Daniel and the Lions
6 ·Darius thought it would be a good idea [L It pleased Darius; 5:30] to ·choose [L set over the kingdom] one hundred twenty ·governors [L satraps] who would ·rule his [L be over the] kingdom. 2 He chose three men as ·supervisors [presidents; heads] over those ·governors [L satraps], and Daniel was one of the ·supervisors [presidents; heads]. The ·supervisors [presidents; heads] were to ensure that the ·governors did not try to cheat the king [L king would not be troubled/disturbed]. 3 Daniel ·showed that he could do the work better than [distinguished himself above] the other ·supervisors [presidents; heads] and ·governors [L satraps] because an ·excellent [extraordinary] spirit was in him, so the king planned to put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom. 4 Because of this, the other ·supervisors [presidents; heads] and ·governors [L satraps] tried to find reasons to accuse Daniel ·about his work in the government [L in regard to the kingdom]. But they could not find anything ·wrong with him or any reason to accuse him [in regard to complaint or corruption], because he was trustworthy and not lazy or ·dishonest [corrupt]. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any reason to accuse Daniel unless it is about the law of his God.”
6 So the ·supervisors [presidents; heads] and ·governors [L satraps] ·went as a group to [or conspired against] the king and said: “King Darius, live forever! 7 The ·supervisors [presidents; heads], ·assistant governors [prefects], ·governors [L satraps], ·the people who advise you [counselors], and the ·captains of the soldiers [governors] have ·all agreed [taken counsel] that you should ·make a new law [issue a decree] ·for everyone to obey [and enforce an edict]: For the next thirty days no one should pray to any god or human except to you, O king. Anyone who doesn’t obey will be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, O king, ·make the law [enforce the edict] and sign ·your name to it [L the document] so that it cannot be changed, because then it will be a law of the Medes and Persians and cannot be canceled.” 9 So King Darius signed the ·law [L document and edict].
10 Even though Daniel knew that the ·new law [document] had been ·written [signed], he went to pray in an upstairs room in his house, which had windows that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times each day Daniel would kneel down to pray and ·thank [praise] God, just as he always had done [1 Kin. 8:35–36; Ps. 55:17].
11 Then those men ·went as a group [conspired] and found Daniel praying and ·asking God for help [seeking mercy from God]. 12 So they ·went to [approached] the king and talked to him about the ·law he had made [edict]. They said, “Didn’t you sign a ·law [edict] that says no one may pray to any god or human except you, O king? Doesn’t it say that anyone who disobeys during the next thirty days will be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “Yes, ·that is the law [L the thing is certain], and the laws of the Medes and Persians cannot be canceled.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, one of the ·captives [exiles] from Judah, ·is not paying attention to [disregards] you, O king, or to the ·law [edict] you signed. Daniel still prays three times every day.” 14 The king ·became very upset [was displeased] when he heard ·this [L the word]. He ·wanted [L set his mind] to ·save [rescue] Daniel, and he worked hard until sunset trying to think of a way to ·save [rescue] him.
15 Then those men ·went as a group to [or conspired against] the king. They said, “·Remember [Know], O king, the law of the Medes and Persians says that no ·law [edict] or command given by the king can be changed.”
16 So King Darius gave the order, and Daniel was brought in and thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May the God you ·serve [fear; Prov. 1:7] all the time ·save [rescue] you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the ·opening [L mouth] of the lions’ den. Then the king used his signet ring and the rings of his ·royal [noble; important] officers to put special seals on the rock [C rings with personal identification symbols that could be pressed into soft clay]. This ensured that ·no one would move the rock and bring Daniel out [L nothing would be changed with Daniel]. 18 Then King Darius went back to his palace. He ·did not eat [fasted] that night, ·he did not have any entertainment [L nothing was; C referring to food and/or women] brought to him, and he could not sleep.
19 The next morning King Darius got up at dawn and ·hurried [or in agitation went] to the lions’ den. 20 As he came near the den, he was worried. He called out to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God that you always ·worship [fear; serve; Prov. 1:7] been able to ·save [rescue] you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his ·angel [or messenger] to close the lions’ mouths [Heb. 11:33]. They have not ·hurt [injured] me, because my God knows I am ·innocent [blameless]. I never did anything ·wrong to [to injure] you, O king.”
23 King Darius was very happy and told his servants to lift Daniel out of the lions’ den. So they lifted him out and did not find any injury on him, because Daniel had trusted in his God.
24 Then the king commanded that the men who had ·accused [conspired against; L eaten pieces of] Daniel be brought to the lions’ den. They, their wives, and their children were thrown into the den. The lions ·grabbed [overpowered] them before they ·hit [reached] the floor of the den and ·crushed their bones [or tore their bodies into pieces; Prov. 28:10].
25 Then King Darius wrote a letter to all people and all nations, ·to those who spoke every language [L and tongues] in the world:
I wish you great ·peace and wealth [prosperity].
26 I ·am making a new law [L set a decree] for people in every part of my ·kingdom [kingly dominion]. All of you must ·fear [tremble] and ·respect [fear] the God of Daniel.
For he is the living God;
he ·lives [endures] forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his ·rule [sovereignty] will never end.
27 God rescues and ·saves [delivers] people
and does ·mighty miracles [signs and wonders]
in heaven and on earth.
He is the one who ·saved [rescued] Daniel
from the ·power [L hand] of the lions.
28 So Daniel was ·successful [prosperous] during the time Darius was king ·and [or even] when Cyrus the Persian was king [C may be two different names for the same king].