• Achaemenid Persian Concepts Pertaining to Covenant and Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

    Christine Mitchell (see profile)
    Middle East, History, Ancient
    Item Type:
    haggai, zechariah, Malachi, Hebrew bible, Ancient Near East
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    With the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C.E. and the later conquest of Egypt by Cambyses, the axis of power in the ancient eastern Mediterranean shifted dramatically away from Babylon-to- Memphis to Persia. Persian military might based on cavalry, Persian ideology of kingship, Persian political organization, Persian cult and theology all began to exert their influence on a world hitherto dominated by the systems of Mesopotamia and Egypt. But there is a dearth of studies of this influence on the authors of what came to be biblical texts, in favor of studies of continuing Mesopotamian and/or Egyptian influence along with the influence of the rising Greek power. If covenant as a concept had its origins in the form and substance of treaties, then when there is only one Great King, and no more treaties between vassals and suzerains, what kind of shifts might have happened to the concept of covenant during the period of Achaemenid rule? In this contribution, I will examine one particular Achaemenid Persian concept, bandaka, and its echoes in the biblical texts of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi as an example of how a Persian concept is a better analogue than Mesopotamian ones during this period.
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    5 years ago
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