Daniel 6:3 Index
"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm."
Research Material

"...Daniel was preferred..."

  • This is not the first time this excellent spirit is seen in Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar observed it, (Daniel 4:8), and the queen mother referred to the same quality (Daniel 5:11 and Daniel 5:12). He was unwavering in faithfulness, loyal to duty, and showed unquestionable integrity in words and acts. Those were qualities not seen in public servants of that age. (KC 69)
  • As a great man in the empire of Babylon, Daniel might have been regarded an enemy by Darius, and have been banished or otherwise put out of the way. Or as a captive from a nation then in ruins, he might have been despised and set at naught. But to the credit of Darius be it said, Daniel was preferred over all the others, because the discerning king saw in him an excellent spirit. The king thought to set him over the whole realm. (US 98)
  • It was not after the order of the world that Daniel, belonging to a race held in bondage, should at once be given one of the highest positions in the newly organized government. It will appear still more unusual when it is remembered that Daniel had been made third ruler of the Babylonian kingdom under Belshazzar. Reference to Daniel 8:1 and Daniel 8:2 shows that Daniel was not a stranger to the new government, for before the death of Belshazzar, he had lived in Shushan, in the province of Elam. To the fact of acquaintanceship it may be added that the excellent spirit and unsurpassed business ability of Daniel brought him into prominence. (SNH 90)
  • Here is recorded the case of a man who was a devout follower of God, one whose honesty, accuracy, and skill in every particular were a wonder to the world. It is a powerful witness to the duties and privileges of every Christian business man. He was a noble statesman, an example for all office-holders, but not a politician. He fulfilled his duties under the Medes just as faithfully as under the Babylonians. He served the God of heaven, and not a man-made party. A business man does not necessarily have to be a sharp, policy man, but may be instructed by God at every step. When prime minister of Babylon, Daniel, was a prophet of God, was receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. The usual type of statesman, -- worldly, ambitious, scheming (Proverbs 4:4; Proverbs 4:5), -- is compared in the Scriptures to the grass of the field, and to the fading flower. The Lord is pleased to have men of intelligence in His work if they remain true to Him. Through the grace of Christ, man may preserve the integrity of his character when surrounded by adverse circumstances. Daniel made God his strength, and was not forsaken in his time of greatest need. (Psalms 1:1-3; Colossians 3:17). (SNH 90-91)

"...because an excellent spirit was in him..."

  • This was not the first time that royal observers had noticed a unique "spirit" in Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar had testified to Daniel's possession of "the spirit of the holy gods" (Daniel 4:8). The queen mother repeated the expression in her interview with Belshazzar on his last fateful night (Daniel 5:11). On the same occasion she called attention to the "excellent spirit" that had been observed in Daniel (Daniel 5:12). This spirit had no doubt manifested itself, not only in the solving of "hard sentences" (Daniel 5:12), but also in scrupulous integrity, unwavering faithfulness, loyalty to duty, and integrity in words and acts.... A brief acquaintance with this elderly statesman, a survivor of the golden age of imperial Babylonia, was sufficient to convince Darius that Daniel wold be a wise choice as chief administrator of the new empire and counselor of the crown. (4BC 810)
  • Roman history, with its stories of trusts, monopolies, and corporations, its bribery in the senate and outside the senate, is the history of Babylon, for Rome was one of the governments which were built upon Babylonian principles. French history during the period of the Revolution repeats the story. The history of England, the continental countries, and the United States to-day repeat the same story. So in current history may be read in detail what had to be met by the prime minister in the city of Babylon. The sixth chapter of Daniel is left on record to show how a man of God, when elevated to such a position, can remain uncontaminated. It shows that attitude which any man of God must assume toward popular vice and corruption, and more than that, it shows what treatment a man who is true to principle must expect to receive from the hands of those who are corrupt. (SNH 92-93)
  • Because Daniel did guard the king's interests, Darius was about to set him over the whole realm. But the honesty of one man i like a thorn in the flesh of the unjust, and in their political meetings the princes and presidents sought to destroy the man who made accurate reports, and who was faultless in his dealings.(Psalms 37:12; Proverbs 4:14-15; Jeremiah 6:13, 10:2-3; Ecclesiastes 1;9-10, 15, 4:1, 5:13; Isaiah 8:9-12; James 1:1-5) "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21), is a principle Daniel could not be swerved. (SNH 93)
  • Daniel prayed unto his God three times a day. Satan is enraged at the sound of fervent prayer, for he knows that he will suffer loss. Daniel was preferred above the presidents and the princes because an excellent spirit was in him. Fallen angels feared that his influence would weaken their control over the rulers of the kingdom, for Daniel was high in command. The accusing host of evil angels stirred up the presidents and princes to envy and jealousy, and they watched Daniel closely to find some occasion against him that they might report him to the king; but they failed. Then these agents of Satan sought to make his faithfulness to God the cause of his destruction. Evil angels laid out the plan for them, and these agents readily carried it into effect. (1T 295)
  • Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). What an impression was produced upon Darius by the conduct of Daniel! Daniel lived a pure and holy life. God was first with him. Whenever real Christianity reigns in the heart, it will be revealed in the character. All will take knowledge of such, that they have been with Jesus. The undivided affections must be given to God. (TM 443)
  • The case of Daniel was presented before me. Although he was a man of like passions with ourselves, the pen of inspiration presents him as a faultless character. His life is given us as a bright example of what man may become, even in this life, if he will make God his strength and wisely improve the opportunities and privileges within his reach. Daniel was an intellectual giant; yet he was continually seeking for greater knowledge, for higher attainments. Other young men had the same advantages; but they did not, like him, bend all their energies to seek wisdom—the knowledge of God as revealed in His word and in His works. Although Daniel was one of the world's great men, he was not proud nor self-sufficient. He felt the need of refreshing his soul with prayer, and each day found him in earnest supplication before God. He would not be deprived of this privilege even when a den of lions was opened to receive him if he continued to pray.
    • Daniel loved, feared, and obeyed God. Yet he did not flee away from the world to avoid its corrupting influence. In the providence of God he was to be in the world yet not of the world. With all the temptations and fascinations of court life surrounding him, he stood in the integrity of his soul, firm as a rock in his adherence to principle. He made God his strength and was not forsaken of Him in his time of greatest need. (4T 569-570)
  • In the gift of Jesus is included the whole heavenly treasure. But what a fearful responsibility rests upon those who hear the truth, and who claim to believe it, and who are yet not sanctified through the truth. They testify to the world that the truth which they claim to believe has no sanctifying power, and thus they make of none effect the truth of God. It is the privilege of those who accept of Christ to reach a high standard in character, and thus become living epistles, known and read of all men, as were Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon. There is no reason why we should not possess fragrance of character through the merits of Christ, and be recognized in heaven as laborers together with God. Through Jesus Christ we may have a saving influence upon the world. Christ would have every one of us a savor of life unto life. He would impute to us his righteousness, in order that we may communicate his goodness, mercy, and love to fallen humanity. When we enter into the joy of our Lord, praise will ascend to the throne of God, and we shall say, “No credit belongs to us; Christ did it all, and to his name be all the glory.”(The Signs of the Times article "Salt is Good," November 7, 1895)
  • When your soul is the temple for the indwelling Spirit of the Saviour, the gross elements of your nature will be consumed, and the whole being will become a living purpose. He who is truly Christ's will have an experience like that of Daniel, and the fruits of the Spirit will appear in his life. There are powers within us that are paralyzed through sin, that need the vivifying influence of the grace of Christ, that they may be restored. A mighty power from the Life-giver must quicken them to life, and rouse them to action. When this is your experience, you can work as Jesus has given you an example. Divine light and love will be reflected upon those who feel that they are sick in both soul and body. Jesus invites his own presence to your soul. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Shall we not open the door of our hearts to the divine guest? (The Signs of the Times article "God's Requirement of His People," November 30, 1888)
  • Under the reign of Darius, Daniel was exalted to a position of great honor, because the king saw in him an “excellent spirit.” But when the leading men of the kingdom saw Daniel thus favored, they became jealous of him, and soon envied and hated him. His course of unbending integrity was in marked contrast to their own lives. The more upright and righteous he was, the more they hated him. Long they sought to find something whereby he might be condemned. It angered them to think that they could lay nothing to his charge. But he was prime minister of the kingdom, and they knew they would have to prove any charge they brought against him. (The Youth's Instructor article "God's Care for His Children," November 1, 1900)
  • Only by faithfulness in the little things can the soul be trained to act with fidelity under larger responsibilities. God brought Daniel and his fellows into connection with the great men of Babylon, that these heathen men might become acquainted with the principles of true religion. In the midst of a nation of idolaters, Daniel was to represent the character of God. How did he become fitted for a position of so great trust and honor? It was his faithfulness in the little things that gave complexion to his whole life. He honored God in the smallest duties, and the Lord co-operated with him. To Daniel and his companions God gave “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams”(Daniel 1:17). (COL 356-357)
  • Be strong in faith, and teach your children that we are all dependent upon God. Read to them the story of the four Hebrew children, and impress their minds with a realization of the influence for good that was exerted in Daniel's time because of strict adherence to principle. (CG 43)
  •  We are not compelled to choose as familiar associates those who reject the love of God that has been expressed in giving His Son to our world, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Those who love God will not choose the enemies of God to be their friends. The question was asked, “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them which hate the Lord?” Will you prefer the association of the irreligious and disloyal, to that of those who are obeying the commandments of God? Will you choose to separate yourself from those who love God, and place yourself as far as possible from the channel of light? You want to keep in an atmosphere of purity and faith, and bring into your character principles that will be as solid timbers. Christians will not choose and cultivate the society of non-Christians. If the Lord gives you a special position in the world, as He did Joseph and Daniel, then he will sustain and keep you in the midst of temptation. But you will never be where you will find too much light, in our world. Then how perilous it is to choose the association of those who love darkness rather than light, and will not come to the light, lest their deeds should be reproved. (FE 295-296)
  • Whatever business parents might think suitable for their children, whether they desired them to become manufacturers, agriculturists, mechanics, or to follow some professional calling, they would reap great advantages from the discipline of an education. Your children should have an opportunity to study the Bible in the school. They need to be thoroughly furnished with the reasons of our faith, to understand the Scriptures for themselves. Through understanding the truths of the Bible, they will be better fitted to fill positions of trust. They will be fortified against the temptations that will beset them on the right hand and on the left. But if they are thoroughly instructed and consecrated, they may be called, as was Daniel, to fill important responsibilities. Daniel was a faithful statesman in the courts of Babylon; for he feared, loved, and trusted God; and in time of temptation and peril he was preserved by the power of God. We read that God gave Daniel wisdom, and endowed him with understanding. (FE 204-205)
  • There is need of everyone in every school and in every other institution being, as was Daniel, in such close connection with the Source of all wisdom that he will be enabled to reach the highest standard in every line. The love and fear of God was before Daniel; and conscious of his amenability to God, he trained all his powers to respond as far as possible to the loving care of the Great Teacher. The four Hebrew children would not allow selfish motives and love of amusements to occupy the golden moments of life. They worked with willing heart and ready mind. This is no higher standard than every Christian youth may reach. (CT 283-284)
  • By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by their devotion to the interests of the people,—and they, idolaters,—Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to the principles of their early training, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and in Babylon, the whole nation honored; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld an illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, an illustration of the love of Christ.
    • The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and the children of today. The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose. (Ed 56-57)
  • Daniel dared not trust to his own moral power. Prayer was to him a necessity. He made God his strength, and the fear of God was continually before him in all the transactions of his life. (FE 78)
  • Let nothing turn the attention away from the great work that is to be done. Let the thoughts, the aptitude, the keen exercise of the brain power, be put to the highest uses in studying the word and will of God. The Lord has a place for the very best ability He has intrusted to men. In the work of building up His kingdom, we may employ every capacity given of God, as faithfully and earnestly as did Daniel in Babylon, when he was found faithful to every duty to man, and loyal to his God. (FE 305)