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Daniel Is Rescued From the Lions’ Den

It seemed like a good plan to Darius to appoint one hundred twenty satraps over the kingdom. They were to rule throughout the kingdom. Above them there would be three supervisors (Daniel was one of them) to whom these satraps would report, so that the king would not suffer any loss. It came about that this Daniel distinguished himself above the supervisors and satraps, because there was an outstanding spirit in him. So the king intended to promote him so that he would be in charge of the entire kingdom.

Then the supervisors and satraps kept trying to find a basis for an accusation against Daniel in regard to his administration of the kingdom. However, they were unable to come up with an accusation or any evidence of corruption, because he was trustworthy and no neglect of duty or evidence of corruption could be found against him. Then these men said, “We will not find any accusation to bring against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God.”

So these supervisors and satraps came as a group to the king and said this to him, “Darius, Your Majesty, may you live forever! All the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the advisors and the governors advise the king to establish and enforce a decree that prohibits anyone to pray a prayer to any god or person for thirty days except to you, Your Majesty. Anyone who does so will be thrown into the den[a] of lions. Now Your Majesty, please establish the decree and sign a document that cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians that cannot be revoked.”

That is why King Darius signed the written decree.

10 Now, when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went to his house. It had windows on its upper story that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times each day he would get on his knees and pray and offer praise before his God. He continued to do that, just as he had been doing before this. 11 Then these men came as a group and found Daniel praying and seeking favor from his God.

12 They then went and asked the king about the decree. “Your Majesty, did you not sign a decree that anyone who prays to any god or person for thirty days except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the den of lions?”

The king answered, “Indeed I did. The order is established as a law of the Medes and the Persians that cannot be revoked.”

13 Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, does not pay attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree that you signed. Instead, three times each day he is praying his prayers.”

14 When the king heard this report, he was very upset about it, but he was determined to save Daniel. So until sunset he worked hard to rescue him. 15 Then these men came as a group to the king and kept saying to the king, “You know, Your Majesty, that it is the law of the Medes and the Persians that every decree or statute that the king establishes cannot be changed.”

16 Then the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the pit. The king sealed it with his signet ring and the signet rings of his nobles so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel’s situation. 18 Then the king went to his palace. He spent the night without food, and no entertainment was brought before him. But he could not sleep.

19 At dawn the king arose as soon as it was light and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 As he came near the pit, he cried out in a fearful voice. The king said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel spoke with the king. “Your Majesty, may you live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions. They have not hurt me because he found me innocent in his presence. Also before you, Your Majesty, I have committed no crime.”

23 Then the king was very glad and said that Daniel should be brought up from the pit. So Daniel was brought up from the pit, and he was unharmed because he trusted in his God.

24 The king gave the order, and those men who maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They had not reached the bottom of the pit when the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in the entire earth:

    May your peace and prosperity increase.
26 I give this command throughout my royal dominion:
    People should continually tremble and be afraid before the God of Daniel,
    because he is the living God, who endures forever.
    His kingdom will not be destroyed,
    and his dominion is eternal.
27 He rescues and he saves.
    He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth.
    So he saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius, that is,[b] during the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 6:7 Or pit. The term den is retained here because of familiarity.
  2. Daniel 6:28 Literally and. It is likely that Darius is another name of Cyrus, but some historians think he was a subordinate of Cyrus.

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