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.