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Daniel 6:3

ESV Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
NIV 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.
NASB Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king intended to appoint him over the entire kingdom.
CSB Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to set him over the whole realm.
NLT Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.
KJV Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

What does Daniel 6:3 mean?

During his government service, Daniel proved to be an outstanding official. His skill—and most importantly, his integrity (Daniel 6:4–5)—was far beyond others whom Darius put in positions of power (Danel 6:1–2). This verse credits Daniel's success to an "excellent spirit." In a literal sense, this seems to mean his outstanding ability (Daniel 1:17, 20). Yet it can also refer to the influence of the Holy Spirit in his life.

Because of these valuable attributes, Darius took notice of Daniel. He could trust Daniel to manage kingdom business with integrity and efficiency. As such, the king planned to make Daniel the most powerful of his advisors and governors. These plans set the stage for the hateful plans made by other politicians.

According to the timeline usually applied to his life, Daniel would have been nearing ninety years of age during this story. Daniel's faithfulness to duty even in his old age sets an example for believers today. A believer should never retire at any age from serving the Lord. He should always "be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
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