Persia, Kingdom of

During the period when the Jews were in captivity in Babylonia the Persian Empire, a united force of  Medes and Persians, became the world power from 560-331 BC and conquered Babylon in 539 BC (Dan 5:17-30).

Under both the Babylonian and Persian rule, there were relaxed policies for their captives, with some such as Daniel, Esther and Nehemiah rising to prominent government positions.  King Cyrus not only allowed the Jews who wanted to return to their homeland to do so, he also gave them protection and money to undertake the journey.

See also: Daniel (Dan), Daniel, Esther (Est), Esther, Nehemiah (Neh), Nehemiah.