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MEDIATOR


118


MEDIATOR


disappear from the inscriptions, and in their place we find references to tlie kiiiiy^ of Anshan. The capital of the kingdom was Ecbatana (the Agamatanu of the Babylonian inscriptions) the building of which is attributed by the author of the Book of Judith (i, 1) to -'Arphaxad king of the Medes." Assuming that it is the city called .Vmadana in an inscriiition of Tiglath-Pilcs'er I, its origin would go back to the twelfth century b. c. At variance with this, however, is the Greek tradition represented by Herotlotus, who ascribes the origin of Ecbatana to Deiokcs (the Daiukku of the Assyrian inscriptions, about 710 n. r.), who is described as the first great ruler of the Median empire. The building of tlie city" is, of course, a ratner elastic expression which may well have been used to designate the activities of monarchs who enlarged or fortified the already existing stronghold; and it is scarcely necessary to recall that most of these ancient records, though containing elements of truth, are to a certain extent artificial. At all events, it is with the reign of Deiokes that the Median empire emerges into the full light of history, and hencefor- ward the Greek sources serve to check or corroborate the information derived from the native monu- ments.

According to the somewhat questionable account of Herodotus, Deiokes reigned from 700 to 647 B. c. and was succeeded by Phraortes (646-fi2.5), but of the latter no mention is made in the inscriptions thus far discovered. His successor Cyaxares (624-585), after breaking the Scjihian power, formed an alliance with the Babyloiuans, who were endeavouring to regain their long lost domination over Assyria. In league with Nabopolassar, King of Babylon, he captured and destroyed Ninive (606 B. c.) and conquered all the northern portion of Mesopotamia. Enriched by the spoils of the great Assyrian capital, Cyaxares pushed his conquering armies westward, and soon the domin- ion of the Medes extended from the confines of Elam to the river Halys in Asia Minor. Astyages (584-550 B. c), the son and successor of Cyaxares, failed to maintain the friendly relations with Babylon, and when Nabonidus succeeded to the throne of the latter kingdom, the Medes and Babylonians were at war. In the meantime a great internal movement was preparing the way for a change in the destinies of the empire. It was due to the rising influence of another branch of the Arj'an race, and in history it is generally known as the transition from the Median to the Persian rule. At this distance both terms are rather vague and indefinite, but there is no doubt as to the advent of a new dynasty, of which by far the most conspicuous ruler is Cyrus, who first appears as King of Anshan, and who is later mentioned as King of Persia. Doubtless in the earlier part of his reign he was but a vassal king dependent on the Median monarch, but in 549 B. c. he vanquished Astyages and made himself ma.ster of the vast empire then comprising the king- dom.s of Anshan, Persia, and Media. He is known to Oriental history as a great and brilliant conqueror, and hLs fame in this respect is confirmed by the more or less fantastic legends associated with his name by the Greek and Roman writers. His power soon became a menace to all western Asia, and in order to with- stand it a coalition was formed into which entered Nabonidus, King of Babylonia, Amasis, King of Egypt, and Croesus, King of Lydia. But even this formidable alliance was imable to check the progress of Cyrus who, after having reduced to subjection the whole of the Median empire, led his forces into Asia Minor. Croesus was defeated and taken prisoner in 546, and within a year the entire peninsula of Asia Minor was divided into satrapies, and annexed to the new Persian empire. The west being fullv subdued, Cyrus led his victorious armies against 'Babylonia. Belshazzar, the son of the still reigning Nabonidus, was sent as general in chief to defend the country,


but he was defeated at Opis. After this disaster the invading forces met with little or no resistance, and Cyrus entered Babylon, where he was received as a deliverer, in 539 D. c. The following year he issued the famous decree permitting the Hebrew captives to return to Palestine and rebuild the temple (I Esd..i). It is interesting to note in this connexion that he is often alluded to in Isaias (xl-xlviii, passim), where according to the obvious literal meaning he is spoken of as the Lord's anointed. With the accession of the Acha?menian dynasty the history of Media becomes absorbed into that of Persia (q. v.), winch will be treated in a separate article.

Beurlier in Vigouroux, Dictionnaire de la Bible, s. v. Midie: Rogers in The New Schaff-HeTzog Kncudopedia, 3. v. M edo-Persia; J,\CKSON, Persia Past and Prestnt (New York, 1906); S.wcE in Hastings, A Dictionary of the Bible, a. v. Medes,

James F. Dhiscoll.

Mediator (Christ as Mediator). — The subject will be treated under the following heads: (1) Defini- tion of the word mediator; (2) Christ the Mediator; (3) Christ's qualifications; (4) Performance; (5) Re- sults.

(1) Mediator Defined. — A mediator is one who brings estranged parties to an amicable agreement. In New-Testament theology the term invariably implies that the estranged beings are God and man, and it is appropriated to Christ, the One Mediator. When spe- cial friends of God — angels, saints, holy men — plead our cause before God, they mediate "with Christ"; but their mediation is only secondary and is better called intercession (q. v.). Mo.ses, however, is the proper mediator of the Old Testament (Gal., iii, 19-20).

(2) Christ the Mediator. — St. Paul writes to Timothy (I Tim., ii, 3-6) ..." God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of Ciod and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times," The object of the mediatorship is here pointed out as the salva- tion of mankind, and the imparting of truth about God. The mediator is named: Christ Jesus; His qualification for the office is implied in His being described as man, and the performance of it is ascribed to His redeeming sacrifice and His testifying to the truth. All this originates in the Divine W ill of " God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved". Christ's mediatorship, therefore, occupies the central position in the economy of salvation: all human souls are both for time and eternity dependent on Christ Jesus for their whole supernatural life. "Who [God the Father] hath delivered us from the power of dark- ness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. In whom we have retlemptionthrough his blood, the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature . ._. all things were created by him and in him. And he is before all, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead ; that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, thatall fulness should dwell; And through liim to reconcile all things unto him.self , making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven". (Col., i, 13-20).

(3) Qualifications. — The perfection of a mediator is measured by his influence with the parties he has to reconcile, and this power flows from his connexion with both: the highest po.ssible perfection would be reached if the mediator were substantially one with both parties. A mother, for instance, is the best mediator between her husband and her son. But the matrimonial union of "two in one flesh", and thp