The Babylonian Captivity with Map
The City of Ecbatana in
the Persian Empire
Ecbatana became the
capital city of the Medes in the late seventh century B.C. Ecbatana is actually
the Greek name of the city mentioned in the book of Ezra "Achmetha" (Ezra 6:2).
It was located around 180 miles southwest of Tehran, the capital of modern Iran.
It was in the Zagros Mountains, about 6000 feet above sea level, on a caravan
route that ran for Mesopotamia to the Persian plateau. Cyrus the Great, the
Persian ruler, enjoyed the weather here during summer months, and he made it his
the Great issued his famous decree from Ecbatana, which would allow the Jews to
return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This is the place where the Bible
says king Darius found the scroll:
1 Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives, where
the treasures were stored in Babylon.
2 And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was
found, and in it a record was written thus:
3 In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the
house of God at Jerusalem: "Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they
offered sacrifices; and let the foundations of it be firmly laid, its height
sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits,
4 with three rows of heavy stones and one row of new timber. Let the expenses be
paid from the king's treasury.
5 Also let the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which
Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to
Babylon, be restored and taken back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to
its place; and deposit them in the house of God"
It is believed by
many that the tombs of Mordecai and Esther were located in this city.
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