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 summer capital.


Apparently Cyrus 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:


Ezra 6:1-5

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.


Map of the Persian Empire


Map of the Deportation of Judah



The Babylonian Captivity

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The Story of the Bible

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