It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three
administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable
to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself
among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king
planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps
tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs,
but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he
was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will
never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something
to do with the law of his God.”
So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King
Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors
have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone
who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your
Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree
and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of
the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs
room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on
his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then
these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they
went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a
decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being
except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands — in accordance with the law of the Medes and
Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no
attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays
three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was
determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty,
that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king
issues can be changed.”
So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’
den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue
A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it
with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation
might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without
eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When
he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant
of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue
you from the lions?”
Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut
the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in
his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel
was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his
At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and
thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they
reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the
“May you prosper greatly!
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence
the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Every human being has a tendency to seek flourishing in unethical, unsustainable
and/or foolish ways; in other words, in harmful ways (unnecessarily harmful). It
is impossible completely to avoid sin and the consequences of sin.
Sin is defined by the Catholic Church as:
an offence against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine
love for God and neighbour caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds
the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance,
a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law”,