Online Bible Commentary
The Faithful Will Prosper
Daniel 6:24 And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions--them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den. 25 Then King Darius wrote: To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (NKJV).
King Darius had been tricked into signing into law a decree that there could only be prayers to the king for thirty days. Certain officials who were envious of Daniel’s favor with the king lied to the king that Daniel supported the new law. Daniel continued to pray to God and thus his punishment for breaking the law was to be cast into the lions’ den.
Now, Daniel has just been released from the lions’ den after the angel of God has protected him throughout the night. The king is greatly relieved that Daniel has not been harmed by the lions. The king also realizes that he is guilty of believing the lie of the officials and not honoring Daniel and His all powerful God.
To atone for his actions against Daniel the king commands the lying officials be sentenced to the same punishment as was Daniel. As was the custom of the day, the families of the officials would also be punished in the same manner (v. 24a). Unlike Daniel, the officials and their families were immediately killed by the lions (v. 24b). Their gods were no match for Daniel’s God.
Having atoned for his actions against Daniel, the king then sets out to atone for his actions against Daniel’s God. He issues another decree, this one honoring the God of the Bible (v. 25a). The decree is written “to all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth” (v. 25b). The decree applies to “every dominion of my kingdom” (v. 26a). It directs that all subjects “must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel” (v. 26b).
However, the king stops short of full allegiance to God. He does not call upon the people to worship God as the only god. The king, and most of the people, still is polytheistic. He still believes in idols, many gods. The God of the Bible is just one of many gods in his eyes, even though he now believes that Daniel’s God is all powerful.
The king acknowledges the attributes of God. He acknowledges that God is a “living God”, and that His kingdom will last “forever” while being sovereign, all powerful, “to the end” (v. 26c). He acknowledges that God “delivers” his people from trouble and “rescues” them in the midst of trouble (v. 27a). He acknowledges that God “works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth”, citing as proof that He has “delivered Daniel from the power of the lions” (v. 27b).
So, “Daniel prospered” during the reign of the king (v. 28). An alternate reading of verse 28 is: “… in the reign of Darius, Cyrus the Persian.” It is believed by many scholars that Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian were the same person. Cyrus was part Median, having been birthed by Mandane, the daughter of Astyages. Cyrus defeated his grandfather, Astyages, who was the last king of the Medes to establish the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel went through the severest of trials, but prospered in the end. Our road with God is not always easy. There will be bumps, detours, potholes, and all kinds of problems on the road of God.
This is because we live in a fallen world, where sin is alive and well. Lies, like those told of Daniel, will plague us, along with all other forms of sin. God never promised us that the road would be easy. But He does promise that He will deliver us and rescue us from trouble. And in the end, those who remain faithful will prosper.