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Daniel: Prophet of the Ages - Book 1

This is a commentary covering the first six chapters of Daniel, which are the historical chapters.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Chapter 17

All Things Under His Feet

Daniel survived his night with the lions. At this point in his life he was fulfilling the role of an overcomer in the time of the second work of Christ. In the first few centuries of the Church, the Christians were often thrown to the lions, but their role was to identify with Christ in His first appearance. For this reason most of them were killed by the lions in arenas in front of audiences.

When the king knew that Daniel had been saved by his God, we read in Dan. 6:23,

23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Apparently, there was an upper door over the lions’ den, through which Daniel had been lowered (probably by ropes), and through which Daniel was then “taken up out of the den.”

King Darius had fulfilled his duty to the law by feeding Daniel to the lions. However, you can lead a man to a lion, but you can’t make the lion eat him, especially when an angel shuts his mouth. The angel left the den with Daniel, so that the lions resumed their normal eating habits as soon as he was safe. Dan. 6:24 continues,

24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children, and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

There is no need to try to justify Darius’ new order. As for Daniel’s accusers (including the two other commissioners and the satraps who supported them), they received the just sentence of the law, for what they had intended to do to Daniel was meted out to them.

By our standards today—and even by the standard of God’s law—wives and children ought not to be punished for the sins of their spouses or fathers (Ezekiel 18:20). But this was Medo-Persia, and it is likely that if Daniel had been married with children, his accusers would have insisted that his entire family should be put on the lions’ menu. That was standard practice in those days in order to prevent children from taking revenge years later. At any rate, we do not condone such judgment, yet it shows how angry Darius was with Daniel’s accusers.

The execution of Daniel’s co-commissioners may have left Daniel as the only commissioner under the king. We do not know historically whether or not the dead commissioners were replaced. But from a prophetic standpoint, the silence itself implies that the saints of the Most High will emerge as the only ones worthy of high administrative positions among the kingdoms of men. Eventually, all the kings of the earth will come to recognize Jesus Christ as the rightful Heir of all things, and they will see themselves as stewards of Christ’s Kingdom.

The Scope of the Second Decree

Daniel 6:25-27 says,

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language who were living in all the land:

“May your peace abound!

26I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be forever. 27 He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

This decree shows that the king had already talked extensively with Daniel after the lions’ den experience. His decree seems to show his familiarity with Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony praising the God of Daniel. In fact, Darius nearly quotes Dan. 4:34 verbatim,

34 … “I blessed the Most high and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.”

Yet Darius adds the fact that God “performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth.” This shows how miracles were considered to be “signs and wonders,” and not merely supernatural events. Signs have prophetic meaning. In this case the entire situation prophesies of future events during the reconstruction of the Kingdom of God at the end of the age. Of course, the most important sign in this case is God’s deliverance, not only of Daniel himself, but also of the saints of the Most High after the fall of Mystery Babylon.

Darius’ decree affected all the people and lands under his authority. On earth, his kingdom was limited to the areas that had been captured. His kingdom, at its farthest extent, extended only to that small region of the world. But the Dominion Mandate, as decreed by the divine court, was global, even though its various custodians (including Judah) never conquered the entire earth. Hence, Darius’ decree, insofar as the divine court is concerned, applied to the whole earth, extending far beyond the borders of Medo-Persia.

Darius essentially proclaimed that Medo-Persia (“all the dominion of my kingdom”) were to be subject to the God of Daniel—that is, Yahweh, the God of Israel, who was later to be manifested as Yeshua. Exodus 15:2 prophesies this, when read literally:

2 Yahweh is my strength and song, and He has become my Yeshua; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

This is repeated in Isaiah 12:2 and in Psalm 118:14. Every time “salvation” is mentioned in Scripture, it is a prophetic reference to Jesus (Yeshua), for that is the meaning of His name. The idea of salvation includes health and deliverance, which gives added meaning to the “sign” of Daniel’s deliverance.

In the end, Darius’ second decree, which applies to the entire earth, foreshadows the future Kingdom, where all things are put under the feet of Christ, as Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:27, 28,

27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.

This is also what King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw in his dream, because the stone grew until it filled the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). It did not merely fill the whole kingdom that he had conquered, but it filled the whole earth. So also in Rev. 11:15 we read,

15 … The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever [aionas ton aionion, “the ages of the ages”].

This was prophesied many times in the psalms. Psalm 67:1, 2, 7 says,

1 God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—Selah— 2 That Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation [Yeshua] among all nations…. 7 God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Again, we read in Psalm 72:8, 11, 18 in Young’s Literal Translation,

8 And He ruleth from sea unto sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth… 11 And all kings do bow themselves to Him, all nations do serve Him… 18 … And the whole earth is filled with His honour. Amen and amen!

Again, we read in Psalm 86:9, 10,

9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and they shall glorify Thy name. 10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God.

This passage is referenced in Rev 15:3, 4 as part of the Song of the Lamb:

3 And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the Nations. 4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed.”

Indeed, it is inconceivable that any nations would NOT come to worship Christ. Why? Because the great and marvelous works of God—that is, His “righteous acts”—have been revealed. So far, God has largely done His works in secret behind the scenes, but when these works are made known and obvious to all men, then their eyes will be opened, and no one will remain as an unbeliever.

The Irrevocable Decree

The entire sixth chapter of Daniel emphasizes that the law of Medes and Persians, once it was signed, could not be altered or revoked (Dan. 6:8, 12, 15). So when Darius issued his second decree, it carried the same weight as the first. It could not be altered or revoked. In the natural world of law, the laws of nations often cease being effective when those nations are destroyed or are swallowed up by other nations. But in the heavenly court, Persia is yet a Kingdom nation. By Darius’ decree, Iran (old Persia) will one day serve the God of Daniel and acknowledge Jesus as King.

Persia today is Iran, and so the same decree of Darius—issued under the authority of Cyrus the Persian—remains in force insofar as God is concerned. The Iranian people are under orders to worship the God of Daniel. On a broader prophetic level, China now represents Cyrus under the moniker of “the kings of the east.” Russia, too, is now playing the role of Darius, the Mede. Hence, China and Russia too are Kingdom nations. Russia itself is waking up to this fact now, but hardly any Iranians or Chinese understand this at the present time. Even so, all that really matters is that God knows and takes this seriously.

The same law which forced Darius to sentence Daniel to the lions’ den is the law that commands the whole world to serve the God of Daniel and to be subject to Christ. Since Daniel was a victim of the irrevocable nature of Medo-Persian law, God intends to enforce the decree, according to the law of equal weights and measures (Lev. 19:35, 36; Matt. 7:2). The injustice that was done to Daniel gives Daniel—and, by extension, all of the overcomers—the right to petition the divine court that Iran, Russia, and China should be held to the terms of Darius’ second decree.

This is the hidden, spiritual cause of the Babylonian West’s sanctions and propaganda war against these three nations. In the spiritual world, it is well known that Babylon is about to fall, and as time passes, it is increasingly known among the leaders of the West on earth.

The kings of the east, as nations, are not yet motivated by the laws of the Kingdom (Deuteronomy). While they have an awareness of divine destiny and even speak of the laws of God, they have only a dim awareness of who this God really is. In time they will come to recognize Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, God is still using them as He did the Medes and Persians to accomplish His will.

When Darius the Mede overthrew Babylon, it is doubtful that he was a believer in the God of Daniel. His revelation came later. This shows a progression in Kingdom history and how God uses the nations whether they know Him or not. In fact, God spoke prophetically through Isaiah about King Cyrus in Isaiah 45:5, saying,

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me.

This is the foundational truth in the passage regarding the sovereignty of God. It shows that God does not need believers in order to accomplish His will among the nations. In fact, if they knew who God truly was, they would not qualify to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy above. So also is it today with Iran, Russia, and China. For this reason, we ought not to focus upon whether or not their government officials are true believers. Instead, we ought to focus upon the plan of God, for this is what will establish their destiny.


Daniel 6:28 concludes,

28 So this Daniel enjoyed success [tselach, “prosperity, success”] in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

This too is a prophetic statement about the success and prosperity of the Kingdom in the Age to come. The order of events, then, is that the fall of Mystery Babylon is followed by a time of persecution, which will display to the world how God delivers the overcomers, and when this opposition ends, the leaders of these nations will declare Jesus Christ to be the King of kings.

This prophetic climax concludes the historical chapters in the first half of the book of Daniel. It does not end in despair but in hope for the world. The den of lions had the appearance of a crushing defeat for the saints, but the angel of God used it to establish the Kingdom and put all things under the feet of Christ.