Daniel 6 (English Standard Version)

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Daniel and the Lions' Den

1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 1satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them 2three presidents, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these 3satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became 4distinguished above all 5the other presidents and 6satraps, because 7an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned 8to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 Then 9the presidents and 10the satraps 11sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, 12but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, 13and no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these 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." 6 Then these 14presidents and 15satraps came by agreementa to the king and said to him, "O 16King Darius, live forever! 7 All the 17presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the 18counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an 19injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish 20the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to 21the law of 22the Medes and the Persians, 23which cannot be revoked." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and 24injunction. 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where 25he had windows in his upper chamber open 26toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees 27three times a day and prayed and 28gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they 29came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, "O king! Did you not sign 30an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing stands fast, according to the law of 31the Medes and Persians, 32which cannot be revoked." 13 Then they answered and said before the king, 33"Daniel, who is one 34of the exiles 35from Judah, 36pays no attention to you, O king, or 37the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition 38three times a day." 14 Then 39the king, when he heard these words, 40was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, "Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no 41injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed." 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declaredb to Daniel, "May 42your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!" 17 43And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, 44and the king sealed it 45with his own signet and with the signet of his 46lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; 47no diversions were brought to him, and 48sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of 49the living God, 50has your God, whom you serve continually, 51been able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then Daniel said to the king, 52"O king, live forever! 22 My God 53sent his angel 54and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless 55before him; 56and also before you, O king, I have done no harm." 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 57no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and 58those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions--they, their children, and their wives. And 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 59the peoples, nations, and languages 60that dwell in all the earth: 61"Peace be multiplied to you. 26 62I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion 63people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for 64he is 65the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, 66and his dominion shall be 67to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues; he works 68signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has 69saved Daniel from the power of the lions." 28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and 70the reign of 71Cyrus the Persian.
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