- Biblical Chronology -
THE CAPTIVITY  AND  MEDO-PERSIA





CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH to FALL OF MEDO-PERSIA


('BT' = 'Before Tribulation')


         -          DESOLATION BEGINS  2590 BT
         |
         |          JERUSALEM BREACHED 2580 BT   0 - 0
         |                                         |
         |                                         |
      70 |                                         |
         |          Evil-Merodach               30 - 30      37th capt of Jehn (Jubilee!)
         |                                         |
         |                                         |
         |          MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE         57 - 57      BABYLONIAN EMPIRE FALLEN
         |          Darius the Mede                |
         |                                         |
         -          Cyrus (1st & 4th yr)2520 BT 60 - 60      CAPTIVITY ENDED
                                                   |
                    2nd Cyrus, Foundation       61 -
                                                   |
                                                   |
                    Darius the Persian(Xerxes)     -
                    / Artaxerxes                   |
                                                   |
                    2nd Darius the Persian         -
                                                   |
                    6th Darius Temple Ezr 6:15     -
                                                   |
                    Nehemiah starts 20th Art N2:1  -
                                                   |
                    Nehem leaves 32nd Art N5:14    -
                                                   |
                    Ahasuerus (of Esther)          -
                                                   |
                    Ahasuerus 12th Est 3:7         -
                    Purim days established         |
                                                   |
                    GREEK EMPIRE                   -     MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE FALLEN
                    (Alexander The Great)



* NOTES *


- The Babylonian captivity and the Medo-Persian period are timed around
  two major prophetic periods.
     1) 2,580 years - This prophetic period is referenced in the 1290 days
                      of Daniel 12:11 (ie doubled).
                      2580 years = Abomination to Abomination
                                 = Nebuchadnezzar and the princes in the
                                   'middle gate' (of the temple), refer
                                   Jer39:3, to the future Great Tribulation.
     2) 2,520 years - The well known 7 years x 360 (days per year) period
                      inferred in the '7 times' of Daniel 4:16.
     
- There are two 70 year periods which define the captivity and rebuilding
  era.
     1) 70 years of captivity  - ending with the decree of Cyrus
     2) 70 years of desolation - ending with the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
          - Zechariah 1:12 records that God had been angry 70 years
            with His people. This anger had prevented the completion
            of the temple. From the 2nd of Darius the Persian the
            building began again. A search of the archives was
            required to confirm the decree of Cyrus due to the
            amount of time which had elapsed, refer Ezra 5:17, 6:1.

- There is a 70 years mentioned in 2Chr 36:21 which was designated
  as a period for the land to enjoy its rest. The indication is that
  over the preceding period the required land Sabbath had not been
  observed.
  Over each fifty year cycle, 7 land sabbaths years and 1 Jubilee
  rest year were supposed to have been observed.
  Therefore, over a five hundred year period there should have been
  70 land sabbaths and 10 Jubilee rest years.
  Hence a need for a 70 years of land sabbaths (no allowance for
  Jubilee rest years) would indicate no land sabbath had occurred
  over the preceding 430 years (being 500 years - 70 years). This
  would ensure that over a five hundred year period the right number
  of land sabbath rests would have taken place.
  So what was the event which occurred 500 years prior to the release
  from captivity? This was when Solomon started to rule and started to
  build the first temple. (In this chronology this was 3020 BT and the
  task was finished twenty years later in 3000 BT.) So we have the
  start of the building of the second temple exactly 500 years after
  the start of the first temple. 
  
- King Jehoiachin was released from his prison in the 37th year of the
  captivity, the year the reign of Nebuchadnezzar ended and the reign
  of Evil-Merodach began. Refer 2 Kings 25:27-30 & Jer 52:31-34.
  This release from prison did not allow Jehoiachin to return to
  Jerusalem (and rule again as king of Judah) but it did grant him
  a privileged place amongst the other captive kings.
  Since the concept of 'release' is embodied in the Jubilee year concept
  (Lev 25:10) there is the suggestion that this 37th year of Jehoiachin's
  captivity was a Jubilee year.

- A reading of the 'Book of the Law' at the Feast of Tabernacles, the
  feast of the seventh month, is highlighted in Nehemiah 7:73-8:18.
  This was a requirement of a 'year of release' (year of Jubilee) refer
  to Deut 31:9-13,24-26.

- There was a delay between the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire
  (Dan 5:30-31) and the decree of Cyrus which resulted in the release
  of the Jews (2Chron 36:22-23 & Ezra 1:1-4).
    - Darius the Mede was the overall king of the Medo-Persians
      at the time of the fall of the Babylonian Empire and at
      that time Cyrus (a Persian) was in his first year as the
      king of Persia. (The reigns of both kings being restarted
      following the fall of the Chaldeans - refer the inference
      of Dan 9:1).
      By the third year of the reign of Cyrus the Jews had still
      not been released! This being the reason why Daniel was
      mourning and eating no 'pleasant' food, Dan 10:1-3.
        - Daniel 10:2 should read "three 'weeks' of days".
          The word for weeks is in the masculine form,
          rather than the more normal feminine form.
          Each of the three 'weeks' in this text is a
          reference to the 7 weeks and 1 day which fell
          between the wave sheaf offering and the Feast
          of Weeks each year. It suggests that Daniel
          performed his 'mourning' at this time in the
          years following the victory of Darius the Mede
          until the decree of Cyrus. Three such periods
          suggest at least 2 years and 50 days elapsed
          before Cyrus became the ruling king over all
          of Medo-Persia and issued the decree to rebuild
          Jerusalem. (Note, that when Cyrus became the
          overall king over Medo-Persia his reign count
          was restarted - the decree was said to take
          place in his 1st year, Ezra 1:1.)

- In Daniel 9:1 there is mention of an 'Ahasuerus' who is an 
  ancestor of Darius the Mede. (While the Hebrew says 'Ahasuerus'
  the NIV and some other translations depict 'Xerxes'.)
  As Darius the Mede is sixty two years old at the time of the
  fall of the Babylonian Empire (Dan 5:30-31); this 'Ahasuerus'
  who is 'Darius the Mede's ancestor can not refer to any of
  the subsequently arising kings of the Medo-Persian Empire.
  This prior Ahasuerus should not be confused with either
  the 'Ahasuerus' of Ezra 4:6 or the later Ahasuerus mentioned
  in the book of Esther.

- In chapter 4 of Ezra we have a list of some of the kings ruling
  Medo-Persia. This list starts with Cyrus king of Persia (Ezra 4:5),
  then mentions 'Ahasuerus' (which many translations understand to
  be a reference to 'Xerxes') in Ezra 4:6, then mentions Artaxerxes
  (Ezra 4:7) and finally mentions Darius king of Persia (Ezra 4:24).
  In this chapter the word 'reign' (in Ezra 4:6 & 4:24) is the word
  'dominion' indicating these were the dominant ruling kings.

- Therefore an initial king list, suggested by Ezra chapter 4, would
  suggest;
           - Darius the Mede
           - Cyrus                       - decree 1st yr,   to build
           - 'Ahasuerus' / Artaxerxes    - decree start of, to cease
           - Darius the Persian          - decree 2nd yr,   to build
           - Ahasuerus (book of Esther).









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