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Tuesday, September 9 2014

Ezra 6: The Decree Of Darius

"I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed"

Darius was one of the most well-known kings of ancient Persia (Persia became known as Iran in the 1920s). Darius is recorded in the historical books of Ezra (see Ezra: The Return Of The Levites To Jerusalem) and Nehemiah (see Nehemiah: The Return Of The Governor), as well as the prophetic books of Daniel (see Daniel: The Fall Of Babylon and the Fact Finder question below), Haggai (see Haggai: Consider Your Ways) and Zechariah (see Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives).

Many debate that their pronunciation of his name is the "right" one - and will often mock those who say it "wrong," as this writer once heard a supposed "teacher" in the Church of God do. He proclaimed that his "dare-eye-us" was "right" and that those who pronounce it as "dare-ee-us" are "wrong." While the difference today is usually due to regional accents of English, both are actually correct renderings of a time; "dare-eye-us" was the Latin (as used by the Roman Empire) rendering of the name, while "dare-ee-us" was the Greek (as used by the Greek Empire) version. Both however ignore the genuine pronunciation in the actual Persian (Darius was a Persian king) which was approximately "dah-ray-ah-us."

People use the same "today" logic of "dare-eye-us" versus "dare-ee-us" to argue over numerous names and place names e.g. some argue that the "Louis" in St. Louis, Missouri is "correctly" pronounced as "loo-iss" while pronouncing it as "loo-ee" is wrong, or even slang. Both are correct however; "loo-iss" is the English rendering of the name, while "loo-ee" was the actual original French pronunciation of the name (St. Louis was founded by French-speaking explorers and fur traders).

When the people of Judah found themselves delayed by obstructionists (see The Temple Obstruction), a letter was sent to Darius of Persia in which an appeal was made to investigate a decree made by Cyrus of Persia (see The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia) that authorized and commanded the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the Temple (see Tatnai's Appeal To History). The decree made by Cyrus was found, and Darius issued his own decree to enforce its fulfillment.

A Persian gold Daric coin

"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.

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 6:1-12 KJV)

The work was then resumed. It was completed "in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king." The Temple purpose was then re-dedicated (see The Heart Of The Temple).

"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)

The LORD God was and is Jesus Christ (see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). The true Christian Holy Days were then resumed, beginning with Passover (see The Holy Days Of Jesus Christ, The LORD).

"6:19 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. 6:20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. 6:21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, 6:22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel." (Ezra 6:19-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was Darius involved in the famous "Daniel in the lion's den" incident?
See The Prophet Daniel: The Den Of Lions

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This Day In History, September 9

9: Germanic tribes under the command of Hermann (who was known to the Romans as Arminius) annihilated three Roman legions (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), while extending across Europe from Israel to Britain, was never able to extend into Germany - which actually succeeded the Roman Empire as "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

Battle of the Teutoburg Forest 337: Constantine's three sons, already "Caesars" (a family name that became an imperial title; "Washington" was used in the same way during the era of the U.S. Empire), each took the title of Augustus. Constantine II and Constans divided the western empire while Constantius II took control of the eastern empire (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1087: King William I of England died at age 60. Known as William the Conqueror, he was one of the greatest British kings and was much involved in European history - events of long ago that make the political world in which we find ourselves living today. A future British king, the oldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, will be King William V.

1379: The Treaty of Neuberg divided the Austrian Habsburg lands between the Habsburg Dukes Albert III and Leopold III.

1493: The Battle of Krbava field, a decisive defeat of Croats in Croatian struggle against the invasion by the Ottoman Empire. Centuries later, it was the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the British that enabled the present-day state of "Israel" to come into existence.

1513: Forces of James IV of Scotland battled English troops in Flodden near Branxton, in the English county of Northumberland.

1543: Mary, Queen of Scots, was coronated.

1585: Pope Sixtus V blocked Henry of Navarre's rights to the French crown.

1754: William Bligh was born. As the 35 year-old captain of the Bounty in 1789, his crew made their famous mutiny. Bligh and 18 loyal members of his crew were set adrift in a small lifeboat, which they amazingly managed to sail about 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) to Timor. Some of the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island after burning the ship just offshore.

1855: During the Crimean War, the Siege of Sevastopol ended when Russian forces abandoned the city.

1867: Adolphus abdicated as duke of Nassau and was granted 8.5 million thalers (the German word from which "dollar" originated) and a few castles as compensation.

1886: The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was finalized.

1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), the newly-formed "Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade" became the first fully-mechanized battle group in the British Army.

1948: After the withdrawal of Soviet forces from North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed with Pyongyang as its capital.

1965: Hurricane Betsy struck New Orleans, Louisiana, leaving 76 people dead and $1.42 billion (in 1965 dollars, about $15 billion today) in damages. It is regarded as the first hurricane to exceed $1 billion in damages.

1971: In Attica, New York, the four-day Attica Prison riot began. It ended with 39 dead, most killed by state troopers when they stormed the prison.

1976: Mao Zedong, Chinese communist leader died. He proclaimed the People's Republic of China in 1949 in Beijing.

1991: Tajikstan declare independence from the Soviet Union.

1993: The "Palestine Liberation Organization" (as the terrorist organization was first named by its founders) officially recognized Israel as a legitimate state. "Palestine" is actually just a variant English pronunciation of "Philistine" (see Where Is Palestine?).


Copyright © Wayne Blank