Daniel in the Den of Lions

[a]It pleased Darius(A) to appoint 120 satraps(B) to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel.(C) The satraps were made accountable(D) to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.(E) At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges(F) against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”(G)

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!(H) The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors(I) have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.(J) Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”(K) So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward(L) Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees(M) and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.(N) 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.(O) 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”(P)

13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah,(Q) pays no attention(R) to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed;(S) he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”(T)

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.(U) The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue(V) you!”

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed(W) it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating(X) and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.(Y)

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”(Z)

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!(AA) 22 My God sent his angel,(AB) and he shut the mouths of the lions.(AC) They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.(AD) Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound(AE) was found on him, because he had trusted(AF) in his God.

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den,(AG) along with their wives and children.(AH) And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.(AI)

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language(AJ) in all the earth:

“May you prosper greatly!(AK)

26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence(AL) the God of Daniel.(AM)

“For he is the living God(AN)
    and he endures forever;(AO)
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.(AP)
27 He rescues and he saves;(AQ)
    he performs signs and wonders(AR)
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”(AS)

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus[b](AT) the Persian.(AU)

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 6:1 In Aramaic texts 6:1-28 is numbered 6:2-29.
  2. Daniel 6:28 Or Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus

The Plot Against Daniel

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, (A)because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. (B)So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: (C)“King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have (D)consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the (E)law of the Medes and Persians, which [a]does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open (F)toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees (G)three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 (H)And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”

The king answered and said, “The thing is true, (I)according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which [b]does not alter.”

13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, (J)who is [c]one of the captives from Judah, (K)does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 And the king, when he heard these words, (L)was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he [d]labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men [e]approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is (M)the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” 17 (N)Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, (O)and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.

Daniel Saved from the Lions

18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no [f]musicians were brought before him. (P)Also his sleep [g]went from him. 19 Then the (Q)king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a [h]lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, (R)has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel said to the king, (S)“O king, live forever! 22 (T)My God sent His angel and (U)shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”

23 Now the king was exceedingly 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 injury whatever was found on him, (V)because he believed in his God.

Darius Honors God

24 And the king gave the command, (W)and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, (X)their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.

25 (Y)Then King Darius wrote:

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

26 (Z)I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must (AA)tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

(AB)For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be (AC)destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
(AD)And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the [i]power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius (AE)and in the reign of (AF)Cyrus the Persian.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 6:8 Lit. does not pass away
  2. Daniel 6:12 Lit. does not pass away
  3. Daniel 6:13 Lit. of the sons of the captivity
  4. Daniel 6:14 strove
  5. Daniel 6:15 Lit. thronged before
  6. Daniel 6:18 Exact meaning unknown
  7. Daniel 6:18 Or fled
  8. Daniel 6:20 Or grieved
  9. Daniel 6:27 Lit. hand

The Plot against Daniel

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, stationed throughout the whole kingdom, and over them three presidents, including Daniel; to these the satraps gave account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Soon Daniel distinguished himself above all the other presidents and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom. So the presidents and the satraps tried to find grounds for complaint against Daniel in connection with the kingdom. But they could find no grounds for complaint or any corruption, because he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. The men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

So the presidents and satraps conspired and came to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions. Now, O king, establish the interdict and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document and interdict.

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

10 Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously. 11 The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12 Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.”

14 When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. 15 Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”

16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!” 17 A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

Daniel Saved from the Lions

19 Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king gave a command, and those who had accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. Before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: “May you have abundant prosperity! 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel:

For he is the living God,
    enduring forever.
His kingdom shall never be destroyed,
    and his dominion has no end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
    he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth;
for he has saved Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.