Dear Friends, this painting depicts the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den where, according to the Bible, Daniel was delivered from the lion's jaws because of his faith in one of the many Gods that history is replete with. As a child, I was very taken by this story.
I have just read about the Rape of Nanking which took place in 1937 during the Japanese invasion of China. 330,000 Chinese people, men, women and children, were sadistically tortured, butchered and raped by the Japanese. Some of the black and white photographs of the victims I saw will haunt me forever (click on Google Images then type in Rape of Nanking if you're game).
As a result, I see the painting above not as noble, beautiful man being saved from the savage beasts but as man being an integral part of the kingdom of savage beasts therefore quite at home among them.
In the last century, Nanking, Hiroshima, Iraq, Jenin, Auschwitz, Vietnam, etc, are places where atrocities have been carried out. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Bush, Sharon, etc, are men who, with the help of people just like you and I, have killed many thousands, in some cases millions. If you go back through history you'll find thousands of other examples.
Savagery and deliberate cruelty is very much part of human nature.
How can we alter our ugly primitiveness?