Cyrus the Great in Biblical Prophecy

One of the truly astounding prophecies of the Bible is found in the last verse of Isaiah 44, together with 45:1ff, (an unfortunate chapter break). It has to do with Cyrus, king of Persia. According to the historian Herodotus (The Histories i.46), Cyrus was the son of Cambyses I. He came to the Persian throne in 559 B.C. Nine years later he conquered the Medes, thus unifying the kingdoms of the Medes and the Persians.

Cyrus is mentioned some twenty-three times in the literature of the Old Testament. Isaiah refers to Cyrus as Jehovah’s “shepherd,” the Lord’s “anointed,” who was providentially appointed to facilitate the divine plan. God would lead this monarch to “subdue nations” and “open doors” (an allusion to the Jews’ release from Babylonian captivity). He would make “rough places smooth,” i.e., accommodate the Hebrews’ return to their Palestinean homeland. (WRONG! they returned to the LAND OF ISRAEL) He would ultimately be responsible for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the reconstruction of the temple.

Amazingly, the king would accomplish these noble tasks even though he did not “know” Jehovah (45:4, 5). In other words, though he was a pagan in sentiment and practice, yet, as an unconscious tool in the hands of the Lord, he would contribute mightily to the Jewish cause, and so, indirectly, to the coming of God’s greater Anointed, Jesus of Nazareth…

…What many people do not realize in reading Isaiah 44:28ff is that this heathen ruler was named by the prophet long before the monarch was even born. Isaiah prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1). His ministry thus occurred in the latter portion of the eighth century B.C. (ca. 740 – 701 B.C.). This was some one hundred fifty years before Cyrus came to the throne!

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/264-cyrus-the-great-in-biblical-prophecy

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