Daniel is able to retain his high position, even though the Babylonian Empire has just fallen to pieces. He continues to serve as one of Darius the Mede's top three men—presidents who supervise the one hundred twenty satraps that help govern the kingdom (a "satrap" is basically a state governor).
But the other two presidents and the satraps all get jealous of Daniel. He's been doing so good that Darius is planning to make him his number one president, ruling over everyone else except for the king.
The satraps can't find anything to discredit Daniel with in his own life, since he's a pretty clean-living and incorruptible guy. So they devise a plot.
The satraps go to Darius and start to kiss up to him. They convince him to sign a document ordering everyone to pray to him and worship him—and only him—for thirty days, or else they'll be thrown into a den full of lions.
How Many Traps Would a Satrap Trap if a Satrap Could Trap Traps?
Daniel pays no attention to the new rule and continues to pray to God at his window facing Jerusalem.
The satraps go to Darius and tell him what Daniel is doing. But the king really likes Daniel and makes every effort he can to save him. Still, the satraps tell him that he can't change his own laws.
So Darius orders Daniel thrown into the lion's den—though, before it happens, Darius tells Daniel that he hopes God can save him. After Daniel is put inside, the den is sealed over with a giant boulder.
After heading home, Darius refuses to eat. He fasts and is unable to sleep, as well.
Satraps Entrapped by Their Own Trap
The next day, Darius heads down to the den to see if God saved Daniel. And he has: Daniel is fine and answers the king when Darius calls to him. Dan explains that God's angel showed up and made sure the lions' mouths stayed shut. So, Daniel is saved, and Darius allows him to be taken out of the den.
But the king punishes the people who conspired against Daniel—not only the satraps and presidents, but their wives and children are chucked into the lions' den. The lions start to devour them and crunch their bones before they even hit the floor (ew).
Like Nebuchadnezzar before him, Darius issues a proclamation, telling everyone that they need to respect and fear Daniel's God. He pays tribute to God for saving Daniel and says that God's kingdom will outlast all others.
The chapter ends, stating that Daniel went on to do pretty well for himself, both during Darius' reign and that of the next king: Cyrus.