The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon in 536 BC. Cyrus issued the decree for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Under Darius the second Temple of Zerubbabel was completed; and under Xerxes, or Ahasuerus, the events recorded in the Book of Esther in the Bible happened; under Artaxerxes the Jewish state was reformed by Ezra, and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Nehemiah. The capital of the Persian Empire was Shushan. The Empire lasted a little more than 200 years, and came to an end in 330 BC.
Sometimes it’s helpful to know the approximate distance between the New Testament cities. For example, consider the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), from a Bible Atlas you can learn that the road between Jericho and Jerusalem is a 17-mile trek through the desert. Only the poor walked it. Everyone else rode – particularly the upper-class and priests were members of the upper class. Jesus’ audience would assume the priest is riding a donkey or a mule.
The Babylonian Empire became a world power in 625 BC after the fall of Assyria. Babylon continued its reign until 536 BC. Nebuchadnezzar, its greatest king, reigned in the days of Daniel and took the southern Kingdom of Judah into captivity after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Babylon was finally captured by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus as predicted by the prophet Daniel, and the Babylonian Empire came to an end in 536 BC.
What does the first watch mean? What is the “third hour”? The Jewish day ran from sunset to sunset and was divided in 8 equal parts called watches and hours. Here’s what they mean.
The Assyrian Empire is important to biblical history for devastation the kingdom of Israel and taking the 10 northern tribes into captivity in 722 BC.
Contrasting the way of the wicked and the righteous is a very common theme in the Old Testament. Here are a few Psalms where we find this theme.
A comparison of the miracles of Elijah and Elisha recorded in 1&2 Kings.
Prophets enforced the covenant between God and His People. Many people in Scripture prophesy occasionally but not all who do so hold the office of prophet. Therefore, scholars count the prophets differently.
Ever wondered what a cubit is? When is the third watch? How much is a denarius, an omer or a talent? Here’s a chart of time, weights and measures found in Scripture and how to convert them.
Not only was each healing an act of compassion and a foreshadowing of the greater healing to come, each miracle was testimony from God that Jesus is the Christ.
Is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) the same event as the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6)? Scholars are divided.
Generally the Book of Joshua can be broken into three main sections.
What’s the difference between a shekel, a denarius, and a talent? They are all coins circulating at the time of the New Testament. But one was Jewish, one Greek, and one Roman. Here’s what they were worth in relation to each other.
Resources to help you study the role and nature of the Holy Spirit.
The book of Judges tells of the various leaders raised up to deliver Israel from the enemies remaining in the land after the conquest under Joshua. The Judges of Israel (c. 1375–1050 BC) came from various tribes and regions of Israel.