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The notion of post-mortal judgment, reward, and punishment had appeared in Egypt about a thousand years before the earliest defensible date for Zoroaster, but the Old Testament authors deliberately neglected the Egyptian beliefs, too. The return of the Judean exiles in the late s started a dispute about purity which ran through the following century.
All this proves that the exiles came back with purity rules different from those of the native Judeans. Did they get them from the Persians for whom they had worked? So Boyce, , pp. Persian influence, here almost certain, seems to have been a matter of concepts and implementations, not of specific sources. As shown above, this relationship makes it hard to distinguish dependence from parallel developments. For angelology and eschatology we have no such guidance.
Here some scholars have turned to philology for help. Here we must have independent resemblance. This suffices to disprove any theory of strong general influence by any text like the present Avestan one. Particular influence would seem most likely in the growth of the power or powers of evil. Again, we find parallelism without clear contact. Jesus and Paul live in a world infested and ruled for the present by demons: Jn.
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The author of the Apocalypse envisions wars of angels and demons in heaven and on earth—Michael and his angels fighting against the devil and his demons f. Besides these major phenomena many scattered details have been supposed evidence of Iranian influence, but in no case have any been shown to be dependent on any known Iranian source, and in all cases the suppositions are discredited by the isolation of the details and the lack of any Iranian structure or theory to which they might belong.
Thus, for instance, in Jn. He was a murderer from the beginning and had no part in the truth, nor is there any truth in him. When he speaks falsity, he speaks from his own stock , because he is a liar and the father of falsity. As for me, because I declare the truth, you do not believe me. But antitheses between truth and falsity, light and darkness, good and bad, etc.
Most important, although the antitheses found in the quoted passage are often echoed in John, the rest of the Zoroastrian system is utterly lacking; there are no traces of the grotesque mythology and eschatology, let alone of the Zoroastrian social classes, cult of fire, rituals, purity rules, discipline, and so on. To infer Zoroastrian influence when all these are unattested is unlikely.
Consequently we are driven back to the demonology and eschatology already mentioned. Ezr etc. Nothus Ochus , king of Persia B. Codomannus, the antagonist of Alexander and the last king of Persia, B. He received the government of Belshazzar the Chaldean upon the death of that prince Dan ,31; , and was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans. From Dan we may infer that Darius was king contemporaneously with Cyrus.
Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans. Some reasons for this identification are as follows Some Scriptures Mentioning Persia Ezra - And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia ; and the writing of the letter [was] written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.
Ezra - But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Ezra - For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia , to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
Ezra - And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished [it], according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. Who [is there] among you of all his people?
Daniel - In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. Esther - In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him: Ezra - They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
Ezra - Then ceased the work of the house of God which [is] at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Daniel - Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? Esther - And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
Daniel - And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia ; and the fourth shall be far richer than [they] all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. Esther - And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom; Esther - [Likewise] shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen.
Thus [shall there arise] too much contempt and wrath. Ezra - Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. Daniel - The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of Media and Persia. Ezekiel - Persia , Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Ezra - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia , that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia , that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, 2 Chronicles - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia , that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia , that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Ezra - And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia , even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Daniel - But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. The Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia, on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European group.
One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in Persia. Cyrus II.
His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube. On the N. Now Furs, Farsistan. Rugged, with pleasant valleys and plains in the mid region and mountains in the N.
The S. Persepolis in the beautiful valley of the Bendamir , under Darius Hystaspes, took the place of Pasargadae the ancient capital; of its palace "Chehl Minar," "forty columns," still exist. Alexander in a drunken fit, to please a courtesan, burned the palace. Pasargadae, 40 miles to the N. The Persians came originally from the E. There were ten castes or tribes: three noble, three agricultural, four nomadic; of the last were the "Dehavites" or Dali Ezra The Pasargadae were the noble tribes, in which the chief house was that of the Achaemenidae. Darius on the rock of Behistun inscribed: "from antiquity our race have been kings.
There are eight of our race who have been kings before me, I am the ninth. The organization of the Persian kingdom and court as they appear in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, accords with independent secular historians. The king, a despot, had a council, "seven princes of Persia and Media which see his face and sit the first in the kingdom" Esther ; Ezra So Herodotus iii. In Scripture we read of provinces Esther with satraps Esther ; Esther ; Xerxes in boasting enlarged the list; 60 are the nations in his armament according to Herodotus maintained from the palace Ezra , having charge of the revenue, paid partly in money Persia proper was a tract of no very large dimensions on the Persian Gulf, which is still known as Fars or Farsistan, a corruption of the ancient appellation.
This tract was bounded on the west by Susiana or Elam, on the north by Media on the south by the Persian Gulf and on the east by Carmania. But the name is more commonly applied, both in Scripture and by profane authors to the entire tract which came by degrees to be included within the limits of the Persian empire.
This empire extended at one time from India on the east to Egypt and Thrace on the west, and included. The only passage in Scripture where Persia designates the tract which has been called above "Persia proper" is Eze Elsewhere the empire is intended. The Persians were of the same race as the Medes, both being branches of the great Aryan stock. Character of the nation. In the times anterior to Cyrus they were noted for the simplicity of their habits, which offered a strong contrast to the luxuriousness of the Medes; but from the late of the Median overthrow this simplicity began to decline.
Polygamy was commonly practiced among them. They were fond of the pleasures of the table. In war they fought bravely, but without discipline. Like the other Aryans, the Persians worshipped one supreme God. They had few temples, and no altars or images. Modern Persian is its degenerate representative, being largely impregnated with Arabic.
Cyrus defeated Croesus, and added the Lydian empire to his dominions. This conquest was followed closely by the submission of the Greek settlements on the Asiatic coast, and by the reduction of Caria and Lycia The empire was soon afterward extended greatly toward the northeast and east. This victory first brought the Persians into co The latter was by its people called Airyaria, the present Iran from the Sanskrit word arya, "noble" ; and even now the Persians never call their country anything but Iran, never "Persia.
Its chief cities were Persepolis and Pasargadae. Darius invaded the Greek mainland but was defeated at the Battle of Marathon. Before , successive states were collectively called the Persian Empire by Western historians. The name Persia has long been used by the West to describe the nation of Iran, its people, or its ancient empire. Persis is derived from the ancient Greek name for Iran.
The Persian Empire (Bible History Online)
This in turn comes from a province in the south of Iran, called Fars in the modern Persian language and Pars in Middle Persian. Persis is the Hellenized form of Pars, which is the basis for other European nations calling the area Persia. King Xerxes ruled over territories in his kingdom.
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They reached from India all the way to Cush. The story of Esther tells of Persia. Esther This is how Persia is introduced in the Bible. He helped the Jewish people to rebuild their temples. Many Jewish people worked in the Persian court, and Jewish law was recognized in Persia. Some historians believe that one or all of the three wise men who brought gifts to Jesus at the time of his birth were Persian.
Finally, Persians were some of the first people to convert to Christianity. Ezra God has shown kindness and goodness to His people in the sight of the kings of Persia: new life and new living to re-establish the house of God.