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Old Books


I reached the conclusion after preparing lectures for Rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem that Israel is a vibrant country today, at least in part because of the ancient Persian Empire’s involvement in the restoration of the country.

For more than one hundred years after Cyrus the Great decreed the Jews could return from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, various Persian kings had to take responsibility for the details of rebuilding efforts, or the Jews would not have been successful. Unfriendly exiles who had made a home for themselves among the ruins of Judah—after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple—did not welcome returning Jews hoping to reclaim their land. They opposed rebuilding efforts at every stage of reconstruction. Only with the help of various kings of the Persian Empire were they able to complete the restoration.

In the modern world of huge political and religious divides, it is difficult to lay aside the issues that separate us and concentrate on the similarities that unite us. A look back in history reminds us that we have cooperated in the past and that cooperation in the future is essential if the world is to survive.

I know you will enjoy this fascinating story of ancient Iranian kings who made a difference in the lives of displaced people from a ruined land. I believe you will enjoy it because I loved discovering these historical events, which occurred so long ago.

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