Daniel | 1  |  2:1-18 |  2:19-49 | 3:1-15 | 3:16-30  | 4  | 5  | 6 | 7  | 8  | 9:1-19  | 9:20-27 | 10  | 11  | 12  | PDF |

These small group studies of Daniel contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Daniel 9:20-27 Bible Study Commentary – 70 Weeks of Daniel


I. Gabriel brings an answer to Daniel (20-23)
II. The seventy weeks prophecy (24-27)

I. Gabriel brings an answer to Daniel (20-23)

Discussion Questions

• What does this passage teach you about prayer?
• Why was Gabriel sent to Daniel? What does this teach us about God?
• What can you learn from this passage about our Father’s heart toward us?
• Why did Daniel describe Gabriel as a “man”?
• What can we learn about the timeline of requests and answers?
• Does God always answer prayers this fast? Why does He sometimes have us wait?
• How does God view Daniel (23)?
• How does this passage encourage you in your prayer life?
• Do you have any testimonies to share about answered prayer in your life?


1 John 5:14-15 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

John 15:7 – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. While I was speaking and praying – Daniel gave us an excellent example of someone devoted to prayer. This verse implies that Daniel prayed out loud. Praying aloud can be a way to focus better on the words we say. While it is not a rule to pray out loud (God hears even the silent prayers in our hearts), it can help us concentrate as we verbalize our thoughts.

Reflect – What are the benefits of praying aloud rather than silently?

2. While I was speaking, the man Gabriel came to me in swift flight –

Here is one of the fastest answers to prayer recorded in Scripture. Daniel had not even finished his prayer before an answer was hand-delivered to him.

Gabriel is one of the archangels. He often acts as a messenger and brings news or a vision from God to His people. It was Gabriel who told Mary she was going to give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:11-38). Likely Daniel describes him as a “man” because in this case he appeared in the form of a man. Angels can appear in their supernatural form (which generally causes fear to those who see them) or as normal people. The fact that he is not actually a man is made clear since he came in “swift flight,” and men can’t fly!

3. I have now come out to give you insight and understanding – The heart of God is clearly seen in these words of Gabriel. He wanted Daniel to understand His plans. The heart of our Father toward us is soft and kind. Like a good father seeks to educate and teach his child, so God desires to instruct us. Parents do want their children to grow up ignorant. Neither does God want us to be (Amos 3:7).

Application – Since our Father wants us to know Him and His plan, He has made knowing those things possible. Our job is to treasure His words. We should hunger for that wisdom.

Proverbs 2:1-6 – My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom.

As you hunger for wisdom, you will spend more time studying His Word. And as you study, you will also ask Him to give you insight.

Part of the reason Gabriel was sent is to correct Daniel’s misunderstanding of what would happen. Daniel had just studied Jeremiah’s seventy-year prophecy. It seems that he believed that Israel’s troubles were almost at an end. They would return to the land and then the Messiah would come and establish His kingdom. In essence, Gabriel tells him, “a lot more things have to take place and it is going to take a lot of time.”

4. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out – Here, we get a glimpse into the mechanics of prayer. God immediately heard Daniel’s prayer, reminding us that He is omnipresent. It doesn’t take a long time for our prayers to reach God. He knows your requests before you even organize your thoughts.

Matthew 6:8 – Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Right away, God sets His plan for answering Daniel’s prayer in motion. Gabriel says that “a word went out.” Presumably, this “word” was from God Himself. Daniel prayed, and God gave a command, ordering Gabriel to deliver His answer to Daniel.

The Lord is the King of Kings. He is on His throne. And He is aware of everything happening in the world and of every single prayer. And sometimes, He personally issues a direct command to the angels in response to our prayers.

It is encouraging to see how God answers prayer. A host of angels are serving Him around the clock, awaiting instructions from their general. At a word, the High King sends them off on various missions of mercy on behalf of His people.

God does not always send an answer so quickly. Sometimes He deems it necessary for us to wait for His response.

Reflect – Why does He sometimes have us wait?

Application – Picturing God as the general in command of a host of heavenly beings can help encourage you when you pray. Do not doubt God’s ability to answer your prayer, no matter how big. He has all of the resources in the universe at His disposal. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Believe that He is listening. Believe that He has the power to answer. Believe that He will answer according to what is good for you.

5. You are greatly loved – It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love. He greatly loved Daniel. And He greatly loved us as well (John 3:16).

Reflect – How have you experienced God’s great love for you?

6. Therefore consider the word and the vision – God sent this message to Daniel. At the same time, Daniel had a role to play. His job was to consider the words and the vision carefully. He should pay careful attention and meditate upon the meaning. It was important for Daniel to use his mind and energy in this process and not be a passive spectator.

II. The seventy weeks prophecy (24-27)

Discussion Questions

  • Who and what is this prophecy about?
  • Why is the word “decreed” important and what does it mean?
  • What do you think the “weeks” represent? Why?
  • What six things would be accomplished during this timeframe?
  • What do you think each of these six things refers to? 1. Finish the transgression 2. Put an end to sin 3. Atone for iniquity 4. Bring in everlasting righteousness 5. Seal both vision and prophet 6. Anoint a most holy place
  • When would the “clock” of these seventy weeks start? When did this happen historically?
  • What are some of the events that will happen on this prophetic calendar?
  • Have any of these things been fulfilled yet?
  • Are any of these things still yet future?
  • Who is the “he” in verse 27?
  • What does this prophecy show us about God?

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. The seventy-weeks prophecy – This is one of the most detailed and significant prophesies concerning God’s plan for history in the Bible. It is essential to understand the context of this prophecy. It is given in response to Daniel’s prayer of confession and plea for mercy on behalf of Israel. Daniel had read the prophecy of Jeremiah regarding the restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem. And he was concerned about their apathy, their sin, and their future.

In this prophecy, God told him about what would happen in Israel