Daniel 5:31

And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

And Darius the Median took the kingdom,.... This was Cyaxares the son of Astyages, and uncle of Cyrus; he is called the Median, to distinguish him from another Darius the Persian, that came after, Ezra 4:5, the same took the kingdom of Babylon from Cyrus who conquered it; he took it with his consent, being the senior prince and his uncle. Darius reigned not long, but two years; and not alone, but Cyrus with him, though he is only mentioned. Xenophon {k} says, that Cyrus, after he took Babylon, set out for Persia, and took Media on his way; and, saluting Cyaxares or Darius, said that there was a choice house and court for him in Babylon, where he might go and live as in his own:

being about threescore and two years old; and so was born in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar, the year in which Jechoniah was carried captive, 2 Kings 24:12, thus God in his counsels and providence took care that a deliverer of his people should be raised up and provided against the appointed time. Darius was older than Cyrus, as appears by several passages in Xenophon; in one place {l} Cyaxares or Darius says,

"since I am present, and am "elder" than Cyrus, it is fit that I should speak first;''

and in another place {m}, Cyrus, writing to him, says,

"I give thee counsel, though I am the younger''

and by comparing this account of the age of Darius with a passage in Cicero, which gives the age of Cyrus, we learn how much older than he Darius was; for, out of the books of Dionysius the Persian, he relates {n}, that Cyrus dreaming he saw the sun at his feet, which he three times endeavoured to catch and lay hold upon, but in vain, it sliding from him; this, the Magi said, portended that he should reign thirty years, and so he did; for he lived to be seventy years of age, and began to reign when he was forty; which, if reckoned from his reigning with his uncle, then he must be twenty two years younger; or if from the time of his being sole monarch, then the difference of age between them must be twenty four years; though it should be observed that those that make him to reign thirty years begin his reign from the time of his being appointed commander-in-chief of the Medes and Persians by Cyaxares {o}, which was twenty three years before he reigned alone, which was but seven years {p}; and this account makes but very little difference in their age; and indeed some {q} have taken them to be one and the same, their descent, age, and succession in the Babylonian empire, agreeing.

{k} Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 36.
{l} lbid. l. 6. c. 2.
{m} lbid. l. 4. c. 21.
{n} De Divinatione, l. 1.
{o} See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 181. and vol. 21. p. 64, 65.
{p} Xenophon, Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 45.
{q} Nicol. Abrami Pharus Vet. Test. l. 12. c. 24. p. 338. Pererius in ib, Graeci Patres apud Theodoret. Orat. 6. in Daniel.