1. Exposition

How does Darius' decree regarding the financial support of the project differ from Cyrus' action?

Ezra 6:8 (ESV)

8 Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River.

Previously, Cyrus did not give money from the royal treasury, but urged people of his own kingdom to supply the Jews returning from exile with what they need for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:4, Ezra 1:6). Now, under Darius, money is given also from the royal treasury.1 Ezra 6:4 mentions that Cyrus was willing to pay the costs from the royal treasury, in contrast to Ezra 1:4. This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that Ezra 6:3–5 is a copy of the Persian records and was probably written to make the Persian king Cyrus appear to be more generous than what he actually was.