Daniel 6

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1 It hath been good before Darius, and he hath established over the kingdom satraps -- a hundred and twenty -- that they may be throughout the whole kingdom,

2 and higher than they three presidents, of whom Daniel [is] first, that these satraps may give to them an account, and the king have no loss.

3 Then this Daniel hath been overseer over the presidents and satraps, because that an excellent spirit [is] in him, and the king hath thought to establish him over the whole kingdom.

4 Then the presidents and satraps have been seeking to find a cause of complaint against Daniel concerning the kingdom, and any cause of complaint and corruption they are not able to find, because that he [is] faithful, and any error and corruption have not been found in him.

5 Then these men are saying, `We do not find against this Daniel any cause of complaint, except we have found [it] against him in the law of his God.'

6 Then these presidents and satraps have assembled near the king, and thus they are saying to him: `O king Darius, to the ages live!

7 Taken counsel have all the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects, and the satraps, the counsellors, and the governors, to establish a royal statute, and to strengthen an interdict, that any who seeketh a petition from any god and man until thirty days, save of thee, O king, is cast into a den of lions.

8 Now, O king, thou dost establish the interdict, and sign the writing, that it is not to be changed, as a law of Media and Persia, that doth not pass away.'

9 Therefore king Darius hath signed the writing and interdict.

10 And Daniel, when he hath known that the writing is signed, hath gone up to his house, and the window being opened for him, in his upper chamber, over-against Jerusalem, three times in a day he is kneeling on his knees, and praying, and confessing before his God, because that he was doing [it] before this.

11 Then these men have assembled, and found Daniel praying and entreating grace before his God;

12 then they have come near, yea, they are saying before the king concerning the king's interdict: `Hast thou not signed an interdict, that any man who seeketh from any god and man until thirty days, save of thee, O king, is cast into a den of lions?' Answered hath the king, and said, `The thing [is] certain as a law of Media and Persia, that doth not pass away.'

13 Then they have answered, yea, they are saying before the king, that, `Daniel, who [is] of the sons of the Removed of Judah, hath not placed on thee, O king, [any] regard, nor on the interdict that thou hast signed, and three times in a day he is seeking his petition.'

14 Then the king, when he hath heard the matter, is greatly displeased at himself, and on Daniel he hath set the heart to deliver him, and till the going up of the sun he was arranging to deliver him.

15 Then these men have assembled near the king, and are saying to the king, `know, O king, that the law of Media and Persia [is]: That any interdict and statute that the king doth establish is not to be changed.'

16 Then the king hath said, and they have brought Daniel, and have cast [him] into a den of lions. The king hath answered and said to Daniel, `Thy God, whom thou art serving continually, Himself doth deliver thee.'

17 And a stone hath been brought and placed at the mouth of the den, and the king hath sealed it with his signet, and with the signet of his great men, that the purpose be not changed concerning Daniel.

18 Then hath the king gone to his palace, and he hath passed the night fasting, and dahavan have not been brought up before him, and his sleep hath fled [from] off him.

19 Then doth the king rise in the early morning, at the light, and in haste to the den of lions he hath gone;

20 and at his coming near to the den, to Daniel, with a grieved voice, he crieth. The king hath answered and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, thy God, whom thou art serving continually, is He able to deliver thee from the lions?'

21 Then Daniel hath spoken with the king: `O king, to the ages live:

22 my God hath sent His messenger, and hath shut the lions' mouths, and they have not injured me: because that before Him purity hath been found in me; and also before thee, O king, injury I have not done.'

23 Then was the king very glad for him, and he hath commanded Daniel to be taken up out of the den, and Daniel hath been taken up out of the den, and no injury hath been found in him, because he hath believed in his God.

24 And the king hath said, and they have brought those men who had accused Daniel, and to the den of lions they have cast them, they, their sons, and their wives; and they have not come to the lower part of the den till that the lions have power over them, and all their bones they have broken small.

25 Then Darius the king hath written to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who are dwelling in all the land: `Your peace be great!

26 From before me is made a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom they are trembling and fearing before the God of Daniel, for He [is] the living God, and abiding to the ages, and His kingdom that which [is] not destroyed, and His dominion [is] unto the end.

27 A deliverer, and rescuer, and doer of signs and wonders in the heavens and in earth [is] He who hath delivered Daniel from the paw of the lions.'

28 And this Daniel hath prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

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Daniel in the Lions' Den      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

Henry Ossawa Tanner (United States, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 1859 - 1937) 
Daniel in the Lions' Den, 1907-1918. Painting, Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 41 1/8 x 49 7/8 in.

Darius was the king of Babylon. This means that his correspondence falls into the same category as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Babylon, as we have seen many times, describes the love of ruling over other people from a love of self. Nebuchadnezzar represents the falsification of the Word and destruction of truth (AR 47) which draws its strength from an unbridled love of self. As his story unfolds, we see the impact of truth both on the love of self, bringing it into order, and the recognition of the Lord and His Word. In first four chapters, Nebuchadnezzar declines while Daniel ascends.

The final verse of chapter five tells us that Darius was sixty two years old when he came upon the throne of Babylon. Age in the Word always indicates state, and the number of years are the qualities of that particular state. So this age is an insight into the character of this new king.

As we saw in Chapter three, six represents a state of incompleteness, and has the same meaning as "two" (AC 900)—and for the same reason: it is one less than a number signifying completeness. Two comes before three as six comes before seven. Both "three" and "seven" represent completeness, for example, the Lord was in the tomb for three days, or the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The number seven is similar: after creation the Lord rested on the seventh day, and in the Ten Commandments we are instructed to obey that day and keep it holy. "Six" falls just short of this representation of perfection, and so illustrates a state of imperfection.

The picture of Darius begins to emerge as states laying the ground work of faith and goodness, as we put to rest the overt evil depicted by Belshazzar. Initially these states are weak, for they belong to our early regeneration. The root cause of the weakness should not be forgotten: Darius, by killing Belshazzar became the king of Babylon, thus representing our love of self.

But he is different from his predecessors: Nebuchadnezzar progressed in his understanding and appreciation of the Lord’s power, Belshazzar did not. Darius completes the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the chastised love of self. Selfishness is humbled in Darius: he places Daniel at the very head of his government, second only to himself. The implications of this accolade should not be lost: since selfishness is only subdued by the conscience, the conscience needs to become the prime motivator in our feelings, thoughts, and actions.

"Wise men" and "governors" are a theme in the first half of the book of Daniel. While usually failing, these are the first people kings seek advice from. They represent our habitual thoughts (the wise men) and loves (the governors) under our central selfishness. In this chapter, Darius divided his kingdom into one hundred and twenty provinces, each ruled by a "satrap" or governor.

In the internal sense, these officials represent the thoughts and affections springing from the central or ruling love. Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar before him, was a king of Babylon, and thus represents our love of self, but a love of self under control. So the satraps represent the affections springing from this love.

The number "one hundred and twenty" is another compound number describing the affections represented by the satraps. In a perfect square, like the number one hundred, the length and breadth are fully equal. Thus the quality of goodness and truth is the same. Ten represents states of remains, or states of goodness and truth implanted in the human mind by the Lord. Ten multiplied by ten doubles this meaning—fullness of remains (AC 1988 [2]).

For "one hundred and twenty" we must add the final twenty. Twenty is ten times two. As we saw earlier, two represents the state before completeness, the necessary turmoil to achieve that completeness (AC 900). Yet the number two also describes the state of conjunction, where goodness and truth are brought into harmony through the trials and temptations of life.

So the one-hundred twenty satraps symbolize the approaching states of regeneration, where the love of self has been somewhat purified of the profanation, represented by Belshazzar. They mark progress in human regeneration. The truths we learn, represented by Daniel, find fuller expression in daily life.

Darius’ reign is one of promise, which is developed even further: over these one hundred and twenty satraps, Darius appointed three "presidents," of whom Daniel was the first. Daniel would control the land, the satraps would report to him, and he would rule as the de facto ruler of Babylon. This is a long way from the captive boy led out of Jerusalem—it is a long way from the first stirrings of conscience, to the point where our lives are firmly under the guidance and control of the conscience. Daniel’s appointment to this post of authority is a clear promise of victory for truth in our minds, if we are willing to listen to its leading, allowing it to humble and judge us, as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar were humbled and judged.

The satraps, seeing Daniel’s exalted position, plotted against him. When they could find nothing personally wrong with him, they planned to use his devotion to the Lord to undermine him. This is the essential point of conflict between our conscience and our love of self. Even when the love of self has been subdued, it still retains a tendency to exalt itself. There is something in us which causes us to look back with fondness to the days before we were fighting selfishness, a memory that can be fleeting, yet powerful. It is in that moment when we are vulnerable to temptation. This kind of weakness allows the thoughts and attitudes from selfishness to reassert themselves. We fall back into our old ways.

In these circumstances, though it may not seem so at the time, we are setting ourselves over God—we convince ourselves that our needs, our wants, our desires are more important than anything else. In what might later seem like a moment of spiritual madness, we set aside our conscience and embrace a concept, and attitude, an action we know to be wrong. Like Darius, we have been seduced by pride.

In temptation, our loves give us comfort. If we love goodness, truth, and doing the right thing, then those loves cannot be undermined by temptation. Love forms the basis of our spiritual lives, and if it is good, then it offers us a tranquility of mind and strength of spirit to overcome the temptation. Thus Daniel’s home, where he fled in the face of Darius’ unreasonable demand, is an image of our loves.

If a house represents our loves, then the chambers in the house are the good things springing from those loves (AC 3900). We cannot divorce good thoughts, feelings, and activities from our loves, for love permeates throughout our whole being once we have been regenerated. In temptation we take solace in these, we have to remind ourselves of the progress we have made, that the Lord in His mercy has given us the ability to turn our backs on the pure selfishness which nearly destroys us.

So Daniel knelt facing Jerusalem, his home city, which represents the church in us: the ability to humble and submit ourselves to the Lord. To kneel is a sign of humility and adoration. It contains a recognition of the Lord’s power over our lives.

But it is easy for our selfishness to make ridiculous demands on us, things which would bind the conscience and make it ineffective, things which go against the grain of our concept of truth. Having laid this trap for our conscience, we begin the process of pointing out its non-compliance. How often we tell ourselves we should do this or that, even though we know it is wrong. When our conscience pricks us, and reminds us of the truth, we turn away.

It is so easy to see only the immediate and positive benefits to ourselves, just as Darius must have felt so pleased that no one would ask a favor of any man or god, other than himself. In a country with thousands of household gods, this would have been the epitome of power. How long did it last? How long does any evil last? Many evils give only momentary pleasures before the effects begin to make themselves felt. Adultery, murder, theft, hatred, and revenge only last as long as given vent. Then we have the damage to contend with: guilt, fear, loss of prestige or esteem, loss of love, loss of friends.

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den is one of the best known in the Word. On the surface it tells the story of courage, deliverance and the defeat of pride. In the internal sense it tells of the final battle between selfishness and conscience. Every detail has meaning.

In the Word the image of a lion is used in connection with the Lord. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who was able to open the sealed scroll in the book of Revelation. He is the lion who roars as He comes to fight for Mount Zion (Isaiah 31:4). Thus the Lord as a lion illustrates His great love for fighting against the evils which infest humanity, and preserving us from them.

In this case, the lions change meaning from beautiful strength to fight against evil and falsity from the Lord’s power, to the "desperate boldness" springing from intense self love. Since self love is bolstered and supported by false reasoning, the den was sealed with a great stone.

The night the king passed in despair represents obscurity, a vital part of temptation (AC 1787, 2694, 7166). Temptations are characterized by doubt about the Lord’s presence, and whether regeneration is actually possible (AC 2334). The doubt begins mildly, but increases in time.

Just as the weeping women found the Lord’s tomb empty, guarded by an angel, so Darius found Daniel alive and well in the midst of the lions. This is a resurrection of sorts, for Daniel should not have survived the ordeal, and would not have survived but for an angel who had shut the lions’ mouths.

All through temptations, the Lord is at our side. He protects our good loves, our conscience, our very desire for regeneration. Divine Providence is always striving to lead us out of temptation, into the fullness and joy of the Lord’s kingdom. This can only happen if we are willing to undergo the temptation. These never take place for their own sake, but for our spiritual development.

Once we have made our decision to submit to the Lord, like Darius in the night, He sets us free from the bondage of temptation. When Darius found Daniel safe, he commanded him brought out of the lions’ den. Then the satraps, who had conjured up and manipulated this near tragedy, were cast into the den. This action, cruel on the surface, reflects the casting away of our final selfish loves.

The aim of the conscience is to bring us to the recognition that God is king. This is a story of victory. We need to know the baser side of our lives, when selfishness runs rampant. Unless we know who we are, we cannot change. Knowledge gives the power to change. Knowledge from the Word forms a plane in our minds into which the Lord can flow. His presence makes a difference to the way we act and react, think and feel. The Daniel side of our character is the means of our salvation, and as the Lord protected the historic Daniel, so He protects and guards our spiritual conscience, making sure it is strong enough to challenge us on points of selfishness, and powerful enough a presence to lead us into the states of blessedness and peace which are His kingdom.


Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10412

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 177

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 2788

Apocalypse Revealed 717

True Christian Religion 292, 754

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

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 Close the Lion's Mouth
Color the lion, then fold to close its mouth as you retell the story.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Daniel and Lions
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel and the Lions’ Den
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel Delivered from the Lions
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel: God Is My Judge
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions' Den
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Daniel in the Lions' Den
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
We need to place our trust in the power of the Lord.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Diorama
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Retold
Story | All Ages

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Sequencing Activity
Cut the story strips for sequencing by one or more children
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Story Line
Make a story line reflecting your perspective on whether the events in this story are happy, sad, or “neutral.”
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14

 Daniel’s Protection
Bad things do happen and they happen to good people as well as bad, so the Divine protection does not mean immunity from bodily harm. But Divine protection is a very real thing.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel Worships the Lord
An illustrated story about Daniel's faithfulness to God and how he was protected in the lion's den.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Dramatize the Story of Daniel in the Lions' Den
Retell the story while the children act it out. Have the angel go to all of the lions to "shut" their mouths.
Activity | Ages up to 6

 False Teeth
Use this picture of a lion roaring, to write a true idea and then a false idea that wants to "tear" at our understanding of the truth.
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 In the Lions' Den
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jigsaw Puzzle: Daniel in the Lions' Den
Print and cut out the color pieces of a jigsaw puzzle showing an angel protecting Daniel from the lions.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 King Darius, Daniel, and Me
Explore how the Lord helped both King Darius and Daniel, and how he helps us.
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord Protects Us
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Lions’ Den
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14