Daniel 6; Daniel 9; 2 Chronicles 36:22–23; Ezra 1; 1 Chronicles 3:17–19

Daniel and the Lions' Den

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom q120 rsatraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them sthree high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these rsatraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became tdistinguished above all sthe other high officials and rsatraps, because uan excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned vto set him over the whole kingdom. Then sthe high officials and rthe satraps wsought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, xbut they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, xand no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.

Then these shigh officials and rsatraps came by agreement1 to the king and said to him, O yKing Darius, live forever! All the shigh officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the zcounselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an ainjunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish athe injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to bthe law of cthe Medes and the Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. Therefore King Darius signed the document and ainjunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where ehe had windows in his upper chamber open ftoward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees gthree times a day and prayed and hgave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they icame near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, O king! Did you not sign jan injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing stands fast, according to the law of cthe Medes and Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. 13 Then they answered and said before the king, kDaniel, who is one lof the exiles kfrom Judah, mpays no attention to you, O king, or jthe injunction you have signed, but makes his petition gthree times a day.

14 Then nthe king, when he heard these words, nwas much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no jinjunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared2 to Daniel, May oyour God, whom you serve continually, deliver you! 17 pAnd a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, qand the king sealed it rwith his own signet and with the signet of his slords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; tno diversions were brought to him, and usleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of vthe living God, ohas your God, whom you serve continually, wbeen able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Then Daniel said to the king, xO king, live forever! 22 My God ysent his angel zand shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless abefore him; aand also before you, O king, I have done no harm. 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and bno kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and cthose men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lionsthey, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all dthe peoples, nations, and languages ethat dwell in all the earth: fPeace be multiplied to you. 26 gI make a decree, that in all my royal dominion hpeople are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for ihe is jthe living God,

enduring forever;

his kingdom shall never be destroyed,

jand his dominion shall be kto the end.

27  He delivers and rescues;

he works lsigns and wonders

in heaven and on earth,

he who has msaved Daniel

from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and nthe reign of oCyrus the Persian.


Daniel's Prayer for His People

bIn the first year of cDarius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a dMede, who was made king over the realm of the eChaldeans in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to fthe word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by gprayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and hmade confession, saying, iO Lord, the igreat and awesome God, who jkeeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, kwe have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly land rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. mWe have not listened to nyour servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to oour kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, pO Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, qthose who are near and qthose who are far away, in rall the lands to which you have driven them, because of sthe treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because kwe have sinned against you. tTo the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 mand have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by nhis servants the prophets. 11 uAll Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, vrefusing to obey your voice. wAnd the curse and oath xthat are written in the Law of yMoses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because kwe have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against zour rulers who ruled us,1 by abringing upon us a great calamity. bFor under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 xAs it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, cturning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14 dTherefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, efor the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and fwe have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt gwith a mighty hand, and hhave made a name for yourself, as at this day, iwe have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 O Lord, jaccording to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, kyour holy hill, lbecause for our sins, and for mthe iniquities of our fathers, nJerusalem and your people have become oa byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,2 pmake your face to shine upon qyour sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 rO my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see sour desolations, and tthe city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. uDelay not, vfor your own sake, O my God, because tyour city and wyour people are called by your name.

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20 xWhile I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for ythe holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man zGabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, acame to me in swift flight at bthe time of the evening sacrifice. 22 cHe made me understand, speaking with me and saying, O Daniel, I have now come out to give you dinsight and understanding. 23 eAt the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, fand I have come to tell it to you, for gyou are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word hand understand the vision.

The Seventy Weeks

24 iSeventy weeks3 are decreed about your people and jyour holy city, to finish kthe transgression, to put an end to sin, land to atone for iniquity, mto bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and nto anoint a most holy place.4 25 oKnow therefore and understand that pfrom the going out of the word to restore and qbuild Jerusalem to the coming of an ranointed one, a sprince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again5 with squares and moat, tbut in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall ube cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come vshall destroy the city and the sanctuary. wIts6 end shall come with a flood, xand to the end there shall be war. yDesolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,7 and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. zAnd on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until athe decreed end is poured out on the desolator.


The Proclamation of Cyrus

22 nNow in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, othat the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, pthe Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.


Ezra Illustration

Ezra

The Proclamation of Cyrus

aIn the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, bthat the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so cthat he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and dhe has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israelehe is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, feveryone whose spirit gGod had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. And all who were about them haided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. iCyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that jNebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of kMithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to lSheshbazzar the prince of Judah. And this was the number of them: m30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; 11 all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.


17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the tcaptive: uShealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: vZerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of vZerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister;