Daniel 6:22
My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: for as much as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt.
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(22) His angel.—Comp. Psalm 34:7; Psalm 34:10; Daniel 3:28.

Before thee—i.e., thou knowest full well.

6:18-24 The best way to have a good night, is to keep a good conscience. We are sure of what the king doubted, that the servants of the living God have a Master well able to protect them. See the power of God over the fiercest creatures, and believe his power to restrain the roaring lion that goeth about continually seeking to devour. Daniel was kept perfectly safe, because he believed in his God. Those who boldly and cheerfully trust in God to protect them in the way of duty, shall always find him a present help. Thus the righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. The short triumph of the wicked will end in their ruin.My God hath sent his angel - It was common among the Hebrews to attribute any remarkable preservation from danger to the intervention of an angel sent from God, and no one can demonstrate that it did not occur as they supposed. There is no more absurdity in supposing that God employs an angelic being to defend his people, or to impart blessings to them, than there is in supposing that he employs one human being to render important aid, and to convey important blessings, to another. As a matter of fact, few of the favors which God bestows upon men are conveyed to them directly from himself, but they are mostly imparted by the instrumentality of others. So it is in the blessings of liberty, in deliverance from bondage, in the provision made for our wants, in the favor bestowed on us in infancy and childhood. As this principle prevails everywhere on the earth, it is not absurd to suppose that it may prevail elsewhere, and that on important occasions, and in instances above the rank of human intervention, God may employ the instrumentality of higher beings to defend his people in trouble, and rescue them from danger. Compare Psalm 34:7; Psalm 91:11; Daniel 9:21; Matthew 18:10; Luke 16:22; Hebrews 1:14. Daniel does not say whether the angel was visible or not, but it is rather to be presumed that he was, as in this way it would be more certainly known to him that he owed his deliverance to the intervention of an angel, and as this would be to him a manifest token of the favor and protection of God.

And hath shut the lions' mouths - It is clear that Daniel supposed that this was accomplished by a miracle; and this is the only satisfactory solution of what had occurred. There is, moreover, no more objection to the supposition that this was a miracle than there is to any miracle whatever, for

(a) there is no more fitting occasion for the Divine intervention than when a good man is in danger, and

(b) the object to be accomplished on the mind of the king, and through him on the minds of the people at large, was worthy of such an interposition.

The design was evidently to impress the mind of the monarch with the belief of the existence of the true God, and to furnish in the court of Babylon proof that should be convincing that he is the only God.

Forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me -

(1) Absolute innocency in reference to the question of guilt on the point in which he had been condemned - he having done only what God approved; and

(2) general integrity and uprightness of character. We need not suppose that Daniel claimed to be absolutely perfect (compare Daniel 9), but we may suppose that he means to say that God saw that he was what he professed to be, and that his life was such as he approved.

And also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt - That is, he had in no manner violated his duty to the king; he had done nothing that tended to overthrow his government, or to spread disaffection among his subjects.

22. his angel—the instrument, not the author, of his deliverance (Ps 91:11; 34:7).

shut … lions' mouths—(Heb 11:33). So spiritually, God will shut the roaring lion's mouth (1Pe 5:8) for His servants.

forasmuch as before him innocency—not absolutely (in Da 9:7, 18 he disclaims such a plea), but relatively to this case. God has attested the justice of my cause in standing up for His worship, by delivering me. Therefore, the "forasmuch" does not justify Rome's doctrine of works meriting salvation.

before thee—Obedience to God is in strictest compatibility with loyalty to the king (Mt 22:21; 1Pe 2:17). Daniel's disobedience to the king was seeming, not real, because it was not from contempt of the king, but from regard to the King of kings (compare Ac 24:16).

My God hath sent his angel; he had his eye specially to Him whose cause and honour was concerned in this matter. The Lord either took the lions’ hunger away from them, or made Daniel appeared terrible to them; or, literally, shut their mouths.

Before him innocency was found in me; because by faith he trusted in the Lord, Hebrews 11:33; therefore the papists from hence falsely conclude justification by works and merits, assigning fallaciously a false cause instead of a principal, formal, and meritorious cause; for the word forasmuch or because in Scripture doth often signify an occasion rather than a cause; Psalm 25:11,

Pardon my sin, for it is great. Daniel did not use to argue thus, but the contrary, Daniel 9:7,18. Daniel pleads the innocence of his cause to the king in suffering, not the righteousness of his person; and that the Lord delivered him to assert his honour in his unjust sufferings.

Before thee, O king have I done no hurt; nor have I sinned against, thee, O king: the fear of God is set before honouring of kings, 1 Peter 2:17. My God hath sent his angel,.... Daniel takes up the king's expression, and confirms it; he asserts God to be his God, of which he had given him a proof in sending his angel to him that night; either one of the ministering spirits about him, or the Angel of the covenant, the same with him, said to be like the Son of God, that was seen in the fiery furnace, even the Messiah in human form:

and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me; by taking away hunger from them, or by striking terror into them; so that they had either no inclination to hurt him, or were afraid of him:

forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; either before God, or before his Angel, Daniel appeared to be an innocent and righteous person; therefore the Lord pleaded his cause, and made it to appear that he was just, and his cause good; for this is not to be understood of the merits of his works, and the causality of them to justify and save; for here he is speaking not of the righteousness of his person, but of his cause; and not of eternal, but temporal salvation:

and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt: either to his person or government; nothing that was criminal and sinful, but what was just and right, serving daily his God; and this was plain to the king, what he knew and owned; and though he had acted contrary to the decree the lords had craftily obtained, yet it was not out of disrespect to the king, but in obedience to his God; and in doing of which he had done nothing prejudicial to the king's interest.

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him {h} innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done {i} no hurt.

(h) My just cause and uprightness in this thing in which I was charged, is approved by God.

(i) For he disobeyed the kings's wicked commandment in order to obey God, and so he did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing by which God would be dishonoured.

22. sent his angel] cf. Daniel 3:28.

shut &c.] cf. Hebrews 11:33 (ἔφραξαν; Theod. here ἐνέφραξεν).

before thee] see on Daniel 6:10 end, and Daniel 2:9; and cf. Luke 15:18; Luke 15:21.The evidence of the wisdom and power of God is here unfolded; and firs the manifestation of His power. He changes times and seasons. lxx, Theodot. καιροὺς καὶ χρόνους, would be more accurately χρόνους καὶ καιρούς, as in Acts 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:1; for the Peschito in these N. T. passages renders χρόνοι by the Syriac word which is equivalent to זמניּא, according to which עדּן is the more general expression for time equals circumstance of time, זמן for measured time, the definite point of time. The uniting together of the synonymous words gives expression to the thought: ex arbitrio Dei pendere revolutiones omnium omnino temporum, quaecunque et qualia-cunque illa fuerint. C. B. Mich. God's unlimited control over seasons and times is seen in this, that He sets up and casts down kings. Thus Daniel explains the revelation regarding the dream of Nebuchadnezzar made to him as announcing great changes in the kingdoms of the world, and revealing God as the Lord of time and of the world in their developments. All wisdom also comes from God. He gives to men disclosures regarding His hidden counsels. This Daniel had just experienced. Illumination dwells with God as it were a person, as Wisdom, Proverbs 8:30. The Kethiv נהירא is maintained against the Keri by נהירוּ, Daniel 5:11, Daniel 5:14. With the perf. שׁרא the participial construction passes over into the temp. fin.; the perfect stands in the sense of the completed act. Therefore (Daniel 2:23) praise and thanksgiving belong to God. Through the revelation of the secret hidden to the wise men of this world He has proved Himself to Daniel as the God of the fathers, as the true God in opposition to the gods of the heathen. וּכען equals ועתּה, and now.
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