Persia and the Jewish People
By J.L. Robb
The history of Persia (Iran) and Israel goes back through millennia; and it has not always been antagonistic.
In 589 BC, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Iraq), besieged Judah and took the Jews in captivity to Babylon, the Jews he did not kill. He destroyed Jerusalem and tore down the first Jewish Temple built during King Solomon’s reign. Those confined as slaves were held in captivity for 70 years, then freed by King Cyrus of Persia. King Cyrus conquered Babylon, freed the Jewish captives and sent them back to Judah to build the Second Temple.
This turn of events had been prophesied by Isaiah, 150 years earlier, when he told the people of Judah to change their evil ways and return to the ways of God. Seventy years later, the prophet Jeremiah told them, in the first person, speaking as God and not for God, that Nebuchadnezzar would come against them and hold them as slaves for 70 years. He did.
How did Isaiah know about King Cyrus?
“… who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ (Isaiah 44:27-28 NIV)
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:” (Isaiah 45:1 NIV)
It is interesting that Isaiah prophesied King Cyrus when he did, since King Cyrus was not yet born. He wasn’t even a thought. How did he know?
Today it is not likely that Iran would help the Jews, much less help them rebuild the Temple. As a matter of fact, Iran waits eagerly for their messiah, the Twelfth Imam, to appear on Earth and do away with anything not Muslim, especially the Jewish country.
Iran fired 32 missiles into Israel almost two weeks ago, first reported as only 20. Most were shot down, it is reported, by the Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system, arguably the best missile defense system in the world. Remarkably, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated that not a single missile hit Israeli soil.
In response, Israel destroyed approximately 50 Iranian military sites inside Syria. Liberman had promised an overwhelming response when he said: “If you give us rain, you will get a flood.”
The people of Iran proudly refer to themselves as Persians; because before it was Iran, it was Persia. The Persians were ruled by some famous kings, like King Cyrus; but the Persians in ancient days, 1200 years prior to Muhammad’s dream and the beginning of Islam, had no problems with Jews or with their land, which they acknowledged. So what happened?
President Jimmy Carter happened.
November 4, 1979, the Islamic Revolution threw out the Shah of Iran who was a strong ally of the West and overtook the government. In the process they terrorized 58 U.S. Embassy staff and citizens while holding them hostage for 444 days. They were released January 20, 1981, the day that Ronald Reagan became President. That was probably the best decision the terror-driven fanatics made in 444 days.
Death-to-Israel and Death-to-America were the chants of the day in 1979 as the streets of Tehran were overrun by… college students. It seems to me the Iranian youth of today are much like the youth 40 years ago.
“Death to Israel” and “Death to America” chants can be heard daily inside Iran now, especially at the institutes of higher learning. Yet, we read that the Iranian people are great people who are disgusted with the ruling class of radical, Islamic “clerics.” Is that true?
It was certainly true in 1975 when Iran was our greatest ally in the Middle East, after Israel. There was much trade between our countries, the Iranian Air Force had fighter jets from the United States and women could actually go to the beach with a man. Iran had diplomatic relations with Israel.
It had to be. As surely as Jesus had to be killed by the very people he came to save, the destiny of modern-day Iran is not to help Jewish people. The last days plan has them siding up with Russia, Turkey and a few other notable powers in the region.
It is unfortunate that we had the plight of another Carter-like President recently, a President who paved the way for Russia’s entry to Iran and Syria. Five years ago, Russia had no bases in Iran or Syria. The weakness of U.S. Presidents, in many ways has led to the Islamic takeover of all things normal, and nice. It seems that all European leaders are like President’s Carter and Obama.
It is unlikely that the new Persia will ever be a friend of Israel’s. That is not the way God wrote the script.
“Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” Isaiah 46:8-10 NIV