Chapter 7

Studies In The Book Of Daniel: A Discussion of the Historical Questions by Robert Dick Wilson



  When one asserts that the author of Daniel has “confused” events or persons, it is not enough for him to affirm that the author was thus confused. This confusion is a matter of evidence. With all due deference to the opinion of other scholars, I am firmly convinced that no man to-day has sufficient evidence to prove that the author of Daniel was confused. There are no records to substantiate the assertions of confusion. Neither is it clear to the critics nor can they make it clear to others, that the author of Daniel either did not understand the facts with regard to Darius the Mede, nor clearly express himself about them.

  In this and the following chapters, it is my intention, then, to review the objections to the book of Daniel on the ground of what it says with regard to Darius the Mede and with regard to what it is asserted to say, or imply, with respect to the kingdom and people of the Medes. In this present chapter, the attempt will be made to show that the book of Daniel does not assert that Darius the Mede ever reigned over Babylon as an independent sovereign, and that Darius the Mede was probably the same as Gobryas the sub-king of Babylon, appointed by his overlord Cyrus. In connection with these questions will be considered the methods of dating documents used among the ancients in and about Baby–

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lon, and the lack of all extra-biblical records referring to his reign, his office, age, name, race, and official acts.


  Among other objections it is asserted, that “the author of Daniel had an entirely false idea regarding the fall of Babylon under the Semitic dynasty. He evidently thought that Darius the Mede preceded Cyrus the Persian.”1 The author of Daniel “makes a Median ruler receive Babylon after the overthrow of the native dynasty, and then mentions later the historical Cyrus. We may suppose that the biblical writer believed that Cyrus succeeded to the empire of Babylon on the death of the Median Darius.”2


  There are in these statements three assumptions: (1) that the biblical writer believed that Cyrus succeeded to the empire of Babylon on the death of the Median Darius; (2) that he makes a Median ruler receive the empire of Babylon after the overthrow of the native dynasty; (3) that the author of Daniel mentions Cyrus as if he were later than Darius the Mede.


  1. Professor Prince bases the first of these statements upon Daniel 6:29, which reads: “Daniel prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus king of Persia.” It is admitted that this might mean that Cyrus was the successor of Darius

1 Prince, Commentary on Daniel, p. 127.    2 Id., p. 54.

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the Mede. It can be shown, however, that it may equally well mean that the two kings reigned contemporaneously and that the one may have been subordinate and subject to the other. In support of this statement the following evidence is advanced.

  Systems of double dating were common in antiquity as they still are in many parts of the world. The thanksgiving proclamations of our presidents bear the double dates of the republic and of the year of the Lord. The diplomas of our colleges bear the double date of the year from the founding of the college and the year of the Lord. So among the Assyrians we find that the contract tablets were dated at times from the year of the king and from the limmu (or archon, or mayor) of the city of Nineveh. Bezold refers to more than forty of the double-dated tablets.1

  In the Babylonian documents from the time of the Arsacid, or Parthian, kings, we find a regular system of dual dates, one taken from the Arsacid era beginning 248 B.C., and the other from the Seleucid or Greek era beginning 312 B.C.2

  Among the Phenicians, also, we find double or even

1 See his Catalogue of the Cuneiform Tablets, etc., p. 2005. Thus we have a tablet dated “the 8th of Airu in the limmu of Manzarni the governor (am. pihat) of the land of Kulbania in the year 22 of Sennacherib king of Assyria” (KB iv, 120). Another from “the 1st of Airu, the 23d year of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, the limmu of Mannuki-Ramman deputy (shakin) of the city of Supiti” (id., 122). Another from “the 27th of the month Ab in the limmu of the turtan of the city of Kumuh in the reign (tarsi) of Ashurbanipal king of Assyria” (id., 134). Another “in the 3rd year of Shalmanasharid, king of Assyria, when Illuiada’ was deputy (shakin) of Durilu” (id., 158).

2 Thus, to give two examples out of many, “in the year 130 [of the era] of king Arsaces, which is the same as the year 194 [of the era of the Greeks].” See ZA xv, 193. So, also, “in the year 145 of Arsaces, king of kings, which is the same as the year 209” (id.). See, also, numerous examples in Clay’s Morgan Collection, Part II.

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triple dates at times. Thus on a statue from Larnax Lapethos (Narnaka) there is an inscription which contains the date: “on the new moon of Zebah-shishshim, which is in the 11th year of the lord of kings Ptolemy, son of the lord of kings Ptolemy, which is the 33rd year of the people of Lapethos, while the priest to the lord of kings was ‘Abd-‘Ashtart, son of Ger-‘ashtart governor (rab) of the land.”1

  So, among the Nabateans we find an inscription from Damascus having the double date “in the month Iyar, in the year 405 by the reckoning of the Romans [Greeks], which is the 24th year of king Rabel.”2 Compare, also, the double date in the inscription from Wady-Mukattib:3 “The year 106 equivalent to the year of the three Cæsars.”4

  Among the Palmyrenes, we find the following quadruple dating to a decree of council:

  In the month Nisan, the 18th day of the year 448, during the presidency of Bonne son of Bonne, son of Hairan, and the secretaryship of Alexander, son of Alexander, son of Philopater, secretary of the council and People, while the archons were Maliku, son of ’Olai, son of Mokimu, and Zebida, son of Nesa.5

  Among the Syrians of Edessa, a double or triple dating seems to have been the rule. Thus we find the following dates: “In the year 513, in the kingdom of Septimus Severus, Emperor of Rome, and in the kingdom of Abgar the king, son of Ma’nu the king, in the month Tishri the second”;6 and “in the year 1514 of

1 Cooke, North Semitic Inscriptions, p. 82; see, also, the same, p. 78, and Luke 3:1 f., for other examples.

2 Cooke, id., 249.    3 Euting, 457.     4 Id., 261.    5 Id., 320.     6 Assemani, B. O., i, 390.

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the Greeks and the year 559 of the Arabs, while Unk Khan, that is, John the Christian king, was king over the people,” etc.1

  So, also, in the introduction to the History of Addai the Apostle in Syriac, we find the following date: “In the year 343 of the kingdom of the Greeks, in the kingdom of our Lord, Tiberius Cæsar, the Roman, and in the kingdom of Abgar, the king, the son of Ma’nu, the king, in the month of Tisri, the first, on the 12th day.” But Tiberius and Abgar were contemporaneous and the latter subject to the former.

  But we have equally sure evidence not so far afield in the tablets from the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses; to wit, in Strassmaier’s tablets of Cyrus, No. 16, the subscription reads: “In the tenth day of the month Siman of the first year of Cyrus, king of lands, Cambyses [being] king of Babylon.”2

  In tablet No. 81 of Cambyses, we read “Babylon, Kislev 25, year one of Kambushiya, king of Babylon, in his day and Kurash, his father, king of lands.” Compare tablet 46: “Babylon, Duzu 25, year one of Kambushiya, king of Babylon, when (enuma) Kurashu, his father, [was] king of lands.” Much like this is tablet 108 of VASD vi: “Babylon, the 19th day of Ab in the year one of Cambyses king of Babylon when (enushu) Cyrus was king of lands.” In tablet 425, both Cyrus and Cambyses are called “king of Babylon, king of lands,” but the tablet is unfortunately so broken as to render the connection illegible. In No. 426, “Kambushiya king of Babylon” is twice preceded by the phrase “king of lands,” but unfortunately again, the name of the king is illegible. Still, it could scarcely have been any other than Cyrus. On tablet 42 occurs:

1 Assemani, B. O., iii, 2, 495.    2 See the last clause on reverse.

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“Babylon, Duzu 9, year one, of Kambushiya, king of Babylon, son of Kurash, king of lands.”

  It will be seen from these documents, that Cyrus and Cambyses were both given the title of king simultaneously, and this in the first year of Cyrus and again in the first year of Cambyses. It is to be presumed that Cambyses enjoyed his office and title as king of Babylon all the time that his father was king of the lands. But when did he become king of Babylon? The earliest tablet that mentions him under this title is the one given above which dates from the tenth day of the third month of the first year of Cyrus. How long before this he might have claimed the title is not certain; but in view of the fact that on the fourth of Nisan of the same year he is said in the Annals of Nabunaid1 to have grasped the hand of Nebo, and since this ceremony was performed by the ruler at the new year’s festival,2 we can fairly conclude that Cambyses was in some sense king of Babylon from the fourth of Nisan of the year one of Cyrus.3

  Having thus shown that there might be two kings of Babylon at the same time, we have only to show that Darius the Mede was the same as Gobryas in order to reconcile completely the statement of Daniel 6:29, and the disclosures of the monuments. For we have seen above that Gobryas was Cyrus’ governor (amel pihate-shu) of Babylon as early as at least as the 3rd day of the 8th month of Cyrus’ accession year.4 He was in command on the 11th of the same month, when Belshazzar was

1 KB iii, ii, 135.     2 See Muss-Arnolt’s Dict., p. 861.

3 Especially may we so conclude in agreement with Winkler’s statement on page xxxvi of his Inscriptions of Sargon that a king submitted to this ceremony in order to be rightly proclaimed as king of Babylon.

4 Nabunaid-Cyrus Chron., KB iii, ii., 135.

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slain. It is most probable—there is nothing, at least, against the supposition—that he remained in command and at the head of the government, until Cambyses was installed as king of Babylon on the 4th of Nisan of the following year. The only question here, then, is: what would be the title in Hebrew and Aramaic of Gobryas as amel pihate of Babylon? In answer, we can only say that malka or melek (or sar) would be the only suitable words; and that Gobryas could rightly be called by this title as long as he was amel pihate of the city or province of Babylon, i.e., from the 3rd day of the 8th month of Cyrus’ accession year to the 3rd of Nisan of his first year.

  In favor of Darius, the Mede, having been sub-king rather than the king of kings we notice the fact that, in Daniel 6:1, it is said that Darius the Mede received the kingdom;1 and in Daniel 9:1, it is said that he “was made king (homlak) over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.” How well this harmonizes with the statement of the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle, where Gobryas is called Cyrus’ governor! How well it suits the other statements of Daniel that he succeeded “the Chaldean king,” “Belshazzar the king of Babylon”! Notice that not one word is said in any book of the Bible about Darius the Mede having been king of Persia, nor even of Media.

  But it is said, that no contracts are dated from the reigns of Belshazzar and Darius the Mede. We should rather say, that none dated from their reigns have as yet been found. But this is no conclusive argument. For, notice, that out of the ten years of the contemporaneous reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses, only

1 See Pinches, The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of Assyria and Babylonia, p. 419.

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five tablets containing the dates with the names and titles of both kings in an unbroken and absolutely trustworthy text have been found, one from the first year, so-called, of Cyrus, and two from the first year, so-called, of Cambyses. How could we expect to find one from the four-month reigns of Belshazzar and of Darius the Mede? As a matter of fact, Strassmaier gives but twelve tablets from the end of the 4th month of the 17th year of Nabunaid when Nabunaid was captured, until the 11th of the 8th month, when Belshazzar was slain; and all of these are dated with the name of Nabunaid, except one bearing the name of “Cyrus king of Babylon and of the lands,” and dated the 7th (or perhaps better the 4th) month of the accession year. Only one tablet bearing the name of Nabunaid has been found after that fatal night on the eleventh of the eighth month. It bears date “the 9th month [day not given] of the 17th year of Nabunaid king of Babylon.”1

  From the time when Gobryas was made governor of Babylon, until the 4th of Nisan of the ensuing year, we have beside this one tablet of Nabunaid, eight tablets dated with the name of Cyrus. All of these, with perhaps one exception (that of tablet 3, where the inscription is injured), have the title “king of lands” alone, thus suggesting that someone else was during this time king of Babylon. Besides, at no time, except during the co-regnancy of Cyrus and Cambyses, have we as yet found any evidence that the name of the governor (or sub-king) of Babylon, as well as, or instead of, that of the king of kings, was ever placed upon the contract tablets of Babylon.

  Under the Persian kings, there were many governors

1 Strassmaier, Ins. von Nab., No. 1055.

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of Babylon, such as Zopyrus, mentioned in Herodotus,1 but not one Babylonian record bears the name of any one of them, at least in his official capacity.

  In this connection, it might said, that Nirgalsharusar calls his father Nabu-balatsu-ikbi king of Babylon; and yet we have no documents from the father’s reign; and that a Nabunaid, probably the future king of that name, is once called “son of the king of the city.” Furthermore, there are many kings of Babylon mentioned in the Assyrian monuments from whose reigns we have no record of any kind. Again, from the times of the last three kings of Assyria, Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shar-ishkun, and Sin-shum-lishir, only six or seven tablets and a few other records have come down to us. From the reigns of Xerxes the Second, Sogdianus, Arses, and Darius the Third, we have no Babylonian records as yet published. From the long reign of Artaxerxes II there are only three contract tablets thus far published.2 Of the time from the accession of Alexander to the end of the Arsacids, a period of about 300 years, we have all told but a few score records of all kinds.

  But it might be said that not merely have we no records coming from his reign, but also that the contemporaneous documents never even so much as refer to refer to Darius. This will not be true, if we identify him with Gobryas, for he is named three times in the Cyrus Chronicle.3

1 Bk. III, 160.

2 The astronomical tables published by Kugler in his Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, pp. 76 and 80, must be added to these. The table on page 80 mentions Artaxerxes III also.

3 A tablet bearing the name of Gobryas was published by Dr. Pinches in the Expository Times for April, 1915. It reads in part as follows: “At the end of the month of Chisleu, 4th year of Cambyses, king of Babylon and the lands, Ardia, son of Nabu-bani-ahi, descendant of Remut-Ea, the man who is over the date-offerings of Ishtar of Erech, will take five talents of early fruit, and deliver them in the palace of the king, which is situated above E-anna, to Nabu-aha-iddina, the king’s captain (lord of E-anna’s contribution). If he does not bring (the amount), he will commit a sin against Gobryas, governor of Babylon (hitu ša Gubaru, awel pihati Babili, inamdin).”

  Dr. Pinches well remarks that a failure to keep the contract will be a sin against Gobryas, the governor, and not against Cambyses; and that Gobryas was governor of Babylon as late as the 4th year of Cambyses, that is, thirteen years after his conquest of the city for Cyrus, though he may not have been governor during all of the intervening time. Dr. Pinches meets Tiele’s objection to the appointment by Cyrus of a Mede as governor of Babylon by saying that the Babylonian Chronicle distinctly says that Gobryas before his conquest of Babylon was governor of Gutium, a part of ancient Media. It might be added to this, that other Medes are known to have been appointed to high commands; for Harpagus, the greatest of the generals of Cyrus, was a Mede; and Takmaspada and Datis, two of the most distinguished generals of Darius Hystaspis, were also Medes.

  The close commercial relationship existing between Babylon and Media in the time of Cyrus, while Gubaru was governor of Babylon, is shown by the fact that in the 6th year of Cyrus a contract drawn up at Durgaraš, a city on the banks of the Euphrates a short distance above Sippar, calls for the payment of interest at Ecbatana, the capital of Media (see Strass., Cyrus, 227).

  That Gubaru, governor of Ecbatana and Babylon, may have been governor of Syria also, is shown by a tablet from the 3rd year of Darius I, according to which Ushtanni was governor (pihat) of Babylon and of Syria (ebir nari) at the same time (see Strass., Darius, 82).

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  Finally, it is admitted by all that Gobryas was governor, or viceroy (malka in Aramaic), over Babylon for a period after its conquest by Cyrus. Yet we have no contract, nor other document, dated from his reign. If then it were a valid argument against the de facto rule of Darius the Mede (over Babylon) to say that no records dated from his reign existed, so also would it be against the rule of Gobryas.

  As to the age of Darius the Mede, when he became

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king, we know nothing absolutely explicit, except the statement of Daniel 5:31, that he was at that time about sixty–two years of age. With this accord the statements of Xenophon with regard to Gobryas, that when he went over to Cyrus, he had a marriageable daughter;1 and that some time before this, his grown son had been killed by the king of Assyria (i.e., Babylon).2

  But someone will say, how do you explain the fact that Daniel gives the name Darius to a man whom the other documents call Gobryas? Many kings in ancient, as well as modern, times had two or more names; especially a pre-regnal and a regnal name. The Rameses II, king of Egypt, seems to be the same as the Sesostris of the Greeks.3 So Solomon is the same as Jedidiah and Uzziah the same as Azariah. But coming nearer to the time of Cyrus, we find that Cyrus himself according to Strabo was called Agradetes before he became king, and Herodotus says that his first name was not Cyrus.4 Josephus says that Artaxerxes was called Cyrus before he became king.5 Darius Nothus and Artaxerxes III were both called Ochus before they became kings;6 and the last Darius, Codomannus.7 Why may not the name Darius have been assumed first of all by Gobryas the Mede, when he became king of Babylon? When Tiglath-Pileser was proclaimed king of Babylon, and

1 Cyropædia, iv, vi, 10.     2 Id., iv, vi, 2-7.

3 On the Egyptian documents, Sesostris is found perhaps but twice, and then with different spellings, (Setesn and Sesetsn) among the almost innumerable titles and monuments of this king. (Brugsch and Bouriant, Le Livre des Rois, and the author’s articles on Royal Titles in Antiquity in PTR for 1904-5.) Prof. Sethe regards this title as belonging to Usertesen.

4 I, 113.    5 Antiq., xi, vi, I.    6 Ctesias, sec. 49.    7 Diodorus Siculus, xxii, 5, 7.

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the other Assyrian kings who adopted a policy similar to his, they often ruled as kings in Babylon under names different from those which they had as kings of Assyria. Thus Tiglath-Pileser IV of Assyria was Pul in Babylon.1 Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria, was Ululai king of Babylon; and Ashurbanipal king of Assyria was possibly Kandalanu king of Babylon.

  If we could only be sure as to the meaning of the word Darius, we might understand better why the name was given, or assumed, as a royal or princely appellation. The first part of the name may be the same as the New Persian darâ, “king.” Or the name may be derived from the Old Persian verb dar, “to hold,” and may simply mean “holder of the scepter.” According to Spiegel,2 Bartholomæ,3 and Tolman,4 it comes from dar, “to hold,” and a hypothetical vahu (Sansc., vasu), “good wealth”; hence “possessor of wealth.” The title in either case would be appropriate to Gobryas as sub-king of Babylon, and also to the royal son of Hystaspis, who was by birth a king, second in rank and race to Cyrus alone.5

  Or, Darius may be the Persian equivalent, or translation, of the Assyrian Gubaru. Herodotus says that it means ὲρξείηςcoercitor,” a sense to be derived from the Persian darwehren” or “zwingen.” This derivation would favor the opinion that Gubaru in the sense of Gewaltthäter was a translation of Darius. An indication that favors their equivalence is to be found in the fact that the daughter of Gobryas, according to Xeno–

1 Winckler, History of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 115, and Johns in PSBA for 1916.

2 Die Altpersischen Keilinschriften, p. 81.    3 Altiranisches Wörterbuch, 738.

4 Ancient Persian Lexicon, pp. 83 and 107.    5 Behistun Inscription, lines 2 and 3.

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phon,1 married Hystaspis, and that the son of Hystaspis was called Darius. This name is not met with among the royal descendants of Achæmenes before this time. If Darius Hystaspis was not called after an ancestor on his father’s side, what more natural than that he should have been named after his maternal grandfather? While saying this, I am aware that there are difficulties connected with believing that the daughter of Gobryas could have been the mother of Darius Hystaspis; difficulties arising, however, from our ignorance of the time when Hystaspis married this wife, and from our ignorance of the age of Darius Hystaspis when he became king of Persia. For the marriage of Hystaspis and for the age of Darius when he became king, we have to depend upon the Greek historians; and the Greek historians give discrepant statements. Assuming, however, that Gobryas’ daughter was Darius Hystaspis’ mother, it would afford a ground for assuming that Gobryas was either the equivalent of Darius, or that Gobryas bore the name of Darius also. For it was customary to transmit names of fathers to their grandsons; e.g., the grandfather of Cyrus was Cyrus, and both the father and the son of Cyrus were named Cambyses.2 So Artaxerxes the Second was the son of Darius the son of Artaxerxes the First and Darius the Second was the great-grandson of Darius Hystaspis.3

  Among the Archæmenidæ we have the names of five Dariuses, three of whom were kings, two kings named Xerxes, and three named Artaxerxes. Of the Seleucids, who succeeded them, there were seventeen who bore the name of Antiochus. All of the Arsacids,

1 Cyropædia, viii, iv, 25.    2 Cyrus Cylinder, lines 20, 21.

3 Inscription of Artaxerxes Mnemon in Bezold, Achämenideninschriften, No. xvii, and Weissbach, Die Keilinschriften der Achämeniden.

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the successors of the Seleucids, took the regnal name of Arsaces. Of the twenty-nine kings of Edessa, ten were named Abgar and ten Ma’nu.1

  While such examples do not prove that Gobryas was also named Darius, they do afford a presumption in favor of the probability that he was; and in view of the other indications in its favor, they should deter anyone from asserting that Gobryas and Darius the Mede were not the same.

  But was Gobryas a Mede? He is called2 the “amel pihat mati Gutium,” i.e., the governor of the land of Gutium. Now, according to the Cyrus Cylinder (line 13), Cyrus conquered Gutium (Kuti) the totality of the host of Manda (umman-Manda). If Manda and Madai are the same, Gobryas their governor would probably be a Mede. Moreover, Gutium which certainly lay at the foot of the pass that led from Nineveh to Ecbatana, the capital of the Medes, must have been looked upon by dwellers in Babylon as embracing Media also, since in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle, Obv., B. 2, Ecbatana is called the capital of Astyages, the king of Gutium. So that it would be quibbling to deny that Gobryas might justly have been called a Mede.

  There remains one point to be explained. Darius the Mede is said to have placed over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, who should be in all the kingdom.3 This accords with the statement of the Annals of Nabunaid, that Gobryas appointed pihati in Babylon. Notice that neither in the Bible, nor on the monuments, is anything said about the appointment of satraps in Persia, but in Babylon or Chaldea. Now,

1 The Doctrine of Addai, by Phillips, note on p. 1. 2 Annals of Nabunaid, Column iii, line 15.

3 Dan. 6:1.

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since, in the first verse of Esther, it is said that in the time of Xerxes there were an hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the Persian empire, it has been assumed that in Daniel, there is a confusing of the Dariuses, and that this confusion is an evidence of late origin for the book.

  But notice, first, that nothing is said in Daniel about “provinces”; and that even if there were, the word used in Esther for province, םדינח, is a difficult one to define closely. It may mean “province” or “satrapy”as in Esther 1:1. It may also mean “city,” as commonly in Syriac and Arabic, and probably in Daniel 3:1, 2 and I Kings 20:14. In the latter place, it is said that Ahab gathered two hundred and thirty-two sons of the princes of the provinces.1 It would be impossible to suppose that these provinces were of large extent. Would not “judicial district,” or “Gerichtsbezirk,” of whatever size, express the original meaning of Medina?

  Again, the word satrap is ambiguous.2 Taking Haug’s derivation as the correct one, it meant originally simply “land protector.” As to the character of the duties, and especially as to the extent of the land ruled over, the word itself gives us no clue. Besides, the writer of Daniel applies the term to the officers of Nebuchadnezzar,3 so that, in his view at least, the term cannot have meant merely governor of a Persian satrapy. Moreover, according to Xenophon’s Cyropædia, Cyrus appointed at first only six satraps; and these were sent to rule over only a small part of his dominions.4 Darius Hystaspis says, in the Behistun Inscrip–

1 Naaray saray ham’deenoth.

2 For a full discussion of the term satrap, see Chap IX, iii, 2, (2).

3 Dan. 3:2, 3, 27.    4 Bk. VIII, 6.

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tion, that twenty–three countries were subject to him, and he mentions the names of the “lands.”1

  In the Naqs-i-Rustam inscription of the same Darius thirty-two different provinces are mentioned. In Strassmaier’s Darius, 82, Ushtanni is called governor of Babylon and Syria (ebir nari) and in his inscription on Cyrus, 227, the interest of a sum of gold borrowed in the land of Ailtamma Durgash is said to have been payable in Ecbatana.2 Now, Gobryas was governor of Gutium (which at this time included Ecbatana) when he conquered Babylon. When he became governor of Babylonia, his dominion would extend over all the country from the mountains of Media to the deserts of Arabia. If, like Ushtanni, he was satrap of Syria also, his government could extend to the Mediterranean. How many satraps, or pihati, he would find necessary to help govern such a territory at such a time of conquest, we might safely leave to his judgment of the circumstances.3


  From the above evidence it is clear that the author of Daniel does not state, nor even intimate, that Cyrus succeeded Darius the Mede in the empire of Babylon. On the contrary, he indicates that Darius the Mede received from Cyrus his overlord the kingdom of Bel-

1 Bezold’s, Achämenideninschriften, p. 33, lines 4-7.

2 The document is dated the 16th Airu, 6th year of Cyrus, king of Babylon, king of lands.

3 Furthermore, if this extensive rule belonged to Gobryas, who can say that one of the pihatis was not a man named Darius, and that this Darius was not the malka of the city or province of Babylon?

  Finally, in this connection, it may be remarked that the verb which is employed in the Annals of Nabunaid, in the phrase “Gobryas his [i.e., Cyrus’] pihatu appointed pihatis,” is of the same root as that employed of Ahab in 2 Kings 20:15 where he is said to have mustered (paqad) the young men of the princes of the provinces. The same verb and form were employed by Darius Hystaspis in the Babylonian recension of the Naqs-i-Rustam inscription, line 22, where he says “Ahuramazda appointed me to be king over them.” [Anaku ina muhhishina ana sharruti iptek idanni.]

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shazzar the Chaldean, which at best constituted but a small portion of the empire of the Persians. The monumental evidence shows the possibility of 120 satraps being installed in the province of Babylonia, alone. This evidence shows, also, that dual datings were common among the ancient nations, and that hence Cyrus and Darius the Mede may have been reigning at the same time, one as overlord and the other as sub-king, or viceroy. It is pure conjecture to suppose that the author of Daniel “evidently thought that Darius the Mede preceded Cyrus the Persian,” or that he “believed that Cyrus succeeded to the empire of Babylon on the death of the Median Darius,” rather than on its conquest from Nabunaid and Belshazzar.

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Studies In The Book Of Daniel: A Discussion Of The Historical Questions by Robert Dick Wilson. New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1917.

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