Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Daniel 6:1

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom - Evidently over the kingdom of Babylon, now united to that of Media and Persia. As this was now subject to him, and tributary to him, it would be natural to appoint persons over it in whom he could confide, for the administration of justice, for the collection of revenue, etc. Others however, suppose that this relates to the whole kingdom of Persia, but as the reference here is mainly to what was the kingdom of Babylon, it is rather to be presumed that this is what is particularly alluded to. Besides, it is hardly probable that he would have exalted Daniel, a Jew, and a resident in Babylon, to so important a post as that of the premiership over the whole empire, though from his position and standing in Babylon there is no improbability in supposing that he might have occupied, under the reign of Darius, a place similar to what he had occupied under Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. In dividing the kingdom into provinces, and placing officers over each department, Darius followed the same plan which Xenophon tells us that Cyrus did over the nations conquered by him, Cyrop. viii.: Εδόκει ἀυτῷ σατράπας ἤδη πέμπειν ἐπὶ τά κατεστραμμένα ἔθνη Edokei autō satrapas ēdē pempein epi ta katestrammena ethnē - “It seemed good to him to appoint satraps over the conquered nations.” Compare Esther 1:1. Archbishop Usher (Annal.) thinks that the plan was first instituted by Cyrus, and was followed at his suggestion. It was a measure of obvious prudence in order to maintain so extended an empire in subjection.

An hundred and twenty princes - The word here rendered “princes” (אחשׁדרפניא 'ăchashedarepenayā' ) occurs only in Daniel in the Chaldee form, though in the Hebrew form it is found in the book of Esther Esther 3:12; Esther 8:9; Esther 9:3, and in Ezra Ezra 8:36; in Esther and Ezra uniformly rendered lieutenants. In Daniel Daniel 3:2-3, Daniel 3:27; Daniel 6:1-4, Daniel 6:6-7 it is as uniformly rendered princes. It is a word of Persian origin, and is probably the Hebrew mode of pronouncing the Persian word satrap, or, as Gesenius supposes, the Persian word was pronounced ksatrap. For the etymology of the word, see Gesenius, Lexicon The word undoubtedly refers to the Persian satraps, or governors, or viceroys in the large provinces of the empire, possessing both civil and military powers. They were officers high in rank, and being the representatives of the sovereign, they rivaled his state and splendor. Single parts, or subdivisions of these provinces, were under inferior officers; the satraps governed whole provinces. The word is rendered satraps in the Greek, and the Latin Vulgate.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 106

Verse 1

BABYLON was taken by the Persians, and Darius the Median placed upon the throne, B. C. 538. Two years later, B. C. 536, Darius dying, Cyrus took the throne. Somewhere, therefore, between these two dates the event here narrated occurred.DAR 106.2

Daniel was a chief actor in the kingdom of Babylon in the hight of its glory; and from that time on, to the time when the Medes and Persians took the throne of universal empire, he was at least a resident of that city, and acquainted with all the affairs of the kingdom; yet he gives us no consecutive account of events that occurred during his long connection with these kingdoms. He only touches upon an event here and there such as is calculated to inspire faith and hope and courage in the hearts of the people of God in every age, and lead them to be steadfast in their adherence to the right.DAR 106.3

The event narrated in this chapter is alluded to by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 11, where he speaks of some who through faith have “stopped the mouths of lions.” Darius set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, there being, as is supposed, at that time a hundred and twenty provinces in the empire, each one having its prince, or governor. By the victories of Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes, it was afterward enlarged to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Esther 1:1. Over these one hundred and twenty princes were set three, and of these Daniel was chief. Preference was given to Daniel because of his excellent spirit. Daniel, who, for being a great man in the empire of Babylon, might have been esteemed an enemy by Darius, and so have been banished or otherwise put out of the way; or, being a captive from a nation then in ruins, might have been despised and set at naught, was not treated in either of these ways; but to the credit of Darius be it said, Daniel was preferred over all the others, because the discerning king saw in him an excellent spirit. And the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then was the envy of the other rulers raised against him, and they set about to destroy him. But Daniel's conduct was perfect so far as related to the kingdom. He was faithful and true. They could find no ground for complaint against him on that score. Then they said they could find no occasion to accuse him, except as concerning the law of his God. So let it be with us. A person can have no better recommendation.DAR 107.1

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We notice to the glory of God, that though Daniel was now very old, yet he was able for business, and had continued faithful to his religion. It is for the glory of God, when those who profess religion, conduct themselves so that their most watchful enemies may find no occasion for blaming them, save only in the matters of their God, in which they walk according to their consciences.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A hundred and twenty princes - A chief or satrap over every province which belonged to the Medo-Persian empire. Afterwards we find it enlarged to one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, by the victories of Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes. See Esther 1:1. Josephus reckons three hundred and sixty satrapies or lordships; but this is most probably an exaggeration or mistake.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 569-70

The case of Daniel was presented before me. Although he was a man of like passions with ourselves, the pen of inspiration presents him as a faultless character. His life is given us as a bright example of what man may become, even in this life, if he will make God his strength and wisely improve the opportunities and privileges within his reach. Daniel was an intellectual giant; yet he was continually seeking for greater knowledge, for higher attainments. Other young men had the same advantages; but they did not, like him, bend all their energies to seek wisdom—the knowledge of God as revealed in His word and in His works. Although Daniel was one of the world's great men, he was not proud nor self-sufficient. He felt the need of refreshing his soul with prayer, and each day found him in earnest supplication before God. He would not be deprived of this privilege even when a den of lions was opened to receive him if he continued to pray. 4T 569.1

Daniel loved, feared, and obeyed God. Yet he did not flee away from the world to avoid its corrupting influence. In the providence of God he was to be in the world yet not of the world. With all the temptations and fascinations of court life surrounding him, he stood in the integrity of his soul, firm as a rock in his adherence to principle. He made God his strength and was not forsaken of Him in his time of greatest need. 4T 569.2

Daniel was true, noble, and generous. While he was anxious to be at peace with all men, he would not permit any power to turn him aside from the path of duty. He was willing to obey those who had rule over him, as far as he could do so consistently with truth and righteousness; but kings and decrees could not make him swerve from his allegiance to the King of kings. Daniel was but eighteen years old when brought into a heathen court in service to the king of Babylon, and because of his youth his noble resistance of wrong and his steadfast adherence to the right are the more admirable. His noble example should bring strength to the tried and tempted, even at the present day. 4T 570.1

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 350-1

God has proclaimed the principles on which alone this co-operation is possible. His glory must be the motive of all who are laborers together with Him. All our work is to be done from love to God and in accordance with His will. COL 350.1

It is just as essential to do the will of God when erecting a building as when taking part in a religious service. And if the workers have brought the right principles into their own character making, then in the erection of every building they will grow in grace and knowledge. COL 350.2

But God will not accept the greatest talents or the most splendid service unless self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can be no fruit acceptable to God. COL 350.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 56-7

While Daniel clung to God with unwavering trust, the spirit of prophetic power came upon him. While honored by men with the responsibilities of the court and the secrets of the kingdom, he was honored by God as His ambassador, and taught to read the mysteries of ages to come. Heathen monarchs, through association with Heaven's representative, were constrained to acknowledge the God of Daniel. “Of a truth it is,” declared Nebuchadnezzar, “that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.” And Darius, in his proclamation “unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth,” exalted the “God of Daniel” as “the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed;” who “delivereth and rescueth, and ... worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth.” Daniel 2:47; 6:25-27. Ed 56.1

By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by their devotion to the interests of the people,—and they, idolaters,—Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to the principles of their early training, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and in Babylon, the whole nation honored; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld an illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, an illustration of the love of Christ. Ed 56.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 248

Men of promise in business lines should develop and perfect their talents by most thorough study and training. They should be encouraged to place themselves where, as students, they can rapidly gain a knowledge of right business principles and methods. Not one business man now connected with the cause needs to be a novice. If men in any line of work ought to improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient, it is those who are using their ability in the work of building up the kingdom of God in our world. In view of the fact that we are living so near the close of this earth's history, there should be greater thoroughness in labor, more vigilant waiting, watching, praying, and working. The human agent should strive to attain perfection, that he may be an ideal Christian, complete in Christ Jesus. 7T 248.1

Those who labor in business lines should take every precaution against falling into error through wrong principles or methods. Their record may be like that of Daniel in the courts of Babylon. When all his business transactions were subjected to the closest scrutiny, not one faulty item could be found. The record of his business life, incomplete though it is, contains lessons worthy of study. It reveals the fact that a businessman is not necessarily a scheming, policy man. He may be a man instructed of God at every step. Daniel, while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. His life is an illustration of what every Christian businessman may be. 7T 248.2

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