I believe it is the same Darius, do you agree? If not - can you let me know why providing Biblical evidence.
Daniel 11:1, Daniel 6:28, Daniel 9:1 and Ezra 4:5, Ezra 4:24, Ezra 5:5-7, Ezra 6:1, Ezra 6:12-15
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
It is almost certain that there are two different people named "Darius". One of these is well-known historically, and the other is highly debatable.
My personal opinion, which is difficult to verify, is that Darius the Mede was probably Astyages, the last king of the Medes and probably father-in-law to Cyrus the Great. After Cyrus conquered Babylon, he was probably placed as titular king of Babylon in the last two or three years of his life. This political marriage was what effectively created the Medo-Persian empire.
However, it must be admitted that all this is quite uncertain.
What is certain is that Daniel's Darius the Mede, and Ezra's Darius the Persian are different people. Here is more detail -
Now, for Daniel to write about Darius the Great would require that he live until the age of about 105 years. Darius was the Persian king discussed in Ezra when the second Temple was begun - a long time AFTER Daniel.
Darius the Great was definitely Persian and lest there be any confusion, the Darius in Daniel is referred to as a "Mede", see Dan 5:31, 6:1, 9:1, 11:1. Further, Daniel 5:31 specifically tells us that following the collapse of the Babylonian kingdom, it was Darius the Mede that took over (as explained above) at the age of 62. This could not have been Darius the Persian who was much later.
Looking at scripture, angel Gabriel came to Daniel during the reign of Cyrus (see Daniel 10:1); it is in that same visitation that he talks to Daniel about how he HAD strengthened and confirmed the appointment of Darius the Mede/of Mede descent - indicating prior to Cyrus.
The entry of Darius was a fulfilment of Jeremiah 51:11 ‘...the Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes and His plan is to destroy Persia’
Psalm 103:20 ‘Praise The Lord you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His word’
Ezra 5 & 6 points to the chronological order of Darius the Persian king being after Cyrus the Persian king.
Xerxes was the grandson of Cyrus the Great. Consider the names Xerxes and Cyrus being the same. Only Xerxes however was preceded by a king Darius (Darius I) as in the book of Daniel.
The Darius of Ezra was identified by the Elephantine papyri as Darius II. The papyri date the high priest Johanan also mentioned in the book of Ezra as a contemporary of Darius II.
The names ArtaXerxes and AhaSuerus then are similar as well, being written in different languages.
This suggests the books of Daniel and Ezra without hiatus show the Persian kings from Darius I - Artaxerxes II:
The Darius of the book of Daniel is Darius I, the Cyrus is Xerxes. The Cyrus of the book of Ezra (Ezra 1) again is Xerxes, the first Artaxerxes and Ahasuerus (Ezra 4) both are Artaxerxes I, the Darius (Ezra 6) is Darius II, and the second Artaxerxes (Ezra 7) of the book of Ezra is Artaxerxes II.
The Artaxerxes and Ahasuerus of the books of Nehemiah and Esther also being Artaxerxes I.
As for the title of the Persian kings, it changed with Xerxes to king of the Persians and Medes. Before it was king of the Babylonians (or Chaldeans, which is the same). This shift also is visible in the book of Daniel. Which confirms the Darius of the book of Daniel is Darius I. At the start of his reign the destruction of the temple was about 62 years away.
The 120 satraps appointed in Daniel 6:1-2 also can be translated as 20 tax owing satraps (since 100 as well can mean tax). This is similar to the reign of Darius I, who also divided his kingdom into 20 tax owing satrapies.
Similar to the comments about Daniel in Daniel 6:28 and 10:1 Heidemarie Koch in her book "Es kundet Dareios der Konig" mentions Darius I's highest official (who's position had been vacant for three years) from Darius' 28th year on remained in office until the third year of Xerxes.
The above proves the books of Daniel and Ezra fit the historical events.
A mistake of the later editor
However in the book of Daniel there are several indications the Daniel of Daniel 6 is a different person than the Daniel of Daniel 1-5:
Daniel 6:28 omits Nebuchadnezzar in: "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian". Furthermore the Daniel of chapters 1-5 is a clergyman, while the Daniel of chapter 6 is a ruler.
When you with the above analysis calculate distances, something amazing happens. The distance between the start of the exile (Daniel 1:1) until the end is 120 years. The distance between the destruction of the first temple and the consecration of the altar of the second temple is 100 years. From this point to the birth of Jesus is 480 years (1 Kings 6:1).