Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 6

Outline and Background - Daniel 6

Advancement and Adversaries of Daniel - Daniel 6:1-9

Attitude of Daniel - Daniel 6:10

Accusation Against Daniel and Anxiety of Darius - Daniel 6:11-20

Assurance and Avenging of Darius - Daniel 6:21-24

Announcement of Darius and Achievement of Daniel - Daniel 6:25-28

Application and Typical Prophecies - Daniel 6

Accusation Against Daniel and Anxiety of Darius - Daniel 6:11-20

To no one’s surprise, the conspirators found Daniel praying to his God. To ensure the king would not renege on his decree, they asked him about it. Unaware that Daniel is the intended victim of their devious plot, Darius assured the conspirators that the laws of the Medes and Persians could not be repealed.

The trap had been sprung—the accusation against Daniel is made. Unquestionably, they had caused Darius to act foolishly—not a very wise thing to do to an Ancient Near Eastern monarch. Jealousy, envy and hatred always blur rational thinking.


When conspirators accused Daniel’s three friends of not bowing down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image, he grew intensely angry and threw the three Jews into the fiery furnace. Darius’ reaction is the exact opposite.

When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

One is wise to stand in awe of God and not make rash decrees or oaths. Under Medo-Persian law, Darius could not plead that it was a mistake and neither can anyone who makes vows and oaths to God (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7). All of Darius’ efforts had failed to change the outcome.

There is a spark of faith in Darius’ words. God will blow on the spark until it bursts into flames.

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

The Aramaic “may rescue you” is an imperfect passive intensive construction. Some translations follow the LXX’s interpretation, which reads, “he will deliver you.” Eugene Peterson’s rendering of this verse, in THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language, reflects the confidence of Darius in most translations.

The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions' den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.

Darius exhibits a greater degree of faith than Daniel’s three friends, who were saying, “It’s not a matter of whether God is able to deliver us, but rather, if He is willing to deliver us.”

Bound by His own decree and the law of the Medes and Persians, Darius was powerless to deliver Daniel from the lions’ den. Interestingly, God also was powerless to deliver His Son from the cross being bound by His own prophecies of the Messiah and the law of holiness and love which permeates His being.

In Psalm 22, David foretold what Christ thought and said on the Cross. Jesus saw His enemies as “roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me” (Psalms 22:13). Jesus felt like He had been thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel was thrown literally into the lions’ den and it was sealed but so were the mouths of the lions.

Daniel in the den of lions foreshadows Christ in the tomb. In his Pentecost message, Peter quoted what David said about Christ in Psalm 16:8-11. Through the psalmist, God had promised that His Holy One would not be abandoned to Sheol nor would His body see decay; He would be resurrected to life. Daniel much like Isaac, was as good as dead, but figuratively speaking, was received back from the dead (cf. Hebrews 11:17-19). Darius’ faith compares favorably with Abraham’s faith.

Darius spent a sleepless night on his bed alone with his thoughts. “Without eating” and “without any entertainment” might be a way of saying that the king was fasting and praying without any distractions. If his faith in the living God was not fanned into flames during the night, then he is one of the most foolish and ridiculous men who ever lived.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God,
whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Ironically, none of Christ’s disciples, at the first light of dawn on the third day, hurried to the tomb of Jesus and called out, “Are you alive!” Repeatedly, Jesus told them that He would rise the third day, but their faith did not measure up to Darius’ faith. Had they believed that God is able to rescue from the dead, they would have been there. If Darius lacked faith, he would never have called Daniel the “servant of the living God” and uttered his cry to the prophet. Obviously, the light of Daniel’s witness had led Darius to belief in the living God.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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