Daniel 6:1-15

Daniel in the Den of Lions

1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,
2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.
3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!
7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.
8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”
14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

Daniel 6:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
ESV
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;
NLT
1 Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province.
MSG
1 Darius reorganized his kingdom. He appointed one hundred twenty governors to administer all the parts of his realm.
CSB
1 Darius decided to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, stationed throughout the realm,

Daniel 6:1-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL 6

This chapter gives an account of Daniel's being cast into the den of lions, and the causes of it, and the steps leading to it; and also of his wonderful deliverance out of it, and what followed upon that. It first relates how Daniel was made by Darius first president of the princes of the kingdom, which drew their envy upon him, Da 6:1-4, and that these princes finding they could get no occasion against him, but in religion, proposed to the king to make a law forbidding prayer to any god for thirty days, which they got established, Da 6:5-9, and Daniel breaking this law, is accused by them to the king; and the penalty, casting into the den of lions, is insisted on to be executed, Da 6:10-13, which the king laboured to prevent, but in vain; and Daniel is cast to the lions, to the great grief of the king, Da 6:14-18, who visited the den the next morning, and to his great joy found Daniel alive, Da 6:19-23, upon which, by the law of retaliation, his accusers, their wives, and children, were cast into it, Da 6:24, and an edict was published by the king, commanding all in his dominions to fear and reverence the God of Daniel, Da 6:25-28.

Daniel 6:1-15 In-Context

1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,
2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.
3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!
7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.
8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”
14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.
18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.

Cross References 20

  • 1. S Daniel 5:31
  • 2. S Esther 1:1
  • 3. Daniel 2:48-49
  • 4. Ezra 4:22
  • 5. S Genesis 41:41; S Esther 10:3; S Daniel 1:20; Daniel 5:12-14
  • 6. Jeremiah 20:10
  • 7. Acts 24:13-16
  • 8. S Nehemiah 2:3; Daniel 2:4
  • 9. S Daniel 3:2
  • 10. Psalms 59:3; Psalms 64:2-6; S Daniel 3:6
  • 11. S Esther 1:19
  • 12. S 1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 8:48-49
  • 13. Psalms 95:6
  • 14. Matthew 6:6; Acts 5:29
  • 15. 1 Kings 8:48-50; Psalms 55:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
  • 16. S Esther 1:19; Daniel 3:8-12
  • 17. S Ezekiel 14:14; Daniel 2:25; Daniel 5:13
  • 18. S Esther 3:8; Daniel 3:12
  • 19. Mark 6:26
  • 20. S Esther 8:8
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