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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
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DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN

[236] DARIUS treated Daniel with great respect, and brought him to Media, where he made him one of his chief rulers. But the other rulers were jealous of Daniel, and determined to rid themselves of him. They noticed that he prayed to God three times a day, so they came to the king, and said,—

"O king, the princes and governors of thy people have determined among themselves to pass a law that for the space of thirty days no one among them is to offer a petition or prayer either to the king or to the gods, and whoever disobeys this law shall be cast into a den of lions to be destroyed."

The king suspected no evil, and he agreed to this law and signed it. Every one obeyed except Daniel, who continued his daily prayers in the sight of all. Then the princes came to Darius and accused Daniel of having transgressed the law, and said that he ought to be cast into the den of lions. Though the king was much grieved, he could do nothing to save Daniel, for the laws of the Medes and the Persians could not be altered. So he ordered his servants to cast Daniel into a den of lions, and a great stone was rolled over the entrance. Darius sealed up the stone with his own seal, so that no one could roll it away without breaking the seal, and he then returned to his palace in great distress, so that he could neither eat nor sleep. As soon as it was day, Darius rose and went to the cave. He found the stone in its place and the seal unbroken. Then he rolled away the stone and [237] cried out in a loud voice to Daniel, asking him if he were still alive.

And Daniel answered that he was still alive and had received no hurt from the wild beasts. And the king ordered him to come forth out of the den.

But the enemies of Daniel would not acknowledge that he had been saved by the hand of God, and they said that some one had given food to the lions, so that they were not hungry, and that was the reason Daniel had not been touched. Then the king said that he would prove if this were so or not. So he ordered a quantity of food to be thrown to the lions, and when they had eaten of it and had satisfied their hunger, he caused the enemies of Daniel to be cast into the den. And the lions fell upon these men and devoured them. So it appeared plain to Darius that it was God who had spared Daniel from their fury.

After this Daniel was held in greater honor than ever. The Lord also sent him visions and revelations of the future, and Daniel wrote these visions down and explained what they meant, and everything came to pass as Daniel had predicted.


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