|Daniel Chapter 6|
by Charles Dailey
(Black underlined words match words in the Bible text.)
|1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty satraps, who should be throughout the whole kingdom;||– The kingdom has been defined in 5:31. Historians call it the Medo-Persian Empire
- Satraps were defined in the notes at 3:3.
- The new kingdom had retained some political types from the previous empire.
- Daniel's God-related name had been restored.
- Financial accountability was in focus here. Ezra 4:13
|2) and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one; that these satraps might give account unto them, and that the king should have no damage.||3) Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.||– Daniel was the distinguished president in this triumvirate.
- Daniel was a top-rate diplomat.
|4) Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find no occasion nor fault, forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.||– It is clear that perfect harmony was lacking from this relationship. About 122 of them wanted Daniel out.
- The thinking: "He's wrong. We just have to find out how."
|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.||– Paul Butler says:
He had come to this land against his will as a prisoner of war; he was requested by a pagan despot to study pagan literature and science and be trained to serve in a pagan court surrounded by luxury, sensuality, lust, self-seeking, idolatry, and ruthless cruelty. In the middle of all this there grew up this fair flower of a character, pure, true, holy, and stainless, by the acknowledgment of enemies, and in which not even accusers could find a fault!
|6) Then these presidents and satraps assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.||7) All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counsellors and the governors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a strong interdict, 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.||– The first word, all, was not true.
- Since Daniel had not broken any existing law, these wise guys would make one that he would break because they knew his priorities.
|8) Now, O king, establish the interdict, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.||– The gang slipped in on the egotistical side of Darius.
- The control clowns made sure that Darius understood that the new law could not be revoked. In actuality, they were being tenderized for the lion's breakfast.
|9) Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the interdict.||10) And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.||– Daniel did not adjust to the decree.
- Praying towards Jerusalem was an ancient practice. 1 Kings 8:33-40; 48-49.
- This man, near the top in a great empire, had time to pray three times each day. Psalm 55:17.
- At least a portion of Daniel's prayer time was consumed with thanksgiving.
- This was not an act of defiance, but his regular practice.
- A lesser man would have put off prayer for the 30 days of the interdict.
|11) Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.||12) Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's interdict: Hast thou not signed an interdict, that every man that shall make petition unto any god or man within thirty days, save unto 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.||– Now these Daniel detractors had a federal case against him. They had passed a law they knew that Daniel would break, similar to entrapment.||13) Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the interdict that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.||– It is clear that Daniel's national heritage made a difference here. They didn't want a Jew supervising them.
- To say that Daniel did not regard the king was a lie.
- "Darius found himself bound and gagged by his own law. In this manner he showed that his authority was quite inferior in nature to that of Nebuchadnezzar, whose person was above the law. The government of Darius came nearer to the democratic ideal, but it was less absolute than that of the Chaldeans. In that sense it was inferior, and so fulfilled what had been predicted of it by the silver portion of the image prophecy of chapter 2." (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)
- The text does not say how he labored. He may have tried to find legal ways around destroying his most trusted advisor. But he could not.
|14) Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to rescue him||– The king is on Daniel's side. Their humiliation of the king did not go unnoticed and breakfast time is coming.||15) Then these men assembled together unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no interdict 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.||– While Nebuchadnezzar had cremated his opposition, this government fed law-breakers to the lions.
- Notice that Darius was gaining faith in Daniel's God. He thought that Daniel would be delivered.
|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 nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.||– Daniel was locked away behind a number of seals. There could be no tricks played here to save Daniel.
- The accusers were there to exert pressure on the king.
|18) Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep fled from him.||– The king was extremely upset over this event. No food, no sleep and no music for the night. This is another case of royal insomnia. Compare 2:1
- He is sixty-two or sixty-three years of age. He trusted Daniel far more than the clowns that had forced him to punish Daniel.
|19) Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.||– He couldn't sleep. Might as well go check out the lion's den. But they had been fasting just like the king. But breakfast is coming.||20) And when he came near unto the den to Daniel, he cried with a lamentable voice; 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?||– Darius was so overwrought about having to put Daniel in the den that his voice was affected.
- The language of doubt, yet hope.
|21) Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.||– Daniel's respect toward the king is absolutely amazing.||22) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, and 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||– Some wit said, "The lions could not eat Daniel because he was all backbone." Actually, they didn't even try. They had lion lockjaw.
- Specifically, an angel of the Lord shut their mouths.
- There was no bitterness in Daniel's response.
- This event must be some of what the writer of Hebrews had in mind in 11:33-34:
"who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (from New International Version)
|23) Then was the king exceeding glad, 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 had trusted in his God.||24) And the king commanded, and they brought those men that 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, before they came to the bottom of the den.||– Children having fun sing out "Turn-about's fair play."
- It's pay-back time for humiliating the king.
- There was a massive change in government as the accusers went for breakfast.
- The lions were in good form and hungry. These seasoned lying lawyers tasted lusciously good to the lions.
|25) Then king Darius wrote unto all the peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you.||– Darius wants to make some amends both to God and Daniel, so he issued a world-wide proclamation.||26) I make a decree, that in all the 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.||– The decree declared that Daniel's God was a living God and he could be trusted in all situations.
- Darius acknowledged that God's kingdom was above his and was permanent. The God of Daniel would reign forever.
- This is just the opposite outcome compared to the goals of the 120 satraps, but they were history anyway.
|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.||– Darius was deeply impressed with the signs that God had done for Daniel. They seemed impossible to him (and they were) so he spoke highly of God and his power to save Daniel.||28) So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.||– After one scary night at the zoo, Daniel was honored even more than before. He lived in the reign of Darius and the years of Cyrus. See the time line on page 2 of our Introduction to Daniel.||The Next Chapter|