From Babylon to Bethlehem – Persian Rule

October 26, 2009

The Persians under Xerxes invade Greece, and have some success
until Greece expels them. It is during this period that the Book of
Esther takes place, a book that has great significance when considering
the tensions between the many cultures in the Middle East at the time.
After Xerxes, the Persia is ruled by Artaxerxes and Artaxerxes II
(among others).

From a more religious perspective, after the
return to Israel, Malachi rails against the dullness he sees in the
religion as people were practicing it. This should not be surprising,
since every generation needs to be evangelized, lest the people fall
into a civic religion. It is during this period that the Book of Esther takes place, a book that has great significance when considering the
tensions between the many cultures in the Middle East at the time. The
prophets and writers of this time period, including Jesus son of
Sirach, should remind us that we must refresh our faith today with the
same vigor that was demanded by the prophets.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

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