Notes on Daniel

Chapter Six

Blaine Robison, M.A.

Published 21 November 2009; Revised 2 July 2018

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Scripture: The Scripture text of this chapter commentary is taken from the NASB Updated Edition (1995). The Hebrew text for this chapter may be found here. Click here for Abbreviations of Bible Versions. Most versions can be accessed on the Internet.

Sources: Bibliographic data for sources cited may be found at the end of the article. The Septuagint (LXX) is the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, which was in use by Jews by the mid-2nd century BC. The LXX with English translation may be found here. Citations for Talmud tractates are from the Soncino Babylonian Talmud (1948); found at Halakhah.com.

Terminology: In order to emphasize the Hebraic and Jewish nature of Scripture I use the terms Tanakh (Old Testament) and Besekh (New Testament), as well as the terms Yeshua (Jesus) and Messiah (Christ).

Vocabulary: Unless otherwise noted the meaning of Hebrew words is from The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1981), abbreviated as "BDB."

Please see the Introduction for background information on the book of Daniel, interpretative approaches and historical context.

1 It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they would be in charge of the whole kingdom,

Darius: Heb. Dareyavesh, , the name given to Persian kings. Darius is actually a title meaning "lord" or "the royal one." His identity has been the subject of considerable debate since there is no ancient text outside the Bible that positively identifies Darius the Mede. Miller describes three suggestions advanced by Bible scholars concerning his identity.

a. He was Cambyses, son and successor of Cyrus.

According to ancient texts Cambyses did reign in Babylon during his father’s administration and was even called "king of Babylon." However, his reign was brief, apparently from committing a religious offense. Also, there is a significant difference in the age of Cambyses who would have been much younger than the 62 years attributed to Darius in 5:31.

b He was Gubaru.

Gubaru is mentioned in a number of ancient texts as the general over Cyrus’s army that conquered Babylon. Henry Morris accepts this option (DSB). Miller gives the arguments for this option as follows.

• Ancient texts reveal that Gubaru did govern Babylon during the period in question. The Nabonidus Chronicle says that Cyrus appointed Gubaru as the governor of Babylon immediately after the city was conquered.

• According to cuneiform evidence Gubaru became governor of Babylon in the accession year of Cyrus (539 BCE) and continued in this position for fourteen years.

• The Nabonidus Chronicle says that Gubaru installed subgovernors in Babylon, which corresponds to the report of Daniel 6:1-2.

• Daniel 5:31 literally says that Darius "received the kingdom" which a number of commentators interpret as received the kingdom from a superior, namely Cyrus. Daniel 9:1 also mentions that Darius was "made ruler."

• Although Darius is designated as a king in Daniel 6:6, a governor could loosely be spoken of in this manner. Darius represented royal authority when Cyrus departed.

• Daniel 5:31 says Darius was 62 and the Greek historian Xenophon reported that Gubaru was a man "well advanced in years."

c. Darius and Cyrus are dual titles.

Dual titles reflected the alliance of the Medes and Persians.

• Dual titles were not uncommon in ancient times. This would be appropriate in this instance since the king ruled over both Median and Persian territories.

• Dual titles would reflect Cyrus' ancestry. The title Darius the Mede indicates that Darius was of Median lineage (9:1). The explanation of how Cyrus could be both Median and Persian is that Cyrus’ father was Persian but his mother was the daughter of the king of Media. Among Jews the identity of a child of mixed marriage was normally determined by maternal descent. Thus, Daniel, following Jewish practice, emphasized the king’s maternal (Median) ancestry.

• The Greek historian Herodotus recorded that Cyrus sometimes was referred to as the "king of the Medes" even after the fall of Babylon.

• The title Darius had particular significance to the Jews. Both Isaiah (13:17) and Jeremiah had predicted the downfall of Babylon to the Medes, and Daniel employed the title to emphasize fulfillment of these prophecies.

• Dual titles for the Medo-Persian King would not be out of place in Daniel. The book is written in two languages and Daniel and his three friends had two names.

• The Roman historian Cicero reported Cyrus’ age as seventy when he died and the cuneiform texts relate that Cyrus reigned nine years after he conquered Babylon. Thus in 539 BCE Cyrus would have been about 62 years of age, the figure given in Daniel 5:31.

• Babylon was Cyrus’ winter residence, according to Xenophon, so Daniel’s reports concerning his presence in the city would be reasonable.

• In Daniel 9:1 Darius is designated as "son of Xerxes" (lit. "Ahasuerus"). Xerxes is likewise a royal title and may refer to Cyrus’ father, Cambyses, or to Cyrus’ grandfather, Astyages, the king of the Medes.

• Jewish sources lend support to Darius and Cyrus being the same person. In 11:1 both the LXX and Theodotion (ca. 200 CE), an early Jewish Greek translation of the Tanakh, read Cyrus rather than Darius the Mede as found in the MT. This suggests that the Greek translators knew of the double name, and preferred to use the one that was better known to avoid confusing the readers. The Jewish author of Bel and the Dragon (a Jewish work from the 2nd cent. BC) identifies Cyrus as the king who cast Daniel in the lion’s den.

• There are other parallels between Cyrus and Daniel’s Darius.

  ◊ Both ruled over a dual realm, Medo-Persia.

  ◊ The reign of both kings is dated from the conquest of Babylon. Daniel dates the reign of Darius by this method and the cuneiform sources use the same system for Cyrus.

  ◊ Both kings were designated as ruler over Babylon (or the Chaldeans).

  ◊ Both appointed satraps after conquering Babylon.

The dual title option seems best and is supported by the facts. There is no evidence against it, except arguments from silence. See also the note on verse 28 below.

satraps, lit. "protector of the kingdom," were subordinate government officials over districts of the empire. The Greek historian Herodotus reported that the Persian Empire was divided into twenty satrapies. The land of Israel was placed in the fifth satrapy. Persian records indicate that Darius set the number of satrapies at twenty-three, and a tomb inscription reads twenty-nine (Miller). Daniel says that Darius appointed 120 satraps, but this statement does not mean that Darius divided the empire into 120 satrapies. In fact, this may be a summary statement of satraps appointed during his reign. On the other hand, the satraps mentioned here might refer to lesser government officials who ruled over smaller divisions of the satrapies. In that case appointing 120 satraps would in no way be excessive.

2 and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss.

Darius appointed three commissioners, lit. chief, overseer ("presidents," ASV, KJV, RSV; "administrators" HCSB, NIV; "governors" NKJV), one of whom was Daniel to oversee the 120 satraps. It's not clear whether the three commissioners functioned as a panel or the 120 satraps were divided among them. In any case, their function would be to make sure that all taxes levied were properly collected and accounted for. No explanation is given about how Darius learned of Daniel, but the story of the handwriting on the wall was probably widely told. And, it's reasonable to assume that Darius learned of Daniel's long service to King Nebuchadnezzar. The Persians ingratiated themselves to the conquered peoples by elevating citizens to important government posts.

3 Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.

Daniel, even at 80 years of age, quickly distinguished himself as a man of quality without peer. Darius took note of Daniel's extraordinary spirit, which may refer to attitude or abilities or both. Darius, like his Babylonian predecessors, may have concluded that Daniel was blessed with divine wisdom.

4 Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.

After some time the other two commissioners and some of the satraps, probably out of jealousy or perhaps antisemitism, formed a conspiracy to destroy Daniel. At first they investigated Daniel carefully, no doubt appointing spies to watch Daniel's every activity, to search his records and listen in on his private conversations. To their disappointment they could find no political corruption, bribery, embezzlement or negligence in his work to use for blackmail, scandal or criminal prosecution purposes.

5 Then these men said, "We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God."

These men likely refers to the other two commissioners. Failing at finding any corruption they propose a plot to use Daniel's religion against him. The law of his God probably refers to the strict monotheism of the Jews. It's not likely these cowards knew anything of the standards of righteousness contained in the Torah. Daniel would be put in the position of choosing between obeying the law of his God or obeying the law of man. It is apparent from this statement that (1) Daniel's religious convictions were not a secret and (2) Daniel was not disposed to compromise his convictions for anyone, even under the threat of death.

6 Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: "King Darius, live forever!

The verb came by agreement is rendered more literally by NKJV "thronged before." The Aramaic verb means literally "to be in tumult" (Miller). The NIV has "went as a group." The point of the verb in this context is to show that the conspirators came to the king as a group presenting a united front in an assertive manner.

7 All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions' den.

Daniel's enemies obviously lied to the king by implying that all the administrators had agreed to this decree. Daniel certainly hadn't agreed and most of the administrators would not even be in the city of Babylon. The suggested decree would function like a restraining order on religious activity for thirty days. The restriction of praying to any man probably alludes to priests functioning as mediators between people and their gods. The decree does not declare Darius to be a god, but it would have the effect of making him the only mediator between his subjects and their gods. What's not clear is exactly how such petitions were to be made to Darius. The reference to the lion's den alludes to one of the forms of execution under the Medes and Persians. Criminals were thrown into a cave or pit filled with half-starved lions.

8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked."

Under Persian law once a royal decree was put into writing and issued, it could not be rescinded or changed. After all, kings can never be wrong. A similar situation happened in the story of Esther (Esth 1:19; 8:8). In that case the king gave a new law that had the effect of nullifying the planned consequences of the offensive law. This reference to the unchangeableness of Medo-Persian law issued by their kings would seem to support the dual title theory of Darius' identity. Surely a general acting as governor would not have the same degree of authority. No king would grant equal authority to a subordinate who might turn around and use it against him. It seems ironic that ancient kings were so simple-minded that they didn't realize the same absolute power that gave them the right to issue a law also gave them the right to rescind a law. At the root of this political philosophy is the overweening pride of the monarch.

9 Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction.

The king was probably flattered by the proposal and he may have viewed the proposal as a good loyalty test. He didn't even ask why the administrators thought it so important. What did they hope to gain out of it? Darius did not even consider the impact that it might have on his subjects throughout the empire (how would they send him their prayer requests), nor did he consider the practical consequences that it might have on him if people actually took it seriously (how much time was he prepared to devote to prayer requests from his people?). He also doesn't consider the opinion of the priests of the various religions in the empire.

10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

Daniel learned of the conspiracy and the new law and immediately went home to consult his God. The mention of a roof chamber (NIV "upstairs room;" NKJV "upper room") suggests Daniel's high status. He had a room on the flat roof of the house. These rooms were, and still are, common in the Middle East, being used as private apartments to which one retired when wishing to be undisturbed. They usually had latticed windows which allowed free circulation of air (Miller). The book of Acts records a similar action of Peter who went to the rooftop to pray (Acts 10:9).

Daniel had a custom of praying three times a day. The Talmud says that since Jews were not able to sacrifice in the Temple during the exile, they used prayer as a substitute for sacrifice (B'rakhot 26b), based on the last clause of Hosea 14:2, which a number of modern translations render as "present the fruit of our lips," when it means "The offerings of our lips instead of bulls," (JPS-1917); "we will pay instead of bulls [the offerings of] our lips" (CJB); (lit. "the calves of our lips" KJV) (Hosea 14:2), which is alluded to in Hebrews 13:15, "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name."

People got together to pray three times a day, two of which corresponded with the twice daily sacrifices. The three services are called Shacharit ("morning"), Minchah ("afternoon") and Ma'ariv ("evening") (Stern 228). Keil says these services were held at the third, sixth and ninth hours of the day. Praying three times a day predated the exile as David refers to praying "evening and morning and at noon" (Ps 55:17). In Acts 3:1 the minchah prayers were at the ninth hour or about 3:00 pm. After the rebuilding of the temple prayer three times a day at the temple was institutionalized. According to Josephus, the first century Jewish historian the sacrifices were conducted in the early morning and about the ninth hour (Ant., XIV, 4.3). A service of public prayer accompanied these two sacrifices and there was a further service at sunset.

The oldest fixed prayer is the Shema, which consists of Deut. 6:4-9, Deut. 11:13-21, and Num. 15:37-41. Note that the first paragraph commands us to speak of these matters "when you retire and when you arise." From ancient times, this commandment was fulfilled by reciting the Shema twice a day: morning and night. There was an additional prayer service on Sabbaths and certain holidays, to correspond to the additional sacrifices of those days ("Jewish Liturgy," Jewish Virtual Library).

On this occasion Daniel kneels to pray. In Scripture and Jewish practice there are two basic positions for prayer: (a) standing, 1Sam 1:26; Matt 6:5; Mark 11:25 and (b) kneeling, 1Kgs 8:54; 2Chr 6:13; Ps 109:24; Luke 22:41; Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5. Kneeling generally characterizes extreme passion or concern or trouble of soul. Thus, Daniel knelt to beseech his God.

By the injunction of Solomon in his prayer for dedicating the temple Jews pray facing Jerusalem, symbolically praying toward the temple which represented the presence of God among His people. Solomon's mention of praying toward Jerusalem is set in the context of the probability (if not prophecy) of Israel being taken into captivity:

"When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near;   47 if they take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, `We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedly';   48 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name;   49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause. 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them   51 (for they are Your people and Your inheritance which You have brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace),   52 that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You." (1Kgs 8:46-49)

An important issue is brought home by this report of Daniel's action who deliberately defied a law of the land. He was certainly obeying the instruction of the Lord through Jeremiah, "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jer 29:7).

How can this action be reconciled with the biblical admonition to obey civil authority (Rom 13:1-2)? Jews have long held to the principle, described in the Talmud as "The law of the kingdom is law" (Nedarim 28a). In other words, man's law was to be obeyed as if God had commanded it. Daniel could have either chosen to pray silently and secretly or take a break from praying for the 30 days. As a practical matter it doesn't seem smart to handle the situation as Daniel did.

However, Jews have always set a higher priority on "sanctifying the Name," as Peter said to the Sanhedrin, "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). There are times when the law of the land and the law of God come into conflict. When that happens God's law trumps man's law, even if it means lying to protect innocent life as in the cases of the Hebrew midwives (Ex 1:19-21) and Rahab (Josh 2:1-6). Even Yeshua lied to his brothers about going to the Feast of Booths (John 7:1-10), because of his intention to go secretly to avoid his enemies who were trying to kill him.

In this case Darius had set himself up as the only mediator between God and man, clearly violating Torah. However, Darius' law was still the law and as a man of integrity Daniel would know that a secret prayer would still violate the king's law. Might as well pray as he had always done. Daniel's choice was to remain faithful to his God. The story suggests that he prayed in such a way as to be heard on the street.

11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.

Like a bunch of juveniles Daniel's enemies kept watch on his house and caught him praying. What an activity to be caught doing! The Aramaic word for supplication ("asking God for help" NIV) means to seek favor. Daniel may have been asking God for protection of his life, but he may also have just been praying as he always did. His concern would not be just for himself, but for all the Jews who would be affected by the king's decree.

12 Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king's injunction, "Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions' den?” The king replied, "The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked."

The scoundrels hurried back to the palace to report on David's rebellious actions. They presented their appeal by reminding the king of the law he had signed, thereby absolving them of any blame. The king acknowledged that his law was irrevocable.

13 Then they answered and spoke before the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day."

In denouncing Daniel, the accusers unwittingly revealed their true motivation by identifying Daniel as one of the exiles from Judah. They were pulling a Haman-stunt. It's not likely their antisemitic hatred would be content with just the execution of Daniel. The accusation contains a slander that Daniel "pays no attention to the king," when the king had to know that Daniel had always honored the king. The mention of three times a day suggests that the accusers had watched Daniel's house for more than one day, perhaps the entire thirty day period.

14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him.

The king was distressed, not because of learning that Daniel was praying in his customary manner, but because he now understood the real intent of the law. He had been used by his own administrators to satisfy a personal vendetta. He was likely angry at himself as well as Daniel's enemies. It's commendable that the king sought for a solution that would spare Daniel's life. Even until sunset alludes to the requirement of the law that the sentence be carried out the same day as the conviction of the crime.

15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, "Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

Daniel's enemies reminded the king of his irrevocable decision. They had no idea of the dangerous game they were playing. Even if they had been successful in killing Daniel, the king would exact his own revenge for their manipulation.

16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions' den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you."

Darius apparently had no legal choice, although one might assume that such an all powerful monarch and mediator could revoke his own law. What authority would overrule him? Darius probably could have repealed the law before he heard of an offense and just say he changed his mind. However, the law had been violated and the offender must be punished according to its terms.

The CJB, JPS-1917, KJV, NKJV, NASB and The Message present Darius' comment, he will deliver, as a confident statement of deliverance. The CEV, NIV, NLT, and RSV translate it as a wish statement. Darius certainly did not want Daniel to die and hoped for deliverance. The reason for the difference in translations is that the verb "deliver" is in the imperfect tense and it may be translated either way. Since Darius was not a believer in the God of Israel, we may question how he would have had sufficient faith to assure Daniel of his safety in the lion's den. On the other hand, the fact that Darius even considered deliverance possible suggests that the prophet may have been telling the king of the great miracles that the God of Israel had performed. Daniel's testimony would not only include the miracles done in Babylon, but also the historic miracles going back to the Exodus.

Contained in the statement of Darius is his observation that Daniel constantly served his God. Daniel's godliness was consistent and noticeable. That is a worthy goal of every disciple of Yeshua.

17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel.

Darius took steps to prevent anyone from rescuing Daniel. Soft clay was attached to the chains draped over the stone and the king and his nobles made their personal marks by pressing their rings into the clay. After the clay hardened the chains could not be removed without breaking the seals.

18 Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.

Darius must have felt the weight of responsibility for Daniel's life and so he spent the night fasting. His action doesn't necessarily represent petitioning the God of Israel, but reflecting his grief over his foolish decision. He also must have had great respect for Daniel since by denying himself pleasure he in some measure identified with Daniel's plight.

19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions' den.

There was also a Babylonian custom that the victim would be pardoned if he were tortured and had not died by the following day (Miller). At first light Darius felt compelled to check on Daniel's welfare.

20 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Darius' words reflect his mingled anguish and hope. His mention of the living God suggests that he recognized the reality of Daniel's God. Whether it means he had become a believer in the God of Israel as the only God cannot be determined. Darius again repeats the compliment of Daniel's faithful service to God, which had obviously made a strong impression on him.

21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, "O king, live forever!

Daniel replies with a customary greeting for the king, but in this situation it carries a poignant if not ironic meaning. Daniel wishes the best for the man who condemned him to death.

22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime."

Daniel then continued with a powerful testimony. His angel most likely refers to a member of the angelic host (see comment on 3:28). The angel was apparently visible to Daniel and perhaps remained with him the whole night. This same reference is made of the angel that joined the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace. Some commentators believe this was a Christophany, i.e., a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God, but the text does not offer evidence of this view. In any event, the angel insured that the lions could not bite or claw and as a result the great miracle qualified Daniel to be added to the list of faithful heroes in Hebrews 11 (v. 33).

Daniel's claim to being innocent pertains to being innocent in God's sight, but he also adds the claim that he was innocent of any wrong against the king. Crime (Aram. chabula) literally means "hurt," and while it can mean a criminal act, it also may mean to do something harmful to another (BDB 1092). Daniel is not saying that he didn't break the law, but rather he didn't cause any harm to the king. Daniel respected the king and prayed for the peace of the king and his kingdom.

23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Darius was delighted that Daniel had been spared and gave immediate instructions for Daniel to be taken out of the den and examined for injuries. Not so much as a scratch was found on him. Darius attributed the miracle to Daniel's faith in his God. Trusted, Aram. aman lit. means to believe in, to be sure, to be faithful. Daniel manifested all those elements.

24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions' den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Darius then quickly acted to remedy the injustice done to Daniel. Those men include only those involved in the conspiracy, probably a small group and not all 120 satraps. Maliciously accused is lit. "eaten his pieces" (Miller). With the vindication of Daniel's integrity the king took vengeance on Daniel's accusers in a particularly brutal fashion. Executing wives and children with the guilty man was a Persian custom, probably to prevent retaliation by family members. Children is lit. "sons" so any daughters may have been spared, although the term at times includes daughters. The protective restraint of the angel had been removed with Daniel's departure from the den and so the victims met with a quick but fearsome death.

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: "May your peace abound! 26 I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever.
27
"He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."

The king was so impressed by the miracle that he wrote a letter to all his subjects enjoining their respect for the God of Daniel, which is the God of the Jews. His decree is very similar to the one issued by Nebuchadnezzar (4:3).

28 So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

So this Daniel: Daniel's life is a study in faithfulness even to old age. He was a godly example (v. 5), in prayer (v. 10), in trials (v. 16), and in testimony (v.16, 20). As a result he was delivered (v. 22), experienced the special presence of the Lord (v. 22), provided an opportunity for witness to unbelievers (vv 26-27) and was blessed (v. 28). enjoyed success: The verb means "to prosper" (NIV) or have success. The verb may point to the fact that Daniel was elevated to the second highest position in the land. in the reign of Darius: This would be Darius the Mede, first mentioned in 5:31. See verse 1 above.

and in the reign of Cyrus: Aram. Koresh corresponding to Heb. Koresh, a royal title. The translation of "Cyrus" is derived, via Latin, from Ancient Greek Kuros, from Old Persian Kūrūs. The ancient Greek historians Ctesias and Plutarch noted that Cyrus was named from Kuros, the sun, a concept which has been interpreted as meaning "like the sun." Strong's Concordance gives the meaning of Cyrus as "possess thou the furnace." Kuros was also linked with the Greek word kurios or "lord."

the Persian: Aram. Parsay, adj., corresponding to Heb. Parsi, an inhabitant of Persia. The Aramaic adjective occurs only here in the Tanakh. The last half of the verse could be translated "the reign of Darius, even (namely) the reign of Cyrus the Persian," thereby identifying the king by his dual Median-Persian titles. A parallel may be found in 1Chronicles 5:26, "So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria." Assyrian records identify Tiglath Pileser and Pul as one and the same person.

Works Cited

Ant.: Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews.

BDB: The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. London: Oxford University Press, 1907. Reprinted by Associated Publishers and Authors, Inc., 1981.

CJB: David Stern, Complete Jewish Bible.

DSB: Henry Morris, The Defender's Study Bible. World Publishing Co., 1995.

JPS-1917: Jewish Publication Society of America Bible, 1917.

Keil: C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Ezekiel-Daniel. Commentary on the Old Testament (1866-1891), Vol. 9. Hendrickson Publishers, 2006.

Miller: Stephen R. Miller, Daniel. The New American Commentary, Vol. 18. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994.

Stern: David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary. Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996.

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