top of page

Daniel 6

Read Daniel 6:1-9

  • What was Daniel known for?

  • Why do you think the administrators and satraps were so opposed to him?

They didn't tell us that at Sunday school...

Darius the Mede had only recently conquered Babylon and made the city and its territories (including Jerusalem and Judea) part of his Empire. In the ancient world, kings were often considered to be god-like; the representation of gods in human form, to be worshipped and sometimes even deified by their subjects. In this context, the strange scheme of the administrators and satraps is actually fairly reasonable - make Darius the one and only legal mediator between human beings and the gods for a month, to solidify his status as the undisputed ruler throughout his empire, and especially in his newly acquired territory.
  • How do you think the king would feel about this new law?

  • How do you think Daniel and his fellow-Jews in Babylon would have felt about it when they heard about it?

  • How would you respond if it suddenly became illegal for you to pray to or worship Jesus? How do you respond now if people laugh at you or criticise you for praying to or worshipping Jesus?

Read Daniel 6:10-18

  • What was Daniel's immediate response to learning of the new decree? What does this show us about him?

  • What do you imagine Daniel was thanking God for and asking God for help with?

Read Daniel 9:1-19 to see an example, in Daniel's own words, of a prayer from this period of his life (the first year of Darius). Some people actually interpret this chapter as being a record of the very prayer Daniel was praying when he was discovered by these enemies, and the subsequent vision of Gabriel taking place in the Lions' Den.
  • Why couldn't the king simply repeal the law he had made, when he realised what it meant for Daniel? (The author mentions this detail three times - in verses 8, 12 and 15). What would the political ramifications have been if he had repealed it at this moment?

  • What is the significance of the King's words in verse 16?

Read Daniel 6:19-28

  • Daniel was miraculously saved from the lions throughout the night. Why do you think God did this?

  • What was the overall effect of God's intervention in this moment? (Consider this from many angles: the effect on Daniel, on the Jewish people, on Darius, on the Persian Empire, on us as readers)

  • What would have happened if God had chosen not to save Daniel in this way?

  • What do you think Darius's decree (vv.26-27) shows about his heart? (read carefully to see what he doesn't say, as well as what he does!) [1]

What did you learn?

  • Daniel was famous for being blameless. How blameless is your conduct (in your personal life, or at work) - even when those around you are less-than-squeeky-clean... How do we maintain this kind of purity when it is so much easier to cut corners or go along with those around us?

  • Daniel was very devoted to God, setting aside 3 times per day for prayer. How devoted to God are you? Do you make time for prayer like Daniel did?

  • Daniel continued his habit of prayer without hesitating. How willing are you to suffer for what you believe in as a Christian? How would you respond if/when Christians are forced (or strongly encouraged) to compromise on expressing our devotion to God?

  • Daniel boldly gave God the credit for saving him. How boldly do you give God the credit when sharing good news with your friends and family?

[1] Dale Ralph Davis writes about the 'confessions' of foreign kings that reoccur in Daniel (see 2:47; 3:28-29; 4:34-37), and the possibility that they can be explained away as formulaic speech paying respect to Daniel's God as one god among their many:

We could, of course, regard these ‘confessions’ of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius with a jaded attitude, as royal formalities lacking much significance. But we daren’t do that. Even if they are not full-blown exclusive recognitions of Daniel’s God, they are clear pointers to the homage that earth’s politicians and even despots will offer at the last.

David G. Firth, Joshua, Bible Speaks Today, p.92


bottom of page