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1 IT PLEASED DARIUS TO APPOINT SATRAPS over the kingdom, a hundred and twenty in number in charge of the whole kingdom,

Daniel in the lion pit. Dn.6.1-28
2 and over them three chief ministers, to whom the satraps should send reports so that the king's interests might not suffer; of these three, Daniel was one.

3 In the event Daniel outshone the other ministers and the satraps because of his ability, and the king had it in mind to appoint him over the whole kingdom.  
4 Then the chief ministers and the satraps began to look round for some pretext to attack Daniel's administration of the kingdom, but they failed to find any malpractice on his part; for he was faithful to his trust. Since they could discover no neglect of duty or malpractice,  
5 they said, 'There will be no charge to bring against this Daniel unless we find one in his religion.'  
6 These chief ministers and satraps watched for an opportunity to approach the king, and said to him, 'Long live King Darius!

7 All we, the ministers of the kingdom, prefects, satraps, courtiers, and viceroys, have taken counsel and agree that the king should issue a decree and bring an ordinance into force, that whoever within the next thirty days shall present a petition to any god or man other than the king shall be thrown into the lions' pit.  
8 Now, O king, issue the ordinance and have it put in writing, so that it may be unalterable, for the law of the Medes and Persians stands for ever.'  
9 Accordingly King Darius issued the ordinance in written form.  
10 When Daniel learnt that this decree had been issued, he went into his house. He had had windows made in his roof-chamber looking towards Jerusalem; and there he knelt down three times a day and offered prayers and praises to his God as his custom had always been.

11 His enemies watched for an opportunity to catch Daniel and found him at his prayers making supplication to his God.

12 Then they came into the king's presence and reminded him of the ordinance. 'Your majesty,' they said, 'have you not issued an ordinance that any person who, within the next thirty days, shall present a petition to any god or man other than your majesty shall be thrown into the lions' pit?' The king answered, 'Yes, it is fixed. The law of the Medes and Persians stands for ever.'  
13 So in the king's presence they said, 'Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, has ignored the ordinance issued by your majesty, and is making petition to his god three times a day.'  
14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed. He tried to think of a way to save Daniel, and continued his efforts till sunset;

15 then those same men watched for an opportunity to approach the king, and said to him, 'Your majesty must know that by the law of the Medes and Persians no ordinance or decree issued by the king may be altered.'  
16 So the king gave orders and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lions' pit; but he said to Daniel, 'Your own God, whom you serve continually, will save you.'

17 A stone was brought and put over the mouth of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet and with the signets of his nobles, so that no one might intervene to rescue Daniel.

18 The king went back to his palace and spent the night fasting; no woman was brought to him and sleep eluded him.

19 At dawn, as soon as it was light, he rose and went in fear and trembling to the pit.

20 When the king reached it, he called anxiously to Daniel, 'Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually been able to save you from the lions?'  
21 Then Daniel answered, 'Long live the king!  
22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths so that they have done me no injury, because in his judgement I was found innocent in his judgement ... innocent: or before him success was granted me, and moreover, O king, I had done you no injury.'  
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders that Daniel should be lifted out of the pit. So Daniel was lifted out and no trace of injury was found on him, because he had put his faith in his God.  
24 By order of the king Daniel's accusers were brought and thrown into the lions' pit with their wives and children, and before they reached the floor of the pit the lions were upon them and crunched them up, bones and all.  
25 Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: 'May your prosperity increase!

26 I have issued a decree that in all my royal domains men shall fear and reverence the God of Daniel;
    for he is the living God, the everlasting,
    whose kingly power shall not be weakened,
    whose sovereignty shall have no end—

27 a saviour, a deliverer, a worker of signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.'

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reigns of Darius and Cyrus the Persian.

    << | Dn:6 | >>  

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