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Iran in the Bible Bible

  • SHUSHAN THE PALACE
  • EFFECTS OF PENTECOST IN PERSIA
  • GOD'S CONTINUED WITNESS IN PERSIA
  • FUTURE EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
  • IRAN AND BIBLE CUSTOMS
  • UNDERSTANDING THE CHRISTMAS STORY

*FOREWORD

Iran, Biblical Persia! The land of Esther and Daniel! This nation, raised up by God under King Cyrus (Korrush), delivered the jewish people from the Babylonian captivity, and allowed them to return to Jerusalem. The Mausoleum of Esther and Mordecai

Read the later part of Old Testament history and you will find several Persian Kings mentioned. King Cyrus was predicted by name by the prophet Isaiah over 100 years before his birth. Haggi and Zechariah date their prophecies by King Darius (Darius the Great, Darryoosh). Remember Queen Esther and her husband, Ahasuraus (Xerxes, Khashayarshah), who reigned over the Persian Kingdom from India to Ethiopia. Also, King Artaxerxes (Artaxerxes, Ardeshier Deraz Dast) gave Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem to build the broken walls. The New Testament tells us that there were Persian Jews among those who heard Peter's Spirit-filled sermon on the day of Pentecost.

Many foreign Christians who come to Iran never relate their Bible knowledge to the events in history which took place in this country. In order to bridge this gap, I have taught a special three-month Sunday School class called "Iran and the Bible" as an elective course at the Tehran Bible Church. In addition to the Old Testament Biblical background, the course includes Bible Life Customs explained by life in Persia today. The course was not complete without telling about the early Christian Church in Iran and how its missionary efforts helped evangelize Asia during the early centuries.

Several have asked and encouraged me to put my class notes into this booklet form. To receive the most benefit, read the notes with an open Bible. Don't just gather historical facts, but also make spiritual applications to your own life.

In this second printing, the answer to the questions may be found on answer page. However, it is suggested that the reader discover his own answers directly from the Bible.

(Note: The "Iran in the Bible" page designer has decided to include these answers in the body of the text rather than on a separate page for ease of acces and reading.)

May this booklet be used to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Allyn Huntzinger
P.O. BOX 2276
Tehran, IRAN
May, 1978

*A MONARCHY IS BORN

A. INTRODUCTION

The united States has just completed the celebration of its bicentennial, 200 years of history. However, compare this with Iran's recent celebration of 2,500 years of a professed continuos monarchy!! The world leaders came to Persepolis to join the birthday celebration. The Shahyad Monument, located near the airport, was erected in honor of this event.

The prophet Isaiah (approx. 740 to 680 bc) tells about God founding the Iranian monarchy. Locate present-day Iran and Isreal on a map of Mid-East in the back of your bible if you have one. Let's look how the nation of Isreal was taken captive, first by the Assyrians, then by the Babylonians.

  1. The Assyrians, descendents of asshur (Gen. 10:22) were raised up by God (Isaiah 10:5,6) to punish Isreal.
    • 722 BC took the 10 northern tribes of Isreal into captivity.
      • (2 king 17:6-7)
    • 701 BC Sennacherib failed to conquer Jerusalem and Judah.
      • (2 kings 18:19 ; Isaiah 36-38)
    • Note: there are some 35, 000 assyrians ,now nominal Christians, still living in Iran. We will discuss them later.
  2. Who were the Babylonians and what did they do under king Nebuchadnezzar? Isaiah 39:6,7; 2 kings 25; 2 chron. 36:9-21 (This happened after Isaiah 's lifetime).
  3. Isaiah, by the Spirit of God ,predicted 150 years into the future to name the person God would use to deliver the Jews. Think now- what are the odds that you would be able to name the president of United States in year 2146? ( If the Lord tarries).

B. GOD RAISED UP A KING

Read Isaiah 44:28-45,13; 41:2,3,25; 46:2,11; 48:14,15. We call the first king of Iran ,Cyrus. In Persian , his name is Korrush, which is similar to the original Hebrew in the Old Testament.

  1. Do you know any stores, streets, or friends by this name?
  2. What titles does God give Cyrus? Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; 41:2. my shepherd - anointed one - righteous man
    • Who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt," and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid." Isaiah 44:28
    • 1 "This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 I will go before you and I will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. 4 For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. Isaiah 45:1-4
  3. Are they unusual titles? Who else is called by them ?
  4. What job discription does God lay out for Cyrus? Isaiah 44:28;45:1-3;48:14,15
    • a. Jerusalem shall be built.
    • b. Temple foundation be laid.
    • c. free captive Jews.
    • d. Punish babylon.
  5. Why does God work in this way to deliver Isreal? Isaiah 45:5,6,21,22.
  6. What promises does God give to Cyrus? Isaiah 45:1-3.
    • 1 "This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 I will go before you and I will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

C. ACCOMPLISHING OF GOD'S JOB DESCRIPTION FOR CYRUS

  1. Conquers Babylon
    • Media conquered in 549 BC Lydian Empire (croesus and the golden touch) 540 BC and Babylon in 538 BC.
    • Tradition tells that Cyrus diverted the EUPHRATES river and marched through the river bed to conquer babylon.
  2. Promises concerning freeing Jews and rebuilding Jerusalem
    • secular history - What does persian history say? Even Persian elementary-grade history books tell of good king Cyrus freeing the Jews.
    • Biblical history- 70 - year prophecy of Jeremiah -Jer.29:10 II chron . 36: 22,23; Ezra 1:1-4

D. PERSONAL APPLICATION

  1. Appreciate Iran as a nation. It has remained over 2,500 years. Iran is the country God raised up to deliver the Jews. Most nations were raised up to punished the Jews (Assyria, babylonia) and then God would punish and destroy those nations.
  2. Waht God has promised , he is able to perform, and he will accomplish it.

E. EXTRA RESEARCH AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

  1. Study Isaiah 40 to 48 particularly and try to see the overall picture of how God punishes Isreal for their sins, raises up a physical saviour , Cyrus (41:2,25; 44:28; 45:1-13; 46:11 and 48: 14,15) and also a saviour from sin, His sevant, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
  2. How is Cyrus a type of the Lord Jesus Christ? A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth.
  3. One has said " that history is really his story ". relate this to Iran's early history in relation to the Jews.

*ANCIENT PERSIA IN DANIEL'S PROPHECY

A. INTRODUCTION

Daniel's Tomb in Iran

We are limiting our Daniel studies to referring to Iran. Though most Biblical prophecy awaits fulfillment in the future, some has already been fulfilled in the past. Three passages in Daniel prophesy about Persia(Iran). Since westerners know little about ancient history, three maps are also included to show the extent of the Babylonian, Persian and Greek empires.

A. A RAM AND A GOAT

  1. Daniel saw details of this prophesy in vision, while in shushan the palace (8:2). Shushan is called Shush in Iran. It is located 30 kilometers south of Andimeshk, and 100 kilometers north of Ahwaz. Daniel was evidently still living in Babylon, when he had the vision that took him to see things in Shushan the palace and at the river of Euli, which was nearby.
  2. 8:3,4 tells us about the ram and the verse 20 gives God's interpretation of the meaning of the ram. On this basis, figure out the other parts of the vision:
    • two horns
    • one horn higher than the other even though it came up later pushing westward, northward, and southward
    • no beast could stand before it
    • did according to his will and became great

    Vs. 20 says that the ram was the kings of Media and Persia. The two horns were the two kingsdoms. Remember Daniel was in the lions den because the law of the Medes and the Persians couldn't be broken. The Persian Empire soon overwhelmed the Media section, which shows the one horn coming higher than the other. It expanded westward, nothward and southward. No king was able to stand up against the Persian Empire at the time of Cyrus.


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