– Sardis stood in the middle of the Hermus River Valley, just over fifty miles east of the Mediterranean Sea in what is now the country of Turkey. The main east-west trade route came through this valley.
– On a spur of Mount Tmolus, on the north side of the Hermus River Valley, the Lydians’ dominant people in the interior of Asia from about 1000-550 BC, built the acropolis of Sardis.
– The capital of the Lydians, Sardis enjoyed half a millennium of artistic, architectural, and economic prosperity. Its most famous king, Croesus, became rich because his subjects discovered a way to pan gold from a nearby river using sheep fleeces that trapped flecks of gold.
-When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Assyria, Sardis became part of his empire. In 586 BC, he conquered Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and exiled many Jews. Apparently, many of them were brought to Sardis, and out of this community of Jews the church of Sardis was later born. It is amazing to see how God prepared things ahead of time for his purpose.
– The Persians made Sardis their western capital, so it remained an important city. Alexander the Great ended the Persian Empire in 334 BC, and Sardis became part of the Greek world.
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