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#177263 - 06/08/08 01:45 PM Law of Medes and Persians
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
The Law of Medes and Persians

law of Medes and..

On reading Tom Holland's Persian Fire, an interesting part of history put into frame, I remembered that one of our popular sayings is about this law of Medes and Persians.
I tried to find it in English and found it in a quote from a book in a review.When I saw it used in a positive sense, I realised that we quite often use it, but mainly in a denying way:

"It is not a law of Medes and Persians"
"Het is geen wet van Meden en Perzen", as is:
It can be diverged from, underlining the always rather liberal ways we take with the Law, \:\/ (not me)(*_*) much to the displeasure of our neighbours.

The English usage quoted from this site :
London Book Review
"Every partner in AA and AA Consulting is a partner in that partnership, which binds the whole thing together, so that although they work independently of each other, and according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, around the world, whichever country they may be in, ultimately they do all belong to the same partnership. I hope thatís clear."



Edited by BranShea (06/08/08 01:49 PM)

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#177268 - 06/08/08 03:50 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: BranShea]
Myridon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
I've never heard it. Using babelfish on the supplied link tells me:
"The law of avoided and pears are an expression, and indicate on a being certain appointment or rule to which cannot be unsewed." leaving me as much in the dark as ever.

I also I find that Daniel 6:8 in my Bible is Daniel 6:9 in the Wikipedia' poster's. But I assume that this is the source:
"Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Daniel 6:8 KJV

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#177270 - 06/08/08 05:07 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: BranShea]
twosleepy Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
What I've found is reference to this in the book of Esther in the Bible, specifically Esther 1:19, and a commentary that I found had this to say: "Here is the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be altered, mentioned earlier in the book. In terms of your experience and mine, this is what in Romans is called the law of sin and death. It cannot be altered nor revoked." (emphasis added). Here is the link http://www.raystedman.org/esther/0038.html
So it would seem that someone would use the reference when wishing to say that something cannot be taken back or changed. Do you think that makes sense? :0)

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#177271 - 06/08/08 05:12 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: Myridon]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
You'll see it at the near end of the third allinea (if that word is right). Then in the sixth allinea also almost to the end of that part.Maybe reading works better than fishing.
Yes, The book of Daniel is known as a scource and the whole story of Daniel in the lion pit is linked to it. He and many Jews were deported by King Nebuchadnezzar, who's dream interpreter he became and he rose to high office.
But somehow through the intrigues of jaleous coutiers he was found praying to his own God.(which was forbidden) As the law of the King could NOT be altered The King, against his own will had to condemn him to the lion pit.
When the next morning they found him still alive he was restored to his high place and those who had sought his downfall were thrown into the pit.

Edit:After the Persian conquest of Babylon, Daniel held the office of the first of the "three presidents" of the empire under the reign of the obscure figure of Darius the Mede, and was thus practically at the head of state affairs, with the ability to influence the prospects of the captive Jews (Daniel 9), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing restored to their own land; although he did not return with them, but remained still in Babylon.



Edited by BranShea (06/09/08 06:14 AM)

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#177272 - 06/08/08 05:31 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: twosleepy]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Yes! that's the origin.
In the text of the link it's appearing twice. And it does mean that something definitely can't be altered. Happens sometimes. It seems not to be in common use in American English, while here it survived in common speech and in the tolarant negative form.
People often say: Oh well.. it's no law of Medes and Persians.

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#177273 - 06/08/08 06:39 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: BranShea]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
I'd not heard it before, but it certainly has some usage in English Books.

the phrase also gets twenty(20) hits in OED online, including this gem: Thus God the great Induperator bespeaketh the Medes and Persians as his field-officers.

and this def'n [under law]: 1c. In proverbs and proverbial phrases. the law of the Medes and Persians, often used (with allusion to Dan. vi. 12) as the type of something unalterable.

-joe (imperator) friday


Edited by tsuwm (06/08/08 06:54 PM)

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#177275 - 06/08/08 10:31 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: BranShea]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
 Originally Posted By: BranShea
Yes! that's the origin.
In the text of the link it's appearing twice. And it does mean that something definitely can't be altered. Happens sometimes. It seems not to be in common use in American English, while here it survived in common speech and in the tolarant negative form.
People often say: Oh well.. it's no law of Medes and Persians.

It would be a fairly common saying amongst older Australians in our English, though not sure whether it has been passed on to younger generations. And yes it does come from the book of Daniel and means something that is rigid and fixed. It's often used to criticise some rule or attitude that is unecessarily officious and inflexible.

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#177276 - 06/09/08 03:58 AM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: tsuwm]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Thanks for corroborating. I see Joseph Conrad used it. Always nice to have an admired writer who's on your side. Could be my generation will be the last to use it as a living expression.

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#177310 - 06/10/08 05:13 PM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: BranShea]
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

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#177316 - 06/11/08 04:15 AM Re: Law of Medes and Persians [Re: AnnaStrophic]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Yes, that law dates far longer back and is more generally used and known.

> One man's Mede is another man's Persian.
> One man's mead is another man's peach.


Edited by BranShea (06/11/08 09:13 AM)

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