Daniel 5:31 Index
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Research Material

"...Darius the Medain..."

  • Darius was sixty-two years old when he took over the Babylonian Empire. He only lived two more years and then Cyrus became king. Daniel continued his service in the courts of Medo-Persia until the first year of Cyrus' reign. Babylon fell to Medo-Persia exactly as Daniel prophesied 50 years before Cyrus was born. The scripture foretold how he would overthrow the city of Babylon. No doubt Daniel showed this Scripture to Cyrus. This made an impact on Cyrus (Ezra 1:14), as he made the decree for the children of Israel to return to Jerusalem. Cyrus lived a charmed life. The magi told Cyrus' grandfather, Astyages the king, that the child wold take over his kingdom. Because of this, his grandfather made several attempts on Cyrus' life. (KC 67)
  • The fact that the Persian account of the fall of Babylon to Cyrus begins his reign in Babylon immediately, without any intervening reign of Darius the Mede, does not contradict the biblical narrative. Darius was evidently recognized as a ruler in Babylon by courtesy of Cyrus, while it was Cyrus who actually held the power. The lack of conclusive evidence as to the identity of Darius the Mede must not be a cause to question the Bible statements concerning this ruler, for future finds may clarify the problem, as archeology has already done for Belshazzar, who puzzled earlier historians. (KC 67)
  • The ruler mentioned in this verse and throughout Daniel 6 is still an obscure figure as far as secular history is concerned. (4BC 805)
  • The question naturally arises, Why did not the conquering army destroy Daniel (Proverbs 28:18), who was the third ruler in the kingdom, at this critical moment? The answer is simple and natural. When the kingdom was taken and Belshazzar slain, Nabonadius, the first ruler, at the head of an army, was surrounded by the enemy in another part of the kingdom. This left Daniel sole ruler in Babylon. He, knowing that over one hundred years before, Isaiah had prophesied that Cyrus should take the kingdom (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1-3), was ready to welcome him whom God had said should build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem.... There is also good reason to believe that Daniel and Cyrus were not strangers. When excluded from the council of Belshazzar, Daniel had spent a portion of his time at Shushan (Daniel 8:2), the capital of Elam. Elam had revolted from Babylon, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 49:39; Isaiah 21:2)... Daniel may have formed an acquaintance with Cyrus, and showed to him, as the high priest did to Alexander on a certain occasion, the prophecy that pertained to himself, and also revealed to him the way God had said he should enter Babylon. (Isaiah 44:27; 45:1-2; Jeremiah 50:38, 51:36). It is evident from the wording of the decree given in Ezra 1, that Cyrus was familiar with these prophecies. (Ezra 1:1-5). (SNH 86)
  • God gives continual opportunities for His people to prepare the way for blessings to come to them, when they are walking in the light. God is never taken by surprise (Mark 4:22), but His Word is a lamp to the feet (Psalms 119:105) and a guide to the life. This illustrates the importance of God's people "knowing the time" (Romans 13:11) in which they live from the light of prophecy. There is a Witness in every scene of sacrilegious mirth (Psalms 139:1-16; Matthew 12:36, 37), and the recording angel writes; "Thou are weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." (Daniel 5:27). This same Witness is with us wherever we are. Although we may feel that we have liberty to follow the promptings of the natural heart, and indulge in lightness and trifling, yet an account must be rendered for these things. As we sow, so shall we reap.... Nations to-day are repeating the history of the last years of the kingdom of Babylon. Medo-Persia was the instrument in the Lord's hands to punish Babylon. (Isaiah 41:1-5; Revelation 18:4). The next great overthrow of governments will usher in the kingdom of our Lord. For the final battle, nations are now mustering their forces. The cry has gone forth, "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul; be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance." (Jeremiah 51:6). (SNH 86-87)

AFTERWORD:

  • In Jeremiah 51:59-64, Jeremiah instructs Seraiah to tie a stone to a scroll, pitch it into the Euphrates, and cry out, "Thus shall [literal] Babylon sink, to rise no more." The instruction about the scroll and the stone was given to Seraiah by Jeremiah in the fourth year of King Zedekiah's reign, 594/593 B.C. Zedekiah made a trip to Babylon that year, possibly in connection with the dedication of the golden image of Daniel 3. Seraiah accompanied him.... Seraiah unrolled Jeremiah's scroll and began reading the messages recorded in Jeremiah 50... (CMM 82)
    • "The word which the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. 2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. 3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast." (Jeremiah 50:1-3)
    • 4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. 6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. 7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers. 8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. (Jeremiah 50:4-8)
    • 9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. 10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. 11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; 12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. 13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. 14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. 15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. 16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land. (Jeremiah 50:9-16)
    • 17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. 18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. (Jeremiah 50:17-20)
    • 21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee. 22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. 23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. 25 The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. 27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. 28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple. 29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD. 31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee. 32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him. (Jeremiah 50:21-32)
    • 33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. (Jeremiah 50:33-34)
    • 35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. 38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. 39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. 41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail. 44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me? 45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations. (Jeremiah 50:35-46)
  • ...and Jeremiah 51. (CMM 82)