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by Wayne Blank
For God, Prophecy isn't as much about having the ability to predict the future as it is about having the power to make things happen, anytime, anywhere, i.e. "Blessed be the Name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings" (Daniel 2:20-21 KJV)
Cyrus is first mentioned in the last 2 verses of 2 Chronicles and the first 3 verses of Ezra (which are the same, being a continuation) in which The Lord "stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia" so "that the word of The Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished" (i.e. God didn't just predict future events, He directly made prophecy happen):
"Now 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, Thus 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 KJV)
Cyrus took possession of the items that had been looted from the Temple in Jerusalem (see Temples and "My Father's House") by the Babylonians, so they were returned with the people of Judah, as stated in the Scriptures. If the Ark of the Covenant had been looted from the Temple along with all of the other items, it would have been returned at that time - but it wasn't returned because the Ark never left Jerusalem - see Raiders Of The Lost Ark:
"Also 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; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah" (Ezra 1:7-8 KJV)
Cyrus provided all the necessary finances and materials for the rebuilding of Jerusalem:
"They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia." (Ezra 3:7 KJV)
After Darius succeeded Cyrus "the king of (conquered) Babylon," Cyrus' decree was carried out:
"But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the Temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the Temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place."
"In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house."
Fact Finder: (a) Did God use the pagan king Cyrus for God's purpose? (b) Did God use Cyrus for the sake of Israel, even though Cyrus was not a believer, even though Cyrus "did not acknowledge" God?