And the king commanded, and they brought those men which
Not all the hundred and twenty princes, and the two presidents; but the chief of them, who were most busy in getting the decree signed; watched Daniel's house, and what he did there; brought the charge against him to the king, and were most solicitous and urgent to have the decree put in execution against him: and they cast them into the den of lions;
the servants of the king, who were sent to fetch them, and who brought these by the king's orders, cast them into the same den of lions that Daniel had been in: thus often the pit wicked men dig for others, they fall into themselves; so Haman man was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai: them, their children, and their wives;
which might be according to the laws of this monarchy in capital offences, relating to affairs of state, as this was for an accusation of a prime minister of state, to take away his life; though such things were common with arbitrary princes, for the terror of others; so Haman and his sons were hanged up by Ahasuerus: this may seem cruel and inhuman, though it might be that the wives and children of these men advised them to do what they did, and were encouragers and approvers of it. Josephus F13 relates, that the enemies of Daniel, when they saw no hurt came to him, would not ascribe it to the providence of God, but to the lions being full of food; upon which the king ordered much meat to be given them, and then the men to be cast in to them, to see whether because of their fulness they would come unto them or not: 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;
the lions seized them at once; and though they did all they could to defend themselves, fighting with them; yet the lions were too powerful for them, and overcame them, and not only tore off their flesh, but broke their bones in pieces, and that as they were falling, before they came to the bottom, or the lower part of the den; this was a plain proof that it was not through fulness, or want of appetite, that the lions did not fall upon Daniel and devour him: this affair happened in the first year of Darius, which, according to Bishop Usher F14, and Dean Prideaux F15, and Mr. Whiston F16, was in the year of the world 3466 A.M., and 538 B.C.; Mr. Bedford F17 places it in 537 B.C.
F13 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 6.
F14 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3466.
F15 Connexion part 1. p. 125, 128.
F16 Chronological Tables, cent. 10.
F17 Scripture Chronology, p. 711.