Daniel is safe (Dan 14:40-14:42)

“On the seventh day,

The king came

To mourn

For Daniel.

When he came

To the den,

He looked in.

There sat Daniel.

The king shouted

With a loud voice.

‘You are great!

O Lord!

God of Daniel!

There is no other

Besides you!’

Then he pulled

Daniel out.

He threw into the den

Those who had attempted

His destruction.

They were instantly eaten

Before his eyes.”

Thus, ends the great story of Daniel. On the 7th day, the king came to mourn the death of Daniel. Instead, he was surprised to see Daniel sitting in the den of lions. Then the king shouted out his praise for the God of Daniel, the Lord. There were no other gods like him. Next, he pulled Daniel out of the den. Finally, he threw those who had attempted the destruction of Daniel into the lion’s den. The lions immediately ate these men right before the eyes of the king.

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Daniel in the lion’s den (Dan 14:31-14:32)

“They threw Daniel

Into the lions’ den.

He was there

For six days.

There were seven lions

In the den.

Every day,

They had been given

Two human bodies,

With two sheep.

But now

They were given nothing.

Thus,

They would devour Daniel.”

Once again, Daniel is in the lion’s den as in chapter 6 of this book. This time, the duration is 6 days, instead of one night. There was an explicit mention of 7 lions in the den, instead of the earlier vague den of lions. Normally, these lions feasted on 2 human bodies and 2 sheep each day. During the time that Daniel was there, they were not given their normal diet, so that they might want to eat Daniel.

Daniel’s accusers were put in the lion’s den (Dan 6:24-6:24)

“The king

Gave a command.

Those men,

Who had accused Daniel,

Were brought to him.

He threw them

Into the den of lions.

He not only threw them,

But their children,

With their wives.

Before they reached

The bottom

Of the den,

The lions

Overpowered them.

The lions broke

All their bones

Into pieces.”

In a reversal of fortunes, which is common among the biblical writings, like in Esther, chapter 6, the conspirators and their families were put into the lion’s den. Before they hit the bottom of the den, the lions had overpowered them, their children, and their wives. All their bones were broken into pieces. The moral of the story is not to be a conspirator.

The wicked officials (Ezek 22:27-22:27)

“The Jerusalem officials

Are within it

Like wolves

Tearing their prey.

They shed blood.

They destroyed lives

In order to get

Dishonest gain.”

The officials of Jerusalem were like the princes of Jerusalem. However, these city officials were like wolves instead of lions, seeking their prey. They too destroyed lives and shed blood. They had hoped to get some dishonest gain from these activities.

Powerful Yahweh (Jer 50:44-50:44)

“Like a lion

Coming up

From the thickets

Of the Jordan River

Against a perennial pasture,

I will suddenly

Chase them

Away from her.

I will appoint over her

Whomever I choose.

Who is like me?

Who can summon me?

Who is the shepherd

That can stand before me?”

Interesting enough, this section is almost word for word what Yahweh said against the Edomites in the preceding chapter. These Babylonians would be like lions that come out of the thickets on the Jordan River to find a beautiful pasture land. Suddenly, Yahweh would chase them away from this perennial green field. There is no one like Yahweh. Who could oppose him? The shepherds had no chance against Yahweh.

The attacks on Israel (Jer 50:17-50:17)

“Israel is

A hunted sheep.

It was driven away

By lions.

First,

The king of Assyria

Devoured it.

Now at the end,

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Has gnawed its bones.”

The Israelite hunted sheep were driven away by lions. The king of Assyria attacked the northern kingdom of Israel, as it came to an end in 724 BCE. Then the king of Babylon in 587 gnawed at their bones, since the kingdom was not in existence at that time. Thus both the lions of Assyria and Babylon have scattered the sheep of Israel within a couple hundred years.

The plan of Yahweh for Edom (Jer 49:19-49:20)

“Like a lion

Coming up

From the thickets

Of the Jordan River

Against a perennial pasture,

I will suddenly

Chase Edom

Away from it.

I will appoint over it

Whomever I choose.

Who is like me?

Who can summon me?

Who is the shepherd

That can stand before me?

Therefore hear the plan

That Yahweh has made

Against Edom!

Hear the purposes

That he has formed

Against the inhabitants

Of Teman!

Surely the little ones

Of the flock

Shall be dragged away.

Surely their fold

Shall be appalled

At their fate.”

Yahweh has a precise plan for Edom. These Edomites were like lions that come out of the thickets on the Jordan River to find a beautiful pasture land. Suddenly Yahweh would chase Edom away from this perennial green field. There is no one like Yahweh. Who could oppose him? The shepherds had no chance against Yahweh. He clearly wants to get rid of the town of Teman, the Edomite clan around the southern Edomite town of Petra. Even the little ones would be dragged away. The shepherds and the sheep would be appalled at what was happening. Clearly the power of Yahweh was apparent.