1. It was the first year of Darius son of Artaxerxes, a Mede by race who assumed the throne of Chaldaea.
2. In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, was studying the scriptures, counting over the number of years -- as revealed by Yahweh to the prophet Jeremiah -- that were to pass before the desolation of Jerusalem would come to an end, namely seventy years.
3. I turned my face to the Lord God begging for time to pray and to plead, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
4. I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this confession: 'O my Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and show faithful love towards those who love you and who observe your commandments:
5. we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and rulings and turned away from them.
6. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our chief men, our ancestors and all people of the country.
7. Saving justice, Lord, is yours; we have only the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treachery we have committed against you.
8. To us, our kings, our chief men and our ancestors, belongs the look of shame, O Yahweh, since we have sinned against you.
9. And it is for the Lord our God to have mercy and to pardon, since we have betrayed him,
10. and have not listened to the voice of Yahweh our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.
11. The whole of Israel has flouted your Law and turned away, unwilling to listen to your voice; and the curse and imprecation written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have come pouring down on us, because we have sinned against him.
12. He has carried out the threats which he made against us and the chief men who governed us -- that he would bring so great a disaster down on us that the fate of Jerusalem would find no parallel under all heaven.
13. And now, as written in the Law of Moses, this whole calamity has befallen us; even so, we have not appeased Yahweh our God by renouncing our crimes and learning your truth.
14. Yahweh has watched for the right moment to bring disaster on us, since Yahweh our God is just in all his dealings with us, and we have not listened to his voice.
15. And now, Lord our God, who by your mighty hand brought us out of Egypt -- the renown you won then endures to this day -- we have sinned, we have done wrong.
16. Lord, by all your acts of saving justice, turn away your anger and your fury from Jerusalem, your city, your holy mountain, for as a result of our sins and the crimes of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are objects of scorn to all who surround us.
17. And now, our God, listen to the prayer and pleading of your servant. For your own sake, Lord, let your face smile again on your desolate sanctuary.
18. Listen, my God, listen to us; open your eyes and look at our plight and at the city that bears your name. Relying not on our upright deeds but on your great mercy, we pour out our plea to you.
19. Listen, Lord! Forgive, Lord! Hear, Lord, and act! For your own sake, my God, do not delay -- since your city and your people alike bear your name.'
20. I was still speaking, still at prayer, confessing my own sins and the sins of my people Israel, and placing my plea before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God,
21. still speaking, still at prayer, when Gabriel, the being I had originally seen in vision, swooped on me in full flight at the hour of the evening sacrifice.
22. He came, he spoke, he said to me, 'Now, Daniel; I have come down to teach you how to understand.
23. When your pleading began, a word was uttered, and I have come to tell you. You are a man specially chosen. Grasp the meaning of the word, understand the vision:
24. 'Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seal on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting uprightness for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the holy of holies.
25. Know this, then, and understand: From the time there went out this message: "Return and rebuild Jerusalem" to the coming of an Anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble.
26. And after the sixty-two weeks an Anointed One put to death without his . . . city and sanctuary ruined by a prince who is to come. The end of that prince will be catastrophe and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed.
27. He will strike a firm alliance with many people for the space of a week; and for the space of one half-week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the appalling abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator.'