It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Daniel 6:1-2 (NIV).
The second half of the book of Daniel begins here. Up until now, the book has been pure history. For the next six chapters, history will be interspersed with prophecy.
That starts with the account of Daniel being promoted in Babylon again, this time by the new government, a government of Median-Persians. Who were these ‘new’ masters?
Persia was an empire within modern Iran. Not long before today’s verses, the Persians had conquered the Median empire (also within modern Iran). This unified empire then overtook most of its neighbors, including Babylonia (contained within modern Iraq). According to https://www.gotquestions.org/Darius-in-the-Bible.html, the Darius mentioned in Daniel 6 may be a royal viceroy, appointed by Persian emperor Cyrus the Great, to rule over the newly-conquered Babylonian empire. It is also possible that “Darius the Mede” was a Median name for Cyrus himself.
Back to Daniel. After overrunning Babylon and killing Belshazzar, the Median-Persians were looking for people to run their newfound conquest. By the time all this happened, along with all the other Jews from Jerusalem, Daniel had been captive in Babylon for over a generation. Because of that, Daniel might very well have been an old man, maybe even in his 70s or 80s. This would have given him credibility in front of the new overlords as they would no doubt have heard how the sagely Daniel interpreted dreams for the former monarchs. It’s also reasonable to assume the Persians felt both safe with and a little wary of the storied Jew who had served Babylon’s previous rulers with distinction.
Daniel soon proved himself capable, just as he had under Nebuchadnezzar many years before. Daniel was both a faithful and honest man or the conquering Medes wouldn’t have considered him for a position of responsibility in the new order. As we will see in coming verses, he was known for such fidelity that palace intrigue once again schemed in order to remove him.
What does this have to do with us? You know it’s a lesson on being faithful, honest, and true so that people in authority might vest trust and power in us. More importantly, it’s a lesson in how God blesses us when we remain true to Him at all times. Daniel would soon (and once again) prove himself true in this new world order. In doing so, he would record one of the most memorable accounts in all human history.
For further reading: Ezra 4:22, Esther 1:1, Daniel 6:3
Or Lord, strengthen me with faith to always remain honest and true to You, so that You might have glory through my life.
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