An extraordinary oak relief of Daniel in the Lions Den.
German, late 17th century.
Measures 90 x 57 x 10cm.
In Daniel 6, Daniel is raised to high office by his royal master Darius the Mede. Daniel's jealous rivals trick Darius into issuing a decree that for thirty days no prayers should be addressed to any god or man but Darius himself; anyone who disobeys this edict is to be thrown to the lions. Pious Daniel continues to pray daily to the God of Israel; and the king, although deeply distressed, must condemn Daniel to death, for the edicts of the Medes and Persians cannot be altered. Hoping for Daniel's deliverance, Darius has him cast into the pit. At daybreak the king hurries to the place and cries out anxiously, asking if God had saved his friend. Daniel replies that his God had sent an angel to close the jaws of the lions, "because I was found blameless before him". The king commands that those who had conspired against Daniel be thrown to the lions in his place with their wives and children, and that the whole world should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.
The man attended by the angel is Habakkuk; Habakkuk appears in Bel and the Dragon, which is part of the deuterocanonical Additions to Daniel. Verses 33–39 state that Habakkuk is in Judea; after making some stew, he is instructed by an angel of the Lord to take the stew to Daniel, who is in the lion's den in Babylon. After proclaiming that he is unaware of both the den and Babylon, the angel transports Habakkuk to the lion's den. Habakkuk gives Daniel the food to sustain him, and he is immediately taken back to "his place".
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15 000 €