Map of the Persian Empire

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Persian Empire at its height map
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The Medo-Persian empire is considered the most powerful of the ancient powers. At its height, during the reign of Darius I the Great, it controlled more than 2.9 million square miles (7.5 million square kilometers) of land and spanned three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe). Its control extending eastward into India and reached westward to Greece. Its capitals were Persepolis and Susa, with its kings sometimes residing in Babylon.

It is estimated that in 480 B.C. the Persian empire had 50 million people living until its control. This huge amount was roughly 44% of the world's population at the time, making it the largest world power ever in terms by population percentage.

Cyrus the Great (559 - 530 B.C.)

Conquered the Medians in 549 and the Babylonians in 539. Cyrus is considered the founder of the Persian empire and its first true ruler. King Cyrus was known as a "singularly noble and just monarch." One of his first acts, after gaining control of Jews held in Babylonian captivity, was to authorize their return to Jerusalem (2Chronicles 36:22 - 23).

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Are we living in the End Time?
Parthian Empire Map

Cambyses II (529 - 522 B.C.)

Son of Cyrus the Great.

Bardiya (522 B.C.)

Son of Cyrus the Great.

Darius I the Great (521 - 486 B.C.)

Rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem resumes and is completed (Ezra 6:15). Under Darius' reign the empire reaches its peak in power and land controlled.

Xerxes I the Great (485 - 465 B.C.)

Son of Darius I. Ahasuerus (Xerxes in the Greek), the Persian King named in the book of Esther (Esther 1), was likely Xerxes I.

Artaxerxes I (464 - 424 B.C.)

Son of Xerxes I. Authorized his cupbearer, Nehemiah the prophet, to rebuild Jerusalem's walls.

Xerxes II (424 B.C.)

Son of Artaxerxes.

Sogdianus (424 - 423 B.C.)

Son of Artaxerxes.

Darius II Nothius (423 - 405 B.C.)

Son of Artaxerxes.

Artaxerxes II (404 - 359 B.C.)

Son of Darius II. Considered the longest reigning Persian king.

Artaxerxes III (358 - 338 B.C.)

Son of Artaxerxes II.

Artaxerxes IV Arses (337 - 336 B.C.)

Son of Artaxerxes III.

Darius III (336 - 330 B.C.)

Great-grandson of Persian King Darius II. Last king of the empire. Darius is defeated by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. at the battle of Arbela near Nineveh. Persia subsequently falls and Alexander captures Babylon.

Additional Study Materials
Prophecy between the Testaments
Map of Palestine under King Herod
Assyrian Empire map
Who was the youngest king of Israel?

References
Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings
by Edwin Thiele


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