Daniel 9:7
O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
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(7) Righteousness.—The absolute righteousness of God appears distinct and clear in spite of the chastisement from which the nation suffers. Meanwhile, the humble looks of the devout part of the nation show that it feels the present shame and confusion.

All the countries.—See Isaiah 11:11-12. In the midst of his sorrow for the past, the mind of the prophet recurs unconsciously to the great promise of future deliverance by “the root of Jesse.”

Daniel 9:7-10. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee — Thou hast done us no wrong in any of the calamities which thou hast brought upon us; but hast shown thyself to be just and holy, nay, merciful and gracious, punishing us far less than our iniquities deserved. But unto us confusion of faces — But ignominy and shame belong to us; and the contempt and ill treatment we have met with has been no more than we justly deserved. To the men of Judah, and unto all Israel that are near, &c. — To the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, that are near, by the rivers of Babylon; and to the ten tribes, that are afar off, in the land of Assyria. Confusion belongs not only to the common people of our land, but to our kings, our princes, and to our fathers, who ought to have set a better example, and to have used their authority and influence for the checking of the threatening torrent of vice and profaneness. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord — Though we were under infinite obligations to obey him; to walk in his laws — Which were all holy, just, and good; which he set before us by his servants the prophets — By Moses, and the succession of prophets that followed him; who re-enforced the law of Moses, and gave the people new instructions from God upon emergent occasions.

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, righteousness belongeth unto thee - Margin, "or, thou hast." The Hebrew is, "to thee is righteousness, to us shame, etc." The state of mind in him who makes the prayer is that of ascribing righteousness or justice to God. Daniel feels and admits that God has been right in his dealings. He is not disposed to blame him, but to take all the shame and blame to the people. There is no murmuring or complaining on his part as if God had done wrong in any way, but there is the utmost confidence in him, and ia his government. This is the true feeling with which to come before God when we are afflicted, and when we plead for his mercy and favor. God should be regarded as righteous in all that he has done, and holy in all his judgments and claims, and there should be a willingness to address him as holy, and just, and true, and to take shame and confusion of face to ourselves. Compare Psalm 51:4.

But unto us confusion of faces - Hebrew, "shame of faces;" that is, that kind of shame which we have when we feel that we are guilty, and which commonly shows itself in the countenance.

As at this day - As we actually are at this time. That is, he felt that at that time they were a down-trodden, an humbled, a condemned people. Their country was in ruins; they were captives in a far distant land, and all on which they had prided themselves was laid waste. All these judgments and humiliating things he says they had deserved, for they had grievously sinned against God.

To the men of Judah - Not merely to the tribe of Judah, but to the kingdom of that name. After the revolt of the ten tribes - which became known as the kingdom of Ephraim, because Ephraim was the largest tribe, or as the kingdom of Israel - the other portion of the people, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were known as the kingdom of Judah, since Judah was by far the larger tribe of the two. This kingdom is referred to here, because Daniel belonged to it, and because the ten tribes had been carried away long before and scattered in the countries of the East. The ten tribes had been carried to Assyria. Jerusalem always remained as the capital of the kingdom of Judah, and it is to this portion of the Hebrew people that the prayer of Daniel more especially pertains.

And to the inhabitants of Jerusalem - Particularly to them, as the heaviest calamities had come upon them, and as they had been prominent in the sins for which these judgments had come upon the people.

And unto all Israel - All the people who are descendants of Israel or Jacob, wherever they may be, embracing not only those of the kingdom of Judah properly so called, but all who pertain to the nation. They were all of one blood. They had had a common country. They had all revolted, and a succession of heavy judgments had come upon the nation as such, and all had occasion for shame and confusion of face.

That are near, and that are far off - Whether in Babylon, in Assyria, or in more remote countries. The ten tribes had been carried away some two hundred years before this prayer was offered by Daniel, and they were scattered in far distant lands.

Through all the countries whither thou hast driven them ... - In Babylonia, in Assyria, in Egypt, or in other lands. They were scattered everywhere, and wherever they were they had common cause for humiliation and shame.

7. confusion of faces, as at this day—Shame at our guilt, betrayed in our countenance, is what belongs to us; as our punishment "at this day" attests.

near, and … far off—the chastisement, however varied, some Jews not being cast off so far from Jerusalem as others, all alike were sharers in the guilt.

No text from Poole on this verse.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee,.... It is essential to him, it is his nature, and appears in all his works; he is perfectly pure, holy, and righteous; he is just, and without iniquity; and there is no unrighteousness in him, nor any to be charged upon him, on account of anything done by him: punitive justice belongs to him; nor is he to be complained of because of his judgments, which are righteous altogether; nor had the prophet, or any of his countrymen, just reason to complain of the evils brought on them; the desolations of their land, city, and temple, and their captivity in a strange land; by all which no injustice was done, nor could they charge the Lord with any: and with him also is righteousness wrought out by his Son, to justify sinners that believe in him; he has accepted of it, and imputes it without works.

But unto us confusion of face, as at this day; both on account of their sins, which stared them in the face, loaded their consciences with guilt, and filled them with shame; and on account of their punishment, the miserable condition in which their country was and they themselves were at that day; which declared to all the world what sinners they had been, and what sins they had committed, which had brought this ruin upon them, and them into such sad circumstances:

to the men of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; or, "man of Judah" (f); to every man of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; who once dwelt in that land flowing with milk and honey, and now in a strange land for their sins; and to every inhabitant of that renowned city of jerusalem, the metropolis of the nation, the seat, of the kings of Judah; yea, the city of the great King, where the temple stood, and divine worship was performed, but now lay in ruins, through the iniquity of its inhabitants, and therefore had just reason to be ashamed:

and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are afar off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of the trespass that they have trespassed against thee; shame and confusion of face also belonged to the ten tribes of Israel; to such of them as were mixed with the Jews in Babylon, or were in those parts of Assyria that lay nearest to it; and to those that were at a greater distance, in Media, Iberia, Colchis, and other places; yea, in all kingdoms and countries where they were dispersed for their trespass against the Lord; particularly in worshipping the calves at Dan and Bethel, and other acts of idolatry and impiety.

(f) "vire Judae", Cocceius.

O Lord, {f} righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

(f) He shows that whenever God punishes, he does it for just cause: and thus the godly never accuse him of rigour as the wicked do, but acknowledge that in themselves there is just cause why he should so treat them.

7. Thus righteousness belongs only to God: to the sinful people only confusion and shame. With Daniel 9:7-8 b, cf. Bar 1:15-17.

confusion of faces, &c.] Cf. Ezra 9:7, ‘and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered … to confusion of face, as (it is) this day.’ Lit. ‘shame of face,’ as the same expression is rendered in 2 Chronicles 32:21; cf. Psalm 44:15, ‘shame of my face;’ Jeremiah 7:19, ‘the shame of their own faces’; also Psalm 69:7. The meaning is the shame (i.e. disappointment) which is visible upon the face after a repulse, disaster, &c.

as (it is) this day] as experience shews is now the case.

the men (lit. man,—collectively) of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem] A combination found otherwise only in Jer. (8 times),—e.g. Jeremiah 4:4, Jeremiah 32:32,—and 2 Kings 23:2 (= 2 Chronicles 34:30). An evident reminiscence of the language of Jer.: cf. ‘all the countries whither thou hast driven them’ from Jeremiah 16:15; Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 23:8; Jeremiah 32:37.

that are near and that are far off] Jeremiah 25:26; cf. Isaiah 57:19.

their unfaithfulness wherein they have dealt unfaithfully against thee] The idea of mâ‘al is disloyalty rather than ‘trespass.’ The same phrase Leviticus 26:40; Ezekiel 17:20; Ezekiel 18:24; Ezekiel 39:26; 1 Chronicles 10:13. Both the subst. and the cognate verb are almost confined to the priestly sections of the Hexateuch, to Ezek., and the Chronicles: cf., however, the subst. in Ezra 9:2; Ezra 9:4; Ezra 10:6, and the verb in Ezra 10:2; Ezra 10:10; Nehemiah 1:8; Nehemiah 13:27.

Verses 7, 8. - O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them. because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. The versions are all very close to the Massoretic text. The most important variation is Theodotion's repetition of the first clause of ver. 7 at the beginning of ver. 8. Neither of the English versions brings out the contrast in the Hebrew of the second clause of ver. 7; it is "man," not "men," of Judah. This contrast is observed by Theodotion and Jerome, but not by the LXX. or the Peshitta. These two verses have a strong resemblance to Bar. 1:15, 16, "And ye shall say, To our God belongeth righteousness, but unto us the confusion of faces, as it is come to pass this day to man of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to our kings, and to our princes, and to our priests, and to our prophets, and to our fathers." This confession is introduced into the text of Baruch as a quotation. The captives on the river Lud send money to Jerusalem for offerings and sacrifices, and with the money send certain advices. As the circumstances in which the Baruch version purports to be written do not so naturally suit the words used, we can, we think, have no difficulty in recognizing that it is not the primitive recension. The words have the look of a liturgic prayer. The relationship between the present passage and Jeremiah is close; "confusion of face" occurs in Jeremiah 7:19 as well as Ezra 9:7. The most marked case is the collocation, "man of Judah, and inbabitants of Jerusalem." This phrase is frequent in Jeremiah; e.g Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 11:2; Jeremiah 17:25. There is also a resemblance to Ezekiel in the phrase, "their trespass that they have trespassed against thee;" e.g. Ezekiel 15:8; Ezekiel 20:27. The language thus is in strict dramatic suitability to one who has just been studying the prophets of the Captivity. To our kings, to oar princes. This could not be used naturally after the date of Daniel. To him who remembered kings and princes in Judah and Jerusalem, this language is natural. In the age of Epiphanes it would be absurd and meaningless. The phrase is used in the liturgic prayer in Nehemiah, because there is a narrative of the history of the people. When we compare the Psalter of Solomon, we find the only King of Israel is God: yet Alexander Jannseus, who was not long dead when that Psalter was written, had assumed the crown; and his sons had competed for the possession of it. Daniel 9:7Thus to God belongeth righteousness, but to the sinful people only shame. הצדקה לך does not mean: Thine was the righteous cause (Hitzig). The interpolation of the was is arbitrary, and צדקה predicated of God is not righteous cause, but righteousness as a perfection which is manifested in His operations on the earth, or specially in His dealings toward Israel. הפנים בּשׁת, shame which reflects itself in the countenance, not because of disgraceful circumstances, Ezra 9:7 (Kranichfeld), but in the consciousness of well-deserved suffering. הזּה כּיום does not mean: at this time, to-day, now (Hv., v. Leng., and others); the interpretation of כ in the sense of circa stands opposed to the definite הזּה. In the formula הזּה כּיום the כ has always the meaning of a comparison; also in Jeremiah 44:6, Jeremiah 44:22-23; 1 Samuel 22:8, and everywhere the expression has this meaning: as it happened this day, as experience has now shown or shows. See under Deuteronomy 2:30. Here it relates merely to הף/ ot yl בּשׁת לנוּ (to us shame, etc.), not also the first part of the verse. The לנוּ is particularized by the words, "the men of Judah" (אישׁ collectively, since the plur. אישׁים in this connection cannot be used; it occurs only three times in the O.T.), "and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Both together are the citizens of the kingdom of Judah. ישׂראל, the whole of the rest of Israel, the members of the kingdom of the ten tribes. To both of these the further definition relates: "those that are near, and those that are far off, etc." With m' אשׁר בּמעלם (because of their trespass which," etc.), cf. Leviticus 26:40.
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