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History of Persian EmpireHistory of Persian Empire.

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Presentation on theme: "History of Persian EmpireHistory of Persian Empire."— Presentation transcript:

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2 History of Persian EmpireHistory of Persian Empire

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4  Achaemenid Dynasty ( B.C.)  Cyrus II (the Great) [ BC]  Allowed Jews to return home  Cambyses II [ BC]  Bardiya [522 BC]  Darius I [ BC]  Helped Jews rebuild the temple  Xerxes I (the Great) [ BC]  Esther’s husband  Artaxerxes I [ BC]  Allowed Jews to return under Nehemiah and Ezra

5 Persia under Cyrus ( )  Know very little about Persia before Cyrus  Cyrus the Great: Ruled B.C.  Among the greatest conquers ever  tolerance and favor  First united the Persians with the Medes (Medo-Persian Empire)  Conquered Babylon in 539  Cyrus’ strength + Nabonidus’ weakness  At his death, largest empire ever

6 Persia under Cyrus ( )Persia under Cyrus ( )

7 Cyrus policy of TolerationCyrus policy of Toleration  Isaiah 44:24, 28: “Thus says the L ORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb…who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’”  Isaiah 45: 1-5: “ Thus says the L ORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: 2 “I will go before you and level the exalted places, [a I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the L ORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.”a

8 Cyrus policy of TolerationCyrus policy of Toleration  Ezra 1:2-4: “ “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The L ORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the L ORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” ”

9 Cyrus policy of TolerationCyrus policy of Toleration

10  “From [?] to Aššur and [from] Susa, Agade, Ešnunna, Zamban, Me-Turnu, Der, as far as the region of Gutium, the sacred centers on the other side of the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time, I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there [i.e., in Babylon], to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings” (from the Cyrus Cylinder)

11 Persia under Cambyses ( B.C.)  Not in the Bible  Expanded Kingdom to Egypt  Territorial expansion reached its height

12 Persia under Darius: B.C.  Time of organization and strength  Organized 20 “satrapies,” or regions  Ezra 5-6  Neh 2:9 “I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River”

13 Persia’s AccomplishmentsPersia’s Accomplishments  Royal road  1,500 miles from N. Africa to India  Inns every 18 miles; exchange horses and re-supply.  Darius’ Canal (Med and Red Sea)  E/W 130 miles long

14 Persian Religion: ZoroastrianismPersian Religion: Zoroastrianism  Zoroaster: founding prophet  Date is disputed B.C.?  Main beliefs  Monotheism baked in dualism with a pinch of panentheism  Ahura Mazda = good God. Angra Mainyu = “evil spirit”  Good deeds are central  Future judgment, resurrection, heaven and hell, new creation, demons, angels

15 Persian Religion: ZoroastrianismPersian Religion: Zoroastrianism  Influence on Judaism?  Some parts, no  Good deeds, future judgment, etc.  Other parts, maybe a bit  Heaven and hell  Resurrection  demons  Judaism didn’t adopt new beliefs apart from Scripture, but contact with Zoroastrianism gave Judaism new categories to re-read Scripture  Example: Resurrection


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