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Bible verses about Medo-Persian Empire
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 30:1-3  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God refers to both kingdoms here—the descendants of the northern kingdom of Israel as well as the southern kingdom of Judah. The return of Israel will be the larger migration because, aside from the 70-year captivity in Babylon, some of the descendants of Judah have always resided in the Promised Land. Today, the State of Israel is predominately made up of the descendants of Judah.

However, neither Israel nor Judah has truly possessed the land since the time of their respective captivities. Despite some of Judah having returned to the land, ever since the Babylonian captivity, she has only rarely and intermittently held sovereignty over it.

After Judah was taken into captivity, Babylon ruled the Promised Land under Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon later fell to the Medo-Persian Empire, which then became sovereign over Jerusalem and the Promised Land. Because of their vassal status, the Jewish captives that returned from Babylon had to ask permission from Cyrus and Darius, the Persian kings, to rebuild the wall and the Temple. The Jews enjoyed a measure of peace, but their freedom depended on the favor of the ruling Persian emperor.

After Alexander the Great conquered Medo-Persia, the Greeks became the new overseers of the Land of Promise. Jews under the Maccabees gained a measure of independence until Rome took control of the area. Thus, during the time of Christ, Jews lived in the land and even worshipped in the Second Temple, but they did not really possess the land because it was under Roman jurisdiction. Since the collapse of the Roman Empire, notwithstanding some temporary Crusader holdings, the Promised Land has been under the sway of various Arab and Muslim nations—notably the Ottoman Empire—down to modern times.

Even now, the state of Israel does not control all of the land. Jerusalem is a divided city, and the Israelis have not dared claim all of the Temple Mount for themselves, because they know that it would result in an all-out war with the Muslims. Even though the Jews regained a considerable amount of land when it declared statehood in 1948, gaining even more during the Six Day War, the ownership is endlessly argued. Judah is not truly sovereign yet. It does not yet "possess" the land in the fullest sense of the word.

David C. Grabbe
The Second Exodus (Part One)


 

Daniel 2:32-35  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Several important details surface immediately. First, it is an image. The second commandment (Exodus 20:4-6) describes God's revulsion of images of any kind used in worship. Although no one is seen worshipping this image, the idea that what this image represents is contrary to God is definitely present.

Second, the image's body parts are formed from different materials in descending value (Daniel 2:39). Gold is more valuable than silver, which is more valuable than bronze, etc. Finally, it ends in iron mixed with clay, an amalgam that is practically worthless and useless. However, the order of these materials increases in hardness with the exception of the iron-clay mixture (verses 40-43). This symbolizes two aspects of the same idea: While the spiritual, moral, or cultural qualities of these empires decline, their military or political power increases as one empire overthrows another.

Third, the progression from head to toes conveys the movement of time. Though these empires overlap to a small degree as one rises and another falls, their dominance in world affairs is successive. This is clearly shown in Daniel's explanation: "But after you shall arise another kingdom . . . then another" (verse 39). Thus, we should expect to be able to follow this prophecy on a historical time-line except where it continues into the future.

Fourth, the body parts themselves describe traits of the empires they symbolize. The head of the image shows a monolithic structure of government which determines the course of the body, just as in the symbolism of Christ being the Head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18). The two arms and two legs indicate divisions of government or bases of power. Ten toes of inconsistent materials symbolize a weak-strong and possibly short confederation.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Nebuchadnezzar's Image (Part One): 'Head of Gold'


 

Daniel 2:32-35  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

When Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the head of gold, it shows us a biblical principle that a king in prophecy represents the entire kingdom. In verses 39-40, "after you" indicates four successive world-ruling empires from the time of the Chaldean empire of Nebuchadnezzar until the return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. We see in overview an outline of world history from a Gentile perspective, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and coming all the way down through the various kingdoms until the image is struck on the foot by the Stone, representing the Kingdom of God, or Christ.

This prophecy brings us right into our present time—the time of the end—the time when can expect that the Stone, sometime in the not-too-distant future, will strike this image on the feet. We can look for that last empire, represented by the feet and toes, to exist today, or either be coming together, or will shortly be coming together. History has shown that these four empires, beginning with the head of gold, to be the Chaldean (the head of gold), the Medo-Persian (the chest and arms of silver), the Greco-Macedonian (the belly and thighs of brass), and the Roman (the legs and feet of iron) empires. The Roman Empire existed from 31 BC to AD 476. Secular history shows that the Vandals defeated Rome, but Rome was revived and re-established as "the Holy Roman Empire" under Emperor Justinian in AD 554.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 1)


 

Daniel 2:36-45  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Daniel 2:36-43 describes four major kingdoms, empires, or governmental systems that have ruled over the greater part of the civilized world:

1. The Chaldean-Babylonian Empire (625 to 538 BC)

2. The Medo-Persian Empire (538 to 330 BC)

3. The Greco-Macedonian Empire (333 to 31 BC)

4. The Roman Empire (Established 31 BC. The imagery suggests that it will exist in some form until the end of the age.)

Clearly, these physical empires existed on earth. Verses 44-45 then say that God's Kingdom will encompass all of these previous kingdoms—on earth! Daniel 7:17-18 says much the same.

Staff
Is Heaven the Reward of the Saved?


 

Daniel 2:38  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Each of the other portions of this image represent powerful kingdoms that, in terms of time, would follow Babylon in dominating the Western world through the centuries: Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. They did not dominate the entire world—perhaps they could have—but there is no doubt they dominated the part of the world that the Bible is concerned with, the one that the Israelitish descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in.

But because the head represents Babylon—and the head directs the entire body—the image in Daniel 2 also shows the continuation of the same general Babylonish system right to the end of the kingdom represented by the feet and the toes. In other words, that image shows that the pattern established under Nimrod continues right on down until today.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 2)


 

 




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