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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.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Darius'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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