DAY 282- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXILE
Reading: 2 Chronicles 36: 22, 23
Amazingly, Cyrus did go on to accomplish everything that was prophesied concerning him, even though he did not “know” God (Isaiah 45:4, 5). In other words, though he was a pagan in sentiment and practice, yet, as a tool in the hands of the Lord, he would contribute mightily to the Jewish cause, and so, indirectly, to the coming of God’s greater Anointed, Jesus of Nazareth.
The fulfillment of these plain and specific predictions is set forth in 2 Chronicles 36:22, 23 and Ezra 1:1-4, 7, 8; 3:7; 4:3. But it’s not just the Bible that speaks of these events.
Josephus, the Jewish historian, stated that the Jews in Babylonian captivity showed Cyrus the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures that contained his name and described his role in the scheme of God. The historian says that it was this circumstance that motivated the ruler “to fulfill what was written” (Antiquities of the Jews 11.1.2), and thus to issue his edict permitting Israel’s return to her homeland.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, an unlikely source, acknowledges that “in 538 [B.C.] Cyrus granted to the Jews, whom Nebuchadressar had transported to Babylonia, the return to Palestine and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple” (1958, 940).
Excavations at Babylon (1879 – 1882) led to the discovery of a clay barrel, known as the Cyrus Cylinder, which contained a marvelous historical confirmation of the biblical narrative. It portrays the benevolent policies of Cyrus in the following fashion: “All of their peoples I gathered together and restored to their dwelling-places” (see Price 1902, 234).
Predictive prophecy is compelling evidence for the Divine origin of the Holy Scriptures. You are meant to be greatly strengthened in your faith in the Word as you read of these events and the way they transpired.
Father God, who was and is and is to come, You dwell in eternity and are master of everything, from start to finish.
FOR THE FAMILY
Watch this video
Then explain what the Bible says about Cyrus