4 Dec. Isaiah 45:1-7,13-17

4 Dec. Isaiah proclaims King Cyrus as the saviour of the Jews

“This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his appointed king: ‘I hold your right hand and will help you defeat nations and take away other kings’ power. I will open doors for you so city gates will not stop you. I will go before you and make the mountains flat.’”

“’I will break down the bronze gates of the cities and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the wealth that is stored away and the hidden riches so you will know I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name. I do these things for my servants, the people of Jacob, and for my chosen people, the Israelites.’”

“’Cyrus, I call you by name, and I give you a title of honour even though you don’t know me. I am the LORD. There is no other God; I am the only God. I will make you strong, even though you don’t know me, so that everyone will know there is no other God.’”

“From the east to the west they will know I alone am the LORD. I made the light and the darkness. I bring peace and I cause troubles. I, the LORD, do all these things…’”

“’I will bring Cyrus to do good things, and I will make his work easy. He will rebuild my city and set my people free without any payment or reward. The LORD All-powerful says this.’”

“The LORD says, ‘The goods made in Egypt and Cush and the tall people of Seba will come to you and will become yours. The Sabeans will walk behind you, coming along in chains. They will bow down before you and pray to you, saying, “God is with you, and there is no other God.”’”

“God and Saviour of Israel, you are a God that people cannot see. All the people who make idols will be put to great shame; they will go off together in disgrace. But Israel will be saved by the LORD, and that salvation will continue for ever. Never again will Israel be put to shame.”

            (Isaiah 45:1-7,13-17)

 

 

Isaiah, writing to the Jewish exiles around the time of the defeat of Babylon in 539BC, declared that the LORD had chosen the conquering Persian king Cyrus to save the Jewish people from captivity in Babylonia. What is uncertain (and is hotly debated by Biblical scholars) is whether the author of Isaiah was writing before King Cyrus ordered the first group of Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem in 537BC (see Ezra 1:1-4) or whether he was writing after the event had occurred.

The author of the latter part of the Book of Isaiah stated that, although Cyrus, the King of Persia, did not acknowledge the one true God, the LORD would nevertheless use him to set the Jewish exiles in Babylonia free and send them to re-build Jerusalem. He said this would happen so that Cyrus and “everyone will know that there is no other God; I am the only God.” (Isaiah 45:6)

Isaiah says the LORD will give Cyrus “a title of honour” because “he will rebuild my city [Jerusalem] and set my people free without any payment or reward.” (Isaiah 45:4,13)

In the following chapters, Isaiah declares that the false gods of Babylonia are useless. "Bel and Nebo bow down. Their idols are carried by animals. The statues are only heavy loads that must be carried; they only make people tired." (Isaiah 46:1) And he repeats God’s promise to destroy Babylon: "You do evil things, but you feel safe and say, 'No one sees what I do.'... But troubles will come to you, and you will not know how to stop them." (Isaiah 47:10-11)

The photo (by Siamax) shows the statue of Cyrus the Great at the Olympic Park in Sydney.

You can read more from Isaiah Chapter 48 @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/40-isaiah-offers-comfort-to-those-in-exile/god-chooses-cyrus-to-save-his-people/


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