Daniel the President

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.” (Daniel 6:1-2)

Not many people realize that the godly prophet Daniel was the first president of the great Medo-Persian-Babylonian empire!

Of course, Daniel’s office did not correlate directly with that of an American president, being appointive rather than elective, and being subject to the emperor, but he nevertheless had great authority. Many translations use the word “governor” instead of “president”—the original language was Aramaic in this case rather than Hebrew.

In any case, Daniel was a God-fearing Hebrew, rather than a Persian or Babylonian, and so soon drew the envy and resentment of the other “presidents” and “princes” of the empire. But the only charge they could make against him (there was no hint of scandal or corruption in his character or activities, unlike certain nominally Christian presidents in our own country) was that he was too “religious,” worshipping openly the true God of creation instead of the nature-gods of the pagans. “They could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (Daniel 6:4).

It is sadly true that such a testimony could never have been given concerning any American president, not even Washington or Lincoln, as great and praiseworthy as they were. Nevertheless, God would remind us “that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1-2). HMM

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