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Chronology (7): Cyrus called in advance

09-12-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

index_2 We have seen that the return from the exile took place in the year 3500 AH. Exactly one thousand years since the exodus from Egypt and five hundred years since the LORD’s appearance to Salomon. The year when the prophesised period of 70 years of devastation of Jerusalem ended, was the first year of “the reigning of the kingdom of Persia” (2 Chronicles 36:20) The second book of Chronicles concludes with this hopeful announcement:

22 And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, at the completion of the word of Yahweh in the mouth of Jeremiah, has Yahweh waked up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he causes an intimation to pass over into all his kingdom, and also in writing, saying, 23 `Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, All kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, Elohim of the heavens, given to me, and He has laid a charge on me to build to Him a house in Jerusalem, that [is] in Judah; who is among you of all His people? Yahweh his Elohim [is] with him, and he does go up.

Isn’t it amazing? A pagan monarch who let rebuild the temple? And in his own words: by order of the LORD, the God of heaven. What is that about? Where do we read about this instruction from God to Cyrus? Isaiah gives the answer. About 200 years earlier the LORD had spoken through Isaiah (44):

26 setting up the word of His servant, and performing the counsel of His messengers. Saying to Jerusalem, `You shall be indwelt,’ and to the cities of Judah, `You shall be built,’ and `Its deserted places I will raise up.'” (…) 28 Saying as to Cyrus, `My shepherd,’ and `All My desire he will perform.’ Saying as to Jerusalem, `It shall be built.’ And the temple, `It shall be founded.'”

About 240 years before the devastation of Jerusalem, the rebuilding of Jerusalem is already foretold. And also by who that will take place. God already called his name: Cyrus. Isn’t it spectacular?!?

4 On account of My servant Jacob, and Israel, My chosen, I am calling to you by your name. I am titling you, yet you do not know Me.” 5 I am Yahweh Elohim, and there is none else. There is no Elohim except Me. I am belting you, yet you do not know Me.” -Isaiah 45-

Cyrus has been informed of these words (see Flavius Josephus) and read his own name in the old scroll of Isaiah. Who else but God would be able to foretell the future? GOD had already called him by name, long before he was born. And so Cyrus knew what he had to do: to rebuild Jerusalem and to found the temple.

11 Thus says Yahweh Elohim, the Holy One of Israel, and its Former, “`What is arriving?’ you ask Me. Yet concerning My sons and concerning My daughters, and concerning your contrivance of My hands are you instructing Me!” 13 I, I rouse him in righteousness, and all his ways am I straightening. He shall build My city, and My deportation he will let go, not for a price, and not for a bribe,says Yahweh of hosts.” -Isaiah 45-

GOD legitimizes Himself by foretelling the future. He doesn’t give a prognosis and doesn’t speak in terms of probabilities. He declares and lets record in black and white that what will happen! He is Israel’s God! 1_blog_13 MB