Iran’s Antagonism Against the Jews

May 2023

   Persia (present-day Iran) and Israel’s history go back through millennia; and it has not always been antagonistic. 

   Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Iraq), besieged Judah in 589 BC and took the Jews in captivity to Babylon, the Jews he did not kill that is. He ravaged the land of Judah, besieged Jerusalem and tore down Solomon’s Temple, the first Jewish Temple. Those confined as slaves were held in captivity for 70 years, then freed by King Cyrus of Persia. King Cyrus conquered Babylon, freed the Jewish captives and sent them back to Judah to build the Second Temple. 

   This turn of events was predicted precisely by Isaiah, 150 years earlier, when he told the people of Judah to change their evil ways and return to the ways of God. The ten tribes of Israel and the two tribes of Judah had a history of disobeying God’s Law and worshiping all the false gods that God hated.

   How did Isaiah know about King Cyrus, 150 years before Cyrus existed?  

   “… who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; He will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ (Isaiah 44:27-28 NIV).

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