Daniel's Answer to the King
Daniel’s Answer to the King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daniel is a central figure who interprets dreams and visions in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. The book was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic by an unknown author.

One of the more memorable stories appears in sixth chapter, where Daniel is protected from ferocious lions while held captive in their den. Through a divine miracle he remains untouched.

While more mystically inclined Christians would take this as a demonstration of the power of faith in a God who can work miracles when he so chooses, the more worldly type of Christian tends to see the story as representing Israel’s protection from heathen kingdoms (symbolized by the beasts).

Daniel in the Lions' Den
Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den has captivated artists throughout the ages.

The first image by the London born Briton Rivière (1840–1920) posted above shows a serene Daniel standing supremely confident in the power of God’s saving grace. By way of contrast, this second image by the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens  (1577–1640) shows a more human Daniel, fervently praying while almost naked, and looking understandably afraid.


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