Cyrus

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Called several times in scripture “the king of Persia,” though from the monuments he is found to have been also king of Elam, and is otherwise called the founder of the Persian empire. On his taking Babylon, the second great Gentile empire of Daniel was set up. He was prophesied of by name long before his birth; that he would be God’s shepherd, to perform all His pleasure, and that he would say to Jerusalem, “Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” He is also called the anointed of Jehovah, to subdue nations (type of Christ restoring Judah in the last days) (Isa. 44:2828That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. (Isaiah 44:28); Isa. 45:11Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; (Isaiah 45:1)). When the 70 years’ captivity of which Jeremiah prophesied were expired (Jer. 25:1212And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Jeremiah 25:12); Jer. 29:1010For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10)), God stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, and a proclamation was made that the house of the Lord God of Israel was to be rebuilt, and permission was given to the captives to return. He also restored the holy vessels that had been carried from Jerusalem to Babylon. It was called the first year of Cyrus, when he began to reign alone over Babylon (Ezra 1:1-111Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. 5Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. 7Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; 8Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, 10Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. 11All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:1‑11); 2 Chron. 36:22-2322Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 23Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up. (2 Chronicles 36:22‑23)). This would be about B.C. 536, the 70 years of captivity having begun in B.C. 606, the date of the first captivity of Judah. Daniel continued till the reign of Cyrus, and speaks of his third year (Dan. 6:2828So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:28); Dan. 10:11In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. (Daniel 10:1)).
An ancient cylinder speaks of the forces of Cyrus as “marching like a cloud, and his army as the waters of a river: opposition comes to nothing before him.” Daniel, in the vision of the kingdom founded by Cyrus, and seen under the figure of a ram, saw it pushing “westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his own will, and became great” (Dan. 8:44I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. (Daniel 8:4)). For a list of Persian kings see PERSIA.
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