6:1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps [governors (Persian officials) who ruled territories known as satrapies] to rule throughout the kingdom,
6:2 with three administrators [heads or chiefs] over them, one of whom was Daniel [now 80 years old]. The satraps were made accountable to them [to the administrators] so that the king might not suffer loss [to be defrauded; to suffer financial damage].
6:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him [to be the chief administrator] over the whole kingdom [second in power only to Darius; this appointment demonstrated the king’s high level of trust in Daniel; cf. Joseph (Gen. 41:39-40)].
6:4 At this, the administrators and the satraps [these officials had a negative reaction to the king’s plan to appoint Daniel to such a high position; likely were jealous of Daniel’s rise to power] tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel [a foreigner and not a Persian] in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy [Daniel was honest in character] and neither corrupt nor negligent [attentive to performance of his duties].
6:5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges [in regards to matters of his administration] against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6:6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever [this was a customary greeting; cf. Dan. 6:21]!
6:7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all [indicates they had arrived at a joint decision] agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days [they felt this was sufficient opportunity to trap Daniel], except to you [real intent of edict was not to exalt Darius but to entrap Daniel], O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.
6:8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed [cf. Esth. 3:12-13; 8:11-12 where King Ahasuerus could not change decree but could issue a supplemental decree].“
6:9 So King Darius put the decree in writing [this decree would put Daniel’s faith in God in direct opposition to King Darius].
6:10 Now when Daniel learned [indicates Daniel had not been present during signing of the decree] that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened [open windows indicate that Daniel was not trying to conceal, his actions] toward Jerusalem [the place where temple had stood until it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s armies]. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before [emphasizes Daniel’s consistent habit of devotion to God].
6:11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
6:12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
6:13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”
6:14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed [because Daniel had proved himself to be a trusted advisor and excellent administrator]; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
6:15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, “Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
6:16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den [cf. 1 Pet. 2:20]. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue [something that Darius could not do for Daniel] you!”
6:17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles [an official act that signified no one had the right to rescue or release Daniel from the lion’s den], so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.
6:18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
6:19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.
6:20 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?”
6:21 Daniel [instead of the lions] answered, “O king, live forever [emphasized Daniel’s continued loyalty to the king, in spite of his foolish decree]!
6:22 [Daniel’s personal testimony of divine deliverance and vindication…] My God [has power to intervene in desperate situations] sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me [note: God does not deliver every faithful person from harm or death (cf. Heb. 11:35b-40)], because I was found innocent in his sight [Daniel’s accusers had judged him guilty, but God found him innocent]. Nor have I ever done any wrong [just as lions had not hurt Daniel, Daniel had not hurt the king] before you, O king.”
6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
6:24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children [the king, and not Daniel, retaliated against those who had maliciously accused Daniel]. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
6:25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land: “May you prosper greatly!
6:26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.
6:27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
6:28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.