D A N I E L.
Daniel does not give a continued history of the
reigns in which he lived, nor of the state-affairs of the kingdoms
of Chaldea and Persia, though he was himself a great man in those
affairs; for what are those to us? But he selects such particular
passages of story as serve for the confirming of our faith in God
and the encouraging of our obedience to him, for the things written
aforetime were written for our learning. It is a very observable
improvable story that we have in this chapter, how Daniel by faith
"stopped the mouths of lions," and so "obtained a good report,"
Heb. xi. 33. The three
children were cast into the fiery furnace for not committing a
known sin, Daniel was cast into the lions' den for not omitting a
known duty, and God's miraculously delivering both them and him is
left upon record for the encouragement of his servants in all ages
to be resolute and constant both in their abhorrence of that which
is evil and in their adherence to that which is good, whatever it
cost them. In this chapter we have, I. Daniel's preferment in the
court of Darius, ver. 1-3.
II. The envy and malice of his enemies against him, ver. 4, 5. III. The decree they
obtained against prayer for thirty days, ver. 6-9. IV. Daniel's continuance and
constancy in prayer, notwithstanding that decree, ver. 10. V. Information given against
him for it, and the casting of him into the den of lions, ver. 11-17. VI. His miraculous
preservation in the lions' den, and deliverance out of it,
ver. 18-23. VII. The
casting of his accusers into the den, and their destruction there,
ver. 24. VIII. The decree
which Darius made upon this occasion, in honour of the God of
Daniel, and the prosperity of Daniel afterwards, ver. 25-28. And this God is our God for
ever and ever.