IT PLEASED DARIUS TO SET OVER THE
KINGDOM AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY PRINCES, WHICH SHOULD BE
EVER THE WHOLE KINGDOM;
It pleased Darius
will remember in the previous chapter that Daniel wrote
"Darius the Made received the kingdom, being about sixty
two years old.
According to Daniel's introductory
statement to the ninth chapter Darius was "the son of
Ahasuerus, by birth (a Mede,) who became king over the
realm of the Chaldeans." He was a Mede and not a
Persian, was advanced in years and was "king" over what
had formerly been "the realm of the Chaldeans" probably
the home province of Babylonia. Apparently he reigned
for only a short time. Cyrus had already ruled all
Persia and Media for at least twelve years and was yet
to reign for another nine.
The conquest of Babylon came
somewhere in the middle of his reign. Cyrus appointed
Darius over the city and province of Babylon and he
(Darius) reigned as king.
Daniel mentions that he "prospered
during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the
Persian." Apparently the two reigns were concurrent.
An hundred and
These men were provincial
Darius reorganized the administration of the empire, he
20 satrapies (a major division of
the empire headed by a Persian of noble birth
functioning as a viceroy).
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.
of whom Daniel was first
It speaks well of the esteem with
which Daniel was held by the new rulers. From this it is
evident that Daniel was no stranger to Darius and Cyrus,
for to be elevated to such a high position his ability
as an administrator must have been well known.
That the princes
might give accounts unto them
It was not an easy task, for as
chairman or chief of the Presidents Daniel had to deal
with men who were not kindly disposed to himself or the
king. Many would be envious of his position and prepared
to work against him.
We king should
have no damage
The king was in danger for there
would be those prepared to overthrow him and kill him.
Many of the officials were scheming politicians who were
robbing the government in every way possible. If there
were taxes to gather, they turned a large per cent to
their own account; there was bribery, cheating, wire
pulling and buying positions of power and prestige, just
as there is in the world today dishonesty was found
everywhere (Micah 7:2-4).
THEN THIS DANIEL WAS PREFERRED
ABOVE ALL THE PRESIDENTS AND PRINCES, BECAUSE AN
EXCELLENT SPIRIT WAS IN HIM; AND THE KING THOUGHT TO SET
HIM OVER THE WHOLE REALM.
Because Daniel could be trusted to
guard the king's interests, Darius was about to set him
over the whole realm as administrator. As we have
already noticed this is not the first time that royal
observers had noticed a unique "spirit" in Daniel. This
excellent spirit was manifested not only in solving
"dreams and hard sentences" but in his administration of
THEN THE PRESIDENTS AND PRINCES
SOUGHT TO FIND OCCASION AGAINST DANIEL CONCERNING THE
KINGDOM; BUT THEY COULD FIND NONE OCCASION OR FAULT;
FORASMUCH AS HE WAS FAITHFUL, NEITHER WAS THERE ANY
ERROR OR FAULT FOUND IN HIM.
Sought to find
occasion against Daniel
This speaks well of Daniel even
though he was an old man, he evidently carried out his
duties so well that his enemies could not find one
blunder, or neglected duty, or inefficiency of any kind.
Forasmuch as he
was faithful, neither was there any error or fault
Even in the best of governments,
hundreds of thousands of dollars are misspent and
misappropriated. This sixth chapter of Daniel records
how a man of God although placed in such a high position
and a very demanding one, carried out his duties in such
a way that his enemies could not fault him.
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.
Undoubtedly they had noticed that
he was absent from his office each Sabbath and they knew
that the reason for this was connected with the law of
his God. They also must have been aware of his prayer
habits, that it was his custom to pray three times a
THESE PRESIDENTS AND PRINCES ASSEMBLED TOGETHER TO THE
KING AND SAID THUS UNTO HIM, KING DARIUS, LIVE FOR EVER.
It would hardly be likely that all
the governors of the empire would be assembled before
the king but rather those who envied Danielís position.
If they were all there it would be likely that the king
would have been suspicious, especially if Daniel was not
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, 0 KING, HE SHALL BE
CAST INTO THE DEN OF LIONS.
One day the presidents and the
governors came urgently to the king as if on business
they considered of utmost importance. Perhaps they chose
a Sabbath morning knowing that Daniel would not be
present. Their statement to the king that all the
presidents had agreed with the other officers in this
request was obviously a lie for Daniel was one of the
If this had been Cyrus instead of
Darius he would never have signed such a decree for the
Persians were very careful in matters of religious
tolerance. The Medes seemed to be a lot less tolerant.
shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days
Those leaders who were trying to
get rid of Daniel felt that they were certain of success
for an earlier king of the Medes, Deioces, had been
willing to accept worship and homage.
NOW, 0 KING, ESTABLISH THE DECREE,
AND SIGN THE WRITING, THAT IT BE NOT CHANGED, ACCORDING
TO THE LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS, WHICH ALTERETH
That it be not
That these laws could not be
changed is not only attested to by Scripture but also by
secular history. The historian Diodorus Siculus
describes the attitude of Darius 11 toward the sentence
of death upon Charidemos. He claims the king after
pronouncing the death sentence, repented and blamed
himself for having greatly erred in judgment; yet it was
impossible to undo what had been done by royal
The Medes and
The higher critics claimed that
Daniel was incorrect is using this expression in that
the Persians were more in control than the Medes. Recent
discoveries have proved that Daniel was correct for
these documents refer to the Persians as "Medes," and to
"Medes and Persians" as does the Bible. They also
mention various Persian kings by the title of "King of
WHEREFORE KING DARIUS SIGNED THE
WRITING AND THE DECREE.
Darius obligingly affixed his seal
to the decree, and the schemers were delighted, at last
they had Daniel in their trap.
As they left the palace they must
have greatly rejoiced.
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.
Daniel must have received word that
his enemies had planned to try and destroy him and that
they had influenced the king to sign this decree; as the
decree was published he knew how it would affect him.
He kneeled upon
his knees three times a day
David, that great man of God
followed the same practice as mentioned regarding
THEN THESE MEN ASSEMBLED, AND FOUND
DANIEL PRAYING AND MAKING SUPPLICATION BEFORE HIS GOD.
His enemies did not have to wait
long to see Daniel disregard the king's decree, he made
no effort to conceal himself in some remote part of the
house; he knelt by the open window toward Jerusalem.
He did not whisper a prayer but rather prayed
aloud as had been his custom before the decree was
issued. His enemies set spies to try and catch him.
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, 0 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
So far the plot had worked out just
as planned. Coming to the king on this occasion they
diplomatically had the king acknowledge that the decree
had been made and signed.
THEN ANSWERED THEY AND SAID BEFORE
THE KING, THAT DANIEL WHICH IS OF THE CHILDREN OF THE
CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH, REGARDETH NOT THEE, 0 KING, NOR THE
DECREE THAT THOU HAST SIGNED, BUT MAKETH HIS PETITION
THREE TIMES A DAY.
That Daniel which
is of the children of the captivity of Judah
This accusation revealed the full
hatred and contempt that these men felt toward Daniel.
They spoke of him as a foreigner, a despised Jew, they
inferred how could the king tolerate one who had been so
greatly honoured and yet had carried out this act of
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.
Suddenly the king realized that the
whole thing was a snare to trap Daniel. He could see
that the Babylonians had put it over him, by pretending
to bring honour to him and his reign. Despite his
frantic efforts to find some loophole in the
unchangeable law of the Medes and Persians he was unable
to find a thing whereby he could release Daniel.
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.
At sunset the unscrupulous
officials reminded Darius that the sentence must be
executed that very day. They most likely were afraid
that if there were any further delay that Daniel might
somehow escape from their clutches.
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.
It is quite possible that Darius
had heard of the miraculous experience of the three
Hebrews in the fiery furnace. Wishing to encourage
Daniel he reminded him that his God had delivered in the
past and he was sure that He would do so again.
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.
The official sealing by the king
and his lords had a twofold purpose, for it served as a
guarantee to the king that Daniel would not be killed by
any other means, in case he was not harmed by the lions.
Darius was hopeful that Danielís God would save him from
the lions. He also wanted to take precautions against
any attempt of his enemies to take his life. Dariusí
counselors may have been suspicious that the king
himself might have attempted to save him.
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
It was dark when Darius returned to
the palace and retired to his bedchamber. But sleep
would not come; it was the worst night of his life. It
is possible that the king did some praying for not only
did he hold Daniel in high regard but he was responsible
for the fate that had come upon him.
THEN THE KING AROSE VERY EARLY IN
THE MORNING, AND WENT IN HASTE UNTO THE DEN OF LIONS.
After a sleepless night the king
made his way down to the lionsí den. The day was just
beginning to break and light enough for the king to see
AND WHEN HE CAME TO THE DEN, HE
CRIED WITH A LAMENTABLE VOICE UNTO DANIEL: AND THE KING
SPAKE AND SAID TO DANIEL, 0 DANIEL, SERVANT OF THE
LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD, WHOM THOU SERVEST CONTINUALLY
ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?
The king had gone through the
ordeal of seeing his most faithful servant thrown to the
lions. This dreadful experience was followed by a long
sleepless night. Little wonder his voice was full of
THEN DANIEL SAID UNTO THE KING, O
KING, LIVE FOR EVER.
From the den there came the
familiar voice of Daniel. What a relief it must have
been to the king. Despite an unpleasant night spent in
the smelly den among the savage wild beasts, Daniel was
able to greet the king in his usual courteous way.
MY GOD HATH SENT HIS
ANGEL, AND HATH SHUT THE LIONSí MOUTHS, THAT THEY HAVE
NOT HURT ME: FORASMUCH AS BEFORE HIM INNOCENCY WAS FOUND
IN ME; ALSO BEFORE THEE, O KING, HAVE I DONE NO HURT.
Daniel tells the king that he was
spared because God knew that he was innocent and had
been unjustly accused. The apostle Paul writing in
Hebrews refers to this experience of Daniel and he
attributes his deliverance to the power of faith.
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.
The requirement of the royal decree had
been met. That decree had not required the execution of the
transgressor but only that he ďbe cast into the den of
lions" (verse 7). This of course was a death sentence just
as much as if he had been beheaded.
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
Darius called for all the ringleaders
of the plot and showed them Daniel alive and uninjured, a
living miracle. Possibly they accounted for miraculous
deliverance by saying that the lions were not hungry.
The king remembered another section of
Persian law, that false accusers should suffer the same
penalty they sought to have inflicted upon anyone who proved
to be innocent of the charges made against him. So Darius
gave the order and the ringleaders of the plot, together
with their entire families, as was the custom, were
consigned to the same fate they had contrived for Daniel.
KING DARIUS WROTE UNTO ALL PEOPLE,
NATIONS, AND LANGUAGES, THAT DWELL IN ALL THE EARTH; PEACE
BE MULTIPLIED UNTO YOU.
Returning to his palace, Darius issued
an imperial order to be posted throughout his realm.
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 FOREVER, AND HIS
KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION
SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END.
After the wonderful deliverance of
Daniel's three friends from the fiery furnace,
Nebuchadnezzar had issued an edict to all nations of his
kingdom forbidding them, on pain of death, from saying
anything against the God of thy Hebrews. In a similar manner
Darius gave out an edict to all nations commanding them to
fear and reverence Daniel's God. Not only did Daniel have a
miraculous deliverance but because of his witness for God it
was a means of publishing the truth throughout the world.
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 acknowledges the God of Daniel
as the living God whose kingdom and dominion are everlasting
but unfortunately he does not recognize Him as the true God
whom he himself should serve.
There are so many people who have done exactly as the
king, they recognize that God is the Living God but are not
prepared to do anything about it.
SO THIS DANIEL PROSPERED IN THE REIGN
OF DARIUS, AND IN THE REIGN OF CYRUS THE PERSIAN.