From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

A common name of several Medo-Persian kings, from a Persian root Darvesh , "restraint;" Sanskrit, Dhari , "firmly holding."

1. Darius the Mede. (See Daniel ; Babylon; Belshazzar; Cyrus )  Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 6:1;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1. This Darius "received the kingdom" ( Daniel 5:31) of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus, according to G. Rawlinson, which may be favored by  Daniel 9:1; "Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldaeans." He in this view gave up the kingdom to his superior Cyrus, after holding it from 538 to 536 B.C. Abydenus makes Nebuchadnezzar prophesy that a Persian and a Mede," the pride of the Assyrians," should take Babylon, i.e. a prince who had ruled over the Medes and Assyrians.

Cyrus, having taken such a prince 20 years before Babylon's capture, advanced him to be deputy king of Babylon. Hence he retained the royal title and is called "king" by Daniel. Thus Astyages (the last king of the Medes, and having no issue, according to Herodotus, 1:73, 109,127) will be this Darius, and Ahasuerus (Achashverosh) = Cyaxares (Huwakshatra), father of Astyages. Aeschylus (Persae, 766, 767) represents Cyaxares as the first founder of the empire and a Mede, and Sir H. Rawlinson proves the same in opposition to Herodotus. Aeschylus describes Cyaxares' son as having "a mind guided by wisdom"; this is applicable both to Darius in  Daniel 6:1-3, and to Astyages in Herodotus. The chronology however requires one junior to Astyages to correspond to Darius the Mede and Cyrus' viceroy, whether a son or one next in succession after Astyages, probably Cyaxares.

Harpocration makes him to have introduced the coin named from him the daric. Xenophon's account of Cyaxares agrees remarkably with Daniel's account of Darius. Xenophon says Cyrus conquered Babylon by Cyaxares' permission, and appointed for him a royal palace and rule and home there (see  Daniel 6:1-28;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 5:31). Daniel's statement that Darius was 62 years old accords with Xenophon that when Cyaxares gave Cyrus his daughter he gave him along with her the Median kingdom, himself having no male heir, and being so old as not to be likely to have a son. Darius' weakness in yielding to his nobles (Daniel 6) accords with Xenophon's picture of Cyaxares' sensuality. The shortness of his reign and the eclipsing brilliancy of Cyrus' capture of Babylon caused Herodotus and Berosus to pass Darius unnoticed. Cyaxares is the Median Uwakshatra , "autocrat," answering to Darius the Persian, Darjawusch "the ruler;" Kschaja , "kingdom," is the root in the Persian Ahasuerus, Kschajarscha, and the Median Astyages.

2. Darius, son of Hystaspes, fifth from Achaemenes, who founded the Persian dynasty. The Magian Pseudo-Smerdis Aartxerxes;  Ezra 4:7 usurped the throne, pretending to be Cyrus' younger son. (See Artaxerxes .) As he restored the Magian faith, effecting a religious as well as political revolution, he readily gave ear to the enemies of the Jews whose restorer Cyrus had been ( Ezra 4:7-24). Darius Hystaspes with six Persian chiefs overthrew the impostor and became king 521 B.C. As soon as Darius was on the throne the Jews treated Smerdis' edict as null and void. This bold step is accounted for by Darius's own inscription at Behistun stating that in his zeal for Zoroastrianism he reversed Smerdis' policy, "rebuilding the temples which the Magian had destroyed and restoring the religious chants and worship which he had abolished."

The Jews so counted on his sympathy as not to wait for his express edict. Their enemies, hoping that Smerdis had destroyed Cyrus' decree, informed the king of the Jews' proceeding and proposed that the archives at Babylon should be searched to see whether Cyrus had ever really given such a decree. It was found at Ecbatana. In his second year Haggai ( Haggai 1:1;  Haggai 2:1;  Haggai 2:10) and Zechariah (Zechariah 3-4;  Zechariah 7:1-3) the prophets encouraged Zerubbabel and Jeshua to resume the building of the temple that had been discontinued (Ezra 5). Tatnai and Shethar Boznai's effort to hinder it only occasioned the ratification of Cyrus' original decree by Darius.

Darius in his decree in Ezra (Ezra 6) writes as might have been expected from the Zoroastrian Darius of secular history; he calls the Jews' temple "the house of God," Jehovah "the God of heaven," and solicits their prayers "for the life of the king and of his sons." Herodotus (vii. 2) confirms the fact that he had sons when he ascended the throne. His curse ( Ezra 6:12) on those who injure the temple answers to that on those who should injure the inscriptions at Behistun, and his threat of impaling such ( Ezra 6:11) answers to the Behistun and Herodotus (iii. 159) record of the ordinary punishment he inflicted. The "tribute" ( Ezra 6:8) too he was the first to impose on the provinces (Herodotus, 3:89). in four years it was completed, i.e. in the sixth year of Darius ( Ezra 6:15), in 516 B.C. In this same year he suppressed with severity a Babylonian revolt. He reduced under his supremacy Thrace, Macedon, and the islands in the Aegean Sea, 513-505 B.C. Invading Greece, he was defeated at Marathon 590. Before he could renew the campaign, with preparations completed he died 455 B.C.

3. Darius the Persian ( Nehemiah 12:11-22). As "Jaddua" was high priest at the invasion of Alexander the Great, Darius III, Codomanus, his enemy (336-330 B.C.), last king of Persia, is meant. Darius II, or Nothus, king from 424 to 405 B.C., would be meant if Nehemiah were the writer; but it is more likely he was not, and that the continuation of the register down to Alexander's contemporary, Jaddua, is inserted by a later hand.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

was the name of several princes in history, some of whom are mentioned in Scripture.

1. DARIUS the Mede, spoken of in   Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1 , &c, was the son of Astyages, king of the Medes, and brother to Mandane, the mother of Cyrus, and to Amyit, the mother of Evil-merodach, and grandmother of Belshazzar. Darius the Mede, therefore, was uncle by the mother's side to Evil-merodach and Cyrus. The Septuagint, in Daniel vii, give him the name of Artaxerxes; the thirteenth, or apocryphal chapter of Daniel, calls him Astyages; and Xenophon designates him by the name of Cyaxares. He succeeded Belshazzar, king of Babylon, his nephew's son, or his sisters grandson, in the year of the world, 3448, according to Calmet, or in 3468, according to Usher. Daniel does not inform us of any previous war between them; but the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah supply this deficiency. Isaiah 13, 14, 45, 46, 47; Jeremiah 50, 51.

2. DARIUS, the son of Hystaspes, has been supposed by some, on the authority of Archbishop Usher and Calmet, to be the Ahasuerus of Scripture, and the husband of Esther. But Dr. Prideaux thinks, that Ahasuerus was Artaxerxes Longimanus. This prince recovered Babylon after a siege of twenty months. This city, which had been formerly the capital of the east, revolted from Persia, taking advantage of the revolution that happened, first at the death of Cambyses, and afterward on the massacre of the Magi. The Babylonians employed four years in preparations, and when they thought that their city was furnished with provisions for a long time, they raised the standard of rebellion. Darius levied an army in great haste, and besieged Babylon. The Babylonians shut themselves up within their walls, whose height and thickness secured them from assault; and as they had nothing to fear but famine, they assembled all their women and children, and strangled them, each reserving only his most beloved wife, and one servant. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of   Isaiah 47:7-9 . Some believe that the Jews were either expelled by the Babylonians, as being too much in the interest of Darius; or that, in obedience to the frequent admonitions of the prophets, they quitted that city when they saw the people determined to rebel,  Isaiah 48:20;  Jeremiah 50:8;  Jeremiah 51:6-9;  Zechariah 11:6-7 . Darius lay twenty months before Babylon, without making any considerable progress; but at length, Zopyrus, one of his generals, obtained possession of the city by stratagem. Darius ordered the hundred gates of brass to be taken away, according to the prediction of  Jeremiah 51:58 , "Thus saith the Lord, The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burnt with fire, and the people shall labour in vain." This is related in Herodotus.

3. Darius Codomanus was of the royal family of Persia, but very remote from the crown. He was in a low condition, when Bagoas, the eunuch, who had procured the destruction of two kings, Ochus and Arses, placed him on the throne. His true name was Codoman, and he did not take that of Darius till he was king. He was descended from Darius Nothus, whose son, Ostanes, was father to Arsames, that beget Codomanus. He was at first only a courier to the emperor Ochus. But one day when he was at this prince's army, one of their enemies challenged the bravest of the Persians. Codomanus offered himself for the combat, and overcame the challenger, and was made governor of Armenia. From this situation, Bagoas placed him on the throne of Persia. Alexander the Great invaded the Persian empire, and defeated Darius in three successive battles. After the third battle, Darius fled toward Media, in hopes of raising another army. At Ecbatana, the capital of Media, he gathered the remains of his forces, and some new levies. Alexander having wintered at Babylon and Persepolis, took the field in search of Darius, who quitted Ecbatana, with an intention of retreating into Bactria; but, changing his resolution, Darius stopped short, and determined to hazard a battle, though his army at this time consisted only of forty thousand men. While he was preparing for this conflict, Bessus, governor of Bactria, and Narbazanes, a grandee of Persia, seized him, loaded him with chains, forced him into a covered chariot, and fled, carrying him with them toward Bactria. If Alexander pursued them, they intended to purchase their peace by delivering Darius into his hands; but if not, to kill him, seize the crown, and renew the war. Eight days after their departure, Alexander arrived at Ecbatana, and set out in pursuit of them, which he continued for eleven days: at length he stopped at Rages, in Media, despairing to overtake Darius. Thence he went into Parthia, where he learned what had happened to that unfortunate prince. After a precipitate march of many days, he overtook the traitors, who, seeing themselves pressed, endeavoured to compel Darius to get upon horseback, and save himself with them; but he refusing, they stabbed him in several places, and left him expiring in his chariot. He was dead when Alexander arrived, who could not forbear weeping at so sad a spectacle. Alexander covered Darius with his own cloak, and sent him to Sisygambis his wife, that she might bury him in the tombs of the kings of Persia. Thus were verified the prophecies of Daniel, viii, who had foretold the destruction of the Persian monarchy, under the symbol of a ram, which butted with its horns westward, northward, and southward, and which nothing could resist; but a goat which had a very large horn between his eyes, and which denoted Alexander the Great, came from the west, and overran the world without touching the earth; springing forward with impetuosity, the goat ran against the ram with all his force, attacked him with fury, struck him, broke his two horns, trampled him under foot, and no one could rescue the ram. Nothing can be clearer than these prophecies.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

DARIUS . 1. Son of Hystaspes, king of Persia (b.c. 521 485), well known from the classical historian Herodotus, and, for the early part of his reign, from his own tri-lingual inscription on the rocks at Behistun. He allowed the Jews to rebuild the Temple. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people to go on with the work, and when Tattenai, the Persian governor of Syria, demanded their authority, they alleged a decree of Cyrus. On reference being made to Darius and the decree being found, the king confirmed it, and ordered facilities to be afforded for the building. It was completed in the 6th year of his reign (  Ezra 4:1-24;   Ezra 5:1-17;   Ezra 6:1-22 ,   Haggai 1:1;   Haggai 2:10 ,   Zechariah 1:17 ). 2. Darius the Persian (  Nehemiah 12:22 ). Possibly Darius Codomannus, the last king of Persia (b.c. 336 330),   Malachi 1:1  Malachi 1:1 .   Malachi 1:3 . ‘Darius’ in 1Ma 12:7 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ) is an error for the Spartan ‘Arius’ (wh. see). 4. ‘Darius the Mede’ (  Daniel 11:1 ), son of Ahasuerus of the seed of the Medes (  Daniel 9:1 ), is said (  Daniel 5:31 ) to have succeeded to the kingdom of Babylon after Belshazzar’s death, and to have been sixty-two years old when he received the kingdom. This account does not answer to what we know of any king called Darius. Gobryas was he who actually received the kingdom for Cyrus, entering Babylon on the 16th of Tammuz, four months before Cyrus made his triumphal entry. He too appointed governors in Babylon (cf.   Daniel 6:1 ), and seems from the Babylonian Chronicle to have been in the attack which resulted in Belshazzar’s death. Whether Gobryas is intended, whether Darius was another name of his, or whether some mistake has crept into the text, cannot be decided without fresh evidence. It is certain that no king of Babylon called Darius succeeded Belshazzar or preceded Cyrus.

C. H. W. Johns.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Darius ( Da-Rî'Us ), Restrainer. The name of several kings of Media and Persia mentioned in the Bible. 1. Darius the Median,  Daniel 5:31, was the son of Ahasuerus; he took Babylon from Belshazzar the Chaldæan, being at that time about 62 years old. He has been identified with Astyages, Hystaspis, Cyaxares II. and Gobryas. "Only one year of the reign of Darius is mentioned,  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1; and if, as seems probable, Darius (Astyages) occupied the throne of Babylon as supreme sovereign, with Nerigalsarasser as vassal-prince, after the murder of Evil-merodach (Bel-shazzar), b.c. 559, one year only remains for this Median supremacy before its overthrow by Cyrus, b.c. 558, in exact accordance with the notices in Daniel." Under him Daniel was advanced to the highest dignity, which exposed him to the malice of enemies and led to his being cast into the den of lions, but by a miracle he escaped injury. 2. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, the founder of the Perso-Aryan dynasty, and ruler, b.c. 521-486.  Ezra 4:5;  Ezra 4:24;  Haggai 1:1;  Haggai 1:15;  Zechariah 1:1;  Zechariah 1:7;  Zechariah 7:1. He found in the palace at Achmetha or Ecbatana, the capital of Cyrus, a decree of that king concerning the temple in Jerusalem. This he confirmed, and the temple was finished in four years, b.c. 516.  Ezra 6:15. It may, however, have been used before it was entirely completed, as is inferred from  Zechariah 7:2;  Zechariah 3:3. Darius the Persian, mentioned in  Nehemiah 12:22, is generally identified with Darius Codomaunus, the antagonist of Alexander the Great, who ascended the throne b.c. 336, and reigned until b.c. 330. He was the last Persian monarch, and was killed by his own generals. Alexander defeated him, and thus the prophecy of Daniel,  Daniel 8:1-27, was fulfilled.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

1. Darius The Mede

  Daniel 5:31   9:1   11:1 , was son of Astyages king of the Medes, and brother of Mandane mother of Cyrus, and of Amyit the mother of Evil-merodach and grandmother of Belshazzar: thus he was uncle, by the mother's side, to Evil-merodach and to Cyrus. The Hebrew generally calls him Darius; the Septuagint, Artaxerxes; and Xenophon, Cyaxares. Darius dethroned Belshazzar king of the Chaldeans, and occupied the throne till his death two years after, when it reverted to the illustrious Cyrus. In his reign Daniel was cast into the lion's den,  Daniel 6:1-28 .

2. Darius Hystaspis

Spoken of in  Ezra 4:1-7:28 , Haggai, and Zechariah, as the king who renewed the permission to rebuild the temple, given to the Jews by Cyrus and afterwards recalled. He succeeded Smerdis, the Magian usurper, B. C. 521, and reigned thirty-six years. He removed the seat of government to Susa, whereupon Babylon rebelled against him; but he subdued the rebellion and broke down the walls of Babylon, as was predicted,  Jeremiah 51:58 .

3. Darius Codomanus

  Nehemiah 12:22 , was one of the most brave and generous of the Persian kings. Alexander the Great defeated him several times, and at great length subverted the Persian monarchy, after it had been established two hundred and six years. Darius was killed by his own generals, after a short reign of six years. Thus were verified the prophecies of Daniel,  Daniel 8:1-27 , who had foretold the enlargement of the Persian monarchy, under the symbol of a ram, butting with its horns westward, northward, and southward, which nothing could resist; and its destruction by a goat having a very large horn between his eyes, (Alexander the Great,) coming from the west, and overrunning the world without touching the earth. Nothing can be added to the clearness of these prophecies, so exactly describing what in due time took place and is matter of history.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Dari'us. (Lord). The name of several kings of Media and Persia.

1. Darius, the Mede ,  Daniel 6:1;  Daniel 11:1, "the son of Ahasuerus,"  Daniel 9:1, who succeeded to the Babylonian kingdom, on the death of Belshazzar, being then sixty-two years old.  Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 9:1. (B.C. 538). Only one year of his reign is mentioned,  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1, but that was of great importance for the Jews. Daniel was advanced, by the king, to the highest dignity,  Daniel 6:1, ff., and in his reign, was cast into the lions' den. Daniel 6. This Darius is probably the same as "Astyages," the last king of the Medes.

2. Darius , the son of Hystaspes, the founder of the Perso-Arian dynasty. Upon the usurpation of the magian Smerdis, he conspired with six other Persian chiefs to overthrow the impostor and, on the success of the plot, was placed upon the throne, B.C. 521. With regard to the Jews, Darius Hystaspes pursued the same policy as Cyrus, and restored to them, the privileges which they had lost.  Ezra 5:1;  Ezra 6:1; etc.

3. Darius, the Persian ,  Nehemiah 12:22, may be identified with Darius II. Nothus (Ochus), king of Persia, B.C. 424-3 to 405-4; but it is not improbable that it points to Darius III. Codomannus, the antagonist of Alexander, and the last king of Persia, B.C. 336-330.

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

Darius brought a new sense of unity to his empire. He enlarged on the policies of Cyrus the Great in making restoration to those disenfranchised by the Assyrian and Babylonian dominations. The Jews received additional financial aid for finishing the Temple in Jerusalem ( Ezra 6:8-9 ).

Unlike Cyrus, Darius organized a tightly-knit centralized state and vested himself with absolute power. Twenty satrapies (provinces) were established. Each had a system of checks and balances, with each official watching the actions of his colleagues.

A common code of laws was established in the empire, administered by royal judges. A system of weights and measures were standardized throughout the kingdom to help stimulate the economy and make transactions easier. Several major roads were built, making travel quicker and safer. What may have been the first gold currency was issued by Darius. Aramaic was decreed as the official language of the empire. The people were infused with a new sense of pride as the king made these many improvements. Unfortunately, Darius' successors were unable to maintain his policies after his death.

Mike Mitchell

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [8]

The first of three people named Darius mentioned in the Bible is Darius the Mede, who took control of Babylon when the city fell to the Medo-Persian armies in 539 BC ( Daniel 5:30-31). The name may be that of a Median leader whom the Persian Emperor Cyrus placed in charge of Babylon, or it may be another name for Cyrus himself (see also Daniel ; Persia ).

Cyrus was succeeded in 530 BC by Cambyses, and Cambyses by Darius Hystaspes in 522 BC. During the reign of Darius Hystaspes the prophets Haggai and Zechariah aroused the Jews from their spiritual laziness, with the result that the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt ( Ezra 4:24;  Ezra 5:6;  Ezra 6:15;  Haggai 1:1;  Zechariah 1:1; see Ezra ; Persia ). A later Darius, called Darius the Persian ( Nehemiah 12:22), ruled Persia from 423 to 408 BC.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • Darius the Persian ( Nehemiah 12:22 ) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (B.C. 336-331).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Darius'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/d/darius.html. 1897.

  • Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

    (Heb. Dareya'vesh, דּ רְיָוֶשׁ ,  Ezra 4:4;  Nehemiah 12:22;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1;  Haggai 1:1;  Haggai 1:15;  Haggai 2:10;  Zechariah 1:1;  Zechariah 1:7;  Zechariah 7:1; Chald. the same,  Ezra 4:24;  Ezra 5:5-15;  Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 6:1-28; Gr. Δαρεῖος ,  1 Esdras 2:30;  1 Esdras 3:1-8;  1 Esdras 4:47;  1 Esdras 5:2;  1 Esdras 5:6;  1 Esdras 5:73;  1 Esdras 6:1;  1 Esdras 6:6-7;  1 Esdras 6:23;  1 Esdras 6:34;  1 Esdras 7:1;  1 Esdras 7:4-5;  1 Maccabees 1:1;  1 Maccabees 12:7; Strabo Δαρειήκης , 16. p. 785; Ctesias Δαριαῖος ), the name of several kings of Persia, three of whom are mentioned in the O.T. and the Apocrypha. The original form of the name, to which the Hebrew and Greek words are only approximations, has been read by Grotefend, in the cuneiform inscriptions of Persepolis, as Darheush or Darjeush (Heeren's Ideen , 2:350), and by Beer as Daryawush ( Allg. Lit. Zeit . 1838, No. 5). Herodotus assigns to the name the sense of Ἑρξίης , or, according to another reading, Ἑρξείης ( 6:98): probably meaning coercer or conservator. The former accords with holding fast, which is the sense of Dara, the modern Persian name of Darius, the latter with the derivation (according to Lassen, Inschriften, p. 39,158) from Sanscrit dri, to preserve. (See Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 350.) According to Rawlinson (Herod. 3, 455), "It does not appear to mean either Ἑρξείης , the worker,' as Herodotus states, or Φρόνιμος , the wise,' as Hesychius, or Πολεμικός , the wearlike,' as the author of the Etymologicum says. The root appears to be the Old Persian Dar , to hold' or possess,' which is Dere In Zend, Dhri in Sanscrit, and Dar in Modern Persian. The remainder of the word is thought to be a mere appellative suffix, elongated on euphonic grounds; but no very satisfactory account can be given of it." The name occurs both in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. This title appears to have been the proper name of the son of Hystaspes, who first won it, but was assumed as a throne-name by Ochus (i.e. Darius Nothus), son and successor of Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ctesias, Pers . 48:57), in like manner as Arsaces, successor of this Darius (ib. 53:57) and Bessus (Curt. 6:6), both took the royal name of "Artaxerxes" (q.v.). See Smith's Dict. Of Class. Biog. s.v. (See Persia).

    '''I.''' "Darius The Mede" ( דּ 8 הִמָּדַי ,  Daniel 11:1, Sept. Κῦρος ; Chald. דּ 8 מָדָאָה , Sept. Δαρεῖος Μῆδος ), "the son of Ahasuerus of the seed of the Medes" (ix. 1, Sept. Δαρεῖος Υἱὸς Ἀσουήρου ), who succeeded to ( קִבֵּל ) the Babylonian kingdom on the death of Belshazzar, being then sixty-two years old ( Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 9:1), B.C. 538. Only one year of his reign is mentioned ( Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1), but that was of great importance for the Jews. Daniel was advanced by the king to the highest dignity ( Daniel 6:1 sq.), probably in consequence of his former services (compare  Daniel 5:17); and after his miraculous deliverance, Darius issued a decree enjoining throughout his dominions "reverence for the God of Daniel" ( Daniel 6:25 sq.). (See Mede).

    The statement ( Daniel 6:28) that "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian," seems to represent him as the immediate predecessor of Cyrus. No Darius occupying this place, nor indeed any Darius anterior to the son of Hystaspes, is found either in profane history or (hitherto) on monuments. (See Ahasuerus).

    Only the Scholiast On Aristoph . ( Eccl. 602), followed by Suidas (s.v. Δαρεικός ), and Harpocration, says that the daric took its name from "another Darius, earlier than the father of Xerxes" (D. Hystaspis). Herodotus and Ctesias, differing widely in other respects, agree in making Astyages last king of the Median dynasty, with no male heir, conquered and deposed by Cyrus, first king of the Medo-Persian dynasty at Babylon. Xenophon, however, in the Cyropoedia (i. 5, 2) introduces, as son and successor of Astyages, and uncle (mother's brother) of Cyrus, a second Cyaxares, acting under whose orders Cyrus takes Babylon, and receives in marriage his daughter, unnamed, with Media as her portion. Josephus ( Ant. 10:11, 1) clearly means the Cyaxares II of Xenophon when he says that "Darius was the son of Astyages, but known to the Greeks by a different name;" and the statement of Aben Ezra, who reports from "a book of the kings of Persia" that this Darius was Cyrus's father-in-law, probably rests at last on the supposed authority of Xenophon. See CYRUS. Under these circumstances, the extreme obscurity of the Babylonian annals has given occasion to three different hypotheses as to the name under which Darius the Mede is known in history.

    1. The first of these, which identifies him with Darius Hystaspis, rests on no plausible evidence, and may be dismissed at once (Lengerke, Dan . p. 219 sq.). See below, No. 2. 2. Another identification is that maintained by Iarcus von Niebuhr ( Gesch. Ass. U. Bab . p. 45), by which Darius is represented as the personal name of "Astyages," the last king of the Medes. It is contended that the name "Alstyages" was national and not personal, and that Ahasuerus represents the name Cyaxares, borne by the father of "Astyages" ( Tobit 14:15). On the contrary, however, Ahasuerus (Heb. Achashverosh ) is Xerxes (cuneiform Khshyarsha ), and not Κυαξάρης (cuneiform Uvakshatra ). The description of the unnamed king in A Eschylus ( Pers . 763 sq.) as one whose "feelings were guided by wisdom," is moreover assumed, on this view, to be applicable to the Darius of Scripture and the Astyages of Herodotus. Assuming the immediate fulfillment of the announcement of  Daniel 5:28, in the catastrophe of 6:1, Niebuhr (ib. p. 91 sq.) determines that Belshazzar is Evil-merodach, son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar; that, on his death (slain by Neriglissar, his sister's husband), B.C. 559, Astyages, who is Daniel's Darius the Mede, reigned one year at Babylon, which year in the Canon is 1 Neriglissar; in the following year he was conquered by Cyrus, B.C. 558. in exact accordance with the apparent incompleteness of the political arrangements which Darius "purposed" to make ( Daniel 6:3, עֲשַׁית ). For the short duration of his supreme power may have caused his division of the empire ( Daniel 6:1) a work congenial to his character to fall into abeyance, so that it was not carried out till the time of his namesake Darius Hystaspis: a supposition that may go for what it is worth. Daniel himself passed from the service of Darius to that of Cyrus, and did not again return to Babylon; so  Daniel 6:28 is explained. The mention,  Daniel 8:1, of the third year of Belshazzar makes a difficulty not as Von Niebuhr puts it, because Evil-merodach has but two years in the Canon, for the actual reign may very well have reached its third year, but from the mention of Susa as the scene of the vision; for Susa, being Median, was not subject to any Chaldaean king. The explanation gravely proposed by Niebuhr is, that Daniel, while at Susa in the service of Darius the Mede, continued to date by years of Belshazzar's reign, and this though he is related to have been present in Babylon the night in which Belshazzar was slain. The difficulty is not confined to Niebuhr's scheme: Belshazzar, whoever he was, was a Chaldaean; and the explanation may be, that the prophet is at Susa, not in bodily presence, but transported in spirit to the city which was to be the metropolis of the Persian monarchy, the fate of which, under the emblem of the ram, is portrayed in the ensuing vision. (See Daniel). After the fall of this Darius Astyages, Babylon recovered its independence under Nabonned, to fall finally under the arms of Cyrus, B.C. 538. (See Babylon).

    The chronological difficulties which have been raised (Rawlinson, Herodotus, 1:331) against the identification of Darius with Astyages on the assumption that the events in Daniel 5 relate to the taking of Babylon by Cyrus (B.C. 538), in which case he would have ascended the throne at seven years of age, are indeed set aside by the view of Niebuhr; but it is clogged with other objections (in addition to those already alluded to), which render it as untenable as it is ingenious and intricate, to say nothing of the fact that it is made up of a series of assumptions throughout. In the first place, the supposition that Belshazzar was Evil-merodach is inadmissible; for it is now pretty well determined that he was the son of Nabonned, the actually last king of the Babylonian line. (See Belshazzar). Secondly, this hypothesis sets up a Medo-Persian prince at Babylon during the very time assigned by well-approved history to a native sovereign, and even then leaves a blank of eighteen years between him and Cyrus, whom Daniel's history and prophecies evidently make immediately contiguous. (See Astyages).

    3. There remains, therefore, but one other view, which was adopted by Josephus ( Ant. 10:11, 4), and has been supported by many recent critics (Bertholdt, Von Lengerke, Havernick, Hengstenberg, Auberlen, and others). According to this, the "Darius" in question was Cyaxares II, the son and successor of Astyages, who is commonly regarded as the last king of Media. It is supposed that the reign of this Cyaxares has been neglected by historians from the fact that through his indolence and luxury he yielded the real exercise of power to his nephew Cyrus, who married his daughter, and so after his death received the crown by direct succession ( Xen. Cyrop . 1:5, 2; 4:5, 8; 8:5, 19). It is true that the only direct evidence for the existence of a second Cyaxares is that of Xenophon's paedagogic romance. The title "Cyrus [filius] Cyaxaris," which has been quoted from an inscription (Auberlen, Daniel u. d. Ofenbarung, p. 18), is either a false reading or certainly a false translation (Niebuhr, Gesch. Ass. u. Bab. p. 214, 1:4); and the passage of Eschylus (Pers. p. 766) is not very consistent with the character assigned to Cyaxares II. On the other hand, Herodotus expressly states that "Astyages" was the last king of the Medes, that he was conquered by Cyrus, and that he died without leaving any male issue (Herod. 1:73, 109, 127 sq.); and Cyrus appears as the immediate successor of "Astyages" in the Chronicle of Eusebius (Chron. ad 01. 54; Syncell. p. 188; comp. Bel and Dragon, 1). These objections, however, are not insuperable, and must give way before the manifest exigencies of the case (see Bertholdt's able excursus on the subject in his Commentatar zu Dan.). We may add that an important chronological difficulty is best adjusted by assuming the existence and reign of this Cyaxares (Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, p. 301 sq.). . (See Cyaxares).

    II. "Darius, king of Persia," in whose second year the building of the Temple was resumed, and completed in his sixth ( Ezra 4:5;  Ezra 4:24;  Ezra 6:15), under the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah, is understood by most writers, ancient and modern, to be Darius son of Hystaspes, whose reign in the Canon extends from B.C. 521 to 485. Scaliger, however, makes him Darius Nothus (B.C. 424-405), and this view has been advocated by the late Dr. Mill (The Evangelical Accounts of the Birth and Parentage of our Savior, etc., 1842, p. 153-165), who refers for further arguments to Hottinger (Pentas Dissertationum, p. 107-114). Before we examine the grounds on which this conclusion rests, it will be convenient to consider the difficulties with which it is attended.

    Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, as prince of the house of David, and Jeshua, son of Jozadak, as high-priest, headed the first colony of exiles from Babylon in the first year of Cyrus ( Ezra 3:2), at which time neither can have been less than twenty years old. By these same two persons the work of rebuilding the Temple was resumed and completed after its suspension. Now from the first year of Cyrus, in the Biblical reckoning (B.C. 536), to the second of Darius Nothus (B.C. 423), are 113 years; so that, if he be the Darius of this history, both Zerubbabel and Jeshua must then have reached the age of 130 years at least. This is incredible, if not in itself, certainly under the entire silence of the history and the contemporary prophets as to a fact so extraordinary. Moreover, that the work of rebuilding the Temple should have been abandoned for a century and more is scarcely conceivable. Its suspension during fifteen or sixteen years is sufficiently accounted for by the history and the representations of the prophets. The adversaries weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus, even until the reign of Darius" ( Ezra 4:4-5).

    Besides molesting the builders in their work, they prevailed by their machinations at the court of Cyrus, or of his viceroy, to bring it to a stand-still, by interposing official obstacles, stopping the grants from the royal treasury (vi. 4), and the supply of materials from the forest and the quarry (3, 7). So the people were discouraged: they said, "The time is not come for the house of the Lord to be built," and turned to the completion of their own houses and the tilling of their lands ( Haggai 1:3). This is intelligible on the supposition of an interval of fifteen or sixteen years, during which, there having been no decree issued to stop it, the work was nominally in progress, only deferred, as the builders could allege at the time of its resumption, "Since that time (2d of Cyrus), even until now, hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished" ( Ezra 5:16). But in no sense could the Temple be said to have "been in building" through the entire reigns of Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes I: there is no testimony to the fact, nor any means of accounting for it. Again, the persons addressed by Haggai are "the residue of the people" who came from Babylon with Zerubbabel and Jeshua, some of whom had seen the first house in its glory (ii. 2, 3), i.e. who might be some 80 years old on the usual view, but on the other must have been 170 at the least. The prophet further admonishes his countrymen that the blights, droughts, and mildews which year by year disappointed their labors in the fields were the chastisement of their want of faith in letting the house of God lie waste, while they dwelt in their "ceiled houses" ( Haggai 1:4-15); so long as they had been guilty of this neglect, so long had they been visited with this punishment. On the one supposition, this state of things had lasted from twelve to fifteen years at most; on the other, we are required to imagine that the curse had been on the land for three successive generations, an entire century. Lastly, in the same second year of Darius, Zechariah distinctly intimates what length of time had elapsed from the destruction of the first Temple "threescore and ten years" ( Zechariah 1:12). So in  Zechariah 7:5, mention is made of a period of 70 years, during which the people had "fasted and mourned in the fifth and'seventh month." The events commemorated by those fasts were the destruction of the Temple in the fifth, and the murder of Gedaliah in the seventh month of the same year. From that year to the second of Darius I are almost, if not exactly, 70 years. To the corresponding year of Darius II the interval is more than 160 years, and the mention of "those 70 years" is quite unintelligible, if that be the epoch of Zechariah's prophesying. Certainly, if the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, and the first five chapters of Ezra, are worth anything as testimony, "the second year of Darius" must lie within one generation from the decree of Cyrus, and not more than 70 years from the destruction of the first Temple.

    The reasons alleged on the other side may be thus stated:

    1. In Ezra 4, between the edict of Cyrus for the return of the exiles and rebuilding of the Temple, and that of Darius for the completion of the work after its discontinuance, two Persian kings are named, Achashverosh and Artachhshashta, "which the names on the Zendic monuments will not permit us to apply to other kings than Xerxes and his son" (Dr. Mill, u. s. 153, note). The Persian history, as related by the Greeks and the Astronomical Canon, give three names in succession, Xerxes, Artaxerxes I, Darius II; Ezra, in like manner, three, Achashverosh, Artachshashta, and Dareyavesh. By those who hold this last to be Darius, son of Hystaspes, the first two are commonly supposed to be Cambyses and the impostor Smerdis, whom Justin (i. 9) calls Oropasta, Ctesias (de reb. Pers. 10) Sphendadates, who reigned under the name of Cambyses's younger brother Tany-oxarces (see Ewald, Gesch. des V. I. 4:81 and 118). But nowhere on monuments is Cambyses called Khshyarsha, or Smerdis Artakashasha; the former is constantly Kabujiya (Pers.), Kambudsiya (Bab.), Kembath (hierogl.); the latter, Bart'iya (Pers.), Bardsija (Bab.). Moreover, as Artachshashta (or shasht) elsewhere in Ezra and Nehemiah is constantly Artaxerxes, and it scarcely admits of a doubt that Achashverosh in Esther is Xerxes, it would be strange if these two names were here applied to other quite different kings.

    The true explanation of this difficulty, proposed long ago by Mr. Howes, and adopted by Dr. Hales, has been recently put forward by Bartheau (in the Kurzgefast. exeget. Hdb. on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, 1862, p. 69- 73). This writer had formerly upheld the more usual view (Beitrsige zu der Gesch. der Isr. p. 396); so had Vaihinger (in the Studien u. Kritiken, 1854, p. 124), who (i5. 1857, p. 87) abandons it for the other. (See also Schultz, Cyrus der Grosse, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1853, p. 624, and Bunsen, Bibelwerk). It is clear that, as in 4:24, the narrative returns to the point at which it stood in  Nehemiah 4:5; in the interposed portion it either goes back to times before Darius, for the purpose of supplying omitted matter, or goes forward to record the successful machinations of the people of the land under subsequent kings, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I. But nothing in the contents of  Nehemiah 4:6-23 intimates a reverting to an earlier time. After reading of Darius we naturally take for granted that Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes are later than he. It appears that the adversaries had succeeded in hindering the building of the Temple till the second year of Darius. In the beginning of the next reign (Xerxes) they "wrote an accusation, "the purport and issue of which are not recorded. In the following reign mention is made of another letter addressed to Artaxerxes, its contents not specified; but a second letter to the same king is given in extenso, together with the royal rescript.

    It is represented to the king that the Jews are building the city, and have "set up the walls thereof, and joined (excavated) the foundations." The rescript orders that this work be made to cease. Not a word is said of the Temple. It may indeed be alleged that the "walls'" are part of it, intended for its defense; but with their straitened resources the builders would hardly attempt more than was essential to the fabric itself. Besides, in the representations given by Haggai and Zechariah from their own observation, nothing implies that quite recently the people had been actively engaged in the work of rebuilding either city walls or Temple, as according to these documents they had been, if Artachshashta be the impostor Smerdis with his brief reign of a few months; nor, again, is it possible to reconcile the statement in  Ezra 5:16, "Since that time even until now (2 Darius) hath it (the Temple) been in building, and yet it is not finished," with the assumption that the work had been peremptorily stopped by command of Smerdis. But it is certain that at some time between the 7th and the 20th year of Artaxerxes some great reverse befell the colonists, in consequence of which "the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gate thereof burned with fire,"  Nehemiah 1:3 (for it is absurd to imagine that this can relate to the desolation effected by Nebuchadnezzar a hundred and forty years before), and the documents under consideration show what that reverse was. It was the result of that rescript of Artaxerxes, in virtue of which "Rehum and Shimshai and their companions went up to Jerusalem to the Jews," and made them to cease by force and power" ( Ezra 4:23); to cease from walling the city ( Ezra 4:21), not from building the Temple, which was finished long before. So far, all is plain and consistent. But at  Ezra 4:24, with the word בֵּאדִיַן ,"at that time," prop. "at the same time," arises the difficulty. Were the last clause of  Ezra 4:5, "until the reign of Darius," absent, the obvious import would be, that at the time when the order from Artaxerxes caused the building of the wall to cease, the work of rebuilding the Temple ceased also, and consequently that Darius ( Ezra 4:24) reigned after Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes. But as this view is beset with insuperable difficulties, in whichever way it is taken, i.e. alike whether Darius be supposed to be the first or the second of that name, we are forced by the necessity of the case to conclude that  Ezra 4:24 refers not to what immediately precedes, but to the time spoken of above  Ezra 4:4-5, and that the whole passage from  Ezra 4:6-23 is digression. Having shown how the machinations of "the people of the land" prevailed for a time to delay the rebuilding of the Temple, the narrative breaks off at that point to notice their subsequent, also for a while successful, plottings against the building of the city and its walls. If the בֵּאדִיַן can only refer to the matter immediately preceding, we must either accept the consequences, part incredible and absurd, part directly opposed to statements of the contemporary prophets, or charge it as an error upon the redactor of this book, that he inserted  Ezra 4:6-23 in the wrong place (so Kleinert in the Dorpat Beitrdge Zu Den Theol. Wissensch . 1832). Considered as a prolepsis, it is, as Bertheau remarks, less striking than that which occurs in 6:14: "and they builded and finished (the Temple, viz. in 6 Darius) . . . according to the commandment of Cyrus and Darius, and Artaxerxes, king of Persia."

    2. A second reason alleged by Dr. Mill ( ''U. S'' p. 165, note) is "the circumstance that, in the next ascent from Babylon, that of Ezra himself, . . . the chief of David's house was removed from Zorobabel by at least six generations . . . thus proving . . . the impossibility of the descendant's ascent from Babylon being earlier than the reign next to that of Darius Nothus, viz. that of Artaxerxes II." This argument is derived from the Davidic genealogy,  1 Chronicles 3:19-22, compared with  Ezra 8:2. It is assumed that Hattush in both places is the same person; now, in the genealogy, it is alleged there are at least six generations between his ancestor Zerubbabel and him, yet he accompanied Ezra from Babylon; of course this is impossible, if between the ascent of Zerubbabel and that of Ezra are but eighty years (1 Cyrus to 7 Artaxerxes Longimanus). Dr. Mill (p. 152, note) mentions "four ways of exhibiting the offspring of Hananiah, son of Zerubbabel;" the first, that of the common Hebrew text and our version, which, "if intelligible, yet leaves the number of generations undetermined;" and three others, followed by ancient interpreters, and versions, which result severally in making Hattush sixth, eighth, and ninth from Zerubbabel. There is no absolute necessity for departing from the Hebrew text, which is both "intelligible"' and consistent with the customary chronology. The genealogy, perhaps, proceeds thus: 1. Zerubbabel; 2. his children, Meshullam, Hananiah, Shelomith (sister), and five others; 3. the sons of this Hananiah are Pelatiah and Jeshaiah; and there the pedigree of Zerubbabel ends, i.e. with the two grandsons. Then, "the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah; and the sons of Shechaniah, Shemaiah; and the sons of Shemaiah, Hattush" and five others. That is to say, the genealogist, having deduced the Davidic line through Solomon, and the regal succession down to the grandsons of Zerubbabel, proceeds to mention four other branches of the house of David, and gives a particular account of the fourth, namely, of Shemaiah, the father of that Hattush who went up from Babylon with Ezra, and was in his generation the representative of the Davidic house of Shechaniah. (So likewise Movers, Ueber die bibUische Chronik, p. 29: Havernick, Handb. der Einleit. in das A. T. 2:1, 266; Herzfeld, Gesch. des V. I. von der Zerstirung des ersten Tempels an, 1:379; Keil, Apolog. Versuch fiber die Biicher der Chronik, p. 43. On the other hand, Ewald, Gesch. des V. I . 1:219, note, makes Shechaniah son of Hananiah and father of Shemaiah, so that Hattush is fourth from Zerubbabel; and so Bertheau in the Kgyf exeget. Hdb. on  1 Chronicles 3:21; which view is consistent with the usual chronology, as of course it is quite possible that a grandson of Zerubbabel's grandson may have been adult at the time of Ezra's mission, eighty years after the 1st of Cyrus. See, however, a different explanation in Strong's Harm. and Expos. of the Gospels, p. 17, note m.) (See Zerubbabel). So, in fact, the Hattush who accompanied Ezra is described (according to the reading, proposed by some, of the passage, 8:2, 3), "of the sons of David, Hattush, of the sons of Shechaniah;" for the last clause is out of place as prefixed to the following enumeration "of the sons of Parosh," etc. So the Sept. read it ( Ἀπὸ Υἱῶν Δαυίδ , Ἀττοὺς Ἀπὸ Υἱῶν Σαχανία ); and the apocryphal version more plainly still ( 1 Esdras 8:29, Ἐκ Τῶν Υἱῶν Δαυίδ , Λαττοὺς Σεχενίου ). But still more probably A Different Hattush (q.v.) is meant.

    3. The concluding argument on the same side is derived from "the circumstance that in the next ascent from Babylon after that of Ezra, and in the same reign, the principal opponent of Nehemiah in his work of rebuilding Jerusalem was a man [Sanballat] who can be demonstrated to have continued an active chief of the Samaritans till the time of Alexander the Great, and to have then founded the temple on Mount Gerizim, Joseph. Ant. 11:8, 2-4" (Dr. Mill, u. s.). Josephus's story is that Sanballat, satrap in Samaria of Darius 3, had given his daughter in marriage to a brother of the high-priest Jaddua, named Manasses, who, refusing to put her away, took refuge with his father-in-law, and became the first high-priest of the rival temple built on Mount Gerizim by permission of Alexander, then engaged in the siege of Tyre. All this, with perhaps the marvelous romance that follows about Alexander's reception by the high-priest Jaddua, needs a better voucher than Josephus before it can be accepted as history. The story about Manasses and Sanballat is clearly derived from the last recorded act of Nehemiah, his expulsion of a son of Joiada, and grandson of the then high-priest Eliashib, who was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. It is remarkable that Josephus, in his account of Nehemiah, makes no mention of this act, and does not even name Sanballat: the reason of which may be that, after referring the mission of Nehemiah, as also of Ezra, to the reign of Xerxes, to extend the life of this active chief of the Samaritans from that time to the time of Alexander, full 130 years later, would have' been too absurd. (See Sanballat).

    So is the assumption of Petermann (s.v. "Samaria," in Herzog's Real-Encyklop. 13:1, p. 367) that there were two Sanballats, one contemporary with Nehemiah, the other with Alexander, and that both had daughters married into the family of the high-priest (Eliashib and Jaddua), whose husbands were therefore expelled. As to Jaddua, the fact may be, as Josephus represents it, that he was still high-priest in the time of Alexander. The six who are named in lineal succession in  Nehemiah 12:10-11; Jeshua, Joiakim, Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, will fill up the interval of 200 years from Cyrus to Alexander. Of these, Eliashib was still high-priest in the thirty-second year of Nehemiah's Artachshashta, and later (xiii. 6, 28); it is scarcely possible that this could be Artaxerxes Mnemon, whose thirty-second year is removed from the first of Cyrus by more than 160 years, which is far too much for a succession of three high-priests. It does not follow from the mention of the successors of Eliashib down to Jaddua in 12:10 sq., that Nehemiah lived to see any of them in the office of high-priest, but only that these genealogies and lists were brought down to his own times by the compiler or last redactor of this book (see under No. 3 below). (See Nehemiah).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

    da - rı̄´us  : The name of three or four kings mentioned in the Old Testament. In the original Persian it is spelled "Darayavaush"; in Babylonian, usually "Dariamush"; in Susian(?), "Tariyamaush"; in Egyptian "Antaryuash"; on Aramaic inscriptions, דריהוש or דּריוהושׁ; in Hebrew, דּרתושׁ , dāreyāwesh  ; in Greek, Δαρεῖος , Dareı́os  ; in Latin, "Darius." In meaning it is probably connected with the new Persian word Dara , "king." Herodotus says it means in Greek, ρ Ο2 Ἐρξείηςπ , Erxeı́ēs , coercitor , "restrainer," "compeller," "commander."

    (1) Darius the Mede ( Daniel 6:1;  Daniel 11:1 ) was the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the seed of the Medes (  Daniel 9:1 ). He received the government of Belshazzar the Chaldean upon the death of that prince ( Daniel 5:30 ,  Daniel 5:31;  Daniel 6:1 ), and was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.

    From  Daniel 6:28 we may infer that Darius was king contemporaneously with Cyrus. Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans. Some reasons for this identification are as follows:

    ( a ) Gubaru is possibly a translation of Darius. The same radical letters in Arabic mean "king," "compeller," "restrainer." In Hebrew, derivations of the root mean "lord," "mistress," "queen"; in Aramaic, "mighty," "almighty."

    ( b ) Gutium was the designation of the country North of Babylon and was in all possibility in the time of Cyrus a part of the province of Media.

    ( c ) But even if Gutium were not a part of Media at that time, it was the custom of Persian kings to appoint Medes as well as Persians to satrapies and to the command of armies. Hence, Darius-Gubaru may have been a Mede, even if Gutium were not a part of Media proper.

    ( d ) Since Daniel never calls Darius the Mede king of Media, or king of Persia, it is immaterial what his title or position may have been before he was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. Since the realm of the Chaldeans never included either Media or Persia, there is absolutely no evidence in the Book of Daniel that its author ever meant to imply that Darius the Mede ever ruled over either Media or Persia.

    ( e ) That Gubaru is called governor ( pihatu ), and Darius the Mede, king, is no objection to this identification; for in ancient as well as modern oriental empires the governors of provinces and cities were often called kings. Moreover, in the Aramaic language, no more appropriate word than "king" can be found to designate the ruler of a sub-kingdom, or province of the empire.

    ( f ) That Darius is said to have had 120 satraps under him does not conflict with this; for the Persian word "satrap" is indefinite as to the extent of his rule, just like the English word "governor." Besides, Gubaru is said to have appointed pihatus under himself. If the kingdom of the Chaldeans which he received was as large as that of Sargon he may easily have appointed 120 of these sub-rulers; for Sargon names 117 subject cities and countries over which he appointed his prefects and governors.

    ( g ) The peoples, nations and tongues of chapter 6 are no objection to this identification; for Babylonia itself at this time was inhabited by Babylonians, Chaldeans, Arabians, Arameans and Jews, and the kingdom of the Chaldeans embraced also Assyrians, Elamites, Phoenicians and others within its limits.

    ( h ) This identification is supported further by the fact that there is no other person known to history that can well be meant. Some, indeed, have thought that Darius the Mede was a reflection into the past of Darius Hystaspis; but this is rendered impossible inasmuch as the character, deeds and empire of Darius Hystaspis, which are well known to us from his own monuments and from the Greek historians, do not resemble what Daniel says of Darius the Mede.

    (2) Darius, the fourth king of Persia, called Hystaspes because he was the son of a Persian king named Hystaspis, is mentioned in Ezr ( Daniel 4:5 , et al.), Hag ( Daniel 1:1 ) and Zec ( Daniel 1:1 ). Upon the death of Cambyses, son and successor to Cyrus, Smerdis the Magian usurped the kingdom and was dethroned by seven Persian nobles from among whom Darius was selected to be king. After many rebellions and wars he succeeded in establishing himself firmly upon the throne ( Ant. , XI, i). He reorganized and enlarged the Persian empire. He is best known to general history from his conflict with Greece culminating at Marathon, and for his re-digging of the Suez Canal. In sacred history he stands forth as the king who enabled the Jews under Jeshua and Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.

    (3) Darius, called by the Greeks NoThus, was called Ochus before he became king. He reigned from 424 to 404 bc. In the Scriptures he is mentioned only in  Nehemiah 12:22 , where he is called Darius the Persian, probably to distinguish him from Darius the Mede. It is not necessary to suppose that Darius Codomannus who reigned from 336 to 330 bc, is meant by the author of Neh 12, because he mentions Jaddua; for ( a ) Johanan, the father of this Jaddua, was high priest about 408 bc, as is clear from the Aramaic papyrus from Elephantine lately published by Professor Sachau of Berlin, and Jaddua may well have succeeded him in those troubled times before the death of Darius NoThus in 404 bc. And ( b ) that a high priest named Jaddua met Alexander in 332 bc, is attested only by Josephus ( Ant. , XI, viii, 5). It is not fair to take the testimony of Josephus as to Jaddua without taking his testimony as to the meeting with Alexander and as to the appeal of Jaddua to the predictions of the Book of Daniel. But even if Josephus be right, there may have been two Jadduas, one high priest in 404 bc, and the other in 332 bc; or the one who was alive and exercising his functions in 404 bc may still have been high priest in 332 bc. He need not have exceeded 90 years of age. According to the Eshki Harran inscription, which purports to have been written by himself, the priest of the temple in that city had served for 104 years. In our own time how many men have been vigorous in mind and body at the age of 90, or thereabouts; Bismarck and Gladstone, for example?

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

    Darius, or rather Darjavesh, is the name under which three Medo-Persian kings are mentioned in the Old Testament.

    The first Darius is 'Darjavesh, the son of Achashverosh, of the seed of the Medes,' in the book of Daniel . Much difference of opinion has prevailed as to the person here intended; but there is good reason to believe that it is Cyaxares the Second, the son and successor of Astyages [AHASUERUS], and the immediate predecessor of Cyrus.

    The second 'Darjavesh king of Persia' is mentioned in the book of Ezra (Ezra 4-7), in Haggai, and in Zechariah, as the king who, in the second year of his reign, effected the execution of those decrees of Cyrus which granted the Jews the liberty to rebuild the temple, the fulfillment of which had been obstructed by the malicious representations which their enemies had made to the immediate successors of Cyrus. It is agreed that this prince was Darius Hystaspis, who succeeded the usurper Smerdis B.C. 521, and reigned thirty-six years.

    The third 'Darjavesh the Persian,' occurs in , in a passage which merely states that the succession of priests was registered up to his reign. It is commonly believed that this king was Darius Nothus, who came to the throne (B.C. 423), and reigned nineteen years.

    Darius Codomannus is evidently the Persian king alluded to in .