Daniel, The king, The lions’ den, The Hand of GOD…

We have seeing the last five chapters of the Book of Daniel and today we will travel thru the last chapter of what is known as “the narrative chapters” in the Book of Daniel, chapter 6.

Before we could start with our chapter six I like to make reference to the “Chronological Order by Chapters of the Book of Daniel” Image in the Introduction of this Bible Study earlier in this Blog, in where you will noticed that chapter 9, chapters 11-12, and chapter 10 in that respective order are before the end of narrative chapter 6 of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 6:1 LITV

(1)  It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty satraps, that they might be over the kingdom.

In a brief review of the last chapter five, we left that chapter with the invasion of the Babylonian kingdom by the kingdom of the Medes, please read the below verse:

Dan 5:30-31 LITV

(30)  In that night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was killed.

(31)  And Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being a son of sixty two years.

The Medes was a kingdom that quickly grew over the area bounded on the west by Armenia and Assyria Proper, on the east by Persia, on the north by the Caspian provinces, and on the south by Susiana.  The country was elevated and mountainous.  It was believed they were descendent of Madai, who was a son of Japheth (Genesis 10: 2), and the Greeks maintained that their name was adopted from Medus son of Medea.  This kingdom did not last to long in history.  Also read Genesis 10: 1-2 and 2nd Kings 17: 6, read below:

Gen 10:1-2 LITV

(1)  And these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.

(2)  The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

2Ki 17:6 LITV

(6)  In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and removed Israel to Assyria, and made them live in Halah, and in Habor, by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

We can appreciate the view of their development as a kingdom on the map below, which was extracted from the graphics of the American Bible Society included on the software e-Sword which is accessible to anyone for a free download at www.e-sword.org.

Mede and Babylonian Kingdom (Double Click on this link until you see the file in a PDF Format)

During this period of history, when a kingdom was taking by another power, the kingdom that conquered the lesser one, took advantage of the other by possessing the kingdom’s conquered best warriors, arms, craftsmen, and well-educated individuals of such kingdom.  There is an exception to this rule of course and that was the Roman Empire.

In accordance with the “Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible” written by Stephen M. Miller, history and the Bible clash on this particular Persian king Darius the Medes, whose at the age of 62 took power over the Babylonian kingdom.  It is also believe that he, (Persian king Darius the Medes) reigned from 559-530 BCE and if that is right, it does fit with the legend on the image of the kingdoms included in this Bible Study that described the period of each of these kingdoms.  The term “Darius” was also used as a term declaring power and or authority.  At the end of all, I am a man of God and overall I trust more the Bible declaration of events over any other form of explanations. As the Bible say, be all men liars:

Psa_116:11  I said in my alarm, All men are liars.

Let’s continue with our Bible Study.

Dan 6:1-3 LITV

(1)  It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty satraps, that they might be over the kingdom.

(2)  And over them were three presidents (Daniel was one of them), so that these satraps might give account to them, and the king should have no loss.

(3)  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king was planning to set him over all the kingdom.

Darius the Mede, decided to make his life easier by dividing the responsibilities of the kingdom, and set the kingdom into hundred and twenty districts with each district having what was call a “Satrap”, this word is a Chaldee word:

H324

אחשׁדּרפּן

‘ăchashdarpan

akh-ash-dar-pan’

(Chaldee); corresponding to H323: – prince.

And above them three presidents which also this is a Chaldee term:

H5632

סרך

sârêk

saw-rake’

(Chaldee); of foreign origin; an emir: – president.

Something very important to expressed and that is that Darius the Mede as his antecessor to the throne in the Babylonian kingdom, put on Daniel all authority and trust.  This is a great example to any man or woman of God that if you are guided by the Holy Spirit of God and do what is right on the eyes of the Lord, you will be always in a position of trust and power.

Job_11:18  And you shall trust, because there is hope. Yea, you shall look about and you shall lie down in safety.

It is remarkable how the Word of God described how God with the Holy Spirit blessed Daniel

Dan 6:3 LITV

(3)  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king was planning to set him over all the kingdom.

By now I am sure you remember, during the Old Testament era there was not understanding of the Holy Spirit, even though the name of God was always used as a plural name and the Holy Spirit was mentioned but in series of manifestations, for a total of seven manifestations which completed the Holy Spirit in all, please read the following;

Isa 11:2 LITV

(2)  And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.

This by any mean did not took away the power and legitimacy of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person in God and even when now is so normal and common for us to understand, it was not so much for them during the Old Testament Era, but that is a different subject for a future Study.

Dan 6:4-5 LITV

(4)  Then the presidents and satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom. But they could find no occasion or fault because he was trustworthy. And no error or fault was found in him.

(5)  Then these men said, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the Law of his God.

As any place and or organization in where the human kind is involved, jealousy and envy comes to take part of human’s emotions.  Even when our lives are rightfully in the eyes of the Lord, we must not stop thinking that our battle is not with the flesh but as the Apostle Paul said:

Eph_6:12  because wrestling against flesh and blood is not to us, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenlies.

The other presidents and satraps were anxious to find in Daniel’s life some, for them to be capable to point their finger at and accuse him against such actions and behavior.  But they could find nothing to used against him (Daniel).  I just hope in the Lord we could also behave in such a way that nothing will and could be found to be accuse of as we go thru our daily path in life.  But as we all know, when there is nothing from where the enemy can get a grip of against our lives, then and only then, it does proceed to get our spiritual life in jeopardy with the hope on his part that we as believers either take our eyes away from the Lord or start to behave in an irrational non Christian like manner.

At that point the battle is not with you and neither against you but with the Lord of Host and the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Word of God tells us for those occasions the following:

Psa_18:39  And You have girded me with strength for the battle; You have bowed under me those rising against me.

Psa_24:8  Who is this King of Glory? Jehovah strong and mighty! Jehovah mighty in battle!

Psa_76:3  There He broke the fiery arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.

Psa_4:4  Tremble and do not sin. Speak within your own heart on your bed and be still. Selah.

This is very important for everyone to understand that even when Daniel was still praying three times a day looking thru the window of his room to the East which where it was the direction of the city of Jerusalem, as we will read later on this chapter, at that time there was not city nor Temple of Solomon, remember, the city and the temple were destroyed by the Babylonians during the siege.  But even when Daniel knowing very well so, his heart was still faithful to his roots and passionately devoted to God and His ways.

Dan 6:6-9 LITV

(6)  Then these presidents and satraps gathered together to the king and said this to him, King Darius, live forever.

(7)  All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects, and the satraps, the officials and the governors, have planned together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except from you, O king, he shall be thrown into the den of lions.

(8)  Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the document, so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not pass away.

(9)  All on account of this, King Darius signed the document and the decree.

The devil is always very clever in stepping into the lives of the ones that are the followers of the Lord.  No exception in this case, in where the person that made the request to the king failed to mentioned in verse 7 that the request for such decree was not made by all the presidents as he said, but instead by all except Daniel the man of God.

Daniel was not the only victim in this plot, but it is Darius as well.  The king Darius had being mislead by the people he trusted and put on a position of power on his behalf.  Throughout all my years as a minister of the Lord, I had heard many preaching about this particular Bible passage, but none have mentioned how the king must felt about how he was used as a puppet for the devil’s work.  There is a misunderstanding among many in regard to the man as a king, in this case Darius.  He though that the decision he was making was the right decision, specially when his right hand man, Daniel, want it also, and that is base on what the person who requested the decree to be made told him.  So the king Darius was in no way hesitant to proclaim such decree.  There is also a stronger element to this situation and that is that Darius was not well verse on Daniel’s traditions and spiritual believes.  Darius was guided in a way that the result of such decision was going to be in danger to Daniel in every way.  Any decree in accordance with the Persian Law, could not and will not be abolished by none or anyone.  However for the believer in Christ there is a promise from the Lord of support and overcoming all evil thru Him (The Lord that is), please read Roman 8:28-39:

Rom 8:28-39 LITV

(28)  But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;

(29)  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

(30)  But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

(31)  What then shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

(32)  Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up on behalf of us all, how will He not freely give all things to us with Him?

(33)  Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? God is the One justifying!

(34)  Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also is raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession on our behalf.

(35)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

(36)  Even as it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day; we are counted as sheep of slaughter.” Psa. 44:22

(37)  But in all these things we more than conquer through Him loving us.

(38)  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

(39)  nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

That is great for the follower under the Grace of The Lord, but what about for Daniel?  The New Testament was not around during Daniel’s time.  There were some writings available, such as the Torah, some other writings, but where to find them?  Remember Daniel had Isaiah’s writings and maybe others writing with him also.  What actually hold Daniel to be still and to understand that he was serving to the Only Living God?  His Faith?  His upbringing from the Jewish background?  His others three friends that we read in earlier chapters?  So what hold Daniel firm?  Will you be capable to be hold to that point in where you will submit yourself fully to the command of God?

The Psalmist said the following:

Psa_119:9  BETH: By what shall a young man purify his way? To keep it according to Your Word.

Are you thinking about such event and the way Daniel responded without any hesitation at all?  Are you in moments of difficulties right now and is there the word of God engraved in your heart to guide you?  Are you giving to the Lord the opportunity to guide you as only He can?

Enough of my questions… More for your meditations…

Dan 6:10-15 LITV

(10)  And when he had learned that the document was signed, Daniel went to his house. And his windows were open in his roof room toward Jerusalem. He knelt on his knees three times in the day, and prayed and praised before his God, as he did before.

(11)  Then these men met together and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God.

(12)  Then they came near and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree, saying, Have you not signed a decree that every man who shall ask of any god or man within thirty days, except of you, O king, that he shall be thrown into the lions’ den? The king answered and said, The thing is certain, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not pass away.

(13)  Then they answered and said before the king, Daniel, who is of the sons of the exile of Judah, has not set attention on you, O king, or the decree that you have signed, but he makes his prayer three times in the day.

(14)  Then the king, when he heard the word, was very displeased with himself, and he set his heart on Daniel, to deliver him. And he labored until the going of the sun to deliver him.

(15)  Then these men met before the king and said to the king, O king, know that the law of the Medes and Persians is that every decree or law which the king enacts may not be changed.

As I mentioned before, Daniel when he heard about the decree signed by the king, he went to present himself to the Lord in prayer and praises, with the windows open toward a city that was no longer existing and toward a temple that no longer was standing.  I must bring to your knowledge that one of the reasons why the Jews and the Jewish God, The Host of Hosts, The Only Living God, was so different to any other was because God was not a God of temples, nor of a particular shape, nor created by human kind or things of this universe.  God is God and He does not share His Glory.  That is Biblical, look for the following:

Psa 92:5-8 LITV

(5)  O Jehovah, Your purposes are very deep. How great are Your works!

(6)  An animal-like man does not know; a fool does not understand this.

(7)  When the wicked flourish like grass, and all the evildoers blossom, it is for them to be destroyed forever.

(8)  But You, O Jehovah, are exalted forever.

So knowing the Word of God is very important for us not to stumble.  We must know

We are the temples of the Lord, and wherever you are and will be, the Lord always will be there with you.  So open the window of your heart and praise and pray to the Living God in the moment of your affliction, and that thanks to the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

(If you like to read about the moment of the building of the Temple of Solomon, here is the scripture in where you will be able to find it:   1st Kings 8 – 2nd Chronicles 6).

Notice in verse 11 how they came together to see Daniel in prayer and supplication to God, not a coincidence by a long shot at all, they want to be able to testified against the man of God with witnesses to the king Darius, and forcing the king to take action on his own decree, Daniel was brought up in front of the king.

In verse 14 it is observed how the king Darius, lost his sleep thru the night trying to take Daniel out of such dilemma.  Once again I like to mention that Darius’ intention was not to put Daniel in such predicament.  Remember the king was told in verse 7 of this chapter 6 that Daniel was aware of such requested decree.  But now it is not on the hands of the man.  It did not matter how much the king wants to do, there was nothing he could do.

Dan 6:16 LITV

(16)  And the king commanded. And they brought Daniel, and they threw him into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you constantly serve will deliver you.

I like to point out the significance of verse 16, in where Darius the king, expressed his feelings to Daniel in regard to his discontent due to the others presidents and satraps misleading request.  Also observed how Darius expressed his confidence on Daniel’s God providence.  YAHWEH was not the king’s god, it was Daniel’s God, and so knowing how in the past God protected Daniel, he (the king Darius), responded to Daniel with a certainty of victory in his expression toward Daniel.  It was almost as if he (king Darius) was convicted.

Dan 6:17-20 LITV

(17)  And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den. And the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his nobles, that the affair may not change concerning Daniel.

(18)  Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and diversions were not brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.

(19)  Then the king rose up in the dawn, in the daylight, and hurried to the lions’ den.

(20)  And when he came to the den, he cried with a grieved voice to Daniel. The king spoke and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, your God whom you always serve, is He able to deliver you from the lions?

It is remarkable to see thru verses 17 thru 20 how the king Darius’ heart felt.  The man that he trusted the most is in the Lions’ den and he (king Darius), with all his mighty power could do nothing about it, but he did something that no one pay attention to, the king fast…  Maybe not be the same way as the fast that we as Christians are custom to, but he fast.  The king submitted himself to meditate as the long hours of the night pass thru, as the feeling of guilt came thru his heart, as the overpowering and long suffering of no sleep under the illusion of the “what if…”.

When the morning came he (king Darius) was there early calling Daniel but with a trembling heart.  Then a question emerge throughout the calling, “…O Daniel, servant of the living God, your God whom you always serve, is He able to deliver you from the lions?”.

Dan 6:21-23 LITV

(21)  Then Daniel said to the king, O king, live forever.

(22)  My God has sent His Angel, and He has shut the mouths of the lions. And they have not harmed me, because in His sight innocence was found in me. And also before you, O king, I have done no harm.

(23)  Then the king was exceedingly glad over him. And he commanded to bring up Daniel from the den. And Daniel was brought out of the den, and no harm was found on him, because he trusted in his God.

Verses 21 thru 23 are self explanatory, but I will like to add the way that the word Angel is spell under verse 22, and that is the spelling when it is referring to the Lord our Savior Jesus Christ in a form of the Holy Spirit.  We were able to see such expression on an early chapter of this Book when the three men were thrown to the furnace of the fury fire in chapter 3, read below:

Dan 3:28 LITV

(28)  Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His Angel and has delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s words, and have given their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God.

Also notice the expression used in verse 23 in chapter 6, “…And Daniel was brought out of the den, and no harm was found on him, because he trusted in his God.”.  The result of Daniel’s well being was not attributed to any other reason other than the provision of God toward his servant Daniel.  Once again the hand of the Lord moves in a mysterious ways.

Dan 6:24-27 LITV

(24)  And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel. And they threw them into the lions’ den, them, their sons and their wives. And the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones before they reached to the bottom of the den.

(25)  Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, the nations, and the languages who were living in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.

(26)  A decree was given from before me that in all the domain of my kingdom there shall be trembling and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God and endures forever, and His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed. And His rule shall be to the end.

(27)  He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in the heavens and in the earth, He who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

So as a result of the intervention of God in Daniel’s life, his accusers and all their house members were sent to the lions’ den.

More importantly it is expressed in verses 25 thru 27on how the king himself proclaim in a decree the power of the All Mighty God of Daniel throughout the kingdom.  In this verse we also observe how the Holy Spirit calls to the gentiles land the truth about the ruling and coming of the kingdom of God thru His Son Jesus our Savior in the Second Coming of the Lord.  Praise is His Name!  You must be ready to meet Him.  Are you ready?

Dan 6:28 LITV

(28)  And this Daniel was made to prosper in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

In verse 28 it is declare how Daniel prosper in the reign of Darius the Mede and on the take over of the kingdom by the king of Persia Cyrus, as it was seeing in the following:

Dan 2:39  And in your place shall arise another kingdom lower than yours,…

And will be seeing in the chapters to come.

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