- Biblical Chronology -
THE CAPTIVITY  AND  MEDO-PERSIA





CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH to FALL OF MEDO-PERSIA


('BT' = 'Before Tribulation')


         -          DESOLATION BEGINS  2600 BT
         |
         |          JERUSALEM BREACHED 2580 BT   0 - 0
         |                                         |
         |                                         |
      70 |                                         |
         |          Evil-Merodach               30 - 30      37th capt of Jehn (Jubilee)
         |                                         |
         |                                         |
         |          MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE         47 - 47      BABYLONIAN EMPIRE FALLEN
         |          Darius the Mede                |
         |                                         |
         -          Cyrus (1st & 4th yr)2530 BT 50 - 50      CAPTIVITY ENDED
                                                   |
                    2nd Cyrus, Foundation       51 -
                                                   |
                                                   |
                    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  2300 BT (?)  280 - 280      MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE FALLEN
                    Alexander The Great



* NOTES *


- The Babylonian captivity and the Medo-Persian period are timed around
  a few major prophetic periods.
     1) 2,580 years - This prophetic period is referenced in the 1290 days
                      of Daniel 12:11 (ie double).
                      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.
                      2530 BT being this 2,520 yrs + 10 yrs for the
                      iron and clay period.
     3) 2,300 years - This is a quite simple understanding of the 2300
                      evening-mornings of Daniel 8:14 and one which is
                      questionable. There being an apparent lack of
                      chronological data enabling the confirmation of
                      the duration of the Medo-Persian era.

- 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.

- 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.)

- The father of Darius the Mede, stated either as 'Ahasuerus' or 'Xerxes'
  in Daniel 9:1, should not be confused with either the subsequent Darius
  the Persian or Ahasuerus mentioned in the book of Esther.

- In Ezra 4:6 the 'Ahasuerus' or 'Xerxes' mentioned is a reference to
  Darius the Persian.

- The terms 'Ahasuerus' 'Xerxes' and 'Artaxerxes' appear not to be
  individual names, but titles.

- The ruling kings of the Medo-Persian Empire which are mentioned in
  Scripture reign in the following order:
                  - Darius the Mede
                  - Cyrus
                  - Darius the Persian(Xerxes) co-reigning
                        with Artaxerxes
                  - Ahasuerus.

- Dan 11:1-2, which mentions 3 subsequent kings of Persia, could be
  understood to be referring to 1)Darius the Persian, 2) Artaxerxes
  and 3) Ahasuerus. However, this text is in essence a prophetic
  allusion.






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