Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
- Among the miracles of scripture, the prophecies of rebuilding Jerusalem is as miraculous as the crossing of the Red Sea:
- Cyrus is only one of two men who were called out BY NAME in scripture.
- The events of Cyrus conquering Babylon astounded both the Jews who knew the scriptures, and Cyrus when the Jews showed him the prophecies written about him. The details are breath taking in their fulfillment.
- The prophets were the writers of Isaiah, II Chronicles, Daniel, and of course Ezra.
- Read the details of Isaiah’s prophecies foretelling how Cyrus would conquer Babylon and their fulfillment in Daniel chapter 5.
- Furthermore; The totality of prophecies reach to the extant of end times. When Cyrus gives the command to rebuild Jerusalem it sets the stage for Nehemiah to receive the word for Daniel’s 70 weeks under Artaxerxes and Esther, the Queen.
End of the Babylonian Captivity
Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus (kôreš: ie the sun: possess thou the furnace) king of Persia, that the word of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
- Scriptural notes
- Jeremiah never mentioned Cyrus, nor did he mention the Persians although this is repeated, paralleling word for word II Chronicles 36:22.
- Jeremiah prophetically wrote there would be 70 yrs of captivity in Babylon. A portion of the 70 yrs was under Babylonian rule and a portion under the Persians. Jeremiah 25:11
- Timeline notes: To follow the fulfillment of the 70 years of captivity: See Timeline BC Scroll to dated years.
- From Isaiah’s prophecies:
- Cyrus fulfilled the prophecies concerning him Between 137 and 250 years after Isaiah’s prophecy
- The year Isaiah prophesied about Cyrus between 687 – 800 BC.
- The year Cyrus became king over the Jews 550 BC.
Ezra 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm) of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house (Temple) at Jerusalem which is in Judah (in Isaiah 44:28).
- Isaiah 44:28
Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’
Ezra 1:3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God (‘ĕlōhîm) be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm) of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem.
Ezra 1:4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God (‘ĕlōhîm) which is in Jerusalem.
Ezra 1:5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God (‘ĕlōhîm) had moved (stirred up), arose to go up and build the house of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) which is in Jerusalem.
Ezra 1:6 And all those who were around them encouraged them (Lit. strengthened their hands) with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.
Ezra 1:7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple (Lit. house) of his gods;
- Notice! Cyrus returned the articles to the house of the Lord but Belshazzar used these articles to serve those attending his great feast while worshiping idols.
This is the result of being weighed in the balances of God’s scales: Cyrus did God’s bidding whereas Belshazzar failed in spite of the fact that Belshazzar knew God had told his Grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, that the Jews were to be released after 70 years. When Belshazzar used the articles from the temple, he showed he had no intention of ever releasing them or returning the utensils.
Belshazzar’s sins were heavy.
Ezra 1:8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
Ezra 1:9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives,
Ezra 1:10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles.
Ezra 1:11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.
|30 Gold Platters|
|1,000 Silver Platters|
|30 gold basins|
|410 silver basins|
|1,000 other articles|
|TOTAL 5,400 articles of gold and silver|
- Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, (PLUS) his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them.