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Daniel 9:5-8 & meaning...


to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.

Daniel 9:8


Daniel 9 [1.] In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the offspring[a] of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which Yahweh’s word[b] came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years. I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments, 

Daniel 9 [5.] we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances; neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as it is today; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you. Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him; 

Daniel 9 [10.] neither have we obeyed Yahweh our God’s voice, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses the servant of God has been poured out on us; for we have sinned against him.


These verses are part of Daniel’s heartfelt prayer of confession and supplication on behalf of Israel. They highlight several key themes: acknowledgment of sin, the gravity of rebellion against God’s commandments, neglect of prophetic warnings, and the resultant shame and confusion.

  • Acknowledgment of Sin: "We have sinned"

Daniel begins by acknowledging the collective sin of his people. The use of "we" indicates a communal confession, emphasizing that everyone, including Daniel himself, is part of this acknowledgment. This collective confession is significant because it shows that sin affects the entire community and not just individuals. Recognizing and admitting sin is the first step toward repentance and reconciliation with God. This communal aspect is echoed in Nehemiah 1:6, where Nehemiah prays, "I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you."

  • Comprehensive Sin: "Dealt perversely, done wickedly, and rebelled"

Daniel uses multiple terms to describe their transgressions, indicating the thorough and multifaceted nature of their sins. "Dealt perversely" suggests moral corruption, "done wickedly" points to actions that are inherently evil, and "rebelled" conveys a willful defiance against God. This detailed confession underscores the seriousness of their offenses and the necessity for sincere repentance.

  • Turning Aside from God’s Commandments: "Turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances"

The rebellion is specifically noted as turning aside from God’s precepts and ordinances. This highlights a deliberate choice to reject God’s instructions. God’s commandments are meant to guide His people in righteousness, and turning away from them signifies a rejection of His authority and wisdom. Psalm 119:105 underscores the importance of God's Word: "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path." Turning away from this divine guidance results in moral and spiritual darkness.

  • Neglect of Prophetic Warnings: "Neither have we listened to your servants the prophets"

A significant part of Israel's sin was their failure to listen to God's messengers. The prophets were sent by God to call His people back to righteousness, yet their messages were often ignored or rejected. This neglect is highlighted by the repeated failure of Israel to heed prophetic warnings throughout their history, as seen in 2 Chronicles 36:15-16: "The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy."

  • Resultant Shame and Confusion: "To us belongs confusion of face"

Daniel acknowledges the shame and disgrace that have come upon them as a result of their sins. "Confusion of face" denotes profound shame and humiliation. This shame is not limited to the common people but extends to the kings, princes, and fathers—everyone is implicated. This collective shame is a direct consequence of their collective sin. In Psalm 44:15, the psalmist similarly expresses this sentiment: "All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face."

  • Recognition of God’s Righteousness: "Lord, righteousness belongs to you"

Despite their failings, Daniel affirms God’s righteousness. This contrast highlights that while the people are steeped in sin and shame, God remains just and righteous. This acknowledgment of God’s inherent righteousness is crucial because it sets the standard against which human actions are measured and underscores the need for divine mercy and forgiveness.

Lessons and Applications

Importance of Confession: We must openly acknowledge our sins to God. Confession is the first step towards repentance and reconciliation. It involves a sincere and specific admission of our wrongdoings.

Recognizing the Depth of Sin: Sin is multifaceted and affects our relationship with God in numerous ways. Understanding the depth and seriousness of our sin can lead to genuine repentance and transformation.

Adherence to God's Commandments: We should strive to follow God's precepts and ordinances. Turning aside from His commandments leads to spiritual and moral decay. We need to continually seek God’s guidance through His Word.

Heeding Prophetic Warnings: We must listen to the messages that God sends through His servants. Prophetic voices can guide us back to righteousness, and ignoring them leads to dire consequences.

Leadership Accountability: Leaders, whether in spiritual, political, or familial contexts, have a heightened responsibility to follow God’s commandments and lead by example. Their actions have a significant impact on those they lead.

  • Relevance for Today

In today’s world, Daniel 9:5-8 serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of confession, adherence to God’s Word, and listening to His messengers. We live in times where moral and spiritual guidance is crucial, and turning to God with a contrite heart is essential for personal and communal renewal. By recognizing our sins, seeking God’s forgiveness, and striving to follow His commandments, we can hope to experience His mercy and restoration.

Conclusion: Daniel 9:5-8 offers a profound insight into the nature of sin, the importance of confession, and the need for obedience to God’s commandments. It calls us to examine our lives, acknowledge our failures, and seek God’s guidance. By doing so, we align ourselves with His will and open the door to His transformative power in our lives.

conscience - regret - sin

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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