Daniel in the
Lions' Den

Did you know...

that a man named Daniel was once thrown into a den of hungry lions just because he prayed to God?

This is the story of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar  & Daniel in the Lion's Den

The Bible tells us about a King named Nebuchadnezzar. When he died, his son Belshazzar became the new king. Instead of doing the work of a king, he gave big parties. Instead of worshipping God, he bowed to false gods made out of gold and silver. 

During one of Belshazzar's parties, a man's hand appeared. It was just a hand, without the rest of the body. It wrote the following words on the palace wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin - and then the hand disappeared.

Belshazzar was very frightened. He asked "What does it mean?" but no-one could answer him. Someone said that a man named Daniel was very wise, "Ask Daniel" they said.  

Daniel came and looked at the words. He said that the word Mene means that the days of your kingdom are numbered and will soon end. Tekel means that your actions have been weighed on a scale and you have been found wanting. Upharsin means that your land will be divided and given away. 

Belshazzar

And so it was, since that same night, Belshazzar was murdered and his land was divided and given away. Daniel's fame as a wise man spread far and wide.

Daniel was so admired by the new King Darius, that he gave Daniel power over the whole kingdom.

This made the king's deputies very jealous and they plotted to get rid of Daniel. They remembered that God was very important to Daniel - even more important than the king.

Daniel

The deputies said to the king, "Because we love you, we think there should be a law that anyone who is caught praying to someone other than you, should be fed to the lions." The king agreed. 

Daniel knew about the new law, but he continued to pray like he had always done, sometimes three times a day.

The deputies now waited to catch Daniel praying and then told the king about it.


Daniel prays

The king liked Daniel and realized that he had been tricked by the deputies and was unhappy about the law he had signed. He wanted Daniel to survive. He said that although he was very sorry, this was the law and he had to follow it. He hoped that Daniel's God would save him. 

The deputies threw Daniel into a den with the lions and placed a big stone to cover the mouth of the den. 

The king spent the whole night not eating and worrying about what was happening to Daniel. He couldn't sleep all night. The next morning the king rushed to the den and asked that the door be opened. He wanted to see if Daniel had been killed and called out to him. 

Daniel answered: "My God sent an angel and shut the mouths of the lions so that they could not hurt me."

Daniel was alive and well without a scratch!

King Darius was happy and took Daniel out of the lions' den. Next he put all the men that had accused Daniel, along with their families into the lions' den. The lions tore them to pieces. 

daniel

He then said to all the people: "In every part of my kingdom, men must respect the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and God's kingdom shall not be destroyed and His dominions shall be even unto the end. God delivereth and rescueth and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth - God had saved Daniel from the power of the lions."

Daniel lived a good life under the rule of King Darius.

Images are the copyright of Moody Publishers for teaching purposes only, all rights reserved.  Distributed under a license with FreeBibleimages.  Handwriting on wall image courtesy of ChristiansUnite clip art.
Bible lesson activities

Learning Activity Extensions

Read the story in the Bible: Daniel 6:1-28

Daniel in the Lions' Den Cryptogram Puzzle - Each letter of the Bible verse is replaced with another letter. Decode the verse by typing in the correct letter. Courtesy of akidsheart.com (Age 7-12)

Design a scene - Arrange Daniel and the lions in the den. Courtesy of akidsheart.com (Age 2-5)

Daniel in the Lions' Den Jigsaw Puzzle. Courtesy of akidsheart.com (Age 2-5)

Daniel in Lions' Den 

Holy Tales Bible Stories (11:52 min.)

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