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Persia and the Bible

, 1996
ISBN: 9781441253156

Digital Logos Edition

Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.



Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes—who were these Persian kings? Internationally noted historian Edwin Yamauchi uses the latest archaeological information from Iran, along with over 100 photos and maps, to paint an illuminating portrait of Persia’s people, kings, cities, and role in Old Testament history. An invaluable guide to traversing the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.

Resource Experts
  • Focuses on the relationships between ancient Persia and the Bible
  • Discusses Persia and the Persian Empire through the lens of archaeology
  • Includes a variety of detailed diagrams, maps, and photographs to illustrate points
  • The Medes
  • Cyrus
  • Cambyses
  • Darius
  • Xerxes
  • Artaxerxes I
  • Susa
  • Ecbatana
  • Pasargadae
  • Persepolis
  • Persia and the Greeks
  • Zoroastrianism
  • The Magi
  • Mithraism

Top Highlights

“The most brilliant period of Persian history was that under the Achaemenid rulers—Cyrus and his successors” (Page 23)

“We know that Cyrus began his thirty-year reign over the Persians around 559” (Page 80)

“In Hebrew his name was rendered ’aḥašweroš, the Ahasuerus of Esther. Ahasuerus was identified in the Septuagint, Josephus, Jewish Midrash, and the Peshitta with Artaxerxes.1 But there is no doubt that Ahasuerus was Xerxes (485–465 b.c.), the son of Darius I.” (Page 187)

“Cyrus II was the son of Cambyses I, a Persian, and Mandane, the daughter of the Median king Astyages” (Page 79)

“The name Xerxes comes from the Greek Xerxēs, which represents Old Persian Khšayāršan, meaning ‘ruling over heroes’ or ‘he who rules over men.’” (Page 187)

In his historical-archaeological study, Yamauchi . . . attempts to explain Persian history and culture in the context of biblical accounts, enlarging upon this connection in brief discussions of numerous topics surrounding Persian rulers, seats of government, and religion. The brevity of the discussions and summary presentations of controversial and contradictory theories may prove frustrating for the serious student of Persian history. Still, the book contains many useful elements: a broad survey of the literature and recent archaeological findings; indexes including biblical issues; pertinent maps, diagrams, and illustrations; a large, select bibliography; and meticulous documentation. A valuable basic biblical reference tool or a point of departure for more advanced historical research.

—Paula I. Nielson, Loyola Marymount University

Persia and the Bible represents an impressive achievement.

Biblical Archaeologist

A superb survey. The author’s unique contribution is in providing constant interaction with the Bible, both in terms of how the Scripture serves as a primary source for Persian history and especially by demonstrating how a knowledge of Persian civilization will deepen the reader’s understanding of Scripture.

Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin

Archaeology provides vital, if sometimes scanty, clues that enable the reader and teacher to understand the background of the relevant biblical passages with their distinctive theological viewpoint. This book will enable us all to relate the appropriate and abiding message of the Bible to our own world with its similar problems.

Donald Wiseman, emeritus professor of Assyriology, University of London

The people, places, and religion discussed in the book are important for understanding the post-exilic history of Israel. Yamauchi explores all of these areas in great depth in what is undoubtedly a standard text in the field.

Ashland Theological Journal

  • Title: Persia and the Bible
  • Author: Edwin Yamauchi
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 584

Edwin Yamauchi (b. 1937), a noted Christian author and specialist in Near Eastern Studies, is Professor of History Emeritus at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


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  1. Gerald Van Gemert