The Prince of Persia

Israel's 'Babylonian' exile has its roots in the great breach which divided the Jews from the other tribes of Israel just after the death of Solomon. Disunified, the tribes quickly fell victim to their antagonistic neighbors. The 10 tribes of the north were conquered and carried away by Assyria. About a hundred years later, Babylon came and did much the same with the Jews. The nation of Judea was destroyed along with its temple and city of Jerusalem. The Jewish citizens not killed in battle were rounded up by the Babylonians and taken off in captivity to the banks of the Euphrates. There they remained, captives of Babylon, for about 70 years.

The Jewish captivity in Babylon took an abrupt turn when Persia suddenly pounced on Babylon and its king in a surprise attack (an attack presaged by a mysterious hand which appeared like an apparition, writing out in code on a wall what was about to happen). The Persian king, Cyrus, gaining control of all of Babylon's spoils, later read a proclamation freeing the Jews from Babylon and allowing them to return to Jerusalem and Judea. Not all Jews returned. In fact, most did not. They had lived in Babylon 70 years and many had established comfortable lives there. Those that did return rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple and reestablished the Judean nation.

This historical circumstance was announced in prophecy before it occurred. And when it became clear that the Jewish return was only temporary, and that a greater 'Babylonian captivity' would replace it, all the prophecies concerning this event took on global and eschatalogical meanings. The return from Babylon was going to involve the entire planet, and it would occur in association with the end of the world.

Moreover, the prophecies promised, a 'prince of Persia' would appear once again and end the captivity (2 Chron.36:21). And again, by proclamation.

Cyrus was seen as benevolent and a friend of Jews. The prince who still stands in the wings of the future, however, is portrayed in prophecy as wicked and rebellious to God and His people. His proclamation will be a death sentence, not just for the House of Israel, but for the entire world. That is because it will break the treaty of peace that Jesus made with Babylon by going to the cross.

The proclamation to come will be issued in association with the abolition of the perpetual commemoration of Christ's sacrifice -- an abomination that guarantees the world will be made desolate.

Between these two 'princes of Persia' stands another king of the east -- a spiritual King sent by God:

"I am he who says of Cyrus, 'My shepherd -- he will fulfill my whole purpose, saying of Jerusalem, 'Let her be rebuilt', and of the temple, 'Let your foundation be set in place". (Is.44:28).

The prophecies of Isaiah lauding 'Cyrus' apply to Jesus. For it was He who truly ended the Babylonian captivity. Jesus taught that Babylon was this entire world (it's people and leaders), and that the children of God were being held here captive, contaminated by the vice that emanated from it. Jesus explained the terror and desolation that was coming to the world, and offered escape from it through reconciliation with God. He said God was building a new heaven and a new earth high in the heavens, far away from this polluted location.

Those who choose to follow Him to the new kingdom God is preparing will escape with their lives and live forever. Those who refuse will fall victim to the catalcysm of the End and perish in its terrible holocaust.

The 70-year captivity is the mean age of human existance on the earth. It is the average age of the flesh. Escape from Babylon is a spiritual journey made by living in the Gospel Jesus preached. During the course of the last two millenia, the treaty of Christ has locked the people into a Babylonian captivity from which the only escape has been this spiritual journey.

"To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; there the Lord will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).

Several times, Crusaders and others have tried to hold or recapture Jerusalem from the east wind God dictated should engulf it, but their efforts were repulsed. There is only one codicle to this treaty in prophecy and that is in the Book of Jeremiah. It shows that an early reprieve (before the proclamation by the Prince of Persia is made) will be granted to a group of Jewish military leaders by the leaders of Babylon, but that group will fail to abide by the terms specified and their efforts to reestablish Judea will end in catastrophe.

See also:

The Prince of Persia Issues Decree that Ends the Exile to Babylon

1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 16, 'The Mortal Wound'
2. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 24, 'Pairs by Opposites'

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