.


. Make a Donation

Index Page
Contact
About The Author
Sermons
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Question?
Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Tuesday, January 1 2013

The Decrees Of The Persian Kings

The people of Judah were taken away into exile in Babylon by 586 BC because they became rebelliously corrupt to the LORD. Unlike the Kingdom of Israel, that never to this day returned (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes), for the sake and purpose of the coming Messiah, the people of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), the descendants of the original exiles, were allowed to return after seventy years. That prophecy of the return was stated before they left, by "the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah."

Back To Babylon

"36:15 And the LORD God [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets [see The Prophets: North and South and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets], until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God [see also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today], great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah [see Jeremiah: The Calling and Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon], until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." (2 Chronicles 36:15-21 KJV)

The return of Judah would occur after the Babylonian Empire had itself fallen, to the rising Persian Empire (Persia is known today as Iran).

"36:22 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,

36:23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah]. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up." (2 Chronicles 36:22-23 KJV)

The people of Judah who returned, led by Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah) and others, would find a city still in ruins. The rebuilding of the city and the Temple would be further hindered, first by people who had moved into the land during Judah's absence. The squatters "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." Amazingly, the rebuilding was impeded, for years, by "hired counsellors" i.e. lawyers.

Nehemiah Viewing The Walls Of Jerusalem

"4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah] heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

4:3 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.

4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 4:5 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." (Ezra 4:1-5 KJV)

Artaxerxes was a reigning Persian king, after Cyrus (who had permitted the people of Judah to return, with the stated purpose of rebuilding the city for Judah), who accepted the argument of the lawyers, who were representing the unlawful squatters of the land.

"4:6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

4:7 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 [see also The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus], and interpreted in the Syrian tongue." (Ezra 4:6-7 KJV)

"4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time. 4:12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. 4:13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. 4:14 Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 4:15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. 4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river." (Ezra 4:6-16 KJV)

Artaxerxes then issued a "commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded."

A Persian gold Daric coin

"4:18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. 4:19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them. 4:21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 4:22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezra 4:18-22 KJV)

The result was that the rebuilding work was stopped, as it remained until a new Persian king, Darius, took the throne.

"4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

4:24 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." (Ezra 4:23-24 KJV)

The prophets Haggai and Zechariah, along with Zerubbabel, then led the resumption of the rebuilding. Once again, a complaint was sent to the ruling Persian king, this time by "Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions."

"5:1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. 5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

5:3 At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? 5:4 Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building? 5:5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter." (Ezra 5:1-5 KJV)

The Persian Empire

The result would be different this time because the king was made aware of the original decree by Cyrus.

"5:6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king: 5:7 They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus;

Unto Darius the king, all peace.

5:8 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

5:9 Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls? 5:10 We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.

5:11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. 5:12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

5:13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. 5:14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;

5:15 And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place. 5:16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

5:17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter." (Ezra 5:6-17 KJV)

When the original decree was found, Darius not only upheld it, but added his own decree to it.

Rebuilding The Temple

"6:1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. 6:2 And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:

6:3 In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; 6:4 With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house: 6:5 And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God." (Ezra 6:1-5 KJV)

Darius further added to the legal authority of the original decree of Cyrus - including a penalty that anyone who interfered with the building (presumably, including the lawyers), that "whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon."

"6:6 Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence: 6:7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.

6:8 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. 6:9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: 6:10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.

6:11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. 6:12 And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed." (Ezra 6:6-12 KJV)

So it was that the city of Jerusalem and the Temple were rebuilt.

"6:13 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. 6:14 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. 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

6:16 And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, 6:17 And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 6:18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses." (Ezra 6:13-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: What incident marked the fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire?
See The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall


.
Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Prophecy
Christian Living
Encouragement
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
Curiosities
The Spirit World

This Day In History, January 1

45 BC: The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar (see The Politics Of Rome), began to be used for the first time.

42 BC: The Roman Senate posthumously deified Julius Caesar - an irony and/or a hypocrisy, considering that he had been assassinated by Roman Senators in the Senate itself (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

69: Roman legions (see Legions Of Men And Angels) in Germania Superior rejected loyalty to Galba and proclaimed Aulus Vitellius Germanicus as emperor (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire).

193: The accession of Pertinax, the 19th Roman emperor (see New Testament Roman Emperors).

990: Russia adopted Rome's "Julian" Calendar.

1500: Portuguese explorers landed on the coast of South America; they named the place Rio de Janeiro ("River of January").

1502: Portuguese explorers landed on the coast of South America and named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January).

1515: King Louis XII of France (1498-1515) died at age 52. Francis, Duke of Angouleme, succeeded Louis as Francis I.

1583: Rome's Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Belgium (see Pope Gregory's Calendar).

1651: Charles II, son of Charles I, was crowned king of Scotland.

1773: In Olney, England, the hymn "Amazing Grace" was first played, by John Newton.

1785: London's oldest newspaper, The Times, began publishing as the Daily Universal Register.

1801: The Act of Union of England, Scotland and Ireland formed the United Kingdom.

1804: After leading a rebellion against the French colonial forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent of France.

1833: Britain claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1863: Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that formally freed all slaves in the U.S.

1871: While German armies besieged Paris, a new German Reich, with the king of Prussia, Wilhelm, as its inaugural emperor, was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.

1877: Queen Victoria of England was proclaimed empress of India.

1894: The Manchester Ship Canal in England began operation.

1901: The Commonwealth of Australia began with Edmond Barton as its first Prime Minister.

1912: China became a republic following the Wuchang Uprising.

1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel, near Plymouth.

1925: The capital city of Norway, known as Christiana since 1674, resumed its name of Oslo.

1934: Alcatraz became a U.S. Federal prison. The U.S. today (2013) has the highest civilian incarceration rate in the world, with 737 U.S. citizens in every 100,000 behind bars; the U.S. has only 5% of the world population, but its citizens compose 25% of the world's incarcerated (apart from the many military and political prisons and "interrogation centers" that are operated by the U.S. military and CIA around the world).

1946: Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced that he was not a god.

1947: The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 came into effect, thereby converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.

1950: In sovereign defiance to United Nations and Vatican pressure to make Jerusalem an "international city," nearly the entire Israeli government was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1956: Sudan gained independence from Britain and Egypt.

1958: The 1957 Treaty of Rome took effect, establishing a six-nation European Economic Community among West Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

1959: Cuban communist forces under Fidel Castro overthrew the CIA and Mafia-backed (the Cuba scenes in the Godfather movies are historically correct) regime of Fulgencio Batista and took control of the government of Cuba. The people of Cuba went from being ruled by a fascist dictator to being ruled by a communist dictator.

1973: Britain, Ireland and Denmark entered the European Economic Community, now called the European Union.

1975: During the "Watergate" criminal investigations, John Ehrlichman (Counsel and Assistant to the President), John Mitchell (United States Attorney General) and H.R. Haldeman (White House Chief of Staff) were found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.

1981: Greece was admitted as the 10th member of the European Economic Community.

1992: Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru as United Nations Secretary General.

1993: Independent Czech and Slovak Republics were established from the former Czechoslovakia.





editionDBSx201702et

Copyright © Wayne Blank