I HAVE THE ANSWER
15 But then the conspirators were back: “Remember, O king, it’s the law of the Medes and Persians that the king’s decree can never be changed.”
16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”
17 A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.
18 The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.
19–20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”
21–22 “O king, live forever!” said Daniel. “My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I’ve been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I’ve done nothing to harm you.”
23 When the king heard these words, he was happy. He ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. When he was hauled up, there wasn’t a scratch on him. He had trusted his God.
24 Then the king commanded that the conspirators who had informed on Daniel be thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. Before they hit the floor, the lions had them in their jaws, tearing them to pieces.
c. Daniel’s deliverance (6:19–28)
19–23. Sunrise saw the king making his way anxiously (rather than in haste, though that is also implied) to the lion-pit. In his question he speaks of the living God of Daniel, who had probably used the name (cf. Deut. 5:26; Josh. 3:10; Jer. 10:10; etc.). The reply of Daniel proves that his God is indeed living, and has been able to deliver him. The implication that God is and that he rewards those who trust him is the most important discovery Darius could make. While Daniel claims that he has been spared because he was blameless (22), that is, innocent of the charge against him, the narrator claims it was because he had trusted in his God (23). Both are true. Daniel was taken up out of the den, much in the same way as Jeremiah (Jer. 38:11–13), and was found to be entirely unharmed. If we ask how this miracle could be (cf. Heb 11:33), a clue is found in the prophetic literature (Isa. 11:6; 65:25; Hos. 2:18) and in the intention at creation that man should have dominion over the beasts. ‘Part of the glory of the coming regeneration when the king comes back, will be that nature and the lower orders of creation will once again be subject to man redeemed and saved to sin no more.’ In the man of God the powers of the world to come have broken in, in anticipation of what will be when the king comes to reign.
24. Retribution fell on those who had falsely accused Daniel, and on their wives and families. This is recorded as a fact, without either approval or disapproval. The solidarity of the family when punishment was inflicted is attested in Persian times by Herodotus (3:119). Mass executions under the Nazis have proved the extent to which rulers will go in attempting to achieve their sadistic aims, and in this knowledge the tragic dénouement is less absurd than Montgomery thought. If the story is taken at its face-value, and not interpreted as the work of a second-century Jew, the action of the king is entirely understandable. He did not know the prophetic teaching that every man was to die for his own sin (Jer. 31:29, 30; Ezek. 18), but acted according to the accepted standards in Persian society (cf. the massacre in Esth. 9, demanded by the Jews but authorized by the Persian king Ahasuerus