the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Holman Bible Dictionary
Darius brought a new sense of unity to his empire. He enlarged on the policies of Cyrus the Great in making restoration to those disenfranchised by the Assyrian and Babylonian dominations. The Jews received additional financial aid for finishing the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:8-9 ).
Unlike Cyrus, Darius organized a tightly-knit centralized state and vested himself with absolute power. Twenty satrapies (provinces) were established. Each had a system of checks and balances, with each official watching the actions of his colleagues.
A common code of laws was established in the empire, administered by royal judges. A system of weights and measures were standardized throughout the kingdom to help stimulate the economy and make transactions easier. Several major roads were built, making travel quicker and safer. What may have been the first gold currency was issued by Darius. Aramaic was decreed as the official language of the empire. The people were infused with a new sense of pride as the king made these many improvements. Unfortunately, Darius' successors were unable to maintain his policies after his death.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Darius'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​d/darius.html. 1991.