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The Story of Daniel in the Lion's Den.
(From the 6th Chapter of DANIEL.)
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first : that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, “ We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, “ King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.' Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.” Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 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.” Then answered they, and said before the king, “That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.” Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, “Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, “That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may
DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN.
be changed." Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den ; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords ; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him : and his sleep went from him.
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 Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions ?” Then said Daniel unto the king, “O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
The Story of Yonah.
(From the Book of Jonah.)
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “ Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa ; and he found a ship going to Tarshish : so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, “What meanest thou, O sleeper! arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” And they said every one to his fellow, “ Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon
Jonah. Then said they unto them, “Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us? What is thine occupation ? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou ?” And he said unto them, “I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land." Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, “Why hast thou done this ?” For the men knew that he had fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, “ What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us?” for the sea wrought, and was tempestuos. And he said unto them, “Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, “We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood : for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.” So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea : and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up
Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly.