Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 225
Context: Darius, the new king of the Chaldeans, appoints many government officials, but Daniel receives the highest position. The other appointees, jealous of Daniel's authority, seek some fault in him, but are disappointed to find him blameless in the execution of his duties. Knowing that Daniel is a devout Jew, the rulers conspire to get King Darius to sign a decree making it illegal for anyone to petition any god or man, other than the king, for thirty days. The penalty for breaking the law is that the guilty one shall be thrown into a den of lions. Daniel, however, who continues his practice of praying to God three times a day, is accused by the conspirators, is thrust into the den of lions, and is miraculously saved from the hungry beasts. Darius, who wished to spare Daniel, is confronted by the rulers and reminded that even he cannot alter the law which he has decreed:
Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.