Daniel 6
Witness in the Den of Lions

Text Comments
 1 ¶ It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
.2  And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage [loss].
.3  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
 4  Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
 5  Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
   1 - Princes Literally "satraps."
   2 - Daniel was the first Literally "Daniel was one." We get the idea from the previous chapter that Daniel had retired or been removed from public office under Belshazzar. Now, as an old man, his unselfish leadership ability was again recognized.
   3 - Excellent spirit Do the people you work with and your neighbors recognize the quality of your character? This is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, although I expect the intention of the text is simply, character or attitude. The queen had recommended Daniel to Belshazzar because he had an excellent spirit da0512, pr2229., mr0302.
   4 - No fault found Would my neighbors have this problem if they wanted to end my presence or authority?
   5 - Except ... concerning the law We may soon find ourselves in this situation. In Revelation 13, the image is given breath and speaks, demanding obedience re1315b.
.6 ¶ Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
.7  All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
.8  Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
 9  Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
.10  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

  7 - All the presidents ... Well, not quite all v2.
  8 - Establish the decree The various actions against Daniel are reflected in the explanation of the dragon going into the bottomless pit. re2003a.
  10 - Toward Jerusalem Even though the temple was in ruins at the time, it would have represented, to Daniel, the presence of God. See ps00507.
.11 ¶ Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
.12  Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
 13  Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
  12 - Hast thou not signed? Daniel's three friends had faced a similar threat da0308.
  13 - That Daniel ... captivity They had ethnic hatred for Daniel and wanted the king to see it in the same light. "He doesn't respect you or your decree." ps119161.
 14  Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
 15  Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
 16  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
 17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

   14 - Displeased with himself Darius was apparently an honest and kind person. Compare mr0626.
   16 - He will deliver you Darius may have been consoling Daniel, but he apparently had some faith in Daniel's God
   17 - Sealed To prevent enemies from killing him and to prove that his protection was a divine act. Satan later tried to seal Jesus' tomb mt2764.
18 ¶ Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
 19  Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
.20  And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
 21  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
 22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
 23  Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
.24  And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

   20 - Is your God always able? It's likely that Darius had heard the story of Daniel's three friends who were thrown into the fire da0317. He was obviously hoping that Daniel's God would come through again.
   22 - Mouths shut ... innocence Are innocent people always kept from harm? For verse 14 above, we looked at the case of John the Baptist. Realizing his fate gives us hope. One day God will make everything right. In Daniel's case, protection was apparently based on innocence. Saving Daniel with known sin in his life would have sent the wrong message to those watching. Also, the innocent righteous will be protected after the close of probation re1401c.
   24 - Swift payment for crime This is a lesson for us. Sin is generally not punished immediately but one day the wicked will pay for their evil to the righteous ro1219.
Image © GoodSalt
 25 ¶ Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
 26  I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
 27  He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
 28  So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
   26 - Shall not be destroyed Darius would have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to predict this. da0714.
   28 - This Daniel prospered The word, "this," makes the connection between the accusations against Daniel and his protection v13.
   Verse 28 may have been written by another inspired writer who compiled the writings of Daniel possibly Ezra. Of course it's writing style. Daniel could have changed to refer to himself in the third person.
Daniel home
Commentary home