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Friday, 24 May 2024 - Maria Ausiliatrice ( Letture di oggi)

Daniel 6


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1and Darius the Mede received the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.2It pleased Darius to appoint a hundred and twenty satraps over his kingdom for the various parts,3and over them three presidents -- of whom Daniel was one -- to whom the satraps were to beresponsible. This was to safeguard the king's interests.4This Daniel, by virtue of the marvel ous spirit residing in him, was so evidently superior to the otherpresidents and satraps that the king considered appointing him to rule the whole kingdom.5The presidents and satraps, in consequence, started hunting for some affair of state by which theycould discredit Daniel; but they could find nothing to his discredit, and no case of negligence; he was sopunctilious that they could not find a single instance of maladministration or neglect.6These men then thought, 'We shal never find a way of discrediting Daniel unless we try something todo with the law of his God.'7The presidents and satraps then went in a body to the king. 'King Darius,' they said, 'live for ever!8We are all agreed, presidents of the realm, magistrates, satraps, councillors and governors, that theking should issue an edict enforcing the fol owing regulation: Whoever within the next thirty days prays toanyone, divine or human, other than to yourself, Your Majesty, is to be thrown into the lions' den.9Your Majesty, ratify the edict at once by signing this document, making it unalterable, as befits the lawof the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.'10King Darius accordingly signed the document embodying the edict.11When Daniel heard that the document had been signed, he retired to his house. The windows of hisupstairs room faced towards Jerusalem. Three times each day, he went down on his knees, praying and givingpraise to God as he had always done.12These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God.13They then went to the king and reminded him of the royal edict, 'Have you not signed an edictforbidding anyone for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, divine or human, other than to yourself, YourMajesty, on pain of being thrown into the lions' den?' 'The decision stands', the king replied, 'as befits the law ofthe Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.'14They then said to the king, 'Your Majesty, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregardsboth you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day.'15When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed and determined to save Daniel; he rackedhis brains until sunset to find some way to save him.16But the men kept pressing the king, 'Your Majesty, remember that in conformity with the law of theMedes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king.'17The king then ordered Daniel to be brought and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, 'YourGod, whom you have served so faithful y, wil have to save you.'18A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signetand with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel.19The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of hisconcubines. Sleep eluded him,20and at the first sign of dawn he got up and hurried to the lion pit.21As he approached the pit he cal ed in anguished tones to Daniel, 'Daniel, servant of the living God!Has your God, whom you serve so faithful y, been able to save you from the lions?'22Daniel answered the king, 'May Your Majesty live for ever!23My God sent his angel who sealed the lions' jaws; they did me no harm, since in his sight I amblameless; neither have I ever done you any wrong, Your Majesty.'24The king was overjoyed and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from thepit and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God.25The king then sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, andtheir wives and children too; and before they reached the floor of the pit the lions had seized them and crushedtheir bones to pieces.26King Darius then wrote to al nations, peoples and languages dwel ing throughout the world: 'May youprosper more and more!27This is my decree: Throughout every dominion of my realm, let al tremble with fear before the God ofDaniel: He is the living God, he endures for ever, his kingdom wil never be destroyed and his empire nevercome to an end.28He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth; he has saved Danielfrom the power of the lions.'29This Daniel flourished in the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.