“Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province. The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests. Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.” Daniel 6:1-3
With the successful conquest of Babylon and the surrounding territory, it now is appropriate for the conquerors to organize their new kingdom, both for law and order and for the benefit of taxation that this would allow. In such an organization, it would not be unsuitable to use qualified men who had served previously in the Babylonian kingdom. The conquerors did what they could to set up a friendly relationship with the people in their power, and although Belshazzar was slain, his father, Nabonidus, lived for some years afterward. Even some of the gods of Babylon were honored by the conquerors.
The point of introducing these facts in Daniel’s narrative is to give the setting for Daniel’s place of honor as the first among the three presidents. They were required to give financial accounts and protect the king’s interests. In such a function, an honest and capable administrator familiar with the territory and problems of taxation would be of immeasurable benefit to Darius. For this reason, Daniel was preferred above the others because of his “excellent spirit”. This appointment set the stage for the supreme test of Daniel that followed.
Daniel continued to honor God with his life, and now God was honoring Daniel again. King Darius “gave thought to setting him over the whole realm”. Daniel was to become the second-in-command over all the Medo-Persian Empire, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by Daniel’s peers.