It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;…
Darius appointed an entirely new administration, but it does not appear that he made any material change in the financial system of the Empire. Daniel we may call the First Lord of the Treasury. Daniel s high reputation was confirmed by experience of his wisdom, integrity, and self-renouncing devotion to the public good. The King intended to set him over the whole realm, to give him all the power over the several departments of the State, that would have enabled him to enforce obedience, and to punish dereliction This would have involved a grand official revolution, and the transpiring of such an intention of the King was enough to alarm the hundred and twenty chief publicans, and raise up the whole body of presidents and princes against their watchful chief. A plot was planned and executed. They came tumultuously to the King, on the strength of a conspiracy. This could hardly have taken place under the rule of a Sardanapalus or a Nabonadius. Daniel's enemies saw no remedy for their discontent, except in procuring his immediate ruin. Darius was a very weak-minded and vain-glorious prince. The conspirators knew how to play upon his weakness. They proposed to him an easy method of rising above every rival, at least for one happy month, during which time not even Cyrus shall be permitted to receive a prayer. No man, no god even, shall be approached in the language of petition. Their object, however, the King does not perceive. As to the kind of death denounced on recusants, it is apparent, from the testimony of Quintus Curtius, that lions were kept in dens at Babylon, and produced on festive occasions, With regard to the immutability of the laws of the Medes and Persians, that can only mean that, when law was made, the King could not change it, but he might, nevertheless, find, or even make, another law to counteract its force. Did Darius believe, or did he only struggle to persuade himself, that the God of Daniel would deliver him, as he once delivered three of his fellow-captives from the fiery furnace? Or did he only ejaculate a wish that God would deliver him? For the Chaldee may mean either... One word in Daniel's answer to the King, from the den, conveys an intimation that his enemies, not content with charging him with disobedience to the King's monstrous decree, had also endeavured to fix on him a suspicion, if not a direct accusation, of dishonesty, in spite of their previous confession to one another, that "they could find. none occasion nor fault." Now there can be no suspicion. The loyalty of Daniel, even to so insignificant a king as Darius, shines no less clearly than his faithfulness to God, leaving to all generations a bright example of loyalty, a virtue commended by the supreme example of our blessed Saviour, and strictly inculcated by the spirit of inspiration, through His servants the apostles.
(W. H. Rule, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;