ESL Lesson 22 – Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Lesson 22

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Daniel 6


The king of Babylon died and his son became king.  One night the armies of the Medes and Persians killed that king of Babylon.  Darius the Mede took over the kingdom.


Darius divided the kingdom into one hundred twenty parts.  He put an official over each part.  He put three presidents over these officials.  Daniel was one of the presidents.


Darius liked Daniel.  He knew he could trust Daniel.  Daniel was now an old man, at least eighty years old.  But he was still wise and fair in everything he did.  He had a good attitude.  He did a good job as a president.  So the king planned to give Daniel a better position.  The king decided to make Daniel the ruler over the whole kingdom.  Then only the king would have a greater position than Daniel.


The other two presidents and the one hundred twenty officials found out about this.  They were very jealous.  They tried to find a way to get rid of Daniel.  They watched him closely.  They tried to find him doing something wrong so that they could tell the king.  But they couldn’t find even one thing wrong with Daniel.


Finally these men said, “We will never be able to find anything against Daniel unless it is about his God.”  So these men came up with a plan to get rid of Daniel.


The men went to see King Darius.  They said, “You are such a great king.  You should make a law that no one can pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days.  Anyone who disobeys should be thrown into a den of lions.  Write the law so it cannot be changed.”

King Darius was proud that his men thought he was so great.  He wrote out the law.   The law of the Medes and Persians said that when a law was made, no one could change it.  Even the king could not change it









president (n)

against (prep)

attitude (n)

den (n)



1.  What armies attacked Babylon and killed the king?

2.  How many parts did the king divide the kingdom into?

3.  How many presidents were there?

4.  What did the king plan to do for Daniel?

5.  Could the other officials find anything wrong with Daniel?

6.  What law did the officials ask the king to make?

7.  Who could change this law?


Daniel heard about the new law that said no one could pray to anyone but the king for thirty days.  He went home.  He went to a room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem.  Three times a day he knelt down and prayed.  He thanked God.  Daniel had always prayed this way.  He wasn’t going to stop just because of the law.


When these men saw Daniel praying, they went to see the king.  They said, “Didn’t you make a law that said a person who prayed to anyone except you for thirty days would be thrown into the lions’ den?”


“Yes,” Darius told them.  “I made the law and it cannot be changed.”


Then the men told the king about Daniel.  The king was very sorry about Daniel.  He tried all day to think of a way to save Daniel.  But the law could not be changed.  Even the king had to obey it. 


So the king told the men to throw Daniel into the den of lions.  The king said to Daniel, “May the God who you always serve rescue you.  Then the men put a stone over the opening of the lions’ den.  Daniel could not get out.


The king went back to his palace.  But he could not sleep or eat all night long.  He was very worried about Daniel.


As soon as it got light, the king hurried to the lions’ den.  He called out to Daniel, “Daniel, has the God whom you always serve been able to rescue you?”


Daniel told the king, “My God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions.  They have not hurt me.”


The king was very happy to hear that Daniel was still alive.  He called men to lift Daniel out of the lions’ den.  Daniel had not been hurt at all by the lions, because he trusted in God.


Then the king made a new law to all the people in his kingdom.  It said, “Every person in the kingdom must worship the God of Daniel.  For he is the living God and he will live forever.  He rescues people and does miracles.  He has rescued Daniel from the lions.”



knelt (v)

except (prep)


Irregular Verbs



Past Participle




has knelt

will kneel


 8.  What did Daniel do when he heard about the law?

 9.  How did the king feel about putting Daniel in the lion’s den?

10.  How did God save Daniel’s life?

11.  What new law did the king make after Daniel came out of the lion’s den?


To Think About

Daniel was a great man because he had great character*.  Someone has said, “Character is what you are when no one is looking.” 


Fifty or one hundred years ago it was easy to find people with good character.  When a person was selling something of value, the buyer and seller would agree on a price.  Then they would shake hands.  That was good enough.  They didn’t need a written contract* because they had already made an agreement*.  They could trust each other.


Today, however, people are very careful to use written contracts for any important business deal*.  Today it is very hard to find a person who is completely honest.


Today, when people are looking for a person to run for president, it is easy to find a man who is well-educated.  It is easy to find one who knows about politics*, and has enough money.  But it is hard to find a person with good character, who has nothing to hide.


1.  What kind of character would you want in a president?  A husband or wife?  A friend?  (honest, moral*, hard working, kind, dependable*, etc.)


2.  What are some ways parents and teachers can teach children character?  Can a parent teach a child to be honest if the parent sometimes lies?



character (n)

politics (n)

contract (n)

moral (adj)

agreement (n)

dependable (adj)

deal (n)