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Book of Daniel
 

Introduction
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2

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3

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4

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5

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6

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7

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8

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9 | 10
11 | 12

 Bible

 Bible Commentaries

  Daniel and Revelation

Commentary on the Bible

Book of Daniel

By Brian Pepper

 
 
 Chapter 6


 

DANIEL 6:1
IT PLEASED DARIUS TO SET OVER THE KINGDOM AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY PRINCES, WHICH SHOULD BE EVER THE WHOLE KINGDOM;

It pleased Darius
You 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 twenty princes
These men were provincial governors.  Darius reorganized the administration of the empire, he created 20 satrapies (a major division of the empire headed by a Persian of noble birth functioning as a viceroy).

DANIEL 6:2
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.

Three Presidents 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).

DANIEL 6:3
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 the empire.

DANIEL 6:4
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.

DANIEL 6:5
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.

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 day.

DANIEL 6:6
THEN 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 among them.

DANIEL 6:7
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 three presidents.

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.

That whosoever 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.

DANIEL 6:8
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 NOT.

That it be not changed
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 authority.

The Medes and Persians
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 the Medes."

DANIEL 6:9
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.

DANIEL 6:10
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 Daniel.

DANIEL 6:11
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.

DANIEL 6:12
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 ALTERETH NOT.

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.

DANIEL 6:13
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 rebellion.

DANIEL 6:14
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.

DANIEL 6:15
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.

DANIEL 6:16
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.

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.

DANIEL 6:17
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 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.

DANIEL 6:18
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 HIM.

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.

DANIEL 6:19
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 his way.

DANIEL 6:20
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 anxiety.

DANIEL 6:21
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.

DANIEL 6:22
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.

DANIEL 6:23
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.

DANIEL 6:24
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 DEN.

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.

DANIEL 6:25
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.

DANIEL 6:26
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.

DANIEL 6:27
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 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.

DANIEL 6:28
SO THIS DANIEL PROSPERED IN THE REIGN OF DARIUS, AND IN THE REIGN OF CYRUS THE PERSIAN.

Once again Daniel is restored to royal favour and God blessed his administration and showered favours upon him. The story of Danielís life as given in this book of the Bible, demonstrates how that loyalty and devotion to God brings its reward not only in the future when God sets up His everlasting kingdom but right now in every day life.

 

 


 

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