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Persian Kings in the Bible

The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi were written during the time of the early Persian Kingdom. The following are some of the early Persian Kings according to listed books of Bible:

NAMEDate B.C.Persian NameBible NameBible Background
Cyrus539-530KoorushCyrusIsaiah 45, Daniel, Ezra 1-3
Cambysses530-521CambujiehAhasruerusEzra 4-6
Pseudo Smerdis521Berooyeh DoroughiArtaxerxesEzra 4:7-23
Darius the Great521-486DarryooshDariusEzra 5,6
Xerxes486-465KhashayarshahAhasurerusEsther 1-10
Artaxerxes I464-423Ardeshier Deraz DastArtaxerxesNehemiah 1 - 13, Ezra 7-10

Persian Kings

If you don't learn from your History, you Shall never learn anything meaningful

The following is a summary of the activities of the Persian kings in secular history:

  1. Cyrus was the founder of the Mede-Persian Empire. He conquered the Media, Lydia, and Babylonain Empires. Because he was a gracious liberator, he permitted the conquered nations to worship their own gods. He was benevolent toward various captive people who hadsuffered under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. The Jews were allowed toreturn to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple and Cyrus even gave financial help. Also, hebuilt Parargardae, a royal residence 100 miles north of Shiraz.
  2. Cambysses was the son of Cyrus and was given the task of conquering Egypt.He assumed the throne after his father's death and conquered Egypt. However, on theway home from his conquest he heard that a pretender has taken the throne pretending to beanother son of Cyrus called Smerdis. Cambysses died on his return trip.
  3. Pseudo Smerdis, the imposter, ruled for several months. He gained a large followingby remitting taxes for three years throughout the empire. However, Darius kept theloyalty of the Persian army and eventually captured and killed Pseudo Smerdis.
  4. Darius, after killing Pseudo Smerdis, defeated 9 kings (local uprisings) in 19 battlesin 2 years. These victories are recorded in the famous Behistun Inscription carved in rock some 30 miles from Kermanshah. Darius began the great work of Persepolis located 30 milesnorth of Shiraz. The main hall has the inscription, "I am Darius, great king, king of kings, kingof alnds -- who constructed this palace." Darius was a good organizer of his kingdom. Hedefeated the Greeks partially and organized an efficient postal service.
  5. Xerxes was Darius's son. He continued the war against the Greeks and continued building at Persepolis.
  6. Artaxerxes was the son of Xerxes who continued building at Persepolis.
  • Cyrus the Great Became Top Leader Of His Era By Championing Just Rule
  • Cyrus Charter of Human Rights
    Cyrus the Great (580-529 BC) (known as Kourosh in Persian; Kouros in Greek; Kores in Hebrew) was the first Achaemenian Emperor and founder of Iran, who issued a decree on his aims and policies, later hailed as his charter of the rights of nations.

    Inscribed on a clay cylinder, this is known to be the first declaration of Human Rights, and is now kept at the British Museum. A replica of this is also at the United Nations in New York. Part of his charter states:

    "I am Cyrus. King of the world. When I entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land... I kept in view the needs of people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... I put an end to their misfortune. The Great God has delivered all the lands into my hand; the lands that I have made to dwell in a peaceful habitation.... . .When my soldiers in great numbers peacefully entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorize the people... I kept in view the needs of people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... Freed all the slaves... I put an end to their misfortune and slavery (referring to the Jews and other religious minorities). The Great God has delivered all the lands into my hand; the lands that I have made to dwell in a peaceful habitation... "

    Firs Charter of Human Rights by Cyrus the Grea, King of Persia Iran


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