It pleased Darius to set over his kingdom an hundred and twenty lords, which should be in all his kingdom about. Above these he set three Princes ( of whom Daniel was one ) that the lords might give *accomptes unto them, and the king to be *undiseased.
But Daniel exceeded all these Princes and lords, for the spirit of God was plenteous in him: so that the king was minded to set him over the whole realm. Wherefore the Princes and lords sought, to pick out in Daniel some quarrel against the kingdom: yet could they find none occasion nor fault upon him. For why? he was so faithful, that there was no blame nor dishonesty found in him.
Then said these men: we will get no quarrel against this Daniel, except it be in law of his God. Upon this, went the princes and lords together unto the king, and said thus unto him: king Darius God save thy life forever, All the great estates of the realm: as the Princes, Dukes, Senators and Judges, are determined to put out a commandment of the king, and make a sure statute: namely, that who so desireth any petition, either of any god or man ( within this thirty days ) except it be only of thee, O king: the same person may be cast into the lions den. Wherefore, O king, confirm now this statute, and make a writing: that the thing which the Medes and Perses have ordered be not altered or broken.
So Darius made the writing, and confirmed it. Now when Daniel understood that the writing was made, he went into his house: and his windows of his hall toward Jerusalem stood open. There kneeled he down upon his knees, three times a day: there he made his petition, and praised his God, like as his manner was afore time.
Then these men made search, and found Daniel making petition and praying unto his God. So they came to the king, and spake before him concerning his commandment, saying: O king, hast thou not subscribed the statute, that within thirty days who so requireth his petition of any god or man, but only of thyself, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered, and said: it is true. It must be as a law of the Medes and Perses, that may not be broken.
Then answered they, and said unto the king: Daniel one of the prisoners of Judah, O king, regardeth neither thee nor thy statute, that thou hast made, but maketh his petition three times a day. When the king heard these words, he was sore grieved, and would have excused Daniel, to deliver him, and put off the matter, unto the Sun went down, to the intent that he might save him.
These men perceiving the kings mind, said unto him: know this ( O king ) that the law of the Medes and Perses is, that commandment and statute which the king maketh, may not be altered. Then the king had then bring Daniel, and cast him into the Lions den.
The king also spake unto Daniel, and said: thy God whom thou always servest, even he shall defend thee. And there was brought a stone, and laid upon the hole of the den: this the king sealed with his own ring, and with the signet of his princes: that the kings commandment concerning Daniel, should not be broken.
So the king went to his palace, and kept him sober all night, so that there was no table spread before him, neither could he take any sleep. But by times in the morning, at the break of day, the king arose, and went in all hast unto the den of the Lions.
Now as he came nye unto the den, he cried with a piteous voice unto Daniel: yee the king spake, and said to Daniel: O Daniel, thou servant of the living God, is not thy God, whom thou always servest, able to deliver thee from the lions? Daniel said unto the king: O king, God save thy life for ever. My God hath sent his angel, which hath shut the lions mouths, so that they might not hurt me. For why? mine unguiltiness is found out before him. And as for thee, O king, I never offended thee.
Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded to take Daniel out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, For he put his trust in his God. And as for those men which had accused Daniel, the king commanded to bring them, and to cast them in the Lions den: them, their children, and their wives. So the Lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones asunder, or ever they came at the ground.
After this, wrote king Darius unto all people kindreds and tongues, that dwelt in all the land: peace be multiplied with you. My commandment is, in all my dominion and kingdom, that men fear and stand in awe of Daniels God.
For he is the living God, which abideth ever: his kingdom shall not fail and his power is everlasting. It is he that delivereth and saveth: he doth wonders and marvelous works, in heaven and in earth: he hath preserved Daniel from the power of the Lions. This Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and Cirus of Persia.