40. The Median-Persian Empire. Prophet Daniel in the Lionís Den.
King Darius came to love Daniel and made him one of the
three main rulers in his kingdom; the King thought to set him over the whole
realm. Other important persons envied Daniel and decided to kill him. They knew
that three times a day Daniel prayed to God, opening the window toward Jerusalem. Therefore, they came to the King and asked him to
establish a royal statute that within thirty days, whosoever shall ask a
petition of any god or man, save the King, should be cast into a den of lions.
The King agreed. But the Prophet Daniel, as before, did not cease to pray to
God every day and beg His mercy. His enemies reported this to the King. Then
Darius understood that he had been deceived, but he was unable to change his
order, and he was compelled to permit Daniel to be thrown to the lions.
The next day, early in the morning, the King
hurried to the lionsí den and cried, "Daniel, servant of the living
God! Is thy God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver thee from the
lions?" (Dan. 6:20).
Daniel answered him from the den, "O king!
My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lionsí mouths, forasmuch as
before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee O king, have I done
no hurt" (Dan. 6:21-22).
The King then commanded that they should take
Daniel up out of the den, and they cast his accusers into the den of lions.
Before they had even come to the bottom of the den, the lions seized them and
broke all their bones in pieces.
Then King Darius wrote a decree. 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 steadfast forever, and His kingdom that
which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end (Dan.
The Prophet Daniel prospered in the reign of
Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. He made many predictions which
were later fulfilled.
Daniel predicted the birth of Christ the Saviour
precisely in seventy weeks of years, that is, in 490 years. He predicted
also that Christ would be put to death, and after Him would follow the
destruction of the Temple and city and the cessation of the Old Testament sacrifices