1It was the first year of Darius the Mede, son of Ahasuerus, after he had become king of the Babylonians.
2During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures as given to the prophet Jeremiah that the time of seventy years for Jerusalem to lie desolate would soon be fulfilled.
3So I turned to the Lord God in prayer. I fasted and wore sackcloth and ashes, and I pleaded with him in prayer to act.
4I prayed to the Lord my God, and confessed, saying, “Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always keep your promises and show your trustworthy love to those who love you and keep your commandments.
5But we have sinned, we have done wrong. We have acted wickedly, we have rebelled against you. We have turned away from your commandments and your laws.
6We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets who spoke in your name to our kings and leaders and forefathers, and to everybody in the country.
7Lord, you always do what is right, but we continue to be ashamed to this very day—we the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those nearby and those far away, those of every country where you have driven them because of their unfaithfulness to you.
8Public shame is ours Lord, and on our kings and princes and forefathers, because we have sinned against you.
9Yet you, the Lord our God, are compassionate and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you.
10We have not obeyed what you, the Lord God, have told us. We have not followed your law that you gave us through your servants the prophets.
11The whole of Israel has broken your law and turned away from you, not listening to what you had to say. That's why the condemnation that comes from our broken promise has been poured out on us—because of our sin, as made clear in the Law of Moses, the servant of the Lord.
12You have carried out what you warned us about, against us and against our rulers—such a terrible punishment brought upon Jerusalem, the worst that has ever happened in the whole world.
13Just as the Law of Moses said, all this punishment has fallen on us, but we still have not asked you, the Lord our God, to be favorable to us, turning away from our sins and paying attention to your truth.
14You were ready to punish us, and you were right to do everything you have done, for we didn't listen to you.
15You, our Lord God, by your great power brought us out of Egypt, making a name for yourself that lasts even until now. But we have sinned, we have done wicked things.
16So Lord, because you are so good, please turn away from your anger and fury against Jerusalem, your holy mountain. Because of our sins and those of our forefathers, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
17Now, our Lord, please listen to the prayer and pleading of your servant, and for your own sake look kindly on your abandoned sanctuary.
18Please listen carefully and open your eyes and see the terrible state we are in, and the city that bears your name. We're not making these requests to you for this because of our goodness, but because of your great mercy.
19Lord, please listen! Lord, please forgive! Please pay attention and do something! For your own sake, my God, don't delay, for your city and your people are identified by your name.”
20I continued speaking, praying and confessing my sins and those of my people Israel, pleading before the Lord my God on behalf of Jerusalem, his holy mountain.
21While I was still praying, Gabriel, whom I'd seen previously when I'd had the vision, came flying rapidly towards me at the time of the evening sacrifice.
22He gave me the following explanation, saying, “Daniel, I've come to give you insight and understanding.
23As soon as you started praying, the answer was given, and I have come to explain it to you because God loves you very much. So please listen to the explanation and understand the meaning of the vision.
24Seventy weeks has been allotted to your people and your holy city to deal with the rebellion, to put an end to sin, to forgive wrongdoing, to bring in everlasting goodness, to confirm the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
25You need to know and understand that from the time the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Messiah, seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks will elapse. It will be built with streets and defenses, in spite of the difficult times.
26After sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be put to death, and will be brought to nothing. A ruler will come to power whose army will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will come like a flood. War and devastation will continue until that period of time is completed.
27He will confirm the agreement with many people for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings. The idolatry that causes devastation will be supported until the end when the same fate is poured out on the one who devastates.”