C V 1-3. Daniel's prosperity. W¹ X¹ 4-6. Conspiracy made. Y¹ 7-9. Decree obtained. W² X² 10-13. Conspiracy succeeds. Y² 14-17. Decree enforced. W³ X³ 18-24. Conspiracy fails. Y³ 25-27. Decree reversed. V 28. Daniels prosperity.
1 It pleased Darius (= the maintainer. He was Artaxerxes [the great king] of Neh. 2:1 and Ezra 6:14, and the Ahasuerus of Est. 1:1. These name are all used of one and the same person; and by comparison of the Median kings, according to Herodotus, compared with the genealogy of Cyrus in his Cuneiform Cylinder, the important fact comes clear that this man was Astyages; and the names Arsames = Cambyses, common to Herodotus, the Behistun Rock, and the Cylinder of Cyrus, all refer to one and the same person.) to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes (see Est:1:1; 8:9; 9:30), which should be over the whole kingdom;
2 And over these three ministers; of whom Daniel was first (he was a tax man. They were take care of taxation. while they were in captivity raised to this position. Documenting that if God is with you, if God has touched your countenance with wisdom and knowledge, you don't have to your own level in a community. God does it for you): that the princes might give accounts to them, and the king should have no damage.
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the ministers and princes, because an excellent spirit (referring to the affectionate regard in which Astyages held Daniel after many years of faithful service. Daniel had the Holy Spirit with him) was in him; and the king purpose to set him over the whole realm. (Daniel was 87 years old)
4 Then the ministers and princes sought to find pretext against Daniel concerning the kingdom (they were corrupt. Any time a foreigner is set up over ruling party, they will get antsy); but they could find none occasion nor fault; for as much as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then said these men, "We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God."
6 Then these ministers and princes came crowding together to the king, and said thus to him, "King Darius, live for ever. (This is the standard greeting.)
7 All the ministers of the kingdom, the deputies, and the princes, the counselors, and the pashas (see 3:2), have consulted together for the king to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree (taking advantage of his ego. Satan's #1 trick), that whosoever shall pray a prayer of any God or man for thirty days, save of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
8 Now, O king, establish the interdiction, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which changes not."
9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. (Its done, it can't be changed.)
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (not into a secret, or public place); and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem (remembering Solomon's prayer [1 Kings 8:47-50]), he knelt upon his knees three times a day, and prayed (He prayed towards Jerusalem), and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. (They had to do some pretty good climbing to take a peak in the window. He was on the 3rd floor)
12 Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king's decree; "Have you not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save 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 changes not.
13 Then answered they and said before the king, "That Daniel, which is of the sons of the captivity of Judah, regards not you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but prays a prayer three times a day."
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased concerning it, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he was exerting himself till the going down of the sun to deliver him. (The king could not find anyway out of it.)
15 Then these men came crowding together 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 established 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." (This shows you the faith of this man, who is the father of Cyrus. And it was God that named Cyrus. He had to believe in God or he would never have followed the the issue to name him Cyrus in the 1st place.)
17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the door of the den (to protect Danial. No assassins could meddle); and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his princes; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting (showing the long standing affection which Astyages had or Daniel): 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?" (See Rev. 9:8)
21 Then said Daniel to the king, "O king, live for ever. (The common greeting)
22 My God has sent His angel (as in 3:28. See Matt. 18:10), and has shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him purity was found in me honesty in heart, mind; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt."
23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and 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 had trusted his God. (This is important. No ifs, ands, or buts. Any doubt at all is disbelief.)
24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel (see v.12. Est. 7:10. Ps. 7:15-17), and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. (or pit. Their viciousness turned upon them. When you accuse an innocent person knowingly, its murder. You also cut off progeny. They what they called for, their progeny was cut off. This is God's business.)
25 Then king Darius wrote to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; "Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 I make a decision (implying the pleasure or approval with which it was made), 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 (He is honest and faithful), and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the paw of the lions." (It actually happened, and it lets you see what will happen to the world in the end times. See Rev. 13.)
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius (government changed, but Daniel remains), and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (The son of Darius the Mede. He is the young Darius, his father Astyages being the old Darius, "Darius" meaning "the Maintainer". Cp. Isa. 45:1)