Presentation on theme: "This PowerPoint/Keynote presentation is part of the apologetics course entitled An Unshakeable Faith. Copyright 2011 Way of Life Literature P. O. Box 610368."— Presentation transcript:
This PowerPoint/Keynote presentation is part of the apologetics course entitled An Unshakeable Faith. Copyright 2011 Way of Life Literature P. O. Box Port Huron, MI In Canada Bethel Baptist Church, 4212 Campbell St. N., London, Ontario N6P 1A
Most of the photographs in these presentations were taken by the author on location.
Archaeological Treasures that Confirm the Bible Part Six
The Babylonian Empire was conquered in 539 BC by the Medo- Persians as described in Scripture. “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old” (Dan. 5:30-31). Medo-Persia
The Medo-Persian Empire encompassed 127 provinces and spread from Greece to India, Armenia to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1).
The Persians maintained a major road system with rest stations, inns, and guarded garrisons that kept the highways free from bandits.
The Royal Road stretched 1,600 miles from Susa to Sardis and post stations with fresh horses were placed about every 15 miles along its length. A caravan could travel the length of the road in 90 days, but a courier could make the same trip in a week.
The Persians invented horseshoes to facilitate mail moving over the Royal Road.
In the 5th century B.C., Greek historian Herodotus coined the famous saying that has often been wrongly attributed to the U.S. postal system. Referring to the Persians he said, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
The Medo-Persian king Cyrus the Great ( B.C.) is mentioned 23 times in Scripture. The prophet Daniel was still living at the beginning of his reign (Dan. 6:28; 10:1). Cyrus the Great
Cyrus was called by name in Bible prophecy before he was born. Isaiah prophesied in about 574 B.C. that Cyrus would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid” (Isaiah 44:28).
True to prophecy, seventy years after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, Cyrus issued a proclamation ordering the rebuilding of the Jewish temple (Ezra 1:1-4).
It was once thought by skeptics that the Bible’s record of Cyrus’s release of the Jews and his granting of religious liberty was mythical, but archaeology has confirmed that this was his standing practice. Cyrus Cylinder
The Cyrus Cylinder doesn’t mention Israel, but it states that this king had the policy of restoring captives to their lands and assisting them in rebuilding their temples. The cylinder was found in the temple of Marduk in Babylon in 1879.
The Cyrus Cylinder, British Museum
“I returned to these sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time... I gathered all their [former] inhabitants and returned their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled... all the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus has brought into Babylon... unharmed in their chapels” (British Museum).
The Persian king during the time of Esther was Darius’ son Xerxes. This was the Greek form of his name; the Hebrew form, Ahasuerus, appears in the Bible. Xerxes and Esther
Xerxes appears on the Behistun Relief standing behind Darius.
Xerxes also appears standing behind Darius in this relief from Persepolis at the Oriental Institute in Chicago.
Archaeology has confirmed the historical accuracy of the book of Esther and even identified Mordecai.
“It is generally accepted that Mordecai can be identified with Marduka, a high official working in Susa. Some would identify Esther with Queen Amestris” (Hoerth and McRay, Bible Archaeology, p. 145).
“The book of Esther fits nicely within what is known from Persian and Greek history, and numerous scholars have remarked on the book’s great ‘familliarity with both general and specific features of Persian life’” (Hoerth and McRay, Bible Archaeology, p. 145).
“The book is sprinkled with loan words and personal names of Persian origin” (Hoerth and McRay, Bible Archaeology, p. 145).
The Medo-Persian palace at Susa (Shushan) is mentioned in three books of the Bible. Daniel, Nehemiah, and Esther lived in this palace. The Shushan Palace
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace” (Nehemiah 1:1).
“That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace” (Esther 1:2).
“And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai” (Daniel 8:2).
The palace began to be built by Darius and was completed by Xerxes. This Darius tablet at the Louvre in Paris says, “This palace which I built at Susa...”
The Bible describes the palace as a glorious place with pillars of marble, beds of gold and silver, and pavements of red, blue, white, and black marble” (Esther 1:6).
Archaeology has confirmed the glory of the palace. It measured 820 x 490 feet and its throne room had 72 majestic columns, each 63 feet high, some with giant bull capitals on which the cedar beams rested.
Some of the columns stood on ornate bell- shaped stones.
The palace was decorated with panels of beautiful glazed brick with reliefs of soldiers and animals. Some of these are in the Susa Room of the Louvre in Paris.
Many beautiful objects have been recovered from the ancient palace that give us a glimpse into life in that day. Some of these would have been seen by Daniel, Nehemiah, and Esther
This silver bowl is inscribed with the name of Artaxerxes, the great king.”
This is a rhyton, which was used to pour wine into cups. Nehemiah could have used one of these.
The king’s cupbearer was a privileged position. He was the head of the servants. An image found at Susa depicts a line of servants waiting on the king, and the cupbearer is first in line.
NOTE TO TEACHERS There are review questions and a summary to this section in the book An Unshakeable Faith.
This Powerpoint/Keynote presentation is part of the apologetics course entitled An Unshakeable Faith. Copyright 2011 Way of Life Literature P. O. Box Port Huron, MI In Canada Bethel Baptist Church, 4212 Campbell St. N., London, Ontario N6P 1A