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Wednesday, July 29 2015
Isaiah 41: The Time-Telescope View of Cyrus of Persia
"Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb ... 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"
Light travels at about 186,000 miles per second. Although that is very fast, light nevertheless takes time to travel from place to place in the vastness of the universe (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?). Telescopes (or one's own eyes alone when they can see things that are bright enough to not require a telescope) don't merely look out into space - they look back into time. They see objects as they appeared when the image left its source, however many years ago that it took the light to travel to its destination.
The Sun (absolutely never look at the Sun without the proper equipment and training), which is 93 million miles from Earth, is seen, on Earth, as it appeared 8 minutes ago. The closest stars to Earth (after the Sun), the binary system Alpha and Proxima Centuri, are seen as they appeared 4 years ago because they are 4 "light years" away.
Most stars within the galaxy (that some call the "Milky Way") are hundreds, or hundreds of thousands, of light years away. Other galaxies are much farther. The photograph below of the Andromeda Galaxy (which contains over 500 billion stars) shows how the galaxy looked over 2 million years ago because it is over 2 million light years away from Earth (the foreground stars are in our own galaxy, which we must look through, like raindrops on a window, to see other galaxies).
As well, how and when an object appears depends on the position of the person viewing it. Someone half-way to the Sun would see the Sun as it appeared 4 minutes ago, while someone on Earth sees it as it appeared 8 minutes ago. Someone half-way to the Andromeda Galaxy would see it as it appeared over 1 million years ago, while someone on Earth sees it as it appeared over 2 million years ago.
The prophets of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God), from their different vantage points in time, were given to see, by a similar principle, the same events in human history from a differential in time.
Cyrus was a great king of ancient Persia (Persia has been known since the 1930s as Iran). The prophet Daniel, who was one of the exiles of Judah who were taken away to Babylon (see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile), lived in the kingdom of Cyrus after the Babylonian Empire fell to the rising Persian Empire - which was prophesied by Daniel in the famous "hand writing on the wall" incident (i.e. it wasn't merely handwriting on the wall, it was a hand writing on the wall; see The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall). Daniel's recorded prophecies then continued through the reigns of the Medes and Persians (see The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies) as it had during the reign of the Babylonians.
"5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. 5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote." (Daniel 5:1-5 KJV)
Daniel came to know Cyrus in the time that Cyrus lived and reigned. Other prophets however were given to know of Cyrus, by name, before Cyrus was even born. The prophet Jeremiah spent 40 years delivering the LORD's warning to Judah to repent. When they refused, Jeremiah was then given to prophesy of their national return 70 years later - during the reign of then-unborn Cyrus (see Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon).
"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.
The beginning of the ministry of Jeremiah was about 40 years before the ministry of Daniel, before Daniel was born - yet both knew about Cyrus. Further, while Jeremiah knew about the coming of Cyrus before Cyrus was born, another prophet, Isaiah, whose ministry was about 100 years before Jeremiah, knew about Cyrus, by name, before Jeremiah was even born too: "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb ... 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" (see Ezra 1: The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia).
"44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; 44:26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: 44:27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: 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 44:24-28 KJV)
The LORD gave Isaiah more detail about the future Persian king, by name.
"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)
It is within that context, of a few chapters later, that Isaiah first wrote of what Cyrus would be given to do when his time arrived.
"41:1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
Fact Finder: What was the purpose of the LORD's true prophets?
This Day In History, July 29
238: As the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars; see also The Rise Of The Malignant Beast) continued to unravel, the Praetorian Guard (the supposed bodyguards of the Roman Emperors) executed the co-Emperors Pupienus and Balbinus in Rome. Gordian III, at age 13, was proclaimed Emperor. The original Roman Empire was superseded by Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
904: Saracen raiders sacked Thessalonica (known in the Holy Bible from the epistles to the Thessalonians; see also 1 Thessalonians: Prove All Things, Hold Fast What Is Good and 2 Thessalonians: The Falling Away Of The Son Of Perdition), which at the time was the Byzantine Empire's second-largest city (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1030: Olaf II was killed at the battle of Stiklestad while attempting to recover his Norwegian throne from the Danes.
1148: The Siege of Damascus ended with a decisive crusader defeat which led to the disintegration of the Second Crusade (see also Damascus In History And Prophecy).
1565: Mary Queen of Scots married Henry Stuart at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1567: James VI was crowned King of Scotland.
1588: During the Anglo-Spanish War, the Battle of Gravelines. English naval forces under the command of Charles Howard and Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France.
1715: Ten Spanish treasure galleons were sunk off the Florida coast by a hurricane.
1793: John Graves Simcoe began the construction of a fort and settlement in a bay on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is known today as the Canadian city of Toronto.
1830: Charles X of France abdicated.
1848: Hopes of a nationalist uprising in Ireland were dashed when an insurrection at Tipperary led by William Smith O'Brien failed.
1900: King Umberto I of Italy was assassinated at Monza by anarchist Gaetano Bresci.
1914: Austria-Hungary bombarded Belgrade, Serbia; the first military action of the First World War.
1921: Adolf Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, later known by the abbreviation "Nazi." Hitler was later elected as the leader of Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion)
1930: The airship R100 set out on its first passenger-carrying flight from England to Canada.
1947: Three Jewish terrorists were hung by the British for an attack on the Acre prison that freed 251 convicted criminals, including murderers. In response, Jewish resistance leader Menachem Begin (a future Prime Minister of Israel) ordered the hanging of 2 British hostages, Army Sergeants Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice, the same day. The action set off anti-Jewish riots across Britain, the first in Britain since the 13th century. See A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate to understand that the present-day state of Israel, which is actually Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah), came into existence because the British freed "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Hebrew word "Philistine"; see also Where Is Palestine?) from centuries of control and occupation by Muslim forces.
1948: The first Olympic Games after World War II opened in London at Wembley Stadium.
1957: The International Atomic Energy Agency was established.
1968: Pope Paul VI, in an encyclical entitled Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), declared that any artificial forms of birth control were prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church.
1973: Greeks voted to abolish their monarchy.
1987: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain and President Francois Mitterrand of France signed an agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel, later known as the Eurotunnel.
1996: China carried out a nuclear explosion at its Lop Nor nuclear testing ground. It measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
2005: Astronomers announced the discovery of the dwarf planet that they named Eris. Although many scientists claim to reject religion, they nevertheless routinely name scientific discoveries and programs after their favorite pagan gods and idols.