Iran was formerly Persia and the Bible refers to that nation as Persia throughout their history and future.
Persia is located east of Iraq and east of the Euphrates River. This area is presently the hotspot of the world and will continue to be through the end of this age. In a very short time prophecy will be history.
Recall the entire Bible is the fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago.
Abraham was called by God to leave the land of the east and journey to a new land west of the Euphrates River. Abraham’s nativity was between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, i.e. the present country of Iraq. It is difficult to positively identify the borders between ancient Babylon and Persia.
“And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel:’ “Your fathers…dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan…”’” Joshua 24:2-3a
Now recall that Abraham sent Ishmael and his family back to the east which included Arabia and points further east. There was continued enmity between Abraham and his descendants and ‘them of the east.’
Biblical prophecy and history reveals that the Babylonian kingdom was supplanted by the Medes and Persians in approximately 535 BC.
Judah had been deported to Babylon beginning in 605 BC. God had sent the young Hebrew Daniel to Babylon to write world history in advance from there.
In the second year of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he had a dream which only Daniel could interpret.
“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! … and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver…” Daniel 2:31-32a
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the king of gold and the next kingdom consisting of silver would be the Medes and Persians. The Persian kingdom would be followed by the Greeks and then Rome. But we’ll concentrate on the Persian Kingdom in the present context.
It is significant to note the future of the foreseen world kingdoms.
“You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet…Then the iron, the clay, the bronze the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found…” Daniel 2:34-35a
The four kingdoms defined by metals with decreasing atomic weights (but with increasing brittleness) followed the Egyptian and Assyrian for a total of six. The seventh and final world kingdom has been identified in previous columns.
The major point in the preceding Scripture passage is when Christ returns to earth He will totally obliterate the final world kingdom, which will include Iran (Persia), and there will be no trace of that kingdom or previous gentile kingdoms.
Animosity between Iran and Israel has prevailed through the ages.
Such hatred and persecution was confirmed when a remnant of Jews returned to Judah after their Babylonian captivity to rebuild their temple and city.
Their odyssey actually began while still in the Persian capital, Shushan. Esther was a young and beautiful Jewish lady who was raised by her uncle Mordecai. Also living in Shushan at that time was a man named Haman, an Agagite of the family of Amelek who were enemies of the Jews since the time of the Exodus. Amelek was a grandson of Esau and the progenitor of the Amalekites.
Haman was promoted by the Persian king Ahasuerus to a position of great power in Persian’s capital city. It became known to Haman that Mordecai would not bow down to him and ‘Haman was filled with wrath.’
“But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone…Instead Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus – the people of Mordecai.” Esther 3:6
Persian genocide of the Jews was the plan, but history revealed how Haman’s plan backfired.
To be continued.
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