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Daniel 6:

7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Did they falsely accuse Daniel?

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Let us be very clear about this (Dan 6) - Daniel was "guilty" of the "crimes" he had committed - praying to someone other than Darius. Indeed, in V23 and V27 the King is extremely pleased with Daniel's behavior and integrity.

The "problem" here is the translation of the phrase, אֲכַ֤לוּ קַרְצֹ֙והִי֙ which is translated "falsely accused" by some versions. This is highly interpretive as the phrase means literally, "chewed the bits".

That is, the problem with Daniel's accusers was not what they accused Daniel of doing, BUT, that their intent in bringing such charges was clearly to have Daniel "chewed up" by the legal system. That is, they had abused the legal system for clearly malicious purposes. Other versions have this translation:

  • ESV, TLV, NASB, HCSB, etc: maliciously accused

The Hebrew idiom "chewed the bits", or "ate the pieces" survives in Modern English when someone is sad to be "chewed up" by some large system.

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