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Persian In The Bible

Persians
in the Bible

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Table of Contents Persians In The Bible Table of Contents in Persian Farsi
Foreword Persians In The Bible Introduction in Persian Farsi
Chapter 1 Persians In The Bible Chapter 1 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 2 Persians In The Bible Chapter 2 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 3 Persians In The Bible Chapter 3 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 4 Persians In The Bible Chapter 4 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 5 Persians In The Bible Chapter 5 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 6 Persians In The Bible Chapter 6 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 7 Persians In The Bible Chapter 7 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 8 Persians In The Bible Chapter 8 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 9 Persians In The Bible Chapter 9 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 10 Persians In The Bible Chapter 10 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 11 Persians In The Bible Chapter 11 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 12 Persians In The Bible Chapter 12 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 13 Persians In The Bible Chapter 13 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 14 Persians In The Bible Chapter 14 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 15 Persians In The Bible Chapter 15 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 16 Persians In The Bible Chapter 16 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 17 Persians In The Bible Chapter 17 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 18 Persians In The Bible Chapter 18 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 19 Persians In The Bible Chapter 19 in Persian Farsi
Chapter 20 Persians In The Bible Chapter 20 in Persian Farsi
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Iran In The Bible

Persians in the Bible

Chapter One

A Monarchy is Born

Introduction

Kingdoms rise and fall, some within our own lifetime! The United States is more than 200 years old and yet, its founding is only recent history compared with that of Iran. Not long ago Iranians met with international leaders in the ancient historical city of Persepolis to celebrate 2500 years of a continuous Iranian monarchy.

The Prophet Isaiah tells us that God established this monarchy (approximately 740 - 680 B.C.). Whether Kingdoms and kings or ordinary people, we know that God works His purposes through His creation (Jeremiah 29:11). God worked through the Kingdom of Iran, known in the Bible as Persia, to emancipate His people from one of the darkest times in their history. Israel was taken captive, first by the Assyrians, then by the Babylonians.

A. ISRAEL TAKEN CAPTIVE

The Assyrians were descendants of Asshur, Shem’s second son and Noah’s grandson (Genesis 10:22). Assyria’s Kingdom was vast and powerful, reaching throughout all of northern Asia.

  1. We learn in Isaiah 10:5-6 that God established the Assyrian Empire in order to punish Israel for its sins.

    1. The Assyrians took the 10 northern tribes of Israel into captivity probably around 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17:6-7).

    2. About 22 years later, an Assyrian King named Sennacherib tried to overtake Jerusalem and Judah and failed (2 Kings 18:19; Isaiah 36-38). Judah later surrendered to Assyria in 682 B.C. and its people were eventually carried off into Babylonian exile.

    3. Today there are some 35,000 Assyrians, many nominal Christians, still living in Iran. We will discuss them later in another chapter

  2. God later raised up another people called the Babylonians. Who were they and what did they do under King Nebuchadnezzar? Read Isaiah 39:6-7; 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36: 9-21.

  3. These events happened after Isaiah’s lifetime. In fact Isaiah, by the Spirit of God, predicted 150 years into the future the person God would use to deliver the Jews (Isaiah 44:28). Think now, what are the odds that you would be able to name the President of the United States in the year 2150?

B. GOD RAISES UP A KING

God’s instrument came to power sometime around 550 B.C.: they called him "Cyrus the Great." Read about him in Isaiah 41:2-3,25; 44:28; 45:13; 46:2,11; 48:14-15.

1. The name, "Cyrus," in the Persian language is Korrush and sounds similar to the original Hebrew in the Old Testament. Hundreds of years after his death, Korrush continues to be remembered in Iran. For years the largest department store was named after him along with many hotels. The two main streets running through the center of Tehran toward the northern mountains were called Korrush-e-kabir, Cyrus the Great. After the overthrow of the shah and the establishment of the Islamic government, many of these names were changed. However, some Iranians still give their boys the name of Korrush.

2. Notice the titles God gave to Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; 41:2

  1. My Shepherd
  2. Anointed One
  3. Righteous Man

3. These titles are unusual, most often being reserved for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

4. Look at the job description God gave Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28; 45:13; 48:14-15:

  1. To free the captive Jews
  2. To help rebuild Jerusalem
  3. To cause the foundations of the temple to be laid
  4. To punish Babylon

5. Why would God use a Gentile king to deliver Israel? Read Isaiah 45: 5-6:

"I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none other."

Again in verses 21 and 22 of that same chapter the Lord declares that He is the only God and refers to himself as righteous and a Savior. Only God can truly save. Yet we see that He uses a foreign king in order to show His sovereignty over all things.

6. What promises did God give to Cyrus? There are many outlined in Isaiah 45:1-3. He would hold Cyrus’ right hand, demonstrating His bestowal of power. He would subdue nations before opened gates, make crooked places straight, and break gates of bronze and iron. Cyrus overtook three of the four great empires of the world in his day. One of them was Media–which was absorbed into Persia and became Medo-Persia. God gave Cyrus the "treasures of darkness," probably referring to the riches of the Kingdom of Lydia, which Cyrus conquered prior to invading Babylon. The fables about King Midas may be rooted in the land of Lydia and her historical King Croesus.

C. CYRUS COMPLETES HIS JOB DESCRIPTION

A person who has a job usually has a job description so he knows what his responsibilities are. Cyrus’ job description was fourfold:

    1. Cyrus freed the Jewish people to return to their homeland. Isaiah 45:13 tells us that he was appointed to this specific task, but not for a price or a reward. (See Chapter 6, How Did Five Persian Kings get in our Bible, for further details). History also accounts for a job well done. A sixth grade history book from Iran gives some of the details about Cyrus. It says: "By the order of Cyrus, the Jews who were captive became free and were able to return to their own holy city of Jerusalem."
    2. Cyrus enabled the rebuilding of Jerusalem as predicted in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:13. With his blessing large numbers of Jews returned to the city of Jerusalem. Though their impetus was to rebuild the temple, they would eventually rebuild the city walls and fortify Jerusalem once more.
    3. Cyrus helped to rebuild the temple foundation. We can see in II Chronicles 36:23 his acknowledgment that God had specifically appointed him for the task. However, remember from Isaiah 44:28 that only the temple foundation would be laid. The Book of Ezra tells the story of Israel’s enthusiasm in laying the foundation and the subsequent discouragement they received from the surrounding nations. The work would not be finished until 50 years later, under the leadership of Haggai.
    4. Cyrus punished Babylon. In Isaiah 48:14-15 he is referred to as "the Lord’s chosen ally" who carried out His purpose against Babylon. Historical legends have arisen about his massive victory over the Babylonian Empire. One claims that Cyrus secretly diverted the Euphrates River, which runs through the middle of the Babylonian capital, so that his army could march through the riverbed by night and capture the city.
MAKE A PERSONAL APPLICATION

1. Biblical perspective helps us appreciate Iran as a nation better. Unlike other empires which God raised up in order to punish Israel, such as Assyria and Babylon, Iran was used to deliver God’s people. While many other nations were destroyed after their interactions with Israel, Iran has remained for over 2,500 years.

2. The history of Iran shows us that what God has promised, He is able to accomplish. If God has promised you eternal life because you’ve trusted alone in Jesus Christ and His shed blood for your salvation, who are you to doubt this truth later. God’s promises are final!

DIG DEEPER

1. Study Isaiah 40-48 and describe how God punished Israel for its sin and then raised up a deliverer or savior in Cyrus (41:2, 25; 44:28; 45:1-13; 46:11, and 48:14-15). Can you find parallels and references in these passages to a coming Savior from sin, the Messiah, Jesus Christ?

2.We use the word "type" to refer to a model or pattern, typically between something in the present and something in the future. Keeping that definition in mind, how is Cyrus a type of the Lord Jesus Christ?

3. Someone once said that history is "His story." Relate this perspective to Iran’s early history with the Jews.

4. Some critics of the Bible deny the supernatural accounts of Scripture. They deny that prophets could predict the future accurately. Why do you think they would claim that more than one person named Isaiah wrote the Book of Isaiah?

5. As a believer in Jesus Christ what job description has God given you? How well are you accomplishing it?
Cyrus Orders Captured Jews to let go free to return to their holy city, Jerusalem
This picture from a 1977 5th grade History book in Iran tell "By the order of Cyrus, the Jewish people are freed and returned to their holy city of Jerusalem

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