Faith in Times of Trouble

International Sunday School Lesson February 18, 2024 Winter #12


Darius had setup a hierarchy of rulers over the kingdom. It was obvious to all that Daniel would soon be over everyone below Darius. The other rulers were jealous of Daniel. They conspired to trick Darius into creating a law that no one could pray to anyone or anything except Darius for a certain period of time. The penalty was being thrown to the lions. They knew that Daniel would continue to pray to his God regardless.

Who is Darius? There have been significant debate on he historical identity of Darius. I believe it was Cyaxares II. Not because of my non-existent study but because of the number of scholars I trust thinking Cyaxares and Darius are the same person. Young states, “The identification of Xenophon’s Cyaxares II with Daniel’s Darius the Mede is an idea that is neither novel nor of fringe status. It was advocated by Josephus in the first century AD35 and was favored by Jerome in the third century. Later scholars who held this opinion were John Calvin in the sixteenth century, James Ussher in the seventeenth, and Charles Rollin and William Lowth in the eighteenth.37 Nineteenth-century advocates included Adam Clarke, Thomas Hartwell Horne, Wilhelm Gesenius, Humphrey Prideaux, E. W. Hengstenberg, C. F. Keil in the Keil and Delitzsch commentary, and Otto Zöckler in Lange’s Commentary.”1

Daniel Prayed

Daniel 6:10-11 ESV When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. (11) Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.

Darius Destressed

Daniel 6:14 ESV Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him.

The Den of Lions

Daniel 6:16 ESV Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

Daniel Survives

Daniel 6:19-23 ESV Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. (20) As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” (21) Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! (22) My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” (23) Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Darius Decree

Daniel 6:26-27 ESV I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. (27) He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”

  1. Rodger C. Young, “Xenophon’s Cyaxares: Uncle Of Cyrus, Friend Of Daniel,” JETS 64:2 (June 2021) p. 265. ↩︎


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