Daniel and the Lions' Den

Cartoon Of Man with a key and Bible The complete story is in the Old Testament of the Bible, Daniel Chapter 6

Cartoon Of Daniel The armies of the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, and King Darius, now a ruler of a vast empire, set up his headquarters in the city. Darius organized his empire well.

He chose one hundred and twenty governers to rule the many regions and put three supervisors over the governors, to make sure that they were loyal to the king.

One of these three was Daniel. The king soon found that Daniel was so much better than all the others that he planned to put him in complete charge.

The governors and other supervisors were determined that he should do no such thing. They were bitterly jealous of Daniel and decided to find some way of getting him into the king's bad books. But, however hard they tried, they could not catch Daniel doing anything wrong.

"We shall have to find something about his Jewish religion that will get him into trouble," they decided.

Although Daniel had lived in Babylon many years and had grown from a teenager to an old man, he had stayed loyal and true to God. Three times a day he went to his window and looked in the direction of Jerusalem, where the temple had stood. Then he knelt and prayed to the God who was with him, even though he was far from home.

At last the jealous officials came up with a scheme to get rid of Daniel.

"Your Majesty," they said to the king, "we have drawn up a new law for you to pass. It states that anyone who wants anything at all during the next month, must ask for it from you alone. He must not make his request to any other person or god. Please sign this law with the seal of the Medes and Persians, for everyone knows that such a law may never be changed or broken. Anyone who disobeys your law shall be thrown into the pit of lions."

Cartoon Of A Lion Darius did not realise that they were setting a trap for Daniel. He agreed, and signed the law with his own royal seal.

The governors and supervisors thought carefully when they drew up the law for the king to pass. They knew that Daniel prayed every day, asking God for all he needed. They would soon find him guilty. They knew, too, that the laws of the Medes and Persians were binding. The king would not go back on his word.

When Daniel heard about the new law, he guessed that they were plotting against him. But, he would not stop praying to God - or even pretend to stop. He would rather die.

He knelt by his open window, as usual, and prayed aloud to God.

When his enemies saw him, they rubbed their hands with glee. Daniel had fallen into their trap - and so had the king.

"Your Majesty," they said to Darius, "do you remember the law you passed? Daniel is breaking it three times a day." They could scarcely hide their satisfaction. "He makes requests to his God and defies your law."

Too late, Darius realised that he had been tricked into condemning his best and most-loved minister to death.

All that day he tried to think of some way of saving Daniel. By evening his officials were back.

Cartoon Of A Lion "Your Majesty knows that the law of the Medes and Persians cannot be broken," they reminded him.

The king knew that he was caught in their trap. Unwillingly, he gave the order for Daniel to be arrested and taken to the den where hungry lions were kept, to make short work of troublesome criminals. The King himself went with Daniel.

"You have been a loyal servant to your God, Daniel," he said. "I hope He keeps you safe."

Daniel was dropped down into the pit where the lean lions paced restlessly up and down in their enclosure. Then a large stone was put over the top.

The king returned to his palace with a heavy heart. He waved away the servants who ran forward to serve him.

"No food!" he said. "No music!"

Then he went to bed where all night he tossed and turned, unable to sleep. He knew that he had condemned to death a good and honest man who had served him well.

As soon as the first pale light of dawn crept in at the window of the royal bedroom, Darius sprang out of bed. He could bear the suspense no longer.

Summoning his servants, he was soon on his way to the lion den. The huge stone was removed and the king called down into the evil-smelling darkness.

"Daniel, servant of the Living God, was your God able to save you from the lions?"

With a thrill of relief, he heard Daniel's voice echo from within the pit.

"Your Majesty, God sent His Angel to close the lions' mouths, so that they would not hurt me. He did so because I am innocent and have done your Majesty no wrong."

Cartoon Of Daniel And A Lion Overjoyed, the king ordered impatiently, "Hurry, hurry! Get ropes and pull Daniel out!" They hauled Daniel up and looked at him hard.

There was not even a scratch to be seen.

Then the king's relief turned to anger against the men who had tricked him and tried to murder Daniel.

"Throw those wicked conspirators to the lions!" he commanded, and his orders were quickly obeyed.

This time the lions did not keep their mouths shut.

Cartoon Of Man with a key and Bible The complete story is in the Old Testament of the Bible, Daniel Chapter 6

This website designed by and all photographs are the © copyright of Bob Douglas unless otherwise stated.

Fairtrade support badge 9b PNG Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS! Validated by HTML Validator (based on Tidy)

[Top of page]
Transparent GIF