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Thursday, September 4 2014

Ezra 1: The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia

"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"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had the people of the Kingdom of Judah conquered and taken into exile by the Babylonian Empire (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?). Unlike the Kingdom of Israel who haven't yet returned (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes and When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?; see also Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism), for the sake of the coming Messiah the Kingdom of Judah did return after seventy years of exile, "To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah." That restoration was accomplished by a Persian king (Persia has been known since the 1920s as Iran), Cyrus, who was known by three major prophets of the Bible - Jeremiah, Isaiah and Daniel.

Fall of Jerusalem

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

36:22 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,

36:23 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 36:15-23 KJV)

In declaring the return of the people of Judah, Cyrus didn't only fulfill a prophecy about Judah. Cyrus himself was prophesied, by Isaiah, not only before the people of Judah had been taken away into exile by Babylon, but Cyrus was identified, by name, before he was even born.

Cyrus the Great of Persia

"44:28 That 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 KJV)

"45:1 Thus 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; 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." (Isaiah 45:1-4 KJV)

So it was than that Cyrus of the Persian Empire that had conquered the Babylonian Empire (as prophesied by the prophet Daniel - see the Fact Finder question below) was employed by the LORD to return the people of Judah to Jerusalem in their due time.

"1:1 Now 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,

1:2 Thus 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. 1:3 Who 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. 1:4 And 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.

1:5 Then 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. 1:6 And 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. 1:7 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; 1:8 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.

1:9 And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, 1:10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

1:11 All 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 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did the Persian Empire fit into the prophecies given to Daniel?
See The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image and The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall


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This Day In History, September 4

476: Romulus Augustulus, 16, the last Emperor of the original Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), was deposed when Odoacer, a German warlord, proclaimed himself the King of Italy. The date is considered by some historians to be the "fall" of the Roman empire, but history and prophecy plainly show how it was merely the fall of the Roman Roman Empire; it thereafter became, by its official title, "The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire
626: Li Shimin, later known as Emperor Taizong of Tang, assumed the throne of the Tang Dynasty of China.

925: The coronation of Athelstan, the first king to rule over all of England.

1189: King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) of England was crowned in Westminster.

1609: English explorer Henry Hudson discovered a large, heavily wooded, nearly-unpopulated island on the east coast of the continent of North America. Today, it is known as Manhattan.

1774: New Caledonia (a major island east of Australia and north of New Zealand) was first sighted by Europeans, during English explorer James Cook's second voyage.

1781: In what is today southern California, 44 Spanish settlers named their new settlement El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula ("The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola"). It is known today by the abbreviation Los Angeles.

1783: The Treaty of Paris was signed to end the war of rebellion between England and the New England colonies that English pioneers created in the undeveloped wilderness centuries earlier.

1820: Czar Nicholas of Russia claimed all territory from Alaska to Oregon, closing all Alaskan waters to foreigners. Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. in 1867. The territory became the 49th U.S. state in 1959.

1886: After 30 years of fighting to defend his native ancestral homeland, to stop the further genocide of native Americans, Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to U.S. troops in Arizona, thereby ending the last major "Indian" war (early explorers from Europe thought that they had arrived in India, and so they incorrectly called the Americans "Indians").

1888: George Eastman patented the first roll-film camera and registered the "Kodak" trademark. Film cameras became obsolete in the late 20th century with the invention of digital photography.

1957: Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus mobilized his National Guard to prevent black students from attending Central High School.

1957: Ford started selling the Edsel, a medium-priced luxury car named after Henry Ford's son. The car proved to be so unpopular that it was discontinued 2 years later, in 1959. Edsels have since become valuable to collectors and museums.

1976: Viking II landed on Mars and transmitted the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.

1984: Brian Mulroney led the Conservative party to the largest victory ever won by a federal party in Canada; 212 out of 282 seats, defeating the Liberals under incumbent Prime Minister John Turner and the NDP (the "New Democratic Party," an even more liberal wing of the Liberal Party) under Ed Broadbent. Prime Minister Mulroney also defeated Turner and Broadbent in the election 4 years later.

1985: The first fullerene (an allotrope of carbon in which the atoms form ball-like structures) molecule of carbon was discovered. It was given the name Buckminsterfullerene.

1998: The Internet search Google was founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

2010: The Canterbury earthquake. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused widespread damage on the South Island of New Zealand.


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