Verses 1-5 – Many clay and papyrus documents recording business transactions and historical data have been discovered in the area (near present day Syria). Archives with thousands of records have been discovered at Ebla in Syria. Archaeological evidence shows that Persian kings, including Darius, were involved in state-supported reconstruction of temples outside of Persia.
Verse 14 – How ironic that God’s work was carried on by the discovery of a lost paragraph in a pagan library. All the opposition was stopped by a clause in a legal document. God’s will is supreme over all rulers, all historical events, and all hostile forces. He can deliver us in ways we can’t even imagine. If we trust in His power and love, no opposition can stop us. The temple was completed in 516 B.C.
Verses 19, 20 – This celebration of Passover was probably April 21, 515 B.C. This was a huge occasion for God’s people to remember their forefathers deliverance from Egypt as well as their own deliverance from Babylon.
Verse 22 – Though God works on our attitude first to change our thinking about a situation, He also can change the attitude in someone else (non-believer) in order to help us accomplish His desires. God is infinitely powerful, His insight and wisdom transcends the laws of human nature.