Tuesday, May 27, 2014

34. Dan 1:21 Daniel remained until 1st year of King Cyrus

Daniel Chapter 1 ends with these words:  And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

2 Chronicle 36:22-23 ends the book of history with these words:  In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, Yahweh moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may Yahweh their God be with them.’”

Daniel was there throughout the 70 years of captivity and was present even in the court of Cyrus when Cyrus liberated the people to return home to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. What a glorious moment that is!

It is obvious that Daniel plays a vital role during Cyrus' reign
  • Daniel had read what Jeremiah had prophesied about the "70 years of captivity". 
  • Daniel Chapter 1 begins with 605 BC when Daniel  was carried off as a slave by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon.
  • By the time of Cyrus reign, Daniel realized that the 70 years of captivity was coming to an end.
  • Daniel would have laid before Cyrus about the prophecy of Jeremiah that at the end of 70 years, the people would return to Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 29:10, "For thus says Yahweh: When 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

  • Daniel would have laid before Cyrus about the prophecies spoken through Isaiah that the people would return to Jerusalem.  
Isaiah 44:28, "who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,  and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’

Can you  picture Daniel at an old age in his late 80's talking to Cyrus about these prophecies?
  • Imagine - Isaiah was ministering in the 8th Century BC (740 BC - 701 BC).  157 years before Cyrus was born, Isaiah had  a prophecy containing this monarch's name.
  • Surely, 157 years later, this heather ruler named Cyrus  came on the throne.
  • Cyrus decree was issued in 536 BC to let the exiles return to Jerusalem.

Cyrus is mentioned 23X in the Old Testament.

Isaiah refers to Cyrus as Yahweh's “shepherd” (Isa 44:28) and Yahweh's “anointed,” (Isa 45:1) who was providentially appointed to facilitate the divine plan.

Read Isaiah 45.  God would lead this monarch to “subdue nations” and “open doors”.  He would make “rough places smooth" to help the Hebrews to return to their homeland.  

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.


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