Some men are not happy because Daniel is very important
1 Darius decided to make 120 men rulers. Together, they would rule the whole kingdom. 2 He also made 3 other men officers. He made them more important than the rulers. The 3 men would watch over the work of the rulers. Then the king would know that they were working well. Daniel was one of these 3 officers. 3 Then Daniel did his work much better than the other officers and rulers. He was very good at his job. So the king wanted to make him ruler over the whole kingdom. 4 The other officers and rulers watched how Daniel worked for the king. They wanted to show that he was doing something wrong. But they could not find that he did any wrong thing. That was because Daniel was good and honest. He always did everything properly. 5 Then these men said to each other, ‘We cannot find anything that Daniel does wrong. We can beat him only with something from the laws of his God.’
6:5Verses 1-5 This happened when Darius was king. Daniel was an old man then but he was still serving the king.
The men decide that they will make the king angry with Daniel
6 So these officers and rulers went together to the king. ‘King Darius, we want you to live for all time’, they said.
7 ‘All the officers in the kingdom have agreed. They include all the rulers and the officers called deputies, advisers and governors. They think that the king should make a law. For 30 days, the people must pray only to you, the king. If they pray to any other man or god, then your servants must throw them into the deep hole where your lions live. 8 Now, you, the king, should make the law and sign it. Then it will be a law of the Medes and the Persians, and nobody could change it.’
9 So King Darius wrote the law and he signed it.
6:9After the king made a law, nobody could change it. That was the law of the Medes and Persians.
Daniel refuses to obey the king's new rule
10 Daniel heard that the king had signed the law. Then he went home. He went upstairs to his room where the windows opened in the direction of Jerusalem. He went on his knees and he prayed to God. He also thanked God. He did that three times every day. This is what he had always done. 11 Then those officers and rulers met together to see what Daniel would do. They saw that Daniel was praying to God. And he was asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king. They spoke to him about the law that he had made. ‘Do you remember that you signed a law?’ they said to the king. ‘For 30 days, nobody must pray to any god or man, except to you, the king. If they do pray to someone else, your servants must throw them into the deep hole where your lions live.’ The king answered them. ‘It is true. It is a law of the Medes and the Persians and nobody can change it.’
13 Then those officers and rulers said to the king, ‘That Daniel, whom Nebuchadnezzar brought from Judah, does not obey you. He does not obey the law that you signed. He still prays three times every day to his God.’
14 When the king heard this, he was very sad. He tried to think of a way to save Daniel. Until evening, the king tried every way to save Daniel. 15 Then those officers and rulers came back to the king.
‘Remember that nobody can change a law that the king has made. That is a law of the Medes and the Persians’, they said to him.
Daniel in the lions' hole
16 Then the king sent his servants to get Daniel. So they threw him into the deep hole where the lions lived. And the king spoke to Daniel. ‘You obey your God's rules and you are his good servant. He will save you’, he said. 17 Then they brought a stone. And they put it over the top of the lions' hole. The king put a mark on the stone with his ring of authority. He also marked it with the rings of his important men. This meant that nobody could move that stone. Nobody could save Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his own house. He ate no food. And nobody brought to him anything that he could enjoy. And he was unable to sleep.
God has shut the lions' mouths
19 The king got up very early in the morning. He hurried to the deep hole where the lions were. 20 When he got near to it, he shouted aloud. His voice showed that he was afraid. ‘Daniel, you are a good servant of the living God. Was your God able to save you from the lions?’ he said. 21 Then Daniel said to the king, ‘I want you, the king, to live for all time. 22 My God sent his angel, who shut the lions' mouths. So the lions have not hurt me. God knows that I have done no wrong thing. I have not done anything to hurt you, the king, either.’ 23 The king was very happy when he heard Daniel's voice. He told his servants that they must lift Daniel out of the lions' hole. So they pulled him out and they looked at him. They saw that the lions had not hurt him. Daniel had believed that his God could save him. That is why the lions had not hurt him.
King Darius punishes the bad men and he writes a letter about God
24 Then the king spoke to his servants. So the servants brought the men who had said very bad things about Daniel. They threw those men and their wives and children into the deep hole where the lions were. Before they reached the floor of the hole, the lions attacked them. The lions broke all their bones when they killed them.
25 After that, King Darius wrote to all the people that he ruled. He wrote to every country that he ruled. They spoke many other languages. ‘I pray that you all will have good and happy lives.
26 I have made a law. In every part of my kingdom, the people must give honour to Daniel's God. And they must be afraid of him.
He is the living God
and he will live always.
Nobody will ever destroy his kingdom.
It will never end.
27 He saves people. He keeps them safe.
He does great things in heaven and on earth.
He has saved Daniel from the lions' power.’
28 So Daniel was a powerful ruler while Darius was king. And he continued to be a powerful officer, when Cyrus from Persia became king.
6:28Persia was the country that we call Iran today.