6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
6:3 Then this Daniel b was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit [was] in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
(a) Read ( Esther 1:1 ).
(b) This heathen king preferred Daniel a stranger to all his nobles and those he was familiar with, because the graces of God were more excellent in him than in others. 6:4 Then the presidents and princes c sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
(c) Thus the wicked cannot abide the graces of God in others, but seek by every occasion to deface them: therefore against such assaults there is no better remedy than to walk upright in the fear of God, and to have a good conscience. 6:9 Wherefore king Darius d signed the writing and the decree.
(d) In this is condemned the wickedness of the king, who would be set up as a god, and did not care what wicked laws he approved for the maintenance of it. 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his e 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.
(e) Because he would not by his silence show that he consented to this wicked decree, he set open his windows toward Jerusalem when he prayed: both to stir up himself with the remembrance of Gods promises to his people, when they should pray toward that temple, and also that others might see that he would neither consent in heart nor deed for these few days to anything that was contrary to Gods glory. 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 f changed.
(f) Thus the wicked maintain evil laws by constancy and authority, which is often either weakness, or stubbornness, and the innocent as a result perish by them: and these governors neither ought to fear, nor be ashamed to break such laws. 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, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, g able to deliver thee from the lions?
(g) This declares that Darius was not touched with the true knowledge of God, because he doubted of his power. 6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him h innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done i no hurt.
(h) My just cause and uprightness in this thing in which I was charged, is approved by God. 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 k believed in his God.
(i) For he disobeyed the kingss wicked commandment in order to obey God, and so he did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing by which God would be dishonoured.
6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they l 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.
(k) Because he committed himself wholly to God whose cause he defended, he was assured that nothing but good could come to him: and in this we see the power of faith, as in ( Hebrews 11:33 ).
(l) This is a terrible example against all the wicked who do against their conscience make cruel laws to destroy the children of God, and also admonishes princes how to punish such when their wickedness is come to light: though not in every point, or with similar circumstances, but yet to execute true justice upon them. 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear m before the God of Daniel: for he [is] the n living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end.
(m) This does not prove that Darius worshipped God properly, or was converted: for then he would have destroyed all superstition and idolatry, and not only given God the chief place, but also have set him up, and caused him to be honoured according to his word. But this was a specific confession of Gods power, unto which he was compelled by this wonderful miracle.
(n) Who not only has life in himself, but is the only fountain of life, and quickens all things, so that without him there is no life.