v 2. During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.
Interesting isn’t it that while Daniel was in Babylon he had access to the writings of Jeremiah, who was in Judah. The whole of this prophecy can be found in Jeremiah 25. God even reveals to Jeremiah that King Nebuchadnezzar will be His representative when He says ‘ I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. ‘ (Does this explain some of the things we read about Nebuchadnezzar earlier in the week?) In fact there is evidence that Jeremiah did write to the exiles in Babylon, and so doubtless Daniel saw it. (Jeremiah 29:28 records ‘Jeremiah sent a letter here to Babylon, predicting that our captivity will be a long one. He said, ‘Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.’” ‘ So Daniel read and believed that God had spoken through Jeremiah. This drives him, not to despair but to prayer. You catch a glimpse of his impassioned and urgent prayer at the end of today’s reading. (vv17-19) Reading the Bible, which is God’s word to us, is not an academic exercise for a few special scholars, it is for each one of us to discover what God is saying in our generation – and then pray urgently!