“Thus says Cyrus king of Perisa, the LORD..has given me all the kingdoms of the Earth..”
2 Chronicles 36: 22

Reading: 2 Chronicles 36: 22, 23; Ezra 1: 1-4

When the time came, Cyrus was indeed God’s instrument, issuing a remarkable decree, freeing the Jews to return to their land. The decree to return to the land is found in two places in the Bible, as indicated by our readings for today. 

Remember that Judah fell to the nation of Babylon, but Babylon was destroyed by Medo/Persia in 539 BC (Daniel 5). Thus, when the Jews return to Judah, they do so under the authority of the Persians. 

The Babylonians and the Persians had very different policies when it came to conquered nations. The Babylonians, like the Assyrians before them, practiced a policy of expatriation, where they would remove people from their native lands and place them throughout the rest of the empire in order to avoid an organized resistance. The Persians, however, had a contrasting policy of repatriation, which was the concept of replacing people back into their native lands to gain their loyalty. This policy of repatriation was offered to many people groups, not just the Jews. 

Repatriation was granted by decree from the king. Thus, Cyrus king of Persia, upon conquering the Babylonian empire, began to repatriate the various lands with their native peoples. The Jews were commissioned to return to the land of Israel, essentially the southern area of Judah, for the purpose of repopulating the area and rebuilding their temple to God.  

It’s always amazing to me how God is willing to remain virtually hidden, behind the scenes, even though He is the master of history. 


I worship You Almighty God. 


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Summary of exile