an introduction to the books of ezra nehemiah and esther
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE AGE AND WORK OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH. THE conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus took place in the year 538 B.C. He was already master of Persia, Media, and Lydia; and the overthrow of the empire of Nebuchadnezzar extended his dominions from the mountains of the Hindu Kush on the east to the shores of the Mediterranean on the west. Egypt alone of the older empires of the Oriental world remained independent, but its doom could not be long delayed. The career of Cyrus had indeed been marvellous. He had begun as the king only of Anzan or Elam, whose power seemed but' small' and contemptible to his neighbour the great Babylonian monarch. But his victory over the Median king Astyages and the destruction of the Median Empire made him at once one of the most formidable princes in Western Asia. Henceforth the seat of his power was moved from Susa or Shushan to Ekbatana, called Achmetha in Scripture, Hagmatan in Persian, the capital of Media. Shushan, it is true, still continued to be a royal residence, but the court occupied it only during the spring months, Ekbatana with its cool mountain climate being the summer residence of the king. The conquest of Media was quickly followed by that of Persia, which appears to have THE CAREER OF CYRUS. 47 been under the government of a collateral branch of the family of Cyrus. Henceforward the king of Elam becomes also the king of Persia. The empire of Lydia, which extended over the greater part of Asia Minor, fell before the army of Cyrus about B.C. 540, two years before ' the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places ' in Babylon were given to him, that he might ' know that the Lord which called him by his name was the God of Israel.' It was, the Lord declared, ' for Jacob, My servant's sake, and Israel, Mine elect,'... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.