Verse 1 – It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom;
Verse 2 – 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.
Verse 3 – Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
In the previous chapter, Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians. Darius was the first king ruling for only two years. During his reign is when this chapter takes place (538-536 B.C.).
Verse 4 – 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.
Daniel had made enemies because the king showed him favor. What’s wrong with people who envy and dislike others only because they do a good job?
Verse 5 – Then these men said, “We shall not find any charges against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
Daniel had been promoted above all others, so there was strong jealousy among them. The were going to have to criticize something concerning Daniel’s faith in order to trap him into doing something wrong. This happens again in Revelation 13:8, 12, 14, 15, where laws are made contrary to God’s laws, that the people of faith must follow or be killed.
Verse 6 – So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever!
Verse 7 – “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisers, have 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.
Verse 8 – “Now, O king, establish the decree and according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not altar.”
Verse 9 – Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Look what Proverbs 26:27 says, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. Darius had some pride in him that showed when he signed a decree that made the people worship him for 30 days. He made himself a god. These men who did this knew Daniel well enough to know that he only worshiped his God. The king had been deceived by only seeing glory and honor being brought to himself. This decree could not be broken, even by the king himself.
Verse 10 – Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home, and in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel prayed not out of rebellion toward the king but out of obedience to his Supreme God. If he changed his habit of praying, it would show a lack of faith in his God. He would also be showing to others a lack of authority of the One and only True God of Israel.
Verse 11 – Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplications before his God.
Verse 12 – 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, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
Verse 13 – So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, 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.”
Verse 14 – And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
When the king realized the true reason these men wanted this decree signed into law, he knew it was only to trap Daniel. He’d admired Daniel and respected him to the point of making him over all the others, but now the king was in anguish because of this stupid law.
Verse 15 – Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
Verse 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.”
Verse 17 – Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den (could also be a pit), and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet’s of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.
Verse 18 – Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him.
Verse 19 – Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.
Verse 20 – And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, delivered you from the lions?”
Verse 21 – Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!
Verse 22 – “My God sent His angel and 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.”
Verse 23 – Then the king was exceedingly glad for him and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Do you, as a Christian, trust God to deliver you from situations that seems to be no way out? We should, because what He does for one He will do for another. He may not do it in the same way that He delivers another, but if you put all your faith and trust in Him, He will turn it around for you, because you love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Verse 24 – And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions – overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
This Psalm comes to mind: 105:15 – “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” What these wicked men tried to do to Daniel, came back on their own heads, and not only theirs but their families also. Take this as a warning: Be very careful whom you accuse and of what. If they are God’s child, He will protect them with a vengeance!
Verse 25 – Then King Darius wrote; To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Verse 26 – I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end.
Verse 27 – He delivers and rescues and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Verse 28 – So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.