The last section in the historic portion of the Book is in the reign of Darius. He reorganized the government and distributed the administration among twenty satraps, who, in turn, were responsible to three presidents. Of these Daniel was one, and he was so distinguished by an excellent spirit that Darius proposed to set him over the whole realm. This naturally stirred up jealousy among the other presidents and satraps, who cunningly planned Daniel's downfall.
Knowing that they would be unable to find anything against him save his relationship to his God, they induced the king to sign a decree that for a period of thirty days no one should ask a petition of God or man, save of the king. This was intended to flatter the king, and to bring Daniel into discredit with him, for his habit of prayer was evidently well known. Daniel's loyalty never swerved. He continued to observe the seasons and acts of worship as had been his custom.
Unable to escape from his own decree, the king was reluctantly compelled to commit Daniel to the den of lions. How high his esteem for Daniel was is evidenced by his spending a night of mourning and fasting. The supremacy of God over all the kings and councils of earth was manifest in the supernatural deliverance of His servant, which issued in a proclamation by Darius.
the Second Week after Epiphany