Daniel And The Lion Of Babylon -- By: William Shea

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 04:3 (Summer 1991)
Article: Daniel And The Lion Of Babylon
Author: William Shea

Daniel And The Lion Of Babylon

William H. Sheaa

After the Persians conquered Babylon, they proceeded to reorganize the civil service in order to bring the newly-acquired kingdom under the administration of the Persian empire. Darius the Mede, the local ruler in Babylon, appointed 120 governors and three “presidents” over them, one of whom was Daniel (Dan 6:1–2). This did not sit well with the other officials so they set about to have Daniel removed from office. Since they were unable to accuse him of incompetence, they engineered his downfall through another avenue, a religious test which they knew Daniel would fail because of his strong commitment to the God of the Hebrews.

The antagonistic bureaucrats instigated legislation which provided that prayers were to be offered only to Darius for a period of 30 days. Knowing full well that Daniel prayed faithfully to his God three times a day, they were sure that Daniel would be convicted under this new law. Darius, not seeing the trap, acquiesced and decreed that the law should go into effect. Daniel continued to pray in his customary way and evidence for this violation was taken to Darius. Trapped by the force of his own legislation, Darius reluctantly had Daniel sent to the lions. Because Daniel had become such a favorite, Darius spent a sleepless night fasting for him. When morning broke he rushed to the site to learn of Daniel’s fate.

In a dramatic exchange at the edge of the den, the king shouted, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, who you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the

lions?” From his disadvantaged position Daniel called back, “O king, live for ever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before Him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” With great joy Darius commanded that Daniel be brought up out of the lions’ den. Darius found that Daniel was completely unharmed by the experience. Impressed by this deliverance, Darius made another decree, this time ordering that all of his royal dominion should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel for,

He delivers and rescues, He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions (Dan 6:27).

Darius The Mede

The historicity of this episode has been questioned. One of the reasons is because of the king involved — Darius the Mede. Secular historical records have not preserved this name as a ruler of Baby...

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