Darius or Cyrus?
“That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.” Daniel 5:30-31
Daniel wrote that Darius the Mede received the Kingdom of Babylon, but Herodotus wrote that Cyrus received it. Who is right?
In the last part of our series we looked at how archaeological discoveries from ancient Babylon support many of the historical claims found in the Book of Daniel in the Bible. There is support for the co-regency of Belshazzar (with his father Nabonidus) and Belshazzar’s death at the hands of the Persians. However, what archaeological support is there for a 62-year-old Darius the Mede receiving the kingdom?
That’s where I had Christians when I was an atheist. All I had to do was ask Christians to ‘prove it’ and they were stuck. They were not able to present any proof that Darius the Mede received the Kingdom of Babylon. In fact, Darius didn’t even become king until almost 20 years after Persia defeated Babylon. Right? Well …
Archaeologists have discovered evidence for two leaders named Darius during the 6th century BC. One is known as Darius the Mede and the other is known as Darius I. Let’s begin with a look at the history of “Darius.”