1 It pleased Darius, and so he appointed over the kingdom one hundred twenty governors, to be placed throughout his whole kingdom.
2 And over these, three leaders, of whom Daniel was one, so that the governors would be accountable to them and the king would have no trouble.
3 And so Daniel excelled above all the leaders and governors, because a greater spirit of God was in him.
4 Furthermore, the king considered setting him over the entire kingdom; whereupon the leaders and the governors sought to find a complaint against Daniel and in favor of the king. And they could find no case, or even suspicion, because he was faithful, and no fault or suspicion was found in him.
5 Therefore, these men said, “We will not find any complaint against this Daniel, unless it is against the law of his God.”
6 Then the leaders and governors took the king aside privately and spoke to him in this way: “King Darius, live forever.
7 All the leaders of your kingdom, the magistrates and governors, the senators and judges, have taken counsel that an imperial decree and edict should be published, so that all who ask any petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, will be cast into the den of lions.
8 Now, therefore, O king, confirm this judgment and write the decree, so that what is established by the Medes and Persians may not be altered, nor will any man be allowed to transgress it.”
9 And so king Darius set forth the decree and established it.
10 Now when Daniel learned of this, namely, that the law had been established, he entered his house, and, opening the windows in his upper room towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and he adored and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do previously.
11 Therefore, these men, inquiring diligently, discovered that Daniel was praying and making supplication to his God.
12 And they approached and spoke to the king about the edict. “O king, did you not decree that every man who makes a request to any of the gods or men for thirty days, except to yourself, O king, would be cast into the den of lions?” To which the king replied, saying, “The sentence is true, and according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, it is not lawful to violate it.”
13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, of the sons of the captivity of Judah, is not concerned about your law, nor about the decree that you have established, but three times a day he prays his supplication.”
14 Now when the king had heard these words, he was greatly grieved, and, on behalf of Daniel, he set his heart to free him, and he labored even until sunset to rescue him.
15 But these men, knowing the king, said to him, “You know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is that every decree which the king has established may not be altered.”
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. And the king said to Daniel, “Your God, whom you always serve, he himself will free you.”
17 And a stone was brought, and it was placed over the mouth of the den, which the king sealed with his own ring, and with the ring of his nobles, so that no one would act against Daniel.
18 And the king departed into his house, and he went to bed without eating, and food was not set before him, moreover, even sleep fled from him.
19 Then the king, getting himself up at first light, went quickly to the den of lions.
20 And coming near to the den, he cried out with a tearful voice to Daniel and spoke to him. “Daniel, servant of the living God, your God, whom you serve always, do you believe he has prevailed to free you from the lions?”
21 And Daniel, answering the king, said, “O king, live forever.
22 My God has sent his angel, and he has closed the mouths of the lions, and they have not harmed me, because before him justice has been found in me, and, even before you, O king, I have committed no offense.”
23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and he commanded that Daniel should be taken out of the den. And Daniel was taken out of the den, and no wound was found in him, because he believed in his God.
24 Moreover, by order of the king, those men were brought who had accused Daniel, and they were cast into the lions’ den, they, and their sons, and their wives, and they did not reach the bottom of the den before the lions seized them and crushed all their bones.
25 Then king Darius wrote to all peoples, tribes, and languages dwelling in all the land. “May peace be increased with you.
26 It is hereby established by my decree that, in all my empire and my kingdom, they shall begin to tremble and fear the God of Daniel. For he is the living and eternal God forever, and his kingdom will not be destroyed, and his power will last forever.
27 He is the liberator and the savior, performing signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has freed Daniel from the lions’ den.”
28 Thereafter, Daniel continued through the reign of Darius until the reign of Cyrus, the Persian.