Daniel and Darius
Darius, meaning the holder, or governor, was the name, or title, of a number of ancient Persian kings (see Ancient Empires - Persia). Darius the Mede is known in The Bible record in connection to two famous incidents involving the prophet Daniel. Darius came to power when Belshazzar was deposed after the famous Writing On The Wall incident, and Daniel In The Lion's Den occurred during Darius' reign.
The Handwriting On The Wall
"Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN."
"This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
"Then Belshazzar commanded, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put about his neck, and proclamation was made concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom."
"That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old." (Daniel 5:24-31 RSV)
Daniel In The Lion's Den
"Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. When he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish and said to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, Whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
"Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live for ever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before Him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong."
"Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God."
"And the king commanded, and those men who had accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions - they, their children, and their wives; and before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces."
"Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: "Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is the living God, enduring for ever; His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and His dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues, He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions."
"So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian." (Daniel 6:19-28 RSV)
Fact Finder: Does God put kings in power, or depose them, according to His will?
This Week's Bible Quiz
1. Who was older, Moses or Aaron?
2. Was King David the oldest or youngest son in his family?
3. Ephraim and Manasseh became the progenitors of two Tribes Of Israel just like Jacob's actual sons. Were they nephews or grandsons of Jacob?
4. Was the Egyptian woman who raised Moses the sister or daughter of Pharaoh?
5. Was Lot the brother or nephew of Abraham?
6. Who was the firstborn son of Jacob/Israel, whose mother was Leah?
7. Who was the youngest son of Jacob/Israel, whose mother was Rachel?
8. Who was the only daughter of Jacob/Israel?
9. Who was older of the brothers, Isaac or Ishmael?
10. Who was older of the brothers, Jacob or Esau?
For the answers to this January 7 2003 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page