All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the
princes, the counsellors, and the captains
There were but three presidents, and Daniel was one of them, so that these "all" were but "two"; they made the most of it they could; and very probably not all and everyone of the other officers mentioned were present; but they were willing to make their request appear as general as they could, in order that it might have the greater weight with the king: have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a
that is, they had met together, and had drawn up a bill that might be passed into a law by having the royal assent, and be made sure and firm by the king's signing it; which is as follows: that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days,
save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions;
by which law all invocation of their own gods was prohibited for a month, as well as of the living and true God; but this they stuck not at, provided they could gain their point against Daniel; and they were obliged to express it in this general way, to cover their designs; for had they mentioned a particular deity, as the God of the Jews, or the God of Daniel, their views would have been seen into by the king; and not only religious invocation is here forbidden, but all civil requests are prohibited: servants might not ask anything of their masters, nor children of their parents, nor wives of their husbands, nor one neighbour of another; for this seems not to be limited to asking any thing of a man worshipped as a god; though Saadiah says there were some in Darius's kingdom that believed in, worshipped, and prayed to a man; but all men are excluded, except Darius himself, of whom only anything was to be asked for thirty days; which was not only a deifying him, but exalting him above all gods and men; and suggesting as if it was in his power to answer all the exigencies of his subjects, and supply all their wants, many of which it was impossible for him to do. Josephus
F3 mentions this law in a different manner; as if the design of it was to give the people an intermission from devotion for such a time, and that they were neither to pray to Darius, nor any of the gods, during it; whereas the exception is express, "save of thee, O king". The sanction or penalty of it is, casting into the den of lions; the king's den of lions, as Jarchi, where his lions were kept; as it is usual with princes: this very probably was a punishment common in the eastern nations, as casting the Christians to the lions was usual with the Romans.
F3 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 5.