BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Posted by on Nov 6, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Certain Death.

We are now at the point of Scripture that is known to many across the globe. I am, of course, referring to the scene with Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel 6:16 records, “Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.” (NASB)

Immediately we hear the voices of critics yet again. Many of these voices claim there are no historical writings about the ancients constructing or keeping lions in dens. But are these criticisms accurate? These critics remain silent and conveniently ignore the fact that such kings as Ashurbanipal who reigned Assyria from 668 – 627 BC had a thirst for lion hunting depicted in several reliefs during his reign. An earlier ancestor, King Ashurnasirpal II, was king of Assyria from 883 – 859 BC. He also erected lion reliefs in his palace at Nimrud which was situated in the Assyrian city of Kalhu. He boasted that the gods Ninurta and Nergal loved his priesthood and commanded him to hunt. He claimed to have killed 370 great lions along with many other animals. In later reliefs, captured lions are released into an enclosed space, formed by soldiers making a shield-wall. Some are shown being released from wooden crates by an attendant in a smaller crate sitting on top, who lifts up a gate. Ashurnasirpal II also raised lions in captivity. In one inscription he claimed to have captured fifteen lions and took away fifty lion cubs to Kalhu. In his palaces, he placed these lions into cages and bred the cubs in great numbers. If this king captured and bred lion cubs in great numbers then this pride or prides had to have been housed somewhere within the palace. This very fact we are told was the practice two hundred years prior to Ashurbanipal’s reign and well over three hundred years prior to what we are now reading in Daniel.

Again, believe the Bible. It is accurate and true. Dismiss any thoughts and notions that, just because we do not have everything neatly explained, there must be an error in the text. Unequivocally there are none.

Despite Darius’s attempts to free Daniel, he was forced by his own law code to give the order for Daniel to be brought in and thrown into the lions’ den. Actually, when one reads the account in the book of Esther that we have mentioned before, Darius did have a way out. He could have simply issued a counter edict saying he had erred.  But that would certainly have caused him to lose face with his officials and people.

At the end of verse sixteen ,we see a brief but remarkable comment made by the king to Daniel. He tells Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.” There has been some debate that the text should be translated more accurately as saying, “The God whom you serve continually, He must save you”. This idea implies that Darius was saying in effect, “I have tried to save you but failed. Now your God must save you”. Such suggestions however should have no place in our thought process if we cannot verify it with the actual text – because then we are in danger of practicing eisegesis – which is translating a text into what we want it to say. On the other side of the debate, one could rightfully argue that Darius had noticed Daniel’s firm belief in his God. He may possibly have been told of how Daniel’s God had dealt with the Babylonians. We should, in all fairness, leave the text as stated. Darius may have truly believed Daniel’s God would save him.