Daniel 9:19
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and do; defer not, for your own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name.
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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.O Lord, hear ... - The language in this verse does not require any particular explanation. The repetition - the varied forms of expression - indicate a mind intent on the object; a heart greatly interested; an earnestness that cannot be denied. It is language that is respectful, solemn, devout, but deeply earnest. It is not vain repetition, for its force is not in the "words" employed, but in the manifest fervour, earnestness, and sincerity of spirit which pervade the pleading. It is earnest intercession and supplication that God would hear - that he would forgive, that he would hearken and do, that he would not defer his gracious interposition. The sins of the people; the desolation of the city; the promises of God; the reproach that the nation was suffering - all these come rushing over the soul, and prompt to the most earnest pleading that perhaps ever proceeded from human lips.

And these things justified that earnest pleading - for the prayer was that of a prophet, a man of God, a man that loved his country, a man that was intent on the promotion of the Divine glory as the supreme object of his life. Such earnest intercession; such confession of sin; such a dwelling on arguments why a prayer should be heard, is at all times acceptable to God; and though it cannot be supposed that the Divine Mind needs to be instructed, or that our arguments will convince God or influence him as arguments do men, yet it is undoubtedly proper to urge them as if they would, for it may be only in this way that our own minds can be brought into a proper state. The great argument which we are to urge why our prayers should be heard is the sacrifice which has been made for sin by the Redeemer, and the fact that he has purchased for us the blessings which we need; but in connection with that it is proper to urge our own sins and necessities; the wants of our friends or our country; our own danger and that of others; the interposition of God in times past in behalf of his people, and his own gracious promises and purposes. If we have the spirit, the faith, the penitence, the earnestness of Daniel, we may be sure that our prayers will be heard as his was.

19. The short broken ejaculations and repetitions show the intense fervor of his supplications.

defer not—He implies that the seventy years are now all but complete.

thine own sake—often repeated, as being the strongest plea (Jer 14:21).


1. We have the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man prevailing: he never gave over till he got it.

2. The Lord allows and loves importunity in prayer.

3. He and the people of God were under a sore trial, for the seventy years’ captivity were expired. Therefore he saith, Defer not now, Lord, it is high time for thee to have mercy upon Zion, yea, the set time is come: Lord, hear for thine own sake, though not for ours. What! hast thou forgotten? O Lord, remember. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive,.... That is, hear the prayers and supplications that have been presented, and forgive the sins that have been confessed; show both, by removing present calamities, and restoring to former prosperity and privileges:

O Lord, hearken, and do; not only listen to what has been said, and give an answer by speaking, but work salvation and deliverance:

defer not, for thine own sake, O my God; these words seem to be directed to Christ the Son of God, and who is the true God, and the God of his people; who is three times in this verse before called Adonai, for whose sake prayer and supplication were made, Daniel 9:17 and here again, for his own sake, he is entreated not to "defer" the fulfilment of the promise of delivering the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, the seventy years being now up, or just expiring; and also that he would not defer his own coming for the redemption of his people, which no doubt Daniel had in his mind, and was wishing and waiting for:

for thy city and thy people are called by thy name; Jerusalem, the city of the great King, Christ, and a type of his church and people, who are also called by his name, and call upon him.

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, {o} hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

(o) Thus he could not content himself with any vehemency of words: for he was so led with a fervent zeal, considering God's promise made to the city in respect of his Church, and for the advancement of God's glory.

19. hear … forgive] The combination is, no doubt, suggested by 1 Kings 8:30 b, 34, 36, 39.

hearken] attend, as the word is often rendered in the Psalm 17:1; Psalm 55:2; Psalm 61:1; Psalm 86:6; Psalm 142:6.

and do] cf. Jeremiah 14:7, ‘though our iniquities testify against us, O Jehovah do for thy name’s sake’: see also on Daniel 8:12.

defer not: for thine own sake, O my God, because, &c. (R.V.). The Hebrew accentuation places the main break in the verse at defer not.

defer not] as Psalm 40:17 (= Psalm 70:5 : in A.V., R.V., make no long tarrying).

for thine own sake] see on Daniel 9:17, end.

because thy name hath been called over thy city and thy people] see on Daniel 9:18.Daniel interprets to the king his dream, repeating only here and there in an abbreviated form the substance of it in the same words, and then declares its reference to the king. With vv. 17 (Daniel 4:20) and 18 (Daniel 4:21) cf. vv. 8 (Daniel 4:11) and 9 (Daniel 4:12). The fuller description of the tree is subordinated to the relative clause, which thou hast seen, so that the subject is connected by הוּא (Daniel 4:19), representing the verb. subst., according to rule, with the predicate אילנא. The interpretation of the separate statements regarding the tree is also subordinated in the relative clauses to the subject. For the Kethiv רבית equals רביתּ, the Keri gives the shortened form רבת, with the elision of the third radical, analogous to the shortening of the following מטת for מטת. To the call of the angel to "cut down the tree," etc. (Daniel 4:20, cf. Daniel 4:10-13), Daniel gives the interpretation, Daniel 4:24, "This is the decree of the Most High which is come upon the king, that he shall be driven from men, and dwell among the beasts," etc. על מטא equals Hebr. על בּוא. The indefinite plur. form טרדין stands instead of the passive, as the following לך יטעמוּן and מצבּעין, cf. under Daniel 3:4. Thus the subject remains altogether indefinite, and one has neither to think on men who will drive him from their society, etc., nor of angels, of whom, perhaps, the expulsion of the king may be predicated, but scarcely the feeding on grass and being wet with dew.
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