Daniel is made chief of the presidents, 1-3. They, conspiring against him, obtain an idolatrous decree, 4-9. Daniel, accused of the breach thereof, is cast into the lions' den, 10-17. Daniel is saved, 18-23; his adversaries devoured, 24; and God magnified by a decree, 25-28.
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty princes who should be over the whole kingdom, 2 And over these three presidents, of whom Daniel was first, so that the princes might give accounts to them, and the king should have no loss. 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no occasion nor fault, because he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault 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."
6 Then these presidents and princes assembled to the king, and said thus to him: "King Darius, live forever. 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, the princes, the counselors, and the captains have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever asks a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians which does not alter." 9 Therefore, king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, prayed, and gave thanks before his God as he did before. 11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 Then they came near and spoke before the king concerning the king's decree, "Have you not signed a decree, that every man who asks a petition of any God or man within thirty days, except of you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians which does not alter." 13 Then they answered and said before the king, "That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, does not regard you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day."
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much displeased with himself and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him. And he labored until the setting of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men assembled to the king, and said to the king, "Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is that no decree nor statute which the king establishes may be changed."
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said to Daniel, "Your God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you." 17 And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting, neither were instruments of music brought before him. And his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel, and the king spoke and said to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever. 22 My God has sent his angel and has shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me, because before him innocence was found in me. And also before you, O king, I have done no hurt." 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad for him and commanded that they should take Daniel out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives—and the lions had the mastery of them and broke all their bones in pieces before they came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then king Darius wrote to all people, nations, and languages who dwell in all the earth: "May peace be multiplied to you.
26 "I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Daniel, Chapter 6[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter gives an account of Daniel’s being cast into the den of lions, 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 (Daniel 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 (Daniel 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 (Daniel 6:10-13); which the king labored to prevent, but in vain, and Daniel is cast to the lions, to the great grief of the king (Daniel 6:14-18); who visited the den the next morning, and to his great joy found Daniel alive (Daniel 6:19-23); upon which, by the law of retaliation, his accusers, their wives, and children were cast into it (Daniel 6:24); and an edict was published by the king commanding all in his dominions to fear and reverence the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:25-28).