1. Exposition

How does Darius's thought about God reflect the ancient view of the gods?

Ezra 6:12 (ESV)

12 May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”

Many people in the ancient world thought that gods were tied to a particular locality.1 As evidence of this, see 2 Kings 17:24–26 for an example of how pagans thought. Darius thought that the Lord was god of Jerusalem. He thought the Lord was just another pagan god. However, the Lord, in his mercy, willingly associated himself with the people of Israel and he did cause his name to dwell in the city of Jerusalem, where his temple was built. This was the place where old covenant believers would have to go in order to meet with God.