The Median-Persian Empire. Prophet Daniel in the Lion’s Den
King Darius came to love Daniel and made him one of the three main rulers in his kingdom; the King thought to set him over the whole realm. Other important persons envied Daniel and decided to kill him. They knew that three times a day Daniel prayed to God, opening the window toward Jerusalem. Therefore, they came to the King and asked him to establish a royal statute that within thirty days, whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man, save the King, should be cast into a den of lions. The King agreed. But the Prophet Daniel, as before, did not cease to pray to God every day and beg His mercy. His enemies reported this to the King. Then Darius understood that he had been deceived, but he was unable to change his order, and he was compelled to permit Daniel to be thrown to the lions.
The next day, early in the morning, the King hurried to the lions’ den and cried, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Is thy God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (Dan. 6:20).
Daniel answered him from the den, “O king! My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee O king, have I done no hurt” (Dan. 6:21-22).
The King then commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den, and they cast his accusers into the den of lions. Before they had even come to the bottom of the den, the lions seized them and broke all their bones in pieces.
Then King Darius wrote a decree. I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end (Dan. 6:26).
The Prophet Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. He made many predictions which were later fulfilled.
Daniel predicted the birth of Christ the Saviour precisely in seventy weeks of years, that is, in 490 years. He predicted also that Christ would be put to death, and after Him would follow the destruction of the Temple and city and the cessation of the Old Testament sacrifices (Dan. 9:23-27).
Note: See the Book of Daniel.
(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)