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with the testimony of the contemporary monuments. Belshazzar may have distinguished himself, perhaps more than his father Nabu-na'id, at the time when Babylon passed into the hands of the Persians; and hence in the recollections of a later age he may have been pictured as its last king: but he was not styled 'king' by his contemporaries (cf. Schrader, KAT2 on Dan. v. I—2).
6. Darius, son of Ahasuerus—Ăḥashwērōsh, elsewhere the Hebrew form of Xerxes (Pers. Khshayârshâ)—a Mede, after the death of Belshazzar, 'receives the kingdom,' and is 'made king over the realm of the Chaldaeans' (v. 31, ix. 1; cf. vi. 1 ff., xi. 1).
It has been disputed what sense is to be attached to these expressions, and whether Darius the Mede, according to the representation of the Book, is an independent sovereign (Bevan, p. 20; al.), or merely a viceroy with 'delegated royalty' (Hengst., Keil, Pusey, p. 122 f.). Certainly, if v. 31 and ix. I be read under the presupposition that Cyrus was conqueror of Babylon, it is natural to suppose that it was he from whom Darius 'received the kingdom,' and by whom he was 'made king'; but Cyrus is not mentioned in this connexion in the Book itself: the Medes are mentioned regularly (v. 28, vi. &c.) before the Persians, as though in the view of the writer they were the more important people; and according to the representation of the Book (see on ii. 39 and v. 31), the Persian empire (of Cyrus) was preceded by a Median empire: hence it is more natural to suppose that, in the view of the writer, Darius 'received the kingdom' from the victors jointly, and was 'made king,' either by them, or by God (cf. v. 28 'is given,' sc. by God)1. This interpretation agrees with ch. vi., in which Darius unquestionably acts as an independent sovereign, organising (v. 1) the whole kingdom into satrapies, and (v. 25) addressing the entire world as his subjects, exactly as Nebuchadnezzar had done (iv. 1); while (v. 29) his 'reign' is succeeded by the 'reign' of Cyrus the Persian. At all events, if the kingdom,' received by him in v. 28, was conferred upon him by Cyrus, he must have been 'made king' by him in as full a sense
1 Prof. Bevan (p. 20) points to an example in Syriac, in which the same words, 'received the kingdom,' are used of the accession of the Emperor Julian.
as Jehoiakim, for instance, was 'made king' by Pharaoh Necho, or Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Ki. xxiii. 34, xxiv. 17).
There seems, however, to be no room for such a ruler: for according to all other authorities, Cyrus is the immediate successor of Nabu-na'id, and the ruler of the entire Persian empire.
The following are the principal identifications that have been proposed of 'Darius the Mede.' Four kings of the Medes are known to us from Herodotus (i. 96—130), viz. Deioces (699-646), Phraortes (646—624), Cyaxares (624-584), and Astyages (584—549), whose reign was brought to a close, as described above (p. xxx), by Cyrus. 'Darius the Mede,' now, has been supposed to be (1) Cyaxares (II),— according to Xenophon's Cyropaedia, a son of Astyages, and his successor on the throne of Media (Joseph. Ant. x. xi. 4; Häv., Hengst., Keil., al.). According to Xenophon this Cyaxares assisted Cyrus in his military preparations, and after his conquest of Babylon was assigned a palace in the city; at the same time he also made Cyrus his heir, by giving him his daughter in marriage. It appears to be a fatal objection to this hypothesis that the only direct evidence for the existence of a second Cyaxares is that of Xenophon's romance. Herodotus, on the other hand, expressly states that Astyages was the last king of the Medes, and that he died without leaving any male issue (i. 109, 127-130)' (Westcott, in Smith, DB.1 s.v. I DARIUS). (2) Another opinion is that Darius the Mede' may have been Astyages (Niebuhr, Westcott): it is pointed out that it would have been quite in accordance with Cyrus's usual magnanimity to treat his vanquished foe with respect, and it would have been good policy on his part to gratify his Median subjects by making the son of Cyaxares viceroy in Babylon. A younger brother, or a nephew, of Astyages, or an otherwise unknown Median prince, whom Cyrus may have appointed under-king in Babylon, while he himself was completing his conquests elsewhere, have also been suggested (cf. Pusey, pp. 126, 128)1.
It is, however, far from apparent why Astyages (who is regularly known by this name) should, especially by a contemporary (as is supposed by those who adopt this view), be called 'Darius'; and in point of fact, if Cyrus made any one 'king' in Babylon, it was his son Cambyses, who, in certain
1 See further, on these hypotheses, Kuenen, Einl. ii. § 90. 3.
inscriptions of his first year (p. xxxii), is named conjointly with himself. And Cambyses was neither 'Darius,' nor a 'Mede.' Contemporary monuments, though they do not indeed shew that a Median, named 'Darius,' did not exist, shew that, if he existed, he could not have occupied the position assigned to him in the Book of Daniel; he could not have acted as 'king' in Babylon. If it be supposed that he was merely a governor, this is inconsistent with the representation of the Book of Daniel: if he was a 'king,' this is inconsistent with the testimony of the inscriptions, which allow no room for such a 'king' at this time1.
How the figure of 'Darius the Mede' arose, must remain matter of conjecture; it seems, however, clearly to be connected with the unhistorical idea of a 'Median' empire, intervening between the Chaldaean and the Persian, implied elsewhere in the Book of Daniel (see on ii. 39). In vi. I the temptation to suspect a confusion with Darius Hystaspis (the successor of Cambyses), B.C. 522-485, who actually organized the Persian empire into 'satrapies,' though much fewer than 1202,—is strong. Tradition, it can hardly be doubted, has here confused persons and events in reality distinct (Behrmann, p. xix): 'Darius the Mede' must be a 'reflection into the past' of Darius Hystaspis, father-not son-of Xerxes ('Ahasuerus,' ix. 1), who had twice to reconquer Babylon from the hands of rebels, and who established the system of satrapies, combined, not impossibly, with indistinct recollections of Gubaru, who first occupied Babylon on Cyrus's behalf, and who, in appointing governors there (p. xxx), appears to have acted as Cyrus's deputy.
1 This is particularly clear from the contract-tablets, which have been discovered recently in such numbers (see KB. iv. passim), and which, bearing date at this period almost continuously, pass from the 10th of Marcheshvan, in the 17th year of Nabu-na'id, to the 24th of the same month in the accession-year of Cyrus: comp. Sayce, Monuments, pp. 522 f., 528; Strassmaier, Babyl. Texte, i. (1887), p. 25, vii. (1890), p. 1; and the translations in KB. iv. 255 (No. LVIII), and 259 (No. II).
2 See the note on vi. I.
3 Behistun Inscr. (RP.1 i. 111 ff.), i. 16—ii. 1 (cf. Hdt. iii. 150—9); iii. 13, 14; see also Rawlinson, Anc. Mon. iii. 410f., 414.
4 Comp. Sayce, Monuments, pp. 524-537. The statement of
7. In ix. 2 it is stated that Daniel 'understood by the books (D')' the number of years, during which, according to Jeremiah, Jerusalem should lie waste. The expression used implies that Jeremiah's prophecies formed part of a collection of sacred books, which, nevertheless, it may be safely affirmed, was not the case in 538 B.C.1
8. The incorrect explanation of the name Belteshazzar in iv. 8 is often quoted as evidence that the writer, if not the speaker (Nebuchadnezzar), was ignorant of the Babylonian language; but possibly it is only an assonance, not an etymology (in our sense of the word), which is implied by the king's words: see the note ad loc.
9. Other indications adduced to shew that the Book of Daniel is not the work of a contemporary, are such as the following:-The improbability that Daniel and his companions, all strict Jews, should have suffered themselves to be initiated into the superstitious arts of the 'wise men' (p. 14 ff.), or that he should have been accepted as their president by the 'wise men' themselves (ch. i.; cf. ii. 13, 48)2; the improbability that Nebuchadnezzar should hold all the wise men of Babylon, including Daniel and his three companions, responsible for the failure of some, and condemn them to death even before their skill had been tried (ii. 12, 13); Nebuchadnezzar's seven years' insanity ('lycanthropy'), with his public proclamation respecting it (iv. 1-3, 34-37); the absolute terms in which both he and Darius, while retaining, so far as appears, their idolatry, recognize the eternal and universal sovereignty of the God of Israel
Harpocration and Suidas (Prince, p. 49 m.) that the name of the coin 'darik' (dapeɩkós) was derived from a king ‘Darius,' though not Darius Hystaspis, but an earlier king of that name, has been supposed to be indirect testimony to the historical character of Darius the Mede; but its correctness is, upon philological grounds, extremely questionable (see Prince, p. 265).
1 Cf. Ryle, Canon of the O. T., p. 104 ff.
2 Lenormant felt the latter difficulty so strongly that he regarded the words, or clauses, in ii. 48, iv. 9, v. 11, 12, which attributed this position to Daniel, as interpolated (La Divination chez les Chaldéens, 1875, p. 219 f.). This, however, is an expedient of very questionable legitimacy.
(iv. 1—3, 34—37; vi. 25—27: cf. ii. 47, iii. 29). On these and some other similar considerations our knowledge is hardly such as to give us an objective criterion for estimating their cogency. The circumstances alleged will appear improbable, or not im-. probable, according as the critic, upon independent grounds, has satisfied himself that the Book is the work of a later author, or written by Daniel himself. It might be hazardous to use the statements in question in proof of the late date of the Book; though, if its late date were established on other grounds, it is certainly true that they would be more naturally explained as due to the manner in which the past was viewed by a writer living at some distance from it, than as statements of actual fact authenticated by a contemporary.
Of the arguments that have been here stated, while 8 is doubtful, and 9 should be used with reserve, the rest all possess weight,―particularly 4, 5, and 6. They do not, however, except 2 (which, standing alone, it would be hazardous to press), shew positively that the Book is a work of the second cent. B.C.; but they point with some cogency to the conclusion that it reflects the traditions, and historical impressions, of an age considerably later than that of Daniel himself.
ii. The evidence of the language of Daniel must next be considered.
(1) The number of Persian words in the Book, especially in the Aramaic part, is remarkable.
nobles (i. 3 ;
13, 15, 16,
secret (ii. 18, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 47, iv. 9),
The number is at least 15, if not more: viz. D' also Est. i. 3, vi. 6), and choice food, delicacy (i. 5, 8, xi. 26), NTIN certain (ii. 5, 8), D77 limb (ii. 5, iii. 29), ♬ law (ii. 9, 13, 15, vi. 5, 8, 12, 15, vii. 25; also Ezr. viii. 36, and often in Est.), NN satrap (iii. 2, 3, 27, vi. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7; also Ezr. viii. 36, Est. iii. 12, viii. 9, ix. 3), MIDT8 counsel-giver (iii. 2, 3), a law-bearer, justice (iii. 2, 3), ¡¡ kind (iii. 5, 7, 10, 15; also 2 Ch. xvi. 14, Ps. cxliv. 13, Ecclus. xxxvii. 28, xlix. 8 [Heb.]), DIN message, order, decree (properly something going [i.e. sent] to), even in the weakened sense of word, or thing (iii. 16,
1 For further particulars on most of the following words, see the note on the first occurrence of each.