Daniel 6:19
Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
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6:18-24 The best way to have a good night, is to keep a good conscience. We are sure of what the king doubted, that the servants of the living God have a Master well able to protect them. See the power of God over the fiercest creatures, and believe his power to restrain the roaring lion that goeth about continually seeking to devour. Daniel was kept perfectly safe, because he believed in his God. Those who boldly and cheerfully trust in God to protect them in the way of duty, shall always find him a present help. Thus the righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. The short triumph of the wicked will end in their ruin.Then the king arose very early in the morning ... - No one can doubt the probability of what is here said, if the previous account be true. His deep anxiety; his wakefulnight; the remorse which he endured, and his hope that Daniel would be after all preserved, all would prompt to an early visit to the place of his confinement, and to his earnestness in ascertaining whether he were still alive. 19. His grief overcame his fear of the nobles. Watching, and grieving, and being between fear and hope, longing to be satisfied.

Then the king arose very early in the morning,.... Or, "in the morning with light" (i) as soon as ever light appeared, or the day broke: the word for morning is doubled, and one of the letters in it is larger than usual; and all which denote not only his very great earliness in rising, but his earnestness and solicitude for Daniel, to know whether he was alive or not:

and went in haste unto the den of lions; he did not send a servant, but went in person, and with as much expedition as possible, though a king, and an old man; this shows the great love and strong affection he had for Daniel, and his concern for his good and welfare.

(i) "summa aurora cum luce", Junius & Tremellius; "in tempore aurorae cum luce", Piscator.

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
19. Then the king arose at dawn, as soon as it was light] lit. at dawn, in the brightness. The words used imply that day had fully broken. The first word (‘dawn’) stands in the Targ. for ‘morning’ in Isaiah 48:8; and the second (‘brightness’), in its Heb. form, in Isaiah 52:1.

in haste (Daniel 3:24)] So anxious was he to learn how Daniel had fared.

Verses 19, 20. - Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Darnel O Daniel servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? "Very early" is really "the glimmer of day;" (shapharpara). The word used occurs in the Targums. It may, however, be doubted whether the word here is not the Syriac shapbra. The writing here presents so many peculiarities that suspicion is forced upon the reader. The first פ is small, and the second is large. There is the further difficulty that nogah is nearly equivalent to shaphra. One might suspect a doublet, as Behrmann maintains, here, did not the versions indicate something like this as the meaning of this clause. A lamentable voice (atzeeb) seems to mean "sad" or "grieved." The version of the Septuagint shows traces of addition, "And King Darius rose early in the morning, and took with him the satraps, and went and stood at the mouth of the den of lions. Then the king called to Daniel with a loud voice, with weeping, saying, O Daniel, if thou art alive, and thy God whom thou servest continually, hath he saved thee from the lions? and have they not harmed thee?" It is possible the addition of "the satraps" may have been due to shapharpara being read ahashdarpnayya. Certainly if the purpose of the double scaling was what it is assigned to be in the first verse, then the satraps would accompany him; only the suggestion is such a natural one that it might readily slip into the text. Ver. 20 (21) in the LXX. has traces of expansion. The omission of yekeel and the change of sheezab to the finite preterite is possible enough, and may indicate that in the original text the word rendered "able" was not found. Theodotion renders ver. 19 (20) in accordance with the Massoretic reading, but, in ver. 20 (21) instead of "lamentable voice," has "strong voice," a reading that seems somewhat confirmed by the LXX. Further, he translates the interrogative ha as if it were the Hebrew kee, "if." The Peshitta, though agreeing in the nineteenth verse with the Massoretic, has some minor differences in the following verse - "high voice" instead of "lamentable voice," and "faithfully" instead of "continually." The Vulgate singularly inserts in ver. 20 putasne? "dost thou think?" That Darius should thus hasten in the semi-darkness of the first glimmer of dawn to the lions' den to see whether Daniel were yet alive, was but natural. As the sealing of the lions' den suggested the sealing of the holy sepulchre, so the hastening of Darius to the den in the earliest dawn suggests the action of the women who got up "a great while before day." When Darius calls Daniel the "servant of the living God," there is no necessary confession of faith in him on the part of the king. It is for him simply an act of politeness to a Deity who, if this were neglected, might resent. It is to be noted that this attribute "living" is omitted in the Septuagint. Daniel 6:19After Daniel had been thrown into the lions' den, its mouth was covered with a flat stone, and the stone was sealed with the king's seal and that of the great officers of state, that nothing might change or be changed (בּּדּניּאל צבוּ) concerning Daniel (צבוּ, affair, matter), not that the device against Daniel might not be frustrated (Hv., v. Leng., Maur., Klief.). This thought required the stat. emphat. צנוּתא, and also does not correspond with the application of a double seal. The old translator Theodot. is correct in his rendering: ὅπως μὴ ἀλλοιωθῇ πρᾶγμα ἐν τῷ Δανιήλ, and the lxx paraphrasing: ὅπως μὴ απ ̓αὐτῶν (μεγιστάνων) αρθῇ ὁ Δανιήλ, ἤ ὁ βασιλεύς αὐτὸν ἀνασπάσῃ ἐκ τοῦ λακκοῦ. Similarly also Ephr. Syr. and others.

The den of lions is designated by גּבּא, which the Targg. use for the Hebr. בור, a cistern. From this v. Leng., Maur., and Hitzig infer that the writer had in view a funnel-shaped cistern dug out in the ground, with a moderately small opening or mouth from above, which could be covered with a stone, so that for this one night the lions had to be shut in, while generally no stone lay on the opening. The pit also into which Joseph, the type of Daniel, was let down was a cistern (Genesis 37:24), and the mouth of the cistern was usually covered with a stone (Genesis 29:3; Lamentations 3:53). It can hence scarcely be conceived how the lions, over which no angel watched, could have remained in such a subterranean cavern covered with a stone. "The den must certainly have been very capacious if, as it appears, 122 men with their wives and children could have been thrown into it immediately after one another (v. 25 [Daniel 6:24]); but this statement itself only shows again the deficiency of every view of the matter," - and thus the whole history is a fiction fabricated after the type of the history of Joseph! But these critics who speak thus have themselves fabricated the idea of the throwing into the den of 122 men with women and children - for the text states no number - in order that they might make the whole narrative appear absurd.

We have no account by the ancients of the construction of lions' dens. Ge. Hst, in his work on Fez and Morocco, p. 77, describes the lions' dens as they have been found in Morocco. According to his account, they consist of a large square cavern under the earth, having a partition-wall in the middle of it, which is furnished with a door, which the keeper can open and close from above. By throwing in food they can entice the lions from the one chamber into the other, and then, having shut the door, they enter the vacant space for the purpose of cleaning it. The cavern is open above, its mouth being surrounded by a wall of a yard and a half high, over which one can look down into the den. This description agrees perfectly with that which is here given in the text regarding the lions' den. Finally, גּבּא does not denote common cisterns. In Jeremiah 41:7, Jeremiah 41:9, גּוּבא (Hebr. בור) is a subterranean chamber into which seventy dead bodies were cast; in Isaiah 14:15, the place of Sheol is called גּוב. No reason, therefore, exists for supposing that it is a funnel-formed cistern. The mouth (פּוּם) of the den is not its free opening above by which one may look down into it, but an opening made in its side, through which not only the lions were brought into it, but by which also the keepers entered for the purpose of cleansing the den and of attending to the beasts, and could reach the door in the partition-wall (cf. Hst, p. 270). This opening was covered with a great flat stone, which was sealed, the free air entering to the lions from above. This also explains how, according to Daniel 6:20 ff., the king was able to converse with Daniel before the removal of the stone (namely, by the opening above).

Daniel 6:19-21 (Daniel 6:18-20)

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were any of his concubines brought before him; and this sleep went from him. The king spent a sleepless night in sorrow on account of Daniel. טות, used adverbially, in fasting, i.e., without partaking of food in the evening. דּחוה, concubina; cf. The Arab. dahâ and dahâ equals , subigere faeminam, and Gesen. Thes. p. 333. On the following morning (v. 20 [Daniel 6:19]) the king rose early, at the dawn of day, and went to the den of lions, and with lamentable voice called to him feebly hoping that Daniel might be delivered by his God whom he continually served. Daniel answered the king, thereby showing that he had been preserved; whereupon the king was exceeding glad. The future or imperf. יקוּם (Daniel 6:19) is not to be interpreted with Kranichfeld hypothetically, he thought to rise early, seeing he did actually rise early, but is used instead of the perf. to place the clause in relation to the following, meaning: the king, as soon as he arose at morning dawn, went hastily by the early light. בּנגהא, at the shining of the light, serves for a nearer determination of the בּשׁפרפּרא, at the morning dawn, namely, as soon as the first rays of the rising sun appeared. The predicate the living God is occasioned by the preservation of life, which the king regarded as possible, and probably was made known to the king in previous conversations with Daniel; cf. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 84:3; 1 Samuel 17:36, etc.

Daniel 6:22-24 (Daniel 6:21-23)

In his answer Daniel declares his innocence, which God had recognised, and on that account had sent His angel (cf. Psalm 34:8; Psalm 91:11.) to shut the mouths of the lions; cf. Hebrews 10:33. ואף, and also (concluding from the innocence actually testified to by God) before the king, i.e., according to the king's judgment, he had done nothing wrong or hurtful. By his transgression of the edict he had not done evil against the king's person. This Daniel could the more certainly say, the more he perceived how the king was troubled and concerned about his preservation, because in Daniel's transgression he himself had seen no conspiracy against his person, but only fidelity toward his own God. The king hereupon immediately gave command that he should be brought out of the den of lions. The Aph. הנסקה and the Hoph. הסּק, to not come from נסק, but from סלק; the נis merely compensative. סלק, to mount up, Aph. to bring out; by which, however, we are not to understand a being drawn up by ropes through the opening of the den from above. The bringing out was by the opened passage in the side of the den, for which purpose the stone with the seals was removed. To make the miracle of his preservation manifest, and to show the reason of it, v. 24 (Daniel 6:23) states that Daniel was found without any injury, because he had trusted in his God.

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