What does Daniel 6:16 mean?
ESV: Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!"
NIV: 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 you!"
NASB: Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, 'Your God whom you continually serve will Himself rescue you.'
CSB: 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 continually serve, rescue you!"
NLT: So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, 'May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.'
KJV: Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
NKJV: So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
Verse Commentary:
Darius could procrastinate no longer (Daniel 6:14–15). The trap sprung by jealous rivals (Daniel 6:4–5) was impossible to overturn by legal means (Daniel 6:6–9, 12–13). Since Daniel had deliberately violated the law (Daniel 6:10–11), the king was obligated to order his advisor be locked into a cell with lions. Since he would not counter his own culture's laws, Darius was powerless to save Daniel. Yet he acknowledges that Daniel is faithful to God. The pagan king appeals to that Lord for Daniel's rescue.

Daniel's loyalty to the God of Israel impressed Darius. He had seen consistency in Daniel's commitment. Perhaps Darius heard the story of Daniel's three friends who survived a fiery death when Nebuchadnezzar was king (Daniel 3:24–26). No one should doubt the impact a believer's consistent testimony can have on an unbeliever, even one hardened against faith (James 5:10; 1 Peter 3:16).

This form of execution probably used a closed cave or manmade enclosure holding lions captured for this very purpose. The structure might have had multiple doors, including one on the top so that victims could be literally "thrown" in without the lions escaping or attacking the executioners (Daniel 6:17, 24).
Verse Context:
Daniel 6:10–18 relates what Daniel did when he learned about Darius's law outlawing prayer to the Lord. This passage also shows Darius's reaction when he learned Daniel had violated the law, and that he had been trapped by legalism and his own ego. Daniel demonstrates his loyal, faithful character (Acts 5:29) and fearless devotion to God (Daniel 1:8, 17, 20). He maintains this even as he is convicted—correctly—of violating the law and is sealed into a pen with lions.
Chapter Summary:
Babylon's new ruler organizes his territory under 120 satraps and three governors. He intends to make Daniel the most powerful of these, but jealous rivals develop a plot. Knowing Daniel's only "weakness" is loyalty to God, they trick the king into passing an irrevocable law banning prayer. Daniel knows about the law but chooses obedience to God rather than to men. Darius is anguished yet he dutifully follows the law. When Daniel miraculously survives a night in a den full of lions, Darius is elated. He condemns the conspirators to death, and the same lions tear them apart. Darius then proclaims honor on behalf of Daniel's God.
Chapter Context:
At the end of chapter 5, Belshazzar has died and control over Babylon has come to someone identified as "Darius the Mede." Darius organizes his territory under 120 satraps and three governor-level officials. Daniel is identified as one of the three high administrators. After jealous rivals fail to kill Daniel, he continues to prosper in his role. The following chapter begins an extensive record of prophetic visions. The first is a flashback to something Daniel saw during the rule of Belshazzar.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
Accessed 6/22/2024 6:25:01 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com