Let’s take a minute to get our heads around the message of Daniel.
Having made the basic connection with Daniel through the appearance of Gabriel, Luke strengthens it by referencing phrases and words from the ‘Gabriel’ scenes of Daniel 8-10. Gabriel had appeared to Daniel ‘at the hour of evening sacrifice’ (Daniel 9:21) – a unique phrase in Scripture. Now he appears to Zechariah ‘at the hour of offering’. The angel tells Zechariah not to be afraid, using the same words he had spoken to Daniel (Daniel 10:12). Gabriel announces to Zechariah that his prayer has been heard, echoing a parallel announcement to Daniel. For ‘heard’, Luke uses a word extremely rare in the NT, in a form only found in the parallel phrase in Daniel (eisekoústhe Daniel 10:12). In Daniel’s prayer scene (ch.9) the word ‘prayer’ occurs seven times: the densest occurance anywhere in Scripture. Luke imitates this with repeated mentions of prayer (2 times) and incense burning (a symbol of prayer – 4 times).
What is the significance of linking this temple scene to Daniel 8-10, and above all what is the meaning of the reappearance of the angel Gabriel here, after six hundred years?
Find out tomorrow!