I am studying the timelines in the Bible regarding the lifetime of both Daniel and Esther for a school project and I’m hoping to get all my facts straight. I am confused about the dates from my research and was hoping for some clarity. When I research the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, I find that Daniel was brought to Babylon in 605 B.C and that Darius the Mede conquered Babylon in 539 B.C… but what I am confused about is the reign of Xerxes, the husband of Esther. I am wondering, are Daniel and Esther contemporaries? I find that Xerxes (also called Ahasuerus in Daniel and Esther) was given the throne in 485 B.C, but what’s really confusing is that Daniel mentions in Chapter 9 that during the first year of Darius the I son of Xerxes, he receives the revelation of the 70 year desolation of Jerusalem. I thought Darius I took the throne around 465 which would make Daniel VERY old if what I am reading is correct. If this is the same Darius I, then wouldn’t that mean that Daniel was alive when Esther interceded on behalf of the Jews? If he was, why was this not mentioned in his book?  I appreciate any insight I can get in this quest for facts. So much of what I read places the book of Daniel around 150 B.C and I’m having a hard time nailing down the dates for when Esther was alive.Thanks so much,Jennifer Loewen Jennifer; The problem comes up because of questions about the identity of Darius.   The Darius "the Mede" of Daniel is not Darius II, the son of Xerxes who ruled 423-405 BC.  He is also not Darius I "The Great" who ruled Persia/Media from 521-486 BC.   Darius I was a Persian, not a Mede.  Darius II was also a Persian.  The Darius of Daniel was a Mede.  He ruled, not all of Persia but the province of Babylon, as you can see if you look at Daniel 9:1.  The problem that this raises is that we do not know about Darius the Mede, the ruler of the Babylonian province, from documents outside of Daniel.  By the way, you identify him as the one who "conquered Babylon."  Daniel does not mention that he conquered Babylon.  In fact, it was Cyrus who conquered Babylon.  In any case, Daniel was born somewhere around 620 BC and died some time around 535 BC.  He definitely was not a contemporary of Esther.  Daniel does not mention Esther because he pre-dated her by a couple of generations. John Oakes

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