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Sunday, October 14 2012

The Prophet Daniel: The Den Of Lions

Studies in this complete "The Prophet Daniel" series:
1. A Child Of The Exile 2. Nebuchadnezzar's Image 3. The Fiery Furnace 4. The Dream Of A Tree
5. The Hand Writing On The Wall 6. The Den Of Lions 7. The Four Great Beasts 8. The Ram and The He Goat
9. The Seventy Weeks 10. The Hiddekel Vision 11. Kings Of The North and South


Daniel was among the people of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) who were taken into captivity and exile in Babylon (see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile). By means of the prophecies that the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Who Is The LORD?) enabled Daniel to understand and explain (see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image, The Prophet Daniel: The Dream Of A Tree and The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall), he rose to a high position in the governments of the Babylonian kings. As prophesied, the Babylonian Empire fell to the Persian Empire (Persia is known today as Iran; see the Fact Finder question below). Daniel soon rose to eminence with the Persian kings also.

"6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 6:2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 6:3 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 whole realm. 6:4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 6:5 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." (Daniel 6:1-5 KJV)

The Persian Empire

As Daniel rose in influence with the king, the "presidents and princes" conspired against Daniel by having a decree that no one was the pray to anyone except Darius.

"6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, 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, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 6:8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 6:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree." (Daniel 6:6-9 KJV)

Daniel was not bothered by the decree: "when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, 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 did aforetime."

A Persian gold Daric coin

"6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, 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 did aforetime. 6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 6:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, 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 altereth not.

6:13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah [see also The Royal Eunuchs], regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

6:15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed." (Daniel 6:10-15 KJV)

Darius then realized that he had been manipulated. While still bound by his own decree, he also prayed, and had faith, even while Daniel was being put in with the lions, that "Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee."

"6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him." (Daniel 16:16-18 KJV)

The next morning, the king rushed to the den of lions and "cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel." Daniel's answer was not lamentable; he answered, "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths."

Daniel In The Lion's Den

"6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

6:23 Then was the king exceeding 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 believed in his God." (Daniel 6:19-23 KJV)

The king had then fulfilled the legal terms of his decree. He thereafter issued another decree - that those who had falsely accused Daniel would themselves then have done to them what they had tried to have done to Daniel. The LORD had protected Daniel, but the Satanic accusers ("Satan" literally means accuser) were killed by the lions.

"6:24 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, 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." (Daniel 6:24 KJV)

Darius then issued a proclamation to all of Persia "That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel" - something that Cyrus also did later, when he had the people of Judah return to Jerusalem.

"6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth;

Peace be multiplied unto you.

6:26 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 stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 6:27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian." (Daniel 6:25-28 KJV)

Fact Finder: As stated in the verse quoted above, "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian." What did Cyrus do that fulfilled the prophecy that the people of Judah would return to Jerusalem?
See Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist; see also Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah


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This Day In History, October 14

222: Pope Callixtus I was killed by a mob in Rome (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).

1066: The Battle of Hastings was fought on Senlac Hill, about seven miles from Hastings, England. The invading Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeated those of King Harold II of England.

1322: Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at Byland, north of York. The independence of Scotland followed.

1586: The trial of Mary Queen of Scots began for her attempts to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I.

1644: William Penn was born. The city of Philadelphia was planned, built and named by Penn while he was working as a land developer sent by King James. Ironically, Pennsylvania itself was named after Penn - a life-long loyal servant of the king (Penn was born and died in England) who was not involved in the rebellion of the colonies that Britain established in the wilderness.

1705: The English navy captured Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.

1806: Napoleon defeated the Prussians (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany) and Saxons (Saxony is also in Germany; the Anglos were a tribe of the Saxons) at the Battles of Jena and Auerstadt in Saxony. He completed his conquest of Prussia within 6 weeks.

1809: The Treaty of Vienna was signed. Austria ceded Trieste and Illyria to France, Galicia to Poland and Russia, and Inndistrict to Bavaria.

1848: Habsburg imperial forces led by Windischgratz retook Vienna from rebellious citizens who had caused the royal Habsburg family of Franz Joseph to flee the city; 2,000 of the rebels were killed.

1911: The revolution in China began which resulted in the abdication of the last emperor, 6 year old Henry Pu-Yi.

1912: Theodore Roosevelt became one of numerous U.S. Presidents who were shot by their fellow citizens when he was hit by a would-be assassin in Milwaukee. The bullet was stopped by Roosevelt's thick coat and a bundle of manuscript paper in his pocket.

1913: Britain's worst mining disaster occurred when an explosion in the Universal Colliery in Glamorgan, Wales, killed 439 coal miners.

1917: Mata Hari was executed as a spy.

1933: Germany announced that it would withdraw from the League of Nations and take no further part in the Geneva Disarmament Conference (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1939: At the beginning of the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Royal Navy battleship Royal Oak was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in Scapa Flow Bay in northern Scotland; over 800 British sailors were killed.

1944: Nazi field marshal Erwin Rommel (the victorious "Desert Fox" of north Africa before being defeated by British and Canadian forces) committed suicide at age 53 after it was discovered that he had been involved in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He had been given the choice of execution after his "trial" or suicide.

1944: British and Greek troops liberated Athens which had been in German possession since 1941.

1957: Queen Elizabeth II became the first Canadian Monarch to personally open a session of the Canadian Parliament, presenting her Speech from the Throne in Ottawa.

1964: Leonid Brezhnev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1979: The first "Gay Rights" march was held, by 200,000 U.S. "lesbian and gay people" in Washington, D.C.

1981: Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak was elected President of Egypt, a week after the assassination of the President Anwar Sadat.

1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.





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