1 It pleased Darius to appoint a hundred and twenty governors over the kingdom. They were to be located throughout the whole kingdom.
2 Three commissioners were placed over them. Daniel was one of the commissioners. These governors were to give account to them so that the king would not suffer loss.
3 Daniel was distinguished above the other commissioners and the governors because an excellent spirit mind was in him. Therefore the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
4 Then the commissioners and the governors sought to find a charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom. They could find no charge, nor error, nor fault, for he was faithful.
5 These men said: »We shall not find any charge against Daniel, unless we find it against him in the Law of his God.«
6 Then these commissioners and governors assembled before the king, and said: »King Darius, may you live for a very long time.«
7 »All the governors of the kingdom, the deputies and the governors, the counselors consulted together to establish a royal statute. They made a strong decree, that whoever prays to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the den of lions.
8 »Now, O king, establish the decree by signing the document. That it will not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be altered.
9 King Darius signed the document for the decree.«
10 Daniel knew that the decree was signed. He went into his house. His windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem. He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, like he did before.
11 These men assembled together. They found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.
12 They approached the king about his decree: »Did you sign a decree stating that every man that shall make petition to any god or man within thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the den of lions?« The king answered: »The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be altered.«
13 Then they said: »Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, does not show you respect, O king, nor the decree that you signed. He offers his prayer three times a day.«
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was very displeased with himself. He was determined that Daniel not be delivered to him; and he labored all day to rescue him.
15 Then these men assembled before the king and said: »Know, O king that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no decree or statute that the king establishes may be changed.«
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and threw him into the den of lions. The king spoke to Daniel: »Your God whom you serve will deliver you.«
17 A stone was placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.
18 The king went to his palace and did not eat. He refused musical entertainment and he could not sleep.
19 He arose very early in the morning, and went in haste to the den of lions.
20 He came near to the den and cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel: »O Daniel, servant of the living God, did the God you serve deliver you from the lion?«
21 Daniel said to the king: »O king, may you live for a very long time.«
22 « My God sent his angel, and shut the lions' mouths. They did not hurt me. I was found innocent before him. I have done no wrong before you, O king.«
23 The king was very happy. He commanded that they take Daniel out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he trusted in his God.
24 The king commanded that the men that accused Daniel and had him thrown into the den of lions be thrown into the den of lions. They cast them into the den of lions, their children, and their wives; and the lions killed them and broke their bones in pieces before they reached the bottom of the den.
25 Then king Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: »Peace is multiplied to you.
26 »I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble with respect before the God of Daniel. He is the living God, and steadfast forever! His kingdom will not be destroyed. His dominion will be even unto the end.
27 »He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, which has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.«
28 So Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.