Daniel 6:3 Index
"The 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, 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 8:1-2 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 4:4-5), -- 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)