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Bible Commentaries
Daniel 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 6

Now it pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom ( Daniel 6:1 );

Now that the Persian, Medo-Persian Empire, has conquered over the Babylonian Empire, Darius who was co-reigning with Cyrus set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty princes.

And there were three presidents; of whom Daniel was the first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage ( Daniel 6:2 ).

So Daniel immediately moved into a position of extremely high authority within this Medo-Persian Empire, being made one of the three presidents and the head over them.

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 entire realm. But then the other presidents, the princes sought to find an occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no occasions nor faults; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We will not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God ( Daniel 6:3-5 ).

This guy is just too good. We're never going to be able to trip him up unless it be with the law of his God.

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All of the presidents of the kingdom, and the governors, and the princes, and the counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, except from you, O king, he shall be cast in the den of lions ( Daniel 6:6-7 ).

This, of course, would be... a guy would have to be stupid to make this kind of a proclamation. No one can ask anybody for anything for thirty days except me. Now they were, of course, playing up to his pride, and flattery, you know, "You're so great and all. The people need to know how great you are. So to demonstrate this let's make this proclamation. That throughout the entire kingdom, no one can pray to any god or ask anybody for anything except you so that they'll know how great you are and all."

Now, O king, establish the decree, sign the writing ( Daniel 6:8 ),

They have made this proclamation, brought it in to him, now sign it, seal it.

that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which alters not. Wherefore king Darius sign the writing and the decree ( Daniel 6:8-9 ).

Now notice that the decree once signed cannot be changed, even by Darius the king. It shows that his rule was not as strong as was Nebuchadnezzar's. Nebuchadnezzar could make any decree and change any decree. He could do anything; he had the complete control. Whom he would he, you know, saved alive; whom he would he killed. I mean, he just had absolute control. With this he was controlled by the decrees.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed ( Daniel 6:10 ),

I like this. Daniel knew that the king had signed the thing.

he went into his house; and, his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he was accustomed to do. And these men being assembled, found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God ( Daniel 6:10-11 ).

Now in the book of Second Chronicles, when Solomon had dedicated the temple that he had built unto the Lord, Solomon prayed a beautiful prayer at the dedication. And in a part of the prayer of Solomon, he said, "Oh Lord, if these people turn their back against Thee, and they begin to worship and serve other gods, and they be taken captive by their enemies, if they shall turn toward this place and pray unto Thee, then hear Thou from Thy holy place in heaven and answer their prayer and deliver them from their captivity." And we remember God responded to this prayer of Solomon by saying, "If My people which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and heal their nation" ( 2 Chronicles 7:14 ), and so forth. So that Daniel was taken captive. But even as Solomon prayed, "Lord, if they turn toward this place and pray," and so he was turning toward the holy place in the temple.

Now that is why the Jews today go to the Western Wall and pray facing the Western Wall. Because on the other side of the Western Wall somewhere the Holy of Holies once stood in Solomon's temple. And so they are praying toward that place. Solomon said, "This place that I built unto Thee, you know, the heavens of heavens can't contain You, much less this house that I have built. But O God, we pray that this will be the place where the people can meet You. And if they turn toward this place and pray and call upon Thee." And so Daniel was turning towards Jerusalem. And three times a day during this seventy years that Daniel was in a captive in Babylon, it was his custom to just turn towards this place and pray unto God for the people, for the nation. What a beautiful man Daniel must be. What a privilege it would be to go up and shake his hand. Get acquainted with this fellow. He's one of the top on my list of fellows that I want to meet when I get to heaven. I really admired Daniel. Courage of this man, knowing the king had signed it, he went, as was his custom, left his windows open. He didn't bother, you know, hide anything, prayed unto God.

And then they came near, and they spake to the king concerning the king's decree; Have you not signed the decree, that every man that asked a petition of any God or man within thirty days, except from 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 the Persians, which thus cannot be altered. Then answered they and said before the king, Daniel, which is of the children of captivity of Judah, does not regard you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but he makes his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was very displeased with himself, and he set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored until the going down of the sun. And then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and the Persians is, That no decree or statute which the king established may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. And now the king spake unto him and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you ( Daniel 6:12-16 ).

Imagine this Darius, the king of the Medes, comforting Daniel. "Now don't worry, Daniel. I've got to do this, you know. I was a fool. But the God that you serve, He will deliver you." He sounds like the three Hebrew children. "The God that we serve, He is able to deliver us from your burning fiery furnace. And He will deliver us from your hand, and if He doesn't we're still not going to bow."

So a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and the signet of his lords; the purpose it might not be changed concerning Daniel. And then the king went to his palace, and he passed the night in fasting: neither did they bring the instruments of music before him: and his sleep had gone from him. And then the king arose very early in the morning, and he went in haste to the den of lions. And he came to the den, and he cried with a lamentable voice ( Daniel 6:17-20 )

I like that; half hoping, wondering.

a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions? ( Daniel 6:20 )

Now the king had some faith or he'd had never gone out there. Crying unto Daniel, the question. He said to him the night before, "Don't worry, Daniel. Your God is able to deliver you." But he had a question in his mind. So he asked the question, "Is your God able?"

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent his angel, and he has shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, I have done no hurt. Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and he commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, their wives; the lions had mastery over them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever hit the bottom of the den. Then king Darius wrote unto all the people, nations, and languages, that dwell in the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 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 for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end ( Daniel 6:21-26 ).

What a proclamation for a pagan king.

He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in the earth, and who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian ( Daniel 6:27-28 ).

Darius was the king over the Medes, and Cyrus over the Persians. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Daniel 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/daniel-6.html. 2014.
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