Daniel 6:15
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 be changed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6:11-17 It is no new thing for what is done faithfully, in conscience toward God, to be misrepresented as done obstinately, and in contempt of the civil powers. Through want of due thought, we often do that which afterwards, like Darius, we see cause a thousand times to wish undone again. Daniel, that venerable man, is brought as the vilest of malefactors, and is thrown into the den of lions, to be devoured, only for worshipping his God. No doubt the placing the stone was ordered by the providence of God, that the miracle of Daniel's deliverance might appear more plain; and the king sealed it with his own signet, probably lest Daniel's enemies should kill him. Let us commit our lives and souls unto God, in well-doing. We cannot place full confidence even in men whom we faithfully serve; but believers may, in all cases, be sure of the Divine favour and consolation.Then these men assembled unto the king - The Chaldee here is the same as in Daniel 6:6, "they came tumultuously." They were earnest that the law should be executed, and they probably apprehended that if the king were allowed to dwell upon it, the firmness of his own mind would give way, and that he would release Daniel. Perhaps they dreaded the effect of the compunctious visitings which he might have during the silence of the night, and they, therefore, came tumultuously to hasten his decision.

Know, O king, that the law ... - That is a settled matter about which there can be no debate or difference of opinion. It would seem that this was a point so well settled that no question could be raised in regard to it, and, to their minds, it was equally clear that if this were so, it was necessary that the sentence should be executed without delay.

14. displeased with himself—for having suffered himself to be entrapped into such a hasty decree (Pr 29:20). On the one hand he was pressed by the immutability of the law, fear that the princes might conspire against him, and desire to consult for his own reputation, not to seem fickle; on the other, by regard for Daniel, and a desire to save him from the effects of his own rash decree.

till … going down of … sun—The king took this time to deliberate, thinking that after sunset Daniel would be spared till morning, and that meanwhile some way of escape would turn up. But (Da 6:15) the conspirators "assembled tumultuously" (literally) to prevent this delay in the execution, lest the king should meantime change his decree.

These were bold men, they were resolved to follow their blows, and would have their will rather than the king should have his in this case; which on the king’s part was honourable and royal, to retrieve an evil act, and to retract, or at least to mitigate, a rigid and, rash decree.

No decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed: thus Haman contrived and pleaded, yet there was a way found to prevent execution, Es 8. Again, this law, which they plead was fundamental to make all laws and decrees immutable, was absurd and impolitic; for laws should be essentially changeable by the law-makers, because they often see greater cause to change a law when it grows obsolete and burdensome, though before thought necessary, than to make it at first; whereof we have sufficient instances in all nations in all ages. Will any legislative power in the world so bind their own hands, as to entail a yoke upon themselves and nation which they and posterity could not remedy? The intent of the lawgiver is the law, the equity of it is the obligation of it, which also is the true measure of its duration.

Then these men assembled to the king,.... Who had left him for a while to consider of the case; or they departed to consult among themselves about the king's proposals to them; or went home to their own houses to dinner, and returned in a body; they came in a tumultuous way, as the word signifies; see Daniel 6:6, they cluttered about him, and were very rude and noisy, and addressed him in an authoritative and threatening manner:

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 be changed; they perceived that he was desirous of altering or nullifying the decree he had made, which to have done would have been to his reputation; and to this they oppose a fundamental law of the realm, that no decree ratified by the king could be altered; to attempt to do this would be a breach of their constitution, and of dangerous consequence; it would lessen the king's authority, and be a means of his subjects rising up in rebellion against him: for that there was such a law, the king knew as well as they; nor do they say this by way of information, but to urge him to the execution of the decree; and there is no doubt to be made that there was such a fundamental law, though a foolish one, and which afterwards continued, Esther 1:19, but the instance which some writers give out of Diodorus Siculus (f), concerning Charidemus, a general of the Athenians, whom another Darius king of Persia condemned to die for the freedom of speech he used with him and afterwards repented of it, but in vain; for his royal power, as the historian observes, could not make that undone which was done; this is no proof of the immutability of the laws of the Persians, since the king's repentance was after the general's death, which then was too late.

(f) Bibliothec. Hist. l. 17. p. 510.

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 be {f} changed.

(f) Thus the wicked maintain evil laws by constancy and authority, which is often either weakness, or stubbornness, and the innocent as a result perish by them: and these governors neither ought to fear, nor be ashamed to break such laws.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. assembled] came thronging or tumultuously, as Daniel 6:6.

Know, O king, &c.] The courtiers, in their violence against Daniel, address Darius, as in Daniel 6:12, abruptly and peremptorily, without any respectful words of introduction (Daniel 6:6).

decree] interdict.

Verse 15. - 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 or statute which the king establisheth maybe changed. The corresponding verse in the Septuagint is much shorter, "And he was not able to deliver him from them." This verse in the Massoretic text has very much the appearance of a doublet mollified to fit a new position. The first clause has occurred already twice before in the sixth verse and the fifteenth. The last portion of the verse is a modification of what is stated in vers. 9 and 13. The first clause is omitted by Theodotion, but inserted by the Peshitta. The probability is that this verse, in its Massoretic form, has been inserted to explain the opposition the king strove in vain to overcome. Daniel 6:15But the king, who knew and highly valued (cf. v. 2[[1]) Daniel's fidelity to the duties of his office, was so sore displeased by the accusation, that he laboured till the going down of the sun to effect his deliverance. The verb באשׁ has an intransitive meaning: to be evil, to be displeased, and is not joined into one sentence with the subject מלכּא, which stands here absolute; and the subject to עלוהי באשׁ is undefined: it, namely, the matter displeased him; cf. Genesis 21:11. בּל שׂם corresponds to the Hebr. לב שׁית, Proverbs 22:17, to lay to heart. The word בּל, cor, mens, is unknown in the later Chaldee, but is preserved in the Syr. bālā̀ and the Arab. bâlun.

Daniel 6:16-17 (Daniel 6:15-16)

When the king could not till the going down of the sun resolve on passing sentence against Daniel, about this time his accusers gathered themselves together into his presence for the purpose of inducing him to carry out the threatened punishment, reminding him that, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, every prohibition and every command which the king decreed (יהקים), i.e., issued in a legal form, could not be changed, i.e., could not be recalled. There being no way of escape out of the difficulty for the king, he had to give the command that the punishment should be inflicted, and Daniel was cast into the den of lions, v. 17 (Daniel 6:16). On the Aphel היתיו, and the pass. from (Daniel 6:17) היתית, see at Daniel 3:13. The execution of the sentence was carried out, according to Oriental custom, on the evening of the day in which the accusation was made; this does not, however, imply that it was on the evening in which, at the ninth hour, he had prayed, as Hitzig affirms, in order that he may thereby make the whole matter improbable. In giving up Daniel to punishment, the king gave expression to the wish, "May thy God whom thou servest continually, deliver thee!" not "He will deliver thee;" for Darius could not have this confidence, but he may have had the feeble hope of the possibility of the deliverance which from his heart he wished, inasmuch as he may have heard of the miracles of the Almighty God whom Daniel served in the days of Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar.

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