What determines whether or not a given SHA-256 hash digest > than another?

When I use SHA-256 to hash '103' and '1000' I get the following hexadecimal digests:

SHA-256('103') = 454f63ac30c8322997ef025edff6abd23e0dbe7b8a3d5126a894e4a168c1b59b

SHA-256('1000') = 40510175845988f13f6162ed8526f0b09f73384467fa855e1e79b44a56562a58

Using Python, SHA-256('103') > SHA-256('1000') = True.

I understand why subtle differences in input messages create vastly different digests, that the output lengths of all SHA-256 hashes are fixed, and that in this example I'm inputting strings – not numbers.

My question is why is one digest is 'greater' than another, and how is this determined? I stumbled across this problem when looking at the target hash value that a Node on the bitcoin blockchain is required to produce (or undershoot) in order to demonstrate Proof of Work.

Any advice is really appreciated!

submitted by /u/from_now_on_
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