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Daniel 6: 1 “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.”

 

Chapter 6 advances the historical time significantly ahead of chapter five. 

6:1

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom;

Jeremiah 50:9 predicts that the Medes and Persians will defeat the Neo-Babylonian Empire.  This included the army of Cyrus and the armies of the Median King Astyages and Croesus of Lydia.  Jeremiah 50 and 51 describe the actual fall of Babylon.

Je 51:11 “Make the arrows bright!

Gather the shields!

The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes.

For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it,

Because it is the vengeance of the Lord,

The vengeance for His temple.”

Cyrus was the Lord’s anointed (Je 45:1; 2 Chr 36:22,23; Ezra 1:1-4; Is 44:28; 45:1-5).  Cyrus’ general, Gobryas, captured Babylon.  Darius assumed the role of King of Babylon.  He was the “son of Ahasuerus (title for king, 9:1) of the seed of the Medes.”  The Jewish historian Josephus verified this fact (Jewish Antiquities, Book X). 

Now Darius, who with his relative Cyrus put an end to the Babylonian sovereignty, was in his sixty-second year when he took Babylon; he was a son of Astyages but was called by another name among the Greeks.” 

The kingdoms of Media and Persia were related by marriage.  The Median King Astyages arranged the marriage of his daughter Mandane to Cambyses, King of Anshan, who later became King of Persia.  This union produced Cyrus the Great, King of Anshan, who later became King of Persia.  Astyages’ son was Darius Cyaxares II who was Darius the Mede of Daniel 5:31 and 6:1. He was the uncle of Cyrus the Great.  Cyrus left the throne of Babylon to Darius.  Cyrus married the daughter of his uncle Darius two years later uniting the two kingdoms and made himself King of Persia. 

Daniel 6 occurred during the two-year reign of Darius the Mede.  The two arms of Nebuchadnezzar’s image were the two kingdoms of Media and Anshan that merged into the Persian Empire. 

Daniel, now in his eighties, appointed 120 satraps to administer the kingdom.  A “satrap” is a guardian, watcher.  These people watched over Babylon administratively. 

6:2

and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss.

Daniel put three governors over the 120 satraps of whom he was one. 

6:3

Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.

Darius placed Daniel over his entire kingdom because of his outstanding administrative abilities.  God promotes prepared people.  He was a man of the Word.  He looked at the world through the eyes of God.  That is why God revealed divine truth to him.  Daniel’s “excellent spirit” was due to his knowledge of the Word of God (5:12).  We see this in his study of Jeremiah. 

PRINCIPLE: 

God moves the believer beyond his natural capacity if he or she builds a body of truth in the soul and applies it to experience. 

APPLICATION: 

When a believer builds up a soul full of God’s viewpoint on life, he goes beyond his natural capacity.  God always rewards the believer who operates on His economy and is faithful to that economy.

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