Captivity restored: King Cyrus, my shepherd

October 19, 2020

By Editorial Team

Cyrus Tomb in Pasargadae, Iran

"Thus says the LORD, thy Redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, That says of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shalt be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid" Isaiah 44:28

"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; I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron" Isaiah 45: 1,2

"That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. Daniel 5:20. This Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, in the reign of Cyrus the Persian" Daniel 6:28

"The Messiah (Jesus) shall be cut off (die for our sins), but not for his sins" Daniel 9:26

Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords. A royal party was going on with the king’s wives, concubines, his courtiers all drinking wine out of the vessels that his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar brought out of the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Basically, they were mocking the Living God, while admiring the gods of gold and silver. God’s anger was provoked and a man’s hand came and wrote on the wall, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. The party froze, King and courtiers became very afraid at this supernatural event.

The King summoned all his courtiers, who could not interpret the writing, but Daniel gave the interpretation, and told Belshazzar, his kingdom had come to an end and God was giving it to the Medo-Persians. That very night Cyrus’ armies led by his general Darius (Gubaru) enter Babylon. After having laid siege to the city and finding no way in, they divert the waters of the river Euphrates into a canal so that the water level dropped "to the height of the middle of a man's thigh," which allowed the invading forces to march directly (at night) through the river bed straight into the city. Thus, without a fight in the stealth of the night they entered into Babylon, killed Belshazzar and took the Kingdom. Babylon, thus fell in 539 B.C.

Isaiah spoke this prophecy about Cyrus, about 150 years, before these events, i.e., about a hundred years before Cyrus birth. What a remarkable God we serve, who names people and anoints them to bring about his purposes on earth – Restoration of society and Revival of the Church. Babylon was overthrown exactly as spoken of in Isaiah 45:1-3. This Cyrus then issued a decree allowing the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple!

Isaiah (chapters) 45-48, Jeremiah (chap) 50, 51 speak about the fall of Babylon. Jeremiah (chap) 29-32 speaks of Restoration and the famous Psalm 126 was written as a Thanksgiving to God, when the Jews were allowed to go home. Cyrus edict is written for us in Ezra 1. See how beautifully the Bible chronicles history.

Cyrus Cylinder in British Museum

Daniel was the one who prayed for restoration of captivity sincerely (Daniel 9:1-4). Daniel 9, is a Prayer of Intercession, worth reading. In this chapter, Daniel also speaks of Jesus death for our sins. He was in his 80’s or 90’s then, served as a Prime Minister under Cyrus the Great. He explained this prophecy to him, and made Cyrus release an edict, bringing about the return of the captivity. This teenage boy who came as a captive to Babylon, prayed his life through till he saw Jews restored and go back to Jerusalem. Cyrus cylinder, in the British Museum, shows us that Cyrus was a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced peoples and restored temples across his Kingdom.

It is very interesting to note that when Donald Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli PM) called him a modern-day Cyrus. Clearly God is using Trump, to stand with the Church and rebuild US as a nation and also support Jerusalem. Even as the US goes to elections in two weeks, will you pray for a godly regime to come. Pray for your own city and nation too! Your prayers make a difference as Daniel 9, shows!

Hinges of history move on the knees of praying men & women, will you be one ?

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