The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Daniel
This Darius saw fit to appoint a hundred and twenty lords lieutenant, who should govern the provinces of his empire;
and over these, three viceroys, of whom Daniel was one; governor should be answerable to viceroy, and the king’s grace should not be troubled with such matters.
Yet governor was none or viceroy that could compare with Daniel, so richly God inspired him;
and soon the king’s thought was, to put the whole empire under his care. Right gladly would his rivals have found opportunity to discredit him in the king’s eyes; but no, handle or pretext they could find none, so faithful was he, so far removed from all breath of suspicion.
And at last they were fain to admit, if charge was to be found against Daniel at all, keeping of his God’s law must be the ground of it.
So they took the king by surprise; Long life, they said, to the king’s grace!
Here is a design upon which we are all agreed, viceroy and magistrate and governor and senator and judge; that an edict should go out under the royal seal forbidding thy subjects to make any request of god or man these next thirty days, save only of thyself. And if any man disobeys, it shall be at his peril; he is for the lion-pit.
May it please the king’s grace to give this design of ours effect, and make the decree unalterable, under law of the Medes and Persians, the law there is no amending.
Draw up the edict he did, and signed it.
As for Daniel, when he heard it was law, he took himself home; and now as ever, three times a day, he would open his chamber window towards Jerusalem eastwards, doing reverence on bended knee and praising his God.
Be sure they surprised him at it, these enemies of his; found him a-praying to his God,
and went off to remind the king of his edict. Had not a law been enacted, prayer there should be none to god or man those thirty days following, save to the king; and that on pain of the lions? Law it is, said he, and law of the Medes and Persians there is no amending.
Why then, they asked the king, what of Daniel, Daniel the Jewish exile, that for law and edict cares nothing? Three times a day he offers his God prayer.
Pitiful hearing was this for the king’s ear; to save Daniel was all his thought, and to that end he laboured till set of sun;
but the trap they had devised was too crafty for him, and ever they put him in mind there was no help for it. By the law Medes and Persians use, let the king once make a decree, there is no amending it.
At last the king gave orders Daniel should be sent for and shut up in the lion-pit; So faithful a servant, he told him, thy God must needs deliver.
And with that, a stone was brought and set down at the pit’s entrance, which the king sealed and his nobles both; there should be no interfering with Daniel.
Home went the king, and supperless to bed; he would have no food brought him, and sleep he could not.
With the first light of day, the king was up and stirring; to the lion-pit he hastened,
and as he came up to it, he cried out most lamentably: Daniel, worshipper of the God that lives, thou wert ever his true servant; has power of his availed to rescue thee from the lions?
Long life to the king’s grace, Daniel answered;
angel of his did his errand, and stopped the lions’ mouths. What harm should they do me, one that my God sees guiltless? And for thyself, lord king, nought did I to earn thy displeasure.
Right glad the king was to learn of Daniel’s safety; be sure he gave orders they should bring Daniel up out of the pit, and out of the pit they brought him, unscathed from head to foot; such reward they have that trust in God.
Thereupon, at the king’s bidding, they fetched his accusers, and thrust them into the lion-pit, their wives and children with them. But these never reached the floor of it, so quickly the lions fell upon them, and broke all the bones of them to nothing.✻
Then Darius sent out a proclamation to all the world, without distinction of nation, race or language, wishing them well,
and enjoining this decree upon them, that all the subjects of his empire should hold the God of Daniel in awe and reverence. Here is a God that lives, he told them, a God that abides for ever; such a reign as his there is no overthrowing, such power as his the ages cannot diminish.
His to deliver, his to save, his to shew wondrous portents in high heaven and on earth beneath, the God who saved Daniel from the lions.
Let Darius reign, or Cyrus the Persian, this same Daniel throve yet.
The Holy Bible