1. Darius the Mede, at the age of sixty-two, took over the kingdom.

2. Darius appointed one hundred and twenty satraps throughout the whole kingdom. They were made accountable to three administrators, one of whom was Daniel. This was to ensure that no loss or harm should come to the king.

3. Because of the extraordinary spirit residing in him, Daniel excelled above all the other administrators and satraps, so that the king planned to give him authority over the entire kingdom.

4. This provoked envy among the administrators and satraps, who tried to find grounds for filing charges against Daniel as regard his performance of official duties. But he was so trustworthy that neither corruption nor negligence could be found in him.

5. Finally the men decided: "We will never find any grounds for charges against this man Daniel except in something that has to do with the law of his God."

6. These administrators and satraps, therefore, went as a group to the king and said to him, "Live forever, O King Darius!

7. The administrators of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors and governors are all agreed that the king should issue and enforce a decree that anyone who prays and makes petition to any god or man within the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den.

8. And now, O king, put the decree in writing and have it signed at once, so that it cannot be altered or annulled, in accordance with Medo-Persian laws.

9. King Darius put in writing and signed the prohibition, thus making it a law.

10. Daniel heard about the new law, but just as usual, he returned home and prayed three times a day, giving thanks to his God, in his room upstairs with the windows opened towards Jerusalem.

11. There the men spying on him found Daniel kneeling in prayer and asking God for help.

12. So they went to the king and reminded him about the prohibition, "O king, did you not publish a decree that anyone who prays or makes petition to any god or man except to you would be thrown into the lions' den?" The king answered, "Yes, and the decree stands, in accordance with Medo-Persian laws which cannot be altered or annulled."

13. Then they said, "But the Jewish exile Daniel pays no attention to you and to your decree. Three times a day he still prays to some god other than you."

14. Greatly aggrieved at what he heard, the king decided to help Daniel. He made every effort till sundown to save him.

15. But the men kept coming to him and insisting, "Remember, O king, that under the Medo-Persian laws every decree or prohibition issued by the king is irrevocable."

16. The king, therefore, could not help giving the order that Daniel be brought and thrown into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve faithfully, save you."

17. A stone was placed at the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with that of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might remain unchanged.

18. Then the king returned to his palace and spent a sleepless night, refusing food and entertainment.

19. Very early next morning, he rose and hurried to the lions' den.

20. As he came near he called in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, did your God whom you serve faithfully save you from the lions?"

21. Daniel answered, "Live forever, O king!

22. My God sent his angel who closed the lions' mouths so that they did not hurt me. God did that because I am innocent in his sight. Neither have I wronged you, O king."

23. The king felt very glad and ordered Daniel released from the lions' den. No wound was found on him for he had trusted in his God.

24. At the king's order, the men who had accused Daniel were thrown into the lions' den, together with their wives and children. No sooner had they reached the floor of the den than the lions lunged at them and tore them to pieces.

25. King Darius wrote to the nations, to peoples of every language, "Peace to you all!

26. I decree that throughout my kingdom people should reverence and fear the God of Daniel. "For he is the living God, and forever he endures; his kingdom will not be crushed, his dominion will never cease.

27. He rescues and he delivers; he performs signs and wonders both in heaven and on earth. And he came to Daniel's rescue saving him from the lions' tooth and claw."

28. Daniel greatly prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Livros sugeridos

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