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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Margin of Ezra 6:2 for ACHMETHA equating to Hagmatana, the native appellation; a Median town where was a palace. There were two of this name: the capital of N. Media," the seven walled town," with each wall of a different color, white, black, scarlet, blue, orange, silver, and gold (Herodotus, 1:98-99,153); the capital of Cyrus, therefore probably the town where the roll was found containing Cyrus' decree for rebuilding the Jerusalem temple, which induced Darius to issue a new decree sanctioning the recommencement of the suspended work; now the ruins of Takht-i-Suleiman. The other town was capital of the larger province, Media Magna; now Hamadan. Takht-i-Suleiman contains a lake of pure water in its center, 300 paces round.

The Zendavesta makes Demshid, but Herodotus Deioces, its founder. The seven walls were designed to put the city under the guardianship of the seven planets. The finding of Cyrus' decree at Ecbatana, whereas, when Ezra wrote, the Persian kings resided usually at Susa or Babylon, visiting only occasionally in summer time Ecbatana or Persepolis, is one of those little points of agreement between sacred and profane history which confirm the truth of Scripture, because their very minuteness proves the undesignedness of the harmony. Susa and Babylon were the ordinary depositories of the archives. But Cyrus held his court permanently at Ecbatana, and therefore kept his archives there. Ezra, living a century after, would not have been likely to have fixed on Ecbatana as the place of finding Cyrus' decree, had he been inventing, instead of recording facts.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Ecbatana'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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