Short Dramas and Plays
Daniel and the Lion's Den
( an adaptation of Daniel from the Holy Bible )
by Melineze Logan Hite
Narrator: Darius, the Median, king of the Medes and Persians, ruled over a vast kingdom with one hundred and twenty princes, and over the princes he assigned three presidents. The presidents and princes thought how they might cause death to the one chosen by the king over them all.
Princes: ( Entering stage right, a large group gathered together, with the presidents, plotting wickedness ) We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Presidents: That is it! We will go before the king and accuse Daniel of not obeying the king's command which is in direct opposition to his belief in God! Let us go now and slowly plan this act of betrayal to see how it unfolds to claim the life of Daniel. ( They march before the king who is sitting on his throne.)
King Darius: What is it , O chosen men of my kingdom?
Presidents: King Darius, live for ever! ( They all bow before the king.) All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
King Darius: It shall be so. ( Puttting his ring seal on a parchment, he then signals to his recorder of the chronicles to write the decree and then to read the decree while looking bored and nonobservant.)
The king's writer of chronicles: Hear ye, hear ye, on this day King Darius has ordered that no man or woman or child shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, except of King Darius of the Medes and of the Persians. If anyone disobeys this royal decree, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
Narrator: Now Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes by the king, because an excellent spirit was in him. The king thought to set him over the whole realm. Daniel was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. He prayed to his God upon his knees three times a day and gave thanks. Daniel was blessed by God to understand all visions and dreams, and he had knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. When he was a child he was sent to live in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon who sought certain children of Israel with no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. Daniel interpreted dreams and visions for King Nebuchadnezzar and for his son, King Belshazzar.
Daniel: ( On his knees praying to God, unafraid and boldly ) Bless you, Lord. I praise your holy name. I thank you, Lord. I love you, Lord. I will continue to serve you each and every day of my life. There is none greater than my Lord. I ask that you save me from all those that shall seek to persecute me and deliver me.
Presidents : ( Listening to Daniel in his room praying to God, running to the king) Has thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?
King: ( Confused) The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
Princes: ( Pointing to the area that Daniel was praying) That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
King: ( Visibly upset with himself for causing Daniel's inevitable end ) What have I done!
Presidents: ( Cleverly presenting his case ) Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and the Persians is that no decree nor statue which the king establisheth may be changed.
King: ( Realizing he has been tricked )You devils.... Soldiers, bring Daniel before me now.( Soldiers exit stage right. The king is very saddened by the events which are unfolding.) Quickly, quickly!
Daniel: ( Entering the room calmly, unafraid) O King I have done no hurt.
King: ( Finding it difficult to pronounce sentence on Daniel)Daniel, you shall be thrown into the lion's...lion's den, for dis...disobeying the royal decree. ( The king moves closer to Daniel and says to him with faith.) Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. ( With his back to Daniel, the king walks away.) Soldiers, throw him into the lion's den, now!( Soldiers push him in. He prays with his head lifted up towards heaven, as he falls into the pit.)
Narrator: ( The actors must pantomine these actions as the Narrator slowly speaks. A strong person must place a huge rolling rock on and later off the opening of the pit.) And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den. Then the king fasted: neither were instruments of musick brought before him. ( Women will offer the king a basket of fruit, he will shake his head. Women will come to play the flute for him, he will shake his head.) Then the next morning the king went in haste unto the den of lions.The servant rolls the rock away. And when he came to the den he cried with a lamentable voice...
King: ( Eagerly speaking) O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
Daniel: ( After a great pause ) O king, live for ever! My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lion's mouths! They have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
King: ( Very happy and relieved) Soldiers, come, take Daniel up out of the den. ( A large, long rope is thrown into the pit, and Daniel slowly climbs out, assisted by the now believing soldiers who bow before Daniel as he comes up out of the pit.) The king and Daniel embrace joyfully.
King: Soldiers, bring those men who accused Daniel, and their wives, and their children, and cast all of them into the lion's den. ( The soldiers rush out. Daniel and the king move to the throne room. The loud screams of women and small children fill the air, then gradually they fade.)
Narrator: And the lions brake all their bones in pieces. The lions had the mastery of them. Then King Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth:
King : (Standing right center before the audience. Daniel is center on his knees, full front, thanking God for his deliverance.) I, King Darius of the Medes and the Persians, make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men shall tremble and shall show fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Narrator: ( As Daniel slowly stands) Daniel was taken up out of the the lion's den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God! So Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius.
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