Persian land of the Medes


Media, referred to in the Book of Mormon, denotes a region located within the Ancient Near East, associated with the historical Medes. It is primarily mentioned in a prophetic context, where it is foretold that the Lord will “stir up the Medes against” Babylon as a form of divine retribution (2 Nephi 23:17). This reference aligns with the historical understanding of Media, which was a significant empire known for its military capabilities and which eventually played a role in the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire through the actions of Cyrus the Great.

Geographically, Media was expansive, stretching from the west and southwest of the Caspian Sea to the Zagros Mountains. The region encompassed a variety of landscapes including fertile valleys in Atropatene, the highlands of Media Magna, and the Nisaean Plain, noted for its esteemed breed of horses. The key cities during its prominence were Ecbatana, which served as the royal summer residence, Gazaca, and Ragae.

Politically, Media was a force in the Near East until the fall of its last king, Astyages, which led to the rise of the Persian Empire under Cyrus. The mention of the Medes in the Book of Mormon situates them within a prophetic narrative which underscores their historical importance and their role as an instrument in divine judgment. The prophecy against Babylon illustrated in 2 Nephi does not go into the broader historical and cultural aspects of the Medes but rather focuses on their impending military success against a notable adversary, alluding to the widespread power and influence the Medes wielded during their time.


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