Daniel in the Lions' Den 但以理在狮子坑里


大流士王决定派一百二十个省长治理全帝国。此外,他又指派但以理和其他两个人监督这群省长,以维护王的权益。但以理很快就表现出他比其他监督或省长更能胜任。由于但以理卓越的才干,王想委派他治理整个帝国。

因此,其他的监督和省长们拚命在他处理国政的事上找差错,可是都找不到,因为但以理诚实可靠,没有丝毫错失。他们就彼此商量:“除非从但以理的宗教信仰下手,我们不会找出任何指控他的理由。”

于是,他们相约去见王,对他说:“大流士王万岁!我们在陛下国中从政的监督、省长、副省长,和所有官员都同意由陛下颁布一道禁令,无论什么人,在三十天内不得向任何神明祈祷,或向任何人求什么,只准向陛下祈求。谁违犯这禁令,谁就得被扔进狮子坑。 请陛下颁布并签署这道禁令,使之生效。按照米底亚和波斯法律,这样的命令是不能更改的。”

于是大流士王签署这道诏令。

但以理听到这诏令已经签署了,就回家去。他的屋子顶上有一个房间,窗户朝向耶路撒冷。但以理在开着的窗子前跪下,照他往常的习惯,每天三次向上帝献上感谢和祷告。

但以理的敌人看见他在向上帝祷告,就一起到王那里控告他。他们对王说:“陛下啊,你曾下了一道禁令,规定无论什么人,在三十天内不得向任何神明祈祷,或向任何人求什么,只可向陛下祈求。谁违反这禁令,谁就得被扔进狮子坑。”

王说:“对,这是一道诏令;根据米底亚和波斯的法律,不得更改。”

于是他们对王说:“从犹大被掳来的但以理不尊重陛下,不服从陛下颁布的诏令,竟照常一天祷告三次。”

王听了这话非常难过,一心想救但以理,直到黄昏都在筹划这事。

后来那些人又相约来对王说:“陛下知道,根据米底亚和波斯的法律,王所发出的诏令是不得更改的。”

于是,王下令把但以理抓起来,扔进狮子坑。王对但以理说:“愿你所忠心事奉的上帝搭救你。”

坑口用一块石头堵住;王用玉玺和大臣们的印加封,使人不能救但以理出来。

王回到宫里,整夜睡不着,不吃东西,也不要任何娱乐。

天一亮,王就起来,急忙赶到狮子坑。王到了坑边,焦急地喊:“但以理,永生上帝的仆人哪!你忠心事奉的上帝有没有救你脱离狮子的口?”

但以理回答:“陛下万岁!上帝差派天使来封住狮子的口,使它们不能伤害我。上帝这样做,因为他知道我无辜,我没有做任何冒犯陛下的事。”

王非常高兴,命令侍从把但以理救出来。于是他们把但以理拉出坑来,看见他一点伤都没有,因为他信靠上帝。

后来,王下令逮捕所有控告但以理的人,把他们和他们的妻子、儿女都扔进狮子坑。他们还没落到坑底,狮子就猛扑上来,咬碎了他们的骨头。

事后,大流士王通告世界各国、各族、说各种语言的人民:

“祝你们安康!我现在下令,在我治下的帝国臣民,都必须敬畏、尊崇但以理的上帝!

祂是永生的上帝;他要永远统治。

祂的主权永远长存;他的权柄永无穷尽。

祂解救,援助,在天上地下行神迹奇事。

祂拯救但以理脱离狮子的口。

      从此,但以理在大流士和波斯王塞鲁士当政的时期事事顺利。



讨论问题:

  1. 您是否曾经听到过这个故事?是在哪里听到的?

  2. 您觉得但以理是怎样的一个人?

  3. 但以理被扔在狮子坑里,对他是好事还是坏事?为什么?

  4. 从这个故事里您学到什么功课?

Darius reorganized his kingdom. He appointed one hundred twenty governors to administer all the parts of his realm. Over them were three vice-regents, one of whom was Daniel. The governors reported to the vice-regents, who made sure that everything was in order for the king. But Daniel, brimming with spirit and intelligence, so completely outclassed the other vice-regents and governors that the king decided to put him in charge of the whole kingdom.

The vice-regents and governors got together to find some old scandal or skeleton in Daniel’s life that they could use against him, but they couldn’t dig up anything. He was totally exemplary and trustworthy. They could find no evidence of negligence or misconduct. So they finally gave up and said, “We’re never going to find anything against this Daniel unless we can cook up something religious.”

The vice-regents and governors conspired together and then went to the king and said, “King Darius, live forever! We’ve convened your vice-regents, governors, and all your leading officials, and have agreed that the king should issue the following decree:

For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions’ den.

“Issue this decree, O king, and make it unconditional, as if written in stone like all the laws of the Medes and the Persians.”

King Darius signed the decree.

When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.

The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help. They went straight to the king and reminded him of the royal decree that he had signed. “Did you not,” they said, “sign a decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days? And anyone caught doing it would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

“Absolutely,” said the king. “Written in stone, like all the laws of the Medes and Persians.”

Then they said, “Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, ignores you, O king, and defies your decree. Three times a day he prays.”

At this, the king was very upset and tried his best to get Daniel out of the fix he’d put him in. He worked at it the whole day long.

But then the conspirators were back: “Remember, O king, it’s the law of the Medes and Persians that the king’s decree can never be changed.”

The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”

A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.

The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.

At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”

“O king, live forever!” said Daniel. “My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I’ve been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I’ve done nothing to harm you.”

When the king heard these words, he was happy. He ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. When he was hauled up, there wasn’t a scratch on him. He had trusted his God.

Then the king commanded that the conspirators who had informed on Daniel be thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. Before they hit the floor, the lions had them in their jaws, tearing them to pieces.

King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth:

Peace to you! Abundant peace!

    I decree that Daniel’s God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.

    He is the living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls.

    His rule continues eternally.

    He is a savior and rescuer.

    He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.

    He saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

From then on, Daniel was treated well during the reign of Darius, and also in the following reign of Cyrus the Persian.


Discussion Question:

  1. Have you ever heard this story before? If so, where did you hear that?

  2. What is Daniel’s personality, in your own opinion?

  3. Daniel was in the lion’s den. Is it good for him or bad for him? Why?

  4. What kind lessons did you learn from this story?

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