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Daniel 6:19-24

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 6:19
  • Daniel 6:20
  • Daniel 6:21
  • Daniel 6:22
  • Daniel 6:23
  • Daniel 6:24

The new ruler of Babylon, Darius, appoints 120 satraps over the kingdom. Satraps were governors over provinces, and were in charge of collecting tax revenue. Daniel was made one of three commissioners who oversaw the satraps, ensuring that they did not hold back money from the king for themselves. Daniel was exceptional at this job, making enemies of the other members of the Persian bureaucracy. The satraps and commissioners conspired against him, but found there was no way to accuse Daniel of corruption. Thus, they created a legal trap to force Daniel to break the law, for they knew he was a devout follower of his God.

Through flattery, the satraps coax King Darius into signing a law that anyone who did not pray to the king himself for the next thirty days would be thrown into the lions’ den. Darius signed the law, which could not be changed, due to the strict bureaucratic structure of Medo-Persian governance.

Daniel, learning about the new law, immediately prays to God and praises Him. No law would keep him from his relationship with God. The satraps spy on Daniel at prayer, and inform the king he has violated the new law. Darius is upset. He favors Daniel, due to Daniel’s strong character and shrewd management of the satraps, preventing theft and fraud within the government. But Darius cannot undo his own law.

So, Daniel is taken to the lion’s den. Darius encourages Daniel, speculating that his God will save him from harm. The den is sealed. Darius spends all night awake, fasting, waiting.

In the morning the den is unsealed. Daniel is alive. He declares that God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths, so that no harm came to him, for he was innocent in God’s sight. Darius is overjoyed. He commands for Daniel to be taken out of the den, and the satrap conspirators (along with their families) are thrown into the den of lions.

Darius writes a decree to all the peoples and languages of his kingdom, declaring that they should fear the God of Daniel, who is a living God, who endures forever, who rescued Daniel from the lions.


God saves Daniel from the lions and Darius was very glad.

Despite the decree that Darius’ rulers tricked him into signing, Daniel continued with his custom of praying three times a day. The rulers accused Daniel before King Darius on the basis of the law he had just signed. Darius had no choice but to throw Daniel in the lion’s den. Full of regret, the king was very distraught and spent the night fasting and not sleeping.

The king could not wait to see if Daniel’s God had saved him from the lions. He arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” When Darius cast Daniel into the lion’s den, he expressed hope that Daniel’s God would save him. Now he has come to see the outcome.

Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” Although Daniel broke the decree the king had signed, he committed no crime before God. He chose to continue praying despite the law. In the New Testament, when Peter and the apostles are instructed not to preach Christ, they respond, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Despite God’s instruction to obey the governing authorities (Romans 13), there are certainly exceptions when the governing authority tries to make someone disobey God. Darius was tricked into signing the decree, not knowing it would implicate Daniel, Daniel also claims innocence towards the king.

Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. Daniel was saved because he believed that God would take care of him, he trusted him.

The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Daniel’s accusers designed their entire plan to trick Darius and kill Daniel. Instead, they meet their death in the way they have devised for Daniel.

19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. 20 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?”21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” 23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

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