Daniel 9:11
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
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(11) The curse.—The passages in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, to which Daniel refers, had already been noticed by Isaiah (Isaiah 1), as having received a partial fulfilment in his times. It remains for Daniel to realise the complete “pouring” out of the curse. It is poured out like a torrent of rain (see Exodus 9:33); as the fire melts the silver (Ezekiel 22:20-22), so does the curse cause the nation to melt away.

Daniel 9:11-14. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law — Not here and there one, but the generality of them; the body of the people have transgressed, by departing, and taking themselves out of the way, that they might not hear, and so might not obey thy voice: therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath, &c. — That is, the curse that was ratified by an oath in the law of Moses. This further justified God in their troubles, that he only inflicted the penalty of the law, of which he had given them fair notice. It was necessary for preserving the honour of God’s veracity, and saving his government from contempt, that the threatenings of his word should be executed; otherwise they would have looked but as bugbears, nay, they would have had no terror in them. And he hath confirmed his words against us — Because we broke his laws, And against our judges that judged us — Because they did not, according to the duty of their places, punish the breach of God’s laws. He informed them frequently, that if they did not execute justice, as terrors to evil-doers, he must and would take the work into his own hands; and now, says Daniel, he has confirmed what he said, by bringing upon us a great evil — In which the princes and judges themselves have deeply shared. For under the whole heaven hath not been done, &c. — See note on Lamentations 1:12; Lamentations 2:13; Ezekiel 5:9. As it is written, &c., all this is come upon us — This is a devout acknowledgment, that, from the very beginning of their state, they had been forewarned that such evils as they now suffered would come upon them, when they forsook the Lord their God, and turned aside from the observation of his law. And it is an humble confession of God’s justice and providence, in making his judgments exactly fulfil the threatenings denounced many ages before by Moses. Yet we made not our prayer before the Lord our God — Not in a right manner, as we should have made it, with a lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; we have been smitten, but have not returned to him that smote us; literally, we have not entreated the face, or, as Wintle translates it, have not deprecated the wrath, of the Lord our God. We have taken no care to make our peace with God, and reconcile ourselves to him. Daniel set his brethren a good example of praying continually, but he was sorry to see how few there were that followed his example; in their affliction it was expected they would seek God early, but they sought him not, so as to turn from their iniquities and understand his truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil — Hebrew, watched over the evil; namely, hath taken care that his threatenings should be fulfilled, as a just judge takes care that execution be done, according to the sentence pronounced; because we have not been melted, he hath kept us still in the furnace, and watched over it to make the heat yet more intense; for when God judges he will overcome, and will be justified in all his proceedings.

9:4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions against it. It must be our confession, the language of our convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only, but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers this must be our plea, we must make mention of his righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.Yea, all Israel have transgressed ... - Embracing not only the tribe and the kingdom of Judah, but the whole nation. The calamity, therefore, had come upon them all.

Even by departing - By departing from thy commandments; or by rebellion against thee.

That they might not obey thy voice - By refusing to obey thy voice, or thy commands.

Therefore the curse is poured upon us - As rain descends, or as water is poured out. The "curse" here refers to what was so solemnly threatened by Moses in case the nation did not obey God. See Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

And the oath that is written in the law of Moses ... - The word here rendered "oath" (שׁבועה shebû‛âh) means, properly, a "swearing," or "an oath;" and hence, either an oath of promise as in a covenant, or an oath of cursing or imprecation - that is, a curse. It is evidently used in the latter sense here. See Gesenius, "Lexicon" Daniel saw clearly that the evils which had been threatened by Moses Deuteronomy 28 had actually come upon the nation, and he as clearly saw that the cause of all these calamities was thai which Moses had specified. He, therefore, frankly and penitently confessed these sins in the name of the whole people, and earnestly supplicated for mercy.

11. all—(Ps 14:3; Ro 3:12).

the curse … and … oath … in … law—the curse against Israel, if disobedient, which God ratified by oath (Le 26:14-39; De 27:15-26; 28:15-68; 29:1-29).1. When sin is epidemical, it is sad and fatal to a nation, as in Psalm 14:3 Romans 3:12: so a deluge of sin brought a deluge of judgment, Genesis 6:13,17.

2. This makes the gap great, and leaves none to stand in it. Then the curse comes upon a people, i.e. the punishment of the breach of God’s law, Jeremiah 42:18 44:12. This,

1. Shows the holiness of God’s law.

2. It shows the sinfulness and heinousness of sin, the breach of it.

3. It shows the necessity and excellency of Jesus Christ, who was sent of God to bless us, in freeing us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.

Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law,.... Even God's professing people, on whom he had bestowed distinguishing favours and blessings, and gave them such a law as no other people had, and yet they transgressed it; not a few, or the greatest part only, but the whole body of them: and indeed there is no man that lives without sin, or the transgression of the law, in thought, word, or deeds; no, not a just man; but these transgressed the law in a very heinous manner, both the first as well as the second table of it, committing idolatry, and all manner of impiety, in which they continued:

even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; by departing from the law, and the precepts of it; from God and his worship; from the temple of God, and the service of it; and from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin: it seems to have some respect to the separation of the ten tribes under Jeroboam, who set up the calves at Dan and Bethel, that the people might not obey the voice of the Lord, in going to worship at the solemn feasts in Jerusalem:

therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God: that is, the just punishment of their sins was inflicted on them; or the curse the law threatened the transgressors of it with was come upon them in its large extent, and overflowed them like a flood; which God swore he would bring upon them, if they transgressed his law; or which they by an oath imprecated and pronounced upon themselves, should they not hearken to it, but transgress and disobey it:

because we have sinned against him; and therefore this curse was not a causeless one; sin, the transgression of the law, was the cause of it.

Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the {i} curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

(i) As in De 27:15, or the curse confirmed by an oath.

11. even by departing] and have turned aside, as Daniel 9:5.

so as not to obey (hearken to) thy voice] as Jeremiah 18:10; Jeremiah 42:13 (Heb.).

and so there hath been poured out upon us the curse and the oath, that is written, &c.] ‘Poured out,’ as Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 44:6 (of anger): ‘the curse that is written in,’ as Deuteronomy 29:20, the reference being here to Deuteronomy 28:15 ff.; ‘curse’ strengthened by ‘oath,’ as Numbers 5:21, Nehemiah 10:29.

Moses, the servant of God] Nehemiah 10:29 : and (with Jehovah for God) Deuteronomy 34:5, and often in Josh, (as Joshua 1:1; Joshua 1:13; Joshua 1:15, Joshua 8:31; Joshua 8:33).

Verse 11. - Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy Law. even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. The versions do not present any points worthy of special consideration. The prayer is resumed during the greater part of this verse. The reference here is to Leviticus 26:14 and Deuteronomy 28:15, the probability being more in favour of the latter, from the reference to the "oath." The last clause is a lapse again into the narrative style. In the parallel passage in Baruch it is narrative throughout. This clause may easily have been a gloss added by a scribe and inserted in the text by a copyist. There may, however, simply be an error in the prenominal suffix. Daniel 9:11ותּתּך with ו consec.: therefore has the curse poured itself out, and the oath, i.e., the curse strengthened with an oath. נתך, to pour forth, of storms of rain and hail (Exodus 9:33), but especially of the destroying fire-rain of the divine wrath, cf. Nahum 1:6 with Genesis 19:24, and Jeremiah 7:20; Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 44:6. האלה is used, Deuteronomy 29:18., of the threatenings against the transgressors of the law in Leviticus 26:14., Deuteronomy 28:15., to which Daniel here makes reference. To strengthen the expression, he has added השּׁבעה (and the oath) to האלה, after Numbers 5:21; cf. also Nehemiah 10:30.
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