuntil the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator.'
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