Posts Tagged ‘Persia’

In the Days of Nehemiah

“It was the first day of the seventh month” (Nehemiah 8:2).

After our family began celebrating the ‘appointed times’ found in the Leviticus 23, days, times and seasonal cycles stood out on the pages of the Scriptures.   This specific verse in Nehemiah is no different.  It sets the time for the events to follow as the ‘first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets.  This ‘appointed time’ of God begins His season of the fall feasts which are about repentance, atonement and a vision of the coming Millennial Kingdom.

The events in Nehemiah 8 are not some random occurrences in the history of Israel.  They are a testimony to the restoration of the Feasts of Elohim to a people who had lived in exile for over 160 years.  Though there was a first wave of Jewish return to Jerusalem 70 years after being taken captive, Ezra and Nehemiah were in the second wave 90 years later.  It was during this time that the priests gathered the people together on the ‘first day of the seventh month’.

Yom Teruah 445 B.C.E.

A wooden platform was made on which Ezra, the priest,  stood and could be seen and heard by all of the men and women who came to listen to the reading of the Torah.  As he opened the Torah scroll, everyone stood.  Then Ezra blessed Yahweh, the great God.  As the people answered with “Amen”,  they lifted up their hands, bowed their heads and fell prostrate before Elohim with their faces to the ground. 

“Amen” has a very interesting root history.  It comes from the Hebrew word aman meaning ‘to nourish, support, make sure and strong’.   The word emunah or faithfulness also has its root in aman.   The Jewish sages say that amen is an acronym for el melek ne’eman or “God is a faithful King’.  According to Revelation 3:14, Yeshua is the “the amen, the faithful and true witness … he is the faithful King.”   What the people said  as they were about to hear the Torah was “God is a faithful King!”

Days of Awe and Repentance

The Levites had the responsibility to explain Torah to the people.  After being in a foreign country for several generations, they needed to translate the Hebrew so that the ‘Persian’ Jews would  understand the words being read.  When they heard the  instructions that God gave them through Moshe, the people began to weep. 

Repentance or ‘turning back to God’ or teshuvah  is central to the fall ‘appointed times.’   After hearing the words of Torah for the first time standing in Jerusalem, the people wept.  They grieved.  They understood they had lost the very essence of their national heritage from the LORD and had not lived accordingly.

Ezra, along with the rest of the Levites, told them not to weep, not to be sad for this day was ‘set apart to Elohim their God.’  It was an ‘appointed time’ of the LORD.  They were told to go out, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks and give portions to those who couldn’t provide for themselves.  Even today sweet foods are eaten on Feast of Trumpets with apples and honey being the traditional foods.

How sweet to my tongue is your promise, truly sweeter than honey in my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

Mouth of God

Yeshua said in Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”  What does the mouth or ‘voice of God’ sound like?

Ram's Horn Shofar

When John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he has a revelation of Messiah.  He says,  “I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the LORD; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a shofar ….”   The voice of the LORD sounded like the blowing of a shofar.  A shofar, or the horn from a ram, is blown on the Feast of Trumpets.  Obviously, it is only when breath goes through the shofar that it is able to create a sound.  Being vessels of Elohim’s Spirit, it is taught that the ‘breath of God’ or Ruach HaKodesh blows through a shofar when it sounds.  

(Note: John heard the voice that sounded like a shofar on the Day of the LORD.  This is in reference to the events surrounding the coming Millennial Kingdom and a time of judgment, not the first day of the week.  The events for the Day of the LORD will begin on ‘the first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah.)

Pool of Siloam

The Spring of Living Water


The original city of Jerusalem had very different boundaries than modern-day Jerusalem.  In fact, remnants of the city are found in what is known as the City of David.  Within the ‘older’ city of Jerusalem, the Water Gate led down to the Gihon Spring which was located in the Kidron Valley.  This spring was the main source of water for the Pool of Siloam.   The priests would go to the Pool of Siloam to collect the water for each day’s water libation ceremony.  During this event, they would pour water over the altar in the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles.   On the last and greatest day of this feast, Yeshua stood and cried out:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!” (John 7:37-39).

As the people gathered at the Water Gate, it is symbolic of the pathway to the living water of the Word of God.  With the reading of the Torah by Ezra, the Jewish people had been ‘washed in the water of the Word’ and began preparing themselves as a pure and holy bride (Ephesians 5:25-26).   

Building Sukkot

On the second day,  the heads of the clans of the people joined the Levites and Ezra to study the words of the Torah again.  They found that Elohim had ordered through Moshe that the people of Isra’el were to live in booths or sukkot during the ‘appointed time’ in the seventh month known as the Feast of Tabernacles.  They were to announce the festival of Sukkot in all of their cities and in Jerusalem.  

“Go out to the mountains, and collect branches of olives, wild olives, myrtles, palms, and other leafy trees to make sukkot, as prescribed” (Nehemiah 8:15).

Olive Tree

In Jeremiah 11:16, God calls Isra’el an olive tree. In Romans 11,  Sha’ul speaks about branches of olives and wild olives that make up the Olive Tree of Isra’el.    The natural branches represent the 12 Tribes of Israel  and the wild branches the nations that join with them.  Both receive the same living water of the Word through the same spiritual root.   Though both branches will continue to produce either natural olives or wild olives, they both produce olives.

“A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). 

Middle Eastern Myrtle

Myrtle trees are considered an evergreen and are very hardy.   They produce a purplish-black berry called the mursins.  This fruit can be dried then ground and used as a flavoring.  It is one of the four leafy trees bound together for Sukkot that over time have been given the symbolism of ‘good smell, but no taste,’ like a person who has ‘good deeds, but does not study the Torah.’

The prophet Zechariah lived during the time between the first and second returning remnants.  He has a vision of God, angels and horsemen standing in the midst of a myrtle tree.  This vision was given to reinforce God’s promise that the exiles who returned to Jerusalem would be prosperous.  For the Jewish people of Zechariah’s time to prosper, they would need to repent and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, rebuild the Temple and learn Torah.  In the time of Nehemiah 8 and Yom Teruah, the repentance had begun. 

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the LORD  Almighty” (Zechariah 1:16).

Palm Tree

Palms, or lulav in Hebrew,  were also part of the branches collected to make a sukkah.  It is known for its uprightness, fruit and its beauty.  The Jewish sages say that the palm tree, which has taste but no smell, can be compared to a person who studies Torah, but has no fruit of good works. 

The first mention of palm trees in Scripture is when the Israelites camp at the oasis of Elim during their trek in the wilderness.  It is during the Feast  of Tabernacles that palm branches are waved signifying the coming Messianic kingdom. This is why palm branches were waved when Yeshua entered Jerusalem during the Passover season.  The people believed that the kingdom of God hadarrived; however, it was the wrong ‘appointed time’ and season.    In Revelation 7:9, multitudes from every tribe and nation will be waving palm branches and giving glory to the King of Kings.  Today, the lulav is a special binding of three species of branches along with an etrog (a type of citrus fruit).  It is used to worship the LORD during Sukkot and reminds everyone that one day the nations of the world will gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). 

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The people went out from the city, collected branches from specific trees and made sukkot for themselves on the roofs of their homes, in their courtyards, in the Temple courts and in the open spaces by the Water Gate and the Efrayim Gate. The entire community of those who had returned from the exile made sukkot and lived in them for the commanded time of eight days.   They had not done this since the days of Joshua and they celebrated Sukkot with great joy.  They also read the Torah every day from the first day until the last day of the ‘appointed time.’

In Our Day

The Feast of  Trumpets begins on the first day of the seventh month and Sukkot begins on the fourteenth day. On our Gregorian calendar, these fall festivals occur in our months of September/October.   They are a vision of the coming Kingdom of God when Isra’el, the natural branches of the Olive Tree will gather in Jerusalem along with the nations, the wild branches of the Olive Tree, to worship the King of Kings.  Everyone will wave olive, palm and myrtle branches for they will not just study Torah, they will bear the righteous fruit of the etrog.

The Jews in the days of Nehemiah prepared for this coming Kingdom by repenting and returning to the Torah of God and celebrated the ‘appointed times’ on their commanded days.  As wild olives, we can also embrace the vision of the coming Kingdom millennia later in the say way: repenting and turning back to God, learning Torah,  and proclaiming the ‘appointed times’ to those who stand by the Water Gate desiring spiritual nourishment from the spring of living water.  Amen. “Yeshua is the faithful King.”  

©2016 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

The Cast of Purim

“Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, instructing them to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year, [to commemorate] the days on which the Jews obtained rest from their enemies and the month which for them was turned from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; they were to make them days of celebrating and rejoicing, sending portions [of food] to each other and giving gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

King Xerxes and Queen Esther

Purim is a memorial to the deliverance of the Jewish people from near  destruction while they were in exile in Persia (modern-day Iran).  During the reign of Ahasuerus (aka King Xerxes), a wicked anti-semitic man named Haman came to power.  He wanted all Jews in the kingdom destroyed because they had customs that wouldn’t allow them to obey the king’s laws.  Purim or ‘lots’ were cast to choose the day of their annihilation.  A Jew named Mordecai along with his niece who had become Queen interceded for the Jewish people and their destruction was averted. 

Purim celebrations are joyous and center around audience-participation melodramas.  There are groggers or noisemakers used to either cheer for the heroes or drown out the name of the villain, Haman.  Cookies, called Hamantashen, are made to look like Haman’s tricorn hat.  Children dress in the costumes of their favorite Purim character.  Food is collected and put in baskets to give to the poor, the widow and the fatherless.

Within the account of Purim there are an array of characters.  As you read one or two specific verses from the megillah or scroll of Esther about each of them,  watch how power corrupts, faith overcomes and truth is revealed.  More importantly, watch God work His hand of protection for the Jewish people, for without it, they would have been destroyed.  As some have said, without Purim, there would have been no Jewish people.  If there had been no Jewish people, there would have been no salvation named Yeshua from the Tribe of Judah.

In these last days, the Jewish people and the nation of Israel are under great attack from the nations around the world.  As global events continue to unfold, everyone will have to  choose a side:  Israel and God’s people or the international community.  As you read the account of Esther, check your own heart regarding the Jewish people.  Are you rebellious Queen Vashti,  transformed King Ahasuerus, faithful Queen Esther, discerning Mordecai, vindictive Zeresh, or anti-semitic Haman? 

Vashti

The queen to Ahasuerus disobeyed the king’s command and lost her position in the kingdom.

“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she” (Esther 1:19).

Hadassah (Esther)

Hadassah in Hebrew means ‘myrtle’ while her Persian name means ‘hidden.’  She was ‘hidden’ in the king’s palace and became an intercessor for the lives of the Jewish people.

“Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai … who had a cousin named Hadassah. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died” (Esther 2:4-5).

Ahasuerus

The king of Persia also known as King Xerxes.

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on Esther’s head and made her queen instead of Vashti”(Esther 2:17).

Mordecai

Hadassah’s uncle from the Tribe of Benjamin who remained faithful to the King and Queen of Persia.  His name means ‘warrior.’

“During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai” (Esther 2:21-22).

Haman

The king’s right-hand man who descended from Amalek, who was to be destroyed by King Saul.   Haman had an anti-semitic heart.

“Then Haman said to King Ahusuerus, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talentsof silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business” (Esther 3:8-9).

Haman’s Wife

A jealous woman who wanted her husband to rise to power in the kingdom.

“His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows built, seventy-five feethigh, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy” (Esther 5:14).

The Decree of Extermination

“Letters were sent by courier to all the royal provinces “to destroy, kill and exterminate all Jews, from young to old, including small children and women, on a specific day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to seize their goods as plunder” (Esther 3:13).

For Such a Time as This – A Spiritual Vision

“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  (Esther 4:12-14)

The Queen – Bride

The Bride petitions the King for the lives of God’s Chosen People.

“Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king” (Esther 7:3-4).

The King – Messiah

The King rewards the Bride because of her faithful and courageous stand for God’s Chosen People. 

”That same day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Esther the queen. Also Mordecai appeared before the king, for Esther had revealed his relationship to her. (Esther 8:1).

Mordecai – The Warrior

The Warrior who fought for the lives of the God’s Chosen people is rewarded with a signet ring, the seal of the King and dressed in royal robes. 

“The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s house…. Meanwhile, Mordecai left the king’s presence arrayed in royal blue and white, wearing a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan shouted for joy” (Esther 8:2, 15).  

The Jews – The Kingdom

The Jews celebrate the decree that freed them from certain death.  Many non-Jews put their faith in the God of the Jews and become part of the ‘commonwealth of Israel.’

“For the Jews, all was light, gladness, joy and honor. In every province and city where the king’s order and decree arrived, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a holiday. Many from the peoples of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews had overcome them” (Esther 8:16-17).

Haman – The Enemy

Haman builds a gallows that is 75 feet high in order to kill his sworn enemy.  The word 75 in Hebrew is abos and means ‘to feed,’ ‘fatten,’ or ‘fodder’ which is ‘food for livestock.’  The actual Hebrew letters which make up 75 are Ayin and Hey.  The Hebrew word pictures for these two letters mean ‘window’ and ‘reveal.’  The numerical meaning of 75 could be the ‘seeing and revealing’ of the evil one’s true desire: to destroy the Jewish people so Messiah could not come the first time; and to destroy them in our days so he cannot return and end the control of the god of this world.

“Haman had just fallen on the couch where Ester was, when the king returned from the palace garden to the wine banquet. He shouted, “Is he even going to rape the queen here in the palace, before my very eyes?” The moment these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Harvonah, one of the king’s attendants, said, “Look! The gallows seventy-five feet high that Haman made for Mordekhai, who spoke only good for the king, is standing at Haman’s house.” The king said, “Hang him on it.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordekhai” (Hebrews 7:8-10). 

Yeshua and Purim

“After this, there was a Judean festival; and Yeshua went up to Yerushalayim. In Yerushalayim, by the Sheep Gate, is a pool called in Aramaic, Beit-Zata, in which lay a crowd of invalids — blind, lame, crippled…. Now that day was Shabbat, so the Judeans said to the man who had been healed, “It’s Shabbat!  It’s against Torah for you to carry your mat!” (John 5:1-3, 9-10).

In John chapter 5, Yeshua went into Jerusalem and celebrated an unnamed Biblical festival by healing a crippled man on the Sabbath in  Bethesda meaning “House of Mercy.’  The only Biblical holiday to fall on a Sabbath during the years of Yeshua’s ministry was Purim in 28 C.E. It is believed by scholars that the Spirit of God left out the specific name of the feast because His name was also not found in the book of Esther.  

There is, however, the Alef and the Tav found throughout the book of Esther.  In Revelation 22:13, Yeshua says that he is the ‘beginning and the end, the alef and the tav.’  He would not have used the Greek letters alpha and omega because he spoke Hebrew to John.   Also, the Hebrew letters Alef and Tav have incredible significance.  These letters make up the word את or ‘et’ and are found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.  They do not have a specific meaning like ‘the’ or ‘and’ though they sometimes point to a coming noun.  Their Hebrew word pictures suggest ‘the first strength of the covenant sign.’  It’s not until Yeshua explains those letters in Revelation that a reader of the Hebrew language can suddenly ‘see’ him in passages like Esther 4:7 and 9:29. Though the memorial name of God, the yod hey vav hey is not found in Esther, His ‘salvation’ or Yeshua, the Alef and the Tav, is. 

The healed man had been crippled for 38 years.  In Hebrew the number 38 is created with the letters Lamed and Chet meaning ‘one who has authority over the inner room or heart.’  This is what Purim is about.  What is the heart condition of each person in the account or moreover the heart condition of whoever reads the account of Esther? Is it a love for the Jewish people, a love enough to stand for them in the midst of persecution like Ahasuerus or an anti-semitic hatred like wicked Haman that desires not only their complete demise, but their assimilation into the religious cultures around them?  We can all be like the Warrior Mordecai standing for the God of Israel or Queen Esther who was willing to lay down her life for the Chosen People of God. 

Purim – The Memorial

Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far,to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adaras the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

The ‘day of lots’ became an annual memorial to the Jews’ victory over anti-semitism and is observed from the days of Persia through the days  of Yeshua until today.  May anti-semitism like that of Haman, that desires to destroy the very people from whom salvation came, never take root the hearts of those who enter the Kingdom of God.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.   For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive. 

Persia – Modern Day Iraq

Persian mythology developed in what is now Iran about 1500 B.C.E.  It eventually became the religion called Zoroastrianism from the prophet Zoraster (628 B.C.).  He is credited with writing the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the core of Zoroastrianism.

Mithra

Mithra is known as the god of light, justice and war.  Mithra means ‘pact, contract, covenant.”  Mithra watches over men and their deeds, agreements and contracts.  He protects against attacks and controls the cosmic order – night and day and the change of seasons.  He is associated with fire and the sun and became known as the sun god in Iran.   Mithraism is well-known today because of its growth during the Roman Catholic Empire.

Mithra protects the Kingly Fortune or Divine Glory.  Only the legitimate rulers of the Iranians were privileged to possess the Divine Glory.  Persian priests of Mithra were called Zoroastrians priests.

He is depicted as riding on a chariot pulled by white horses.  He carries a silver spear, wears a golden cuirass and is armed with golden-shafted arrows, axes, maces, and daggers.

The festival of Mithra was the celebration of the autumn equinox.  October is named after Mithra.

Ahura Mazda (twin to Mithra)

Ahmadi Muslims view Zoroaster as a prophet of God and describe the expressions of Ahura Mazda, the god of goodness and Ahraman, the god of evil as merely referring to the coexistence of forces of good and evil enabling humans to exercise free will.

Ahura Mazda is known as the Wise Lord.  He is the god of absolute goodness, wisdom and knowledge.  He is the creator of the sun, the stars, light and dark, humans and animals and all spiritual and physical activities.  He is opposed to all evil and suffering.

Think About and Discuss  Android Developer Sunil Jain created a totally free application in 2012 that gives a listing of the 101 holy names of Dadar Hormuzd aka Ahura Mazda.  Pictures of Ahura are also found on the application.  Why do you think this Persian god is being brought back into the modern world?

Where and why do you think the Mazda-named car originated?

Angra Mainyu

The Evil Spirit, who is constantly attempts  to destroy the world of truth and to harm men and beasts.    Lives in darkness in the north, the home of all demons and he is capable of changing his appearance to that of a lizard, a snake or a youth.  Disguised, he fights all that is good and attempts to lure all, into the world of darkness, deceit and lies.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals YHVH God had made.  He said to the woman,’ Did God relaly say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” ….  “You will not surely, die,’ the serpent said to the woman.  ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).

Think About and Discuss How does Angra Mainyu fit into the verses in Genesis 3:4-5.  Could it be that the ‘adversary’ has its roots in Zoroastrianism, in Persia, in Iran, the place where the Islamic religion flourishes today?  Notice how the ‘evil spirit’ attempts to destroy the world of truth.  Read Matthew 4:1-10.  What similarities or differences do you see between what happened to Yeshua in the wilderness and the descriptions of the Zoroastrian religion of Persia?

Queen Esther and Persia

“Mordechai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother.  This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordechai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died” (Esther 2:7).

Esther, born Jewish with the name of Hadassah is the heroine of the book of Esther.  She lived in Persia in the area of modern day Iraq during the exile.    She became Queen of Persia when she married King Ahasuerus (Xerxes).

Daniel relates that during the Babylonian captivity Jewish people were given names of Babylonian gods or goddesses.  Esther is a name derived from the goddess, Ishtar and means ‘star’.

Think About and Discuss What would be the reason for giving a Jewish girl the name, Esther or Ishtar?  How is Ishtar related to Babylon?

What would it be like today if the King of Persia or the modern-day leader of Iraq were to take a Jewish girl as his wife?  How do you think he would react if he found out that one of his closest friends had put out an edict to kill all the Jews which included his wife?  Do you think times have changed?  Yes or no.  Why or why not?

Yeshua and Persia

The term Magi was reserved for a tribe of the Medes who were priests for the Persian empire and the Zoroastrian religion.  They were sometimes used as envoys to travel to other countries, representing the royal family.  They kept calendars, tides, medicine, religion, alchemy.  They would have been particularly interested in the night sky and how they reflected upon the events on earth.

“After Yeshua was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-2).

In Matthew 2, there is the account that Magi from the east came to Jerusalem to see the baby born king.  Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He learned from the that there was a king born in Bethlehem and eventually had all young boys killed in and around the area.

Think About and Discuss Knowing the animosity between Ishmael and Jacob, Israel and the Arab nations, do you find it interesting that the magi lied to King Herod?  Why or why not?

Other Persian Gods

Ardvi Sura Anahita

Goddess of all the waters and the source of the cosmic ocean.  She drives a chariot pulled by four horses: wind, rain, cloud and sleet.  She is regarded as the source of life.

Atar

Atar means fire and is the son of Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord.

Verethragna

Warrior god and messenger of Mithra.  Aggressive, victorious force against evil.  Carries the chariots of the lords.

Vayu

God of the wind who chases the Evil Spirit with his sharp spear and golden weapons to protect the good creations of Ahura Mazda.  Makes lightning and dawn.

Tishtrya

God of rains is personified as the star Sinus or Canis Major.  Makes water pour down upon field, upon the whole world, and vapor rising from the sea moves forward in the form of clouds, pushed by the wind.

Haoma

God who gives health and strength, and who provides rich harvests and sons.  His name is that of a plant with healing potency believed to be of the genus Ephedra.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.