1 IT PLEASED [King] Darius [successor to Belshazzar] to set over the kingdom 120 satraps who should be [in charge] throughout all the kingdom,
2 And over them three presidents–of whom Daniel was one–that these satraps might give account to them and that the king should have no loss or damage.
3 Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
4 Then the presidents and satraps sought to find occasion [to bring accusation] against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no occasion or fault, for he was faithful, nor was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion [to bring accusation] against this Daniel except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. [Acts 24:13-21; I Pet. 4:12-16.]
6 Then these presidents and satraps came [tumultuously] together to the king and said to him, King Darius, live forever!
7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counselors and the governors, have consulted and agreed that the king should establish a royal statute and make a firm decree that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be altered.
9 So King Darius signed the writing and the decree.
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 got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. [Ps. 5:7.]
11 Then these men came thronging [by agreement] and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
12 Then they came near and said before the king concerning his prohibitory decree, Have you not signed an edict that any man who shall make a petition to any god or man within thirty days, except 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king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed or repealed.
13 Then they said before the king, That Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, does not regard or pay any attention to you, O king, or to the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed [over what he had done] and set his mind on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored until the sun went down to rescue him.
15 Then these same men came thronging [by agreement] to the king and said, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed or repealed.
16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, May your God, Whom you are serving continually, deliver you! [Ps. 34:7, 19; 37:39, 40; 50:15.]
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 there might be no change of purpose concerning Daniel.
18 Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting, neither were instruments of music or dancing girls brought before him; and his sleep fled 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 and to Daniel, he cried out in a voice of anguish. The king said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, Whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions?
21 Then Daniel said to the king, O king, live forever!
22 My God has sent His angel and has shut the lions' mouths so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent and blameless before Him; and also before you, O king, [as you very well know] I have done no harm or wrong. [II Tim. 4:17.]
23 Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel should be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no hurt of any kind was found on him because he believed in (relied on, adhered to, and trusted in) his God.
24 And the king commanded, and those men who had accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions, they, their children, and their wives; and before they ever reached the bottom of the den, the lions had overpowered them and had broken their bones in pieces.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all peoples, nations, and languages [in his realm] that dwelt in all the earth: May peace be multiplied to you!
26 I make a decree that in all my royal dominion men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is the living God, enduring and steadfast forever, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed and His dominion shall be even to the end [of the world].
27 He is a Savior and Deliverer, and He works signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth–He Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this [man] Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.