Israel – 2012 – 2 Sheqel – Daniel in the den of lions (PROOF)
Face Value Metal Fineness Weight Diameter Quality Mintage
2 NIS Silver .925 28.28 gr 38.7mm PROOF 2’800
The biblical story of Daniel is an amazing story of faith, loyalty and heroism.
Daniel was a handsome, intelligent boy of royal descent, who was exiled from his home in the Land of Israel, his country of birth, before the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE. He grew up in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, became a favorite of the King and later, the interpreter of the King’s dreams. For this, he was appointed head of the King’s wise men and the Kingdom of Babylon.
When Nebuchadnezzar died, his son Belshazar inherited the throne. One night, Belshazar made a great banquet for a thousand people (Book of Daniel, Chapter 5). After having drunk much wine, he requested that the vessels of the Temple in Jerusalem taken by his father, be brought out and used. At that very moment, a hidden hand began to write words on the wall. Nobody was able to interpret the meaning of the words except Daniel. Solely Daniel was able to read and explain the significance of the writing on the wall: The words Mene Mene Teqel Ufarsin predicted the fall of the Babylonian Empire and its subsequent conquest by Persia and Modai. That very night, Belshazzar was killed and Darius the Mede succeeded to the throne. Darius, like his predecessors, appointed Daniel as Head of his Counselors and in sole charge of the empire.
At this time, out of sheer envy, Daniel’s rivals sought his downfall. A decree was initiated by the King’s Counselors with the King’s agreement, forbidding orders to be given by any person except the King, for thirty days. Any person not obeying this decree would be thrown into the lions’ den. When Daniel remained faithful to God and continued praying to Him three times daily, his rivals spoke slander of him before the King. Despite his affection for Daniel, the King now had no choice but to have him thrown into the lions’ den.
That night, the King could not sleep and at the crack of dawn, he precipitated to the lions’ den to see what had become of Daniel. To the relief and joy of the King, Daniel, rewarded by God for his faith and loyalty, was there in the den, untouched by the fierce lions. The King admired the God of Daniel and decreed that He was to be revered. He ordered that Daniel’s rivals be thrown into the den, upon which. they were instantly devoured by the lions. Daniel continued to serve as executive officer to Darius the Mede and later, Cyrus, King of Persia.