The deal is sealed! The appointed King of Babylon, King Darius, has followed his decree and the rules of the Medes and Persians. The pit or den of Lions was sealed with Daniel in it. It is a bit of encouragement to Darius, one might conclude, that Daniel is in with the lions, a stone is brought to seal it, and Daniel is still alive. This is in a huge contrast to what happened the next day with those that deceived Darius.
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 the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
There are few mental traumas worse than remorse, for there is nothing that can be done to change the circumstances – unless of course one knows the one true God who, being outside of time, entered into His creation at a specific point in history and paid once and for all for every wrong thing we have ever done, said or thought thus wiping the slate clean. Here is no need or gain to keep reminding one’s self of his or her transgression.
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2)
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
It is a curiosity of how long a pause Daniel may have left before answering?! How anxious Darius must have been waiting for the other shoe to drop or the climax of anxiety at the steepest part of the roller coaster.
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocence was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
How incredible it must have been for Daniel to have spent a night in safety knowing that God had sent His angel and that the loins couldn’t harm him.
How incredible also for us to know that our adversary, who roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, cannot harm us because we too are protected by the angel of the Lord (Hebrews 1:14 and 13:5). Was it the same for the three in the furnace? Throughout the Old Testament the Angel of the Lord is no mere angel but the commander of the armies of the Lord – i.e. possibly Jesus Christ himself although he is not an angel, but part God.
Why would or might Jesus be identified as “the angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament? Simple! He had not yet taken on an earthly body to go to the cross in bodily form; half human and half God head. He was not yet the Christ Messiah. He had a role and it may be that of “the angel of the Lord God.”
Jesus said in Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
There is someone else who was faultless yet betrayed, handed over to death, went down into a pit, a stone was rolled into place and sealed to stop someone from taking him out, yet He was taken ‘up out of the den and *no manner of hurt was found upon Him, because He believed in His God’ * Except for the nail prints in His hands & feet, which will serve as an eternal reminder of His love and sacrifice for you and I.
And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at [to] the bottom of the den.
We should not be envious of the workers of iniquity for their day is coming. David wrote: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb…… fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
This is exactly what happened to the wicked ones who plotted against Daniel; their ‘sword’ did indeed enter their own heart.
Regarding this verse, Robert Wilson says the following:
“The possibility of the destruction of the one hundred and twenty satraps and their families by lions is shown from the fact that the monuments of the kings of Assyria say that they had menageries containing “all the animals of the mountains and of the plains,” including elephants, panthers, and lions. Further, it is shown that lions at that time were the pest of the Euphrates Valley, hundreds of them being killed in a single hunting expedition, and that in one case mentioned by Ashurnasirapal, king of Assyria, fifty young lions were captured alive and shut up by him in the city of *Calach.” (Robert D Wilson – Studies In Daniel) Once again, the Bible is not a collection of quaint stories; it really is His-story. So why do we continue to say “the Bible stories?”
Historical JIV NOTE: Another name for Calach, sometimes spelled Kalhu is the ancient City of Nimrud (Nimrod), a son of Ham who was a son of Noah on the Ark.
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
So just as with Nebuchadnezzar, Darius now acknowledges and gives glory to the God of Daniel, who is steadfast and whose kingdom is without end! This may have also been a JIT…just in time event. He did not reign in Babylon for very long. Recall that he was 62 years old when appointed king over the realm of Babylon by King Cyrus of Persia.
So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
JIV NOTE: Darius was a Mede and Cyrus was Persian; i.e. Medo-Persians. The Persians of then are the Iranians of today. They are NOT Arabs. What changed their attitude about the Jews since it was their ancestors who set them free from 70 years of Babylonia captivity?
Just as Joseph had prospered because he trusted his God regardless of the circumstances, so Daniel did prosper. Both also paid a price for that commitment. Jesus said in Luke 16:11“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” He also told us to be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves (Matt 10:16). Paul tells us that Christians should work even harder for their employers than the world does because we should work as unto the Lord (see 1Tim 6:1; 2 Tim 4:9-10; Titus 2:7-10)
And so ends the first (historical) section of the book. Chapters 7-12 will see Daniel having breathtaking visions that foretell the future of the Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman and final world empire influence on the Jews and Israel proper. We will be introduced to the ‘little horn’ speaking great things, and we will see some of the most incredible prophecies in the Bible that help to unravel the days that we are living in right now and prove beyond doubt that Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Israel who is destined to return and rule on the throne of David and establish an everlasting kingdom.