1It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty local governors, who should be throughout the whole kingdom; 2and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one; that these local governors might give account to them, and that the king should suffer no loss. 3Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the local governors, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
4Then the presidents and the local governors sought to find occasion against Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find no occasion or fault, because he was faithful. There wasn’t any error or fault found in him. 5Then these men said, “We won’t find any occasion against this Daniel, unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
6Then these presidents and local governors assembled together to the king, and said this to him, “King Darius, live forever! 7All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the local governors, the counsellors and the governors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a strong decree, that whoever asks a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn’t alter.” 9Therefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room towards Jerusalem) and he knelt on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before. 11Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. 12Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree: “Haven’t you signed a decree that every man who makes a petition to any god or man within thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”
The king answered, “This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn’t alter.”
13Then they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, doesn’t respect you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” 14Then the king, when he heard these words, was very displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he laboured until the going down of the sun to rescue him.
15Then these men assembled together to the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no decree nor statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
16Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you.”
17A stone was brought, and laid on the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting. No musical instruments were brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.
19Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste to the den of lions. 20When he came near to the den to Daniel, he cried with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions?”
21Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; because as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”
23Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
24The king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions mauled them, and broke all their bones in pieces, before they came to the bottom of the den.
25Then king Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth:
“Peace be multiplied to you.
26“I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel;
“for he is the living God,
and steadfast forever.
His kingdom is that which will not be destroyed.
His dominion will be even to the end.
27He delivers and rescues.
He works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth,
who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
28So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.