March 2, 2009

Steve Collins

The link below is from a website which tracks archaeological developments concerning ancient Persian and Parthian sites. It indicates that the Tomb of the biblical prophet, Daniel, in the ancient city of Susa is in danger of damage or destruction at the hands of the Islamists who now rule Iran.
This report first observes that a “dynastic cemetery” of the Parthian and Sassanian Empires on the edge of the ancient city of Susa has been “turned into a garbage dump.” Previous blogs at this site have previously documented the willful destruction of pre-Islamic archaeological sites in Iran (i.e. the artifacts and cities of ancient Persia and Parthia). This destruction is continuing. Parthia was an empire of the ten tribes of Israel, who rose to rule over their previous captors (Babylon, Assyria and Persia), fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 14:2).

Not only is a cemetery of ancient Persian and Parthian royalty being trashed, an ancient palace in Susa is also being further damaged as the ruins of ancient Susa are being “obliterated” by the reconstruction efforts of the modern Iranian government. The link observes that the tomb of the biblical prophet, Daniel, is located “in the heart of the [ancient] city” which is being damaged or destroyed.
The ancient city of Susa is called by that name in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, but the King James Version calls it Shushan. At least one of Daniel’s prophetic visions was received in a palace in Susa (Daniel 8:2). One wonders if the ancient palace being damaged and destroyed in the ruins of Susa is the very one in which Daniel received his prophetic vision. Susa is also important in the lives of other biblical personalities. Nehemiah served in the palace of Susa during the time of the Achaemenid kings (Nehemiah 1:1), and Esther served as Queen of Persia in that same palace of Susa (Esther 2:3). Esther was raised by her cousin, Mordechai, who was later elevated to a Regent of the Persian Empire in Susa after God cast down Haman his enemy (Esther 2:3-7, 8:15-9:4). Since Ezra was also personally known to and worked with the kings of Persia, he was doubtless familiar with the ancient city and palace of Susa as well (Ezra 7:11-28).
Instead of being preserved as a valuable historic site, the ruins of Susa (where Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther and Mordechai lived and Ezra also served) are being wantonly destroyed by the Islamic regime in Iran.