Daniel In the Lions’ Den

Historical problem: There is no “Darius the Mede” in extra-biblical record for another 17 years

‣      Cyrus the Great (ruled 550-530 BC, conquered Babylon in 539 BC – (Daniel 5:30)

‣      Next ruler: His son Cambyses

‣      Next ruler: Cambyses’ son, Darius 1 – took over empire in 522 BC

The answer: There as a ruler by the name of Darius (not Darius 1) who, though we have no record in other ancient texts, was empowered by Cyrus to rule the conquered kingdom of Babylon. This is in harmony with Cyrus’ policy, heretofore unpracticed by Eastern kings, of using the native ruling class of conquered kingdoms to govern the subjugated territories, as long as they remained subservient and loyal to him. Cyrus even returned deported peoples to their homeland. (2 Chr. 36:22, Ezra 5:13-6:14, as predicted in Isa. 44:28-45:13, 200 years before it happened!)

Other examples of Biblical records being at one time doubted by scholars, then confirmed by later discoveries:

  • City of Nineveh – referred to in Scripture, finally discovered and excavated
  • Hittite people – these people referred to extensively in Joshua and Judges, were doubted to exist by scholars until their cities were discovered and excavated in modern day Turkey. They were, as the Bible says, a major rival of Egypt for centuries.
  • Lysanias, Tetrarch of Abilene (Luke 3:1) Until recently the only person of this name was killed in 36  BC and could not therefore be the Lysanias of Luke. A recent discovery of an inscription dated between 14 and 29 AD found near Damascus confirmed Lysanias’s existence.


Remember the theme of Daniel: God is in control, do not fear!!

Daniel one of three primary rulers

120 provinces

Jealousy! Could find no ethical or practical charge against him

trustworthy/not negligent/honest

Our attitude about our work:

  • Col 3:23-24
  • Prov. 22:29
  • Eccl. 8:2-8
  • would you be motivated to serve this way- to a pagan king?
  • what is your reputation at your job?

they go to the king “as a group”

they appeal to his pride

they put him in a box – big mistake!

Three times a day, Daniel prayed before a window opened to the west, toward Jerusalem. How is your prayer life?

Daniel’s options: what were they? Why did he choose the alternative he did?

note: under laws of Medes and Persians, the ruler was beneath the law!

6:14 the King was “greatly distressed”

6:16 – May your God deliver you!

Sealed with the king’s seal

v.21 The angel came and shut the mouths of the lions. (3:28)

6:23 “Because he had trusted in his god” – 3:28 – Heb. 11:33

trust AND a willingness to sacrifice and suffer for God

God is in control, do not fear!!