Darius the Mede is now king of Babylon, and he desires for Daniel to be the governor over the whole realm, “because an excellent spirit was in him.” However, the other governors don’t want Daniel elevated so they scheme to bring a charge against Daniel concerning the law of his God. They have King Darius sign a decree that says anyone who worships any god or man besides King Darius for thirty days will be thrown in the den of lions.
When Daniel hears about the decree he goes to his room, kneels facing Jerusalem, and prays toward the temple three times a day as he always does, believing that God hears the prayers of His people just as Solomon said in his temple dedication prayer (1 Kings 8:28-30). When the governors see him praying, they tell King Darius to throw him in the lion’s den. King Darius tries to protect Daniel, but the decree is binding per the law of the Medes and the Persians.
So Daniel is thrown in the den of lions, but the Lord sends an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and “no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.” Then the ones who plotted against Daniel are thrown in the lions’ den with their entire families, and all are killed. Afterwards, King Darius makes a new decree “that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
The seventy years of captivity is coming to an end. Daniel “understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.” So Daniel prays to God to restore His people “for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.” Then the angel Gabriel appears before Daniel giving him a vision of seventy weeks. There are various interpretations, but by this vision we can know that God has a plan and a timing for His plan; therefore, we can trust that He is in control.
We end the reading with the Lord stirring King Cyrus’ heart to let His people return to Jerusalem to rebuild His temple. Cyrus sends off some captives from Babylon to Jerusalem with the articles that were taken from the original temple by King Nebuchadnezzar, bringing the Captivity Era to an end. The Return Era starts tomorrow, so keep reading! (Daniel 6:1-28, Daniel 9:1-27, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-11, 1 Chronicles 3:17-18)
Creation Era (Genesis 1:1-11:26) ✔️
Patriarch Era (Genesis 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️
Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️
Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️
Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️
Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️
Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✔️
Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) ✔️
Return Era (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) is up next!
Eras to follow:
Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Time/New Beginning