Persia is an empire located in southern Asia. It was created by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC and was destroyed by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. It became a theocratic Islamic republic in the Middle East in western Asia. The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to many historical dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia now known as Iran. Persia’s earliest known kingdom was the proto-Elamite Empire, followed by the Medes, but it is the Achaemenid Empire that emerged under Cyrus the Great that is usually the earliest to be called “Persian.” However, it is placed on the Bible Timeline as early as the 14th century BC based on it’s earliest beginnings.
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In the Early history, the Elamite kingdom was found in what is now southwestern Iran and Mesopotamia. The nomadic people known as Scythians, Medes, and Persians ranged from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau. Cyrus the great overthrew the Median King to become the ruler of Persia and Media. Cyrus captured Babylon and released the Jews from captivity. Darius, I next became the king. He reestablished and extended the empire, carrying out the administrative reorganization.
Darius invaded the Greek mainland but was defeated at the Battle of Marathon. Before 1995, 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. 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.
Persians in the Bible
King Xerxes ruled over 127 territories in his kingdom. They reached from India all the way to Cush. The story of Esther tells of Persia. (Esther 1:1) This is how Persia is introduced in the Bible. Many historical Persian people have been mentioned in the Bible such as Cyrus the Great who has been referred to as a “Messiah” in the Old Testament. Cyrus the Great freed the Jews from captivity in Babylon through his Edict of Restoration in 538 BC and helped them to go back to the Jerusalem.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. They are referred to as “magi” and a magus (the singular of magi) was a Zoroastrian priest. Finally, Persians were some of the first people to convert to Christianity.
What Part of the Bible Mentions Persians?
2 Chronicles 36:22 – Cyrus, king of Persia, is tasked to formulate a declaration throughout his kingdom and to put it in writing in the accomplishment of the Lord’s proclamation pronounced by Jeremiah.
2 Chronicles 36:23. Cyrus king of Persia appointed to build a temple for the Lord at Jerusalem in Judah.
2 Chronicles 36:20. He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power.
Ezra 9:9. 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. And restore its ruins, and He has set a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
Ezra 4:3. Zerubbabel, Jeshua and other family members of Israel opposed the offer of the enemies of Judah and Benjamin to help build the temple of God. As they were determined to work on this task alone for the Lord, God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, ordered them.