The Prophecy About Cyrus
The prophet Isaiah gave a prophecy, which predicted Cyrus would liberate the Jews. The prophet wrote, “… Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited’ …Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ and I will raise up her waste places … to the deep, ‘Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers’ … Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure… Jerusalem, “You shall be built” … the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid” (Isaiah 44:26-28).
God predicted the restoration of Jerusalem a century and more before it was seized by Nebuchadnezzar and its inhabitants taken captive. This prophecy is a contrast to the prophecy regarding the city of Babylon, that it would be destroyed as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:19, 20).
This amazing prophecy records Cyrus name, a century and a half before his rule. And it predicts the outstanding role he was to play in the freedom of the Jews. The historian Josephus (Antiquities xi. 1) says that Isaiah 44 was shown to Cyrus soon after Babylon’s fall. And it is logical to believe that Daniel is the person who told the king about it. Cyrus must have been surprised to know that a Jewish prophecy named him, talked about his seizure of Babylon, and foretold of his plan to free the Jews. And was given a century and a half before his birth.
The words “the deep” in verse 27 is a prophecy about Cyrus’ redirecting the waters of the Euphrates. He directed the river out of its course so that his army would march into Babylon. The prophet Jeremiah gave a similar prophecy concerning the fall of Babylon. He compared it to the drying up of the river Euphrates (Jeremiah 50:38; 51:36). Soon after seizing Babylon, Cyrus made a law that allowed the captive Jews to go back to their homeland. And He decreed that they may rebuild the Temple (2 Chronicles 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1–4).
In conquering Babylon and saving the Jews, Cyrus did for the nation of Israel what Christ will do for all His children at the end. For at that time, He will overcome mystical Babylon and liberate His faithful ones from her rule. John wrote, “Babylon the great is fallen…And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:2–4, 20 also 19:1, 2).
As the faithful of God’s children before came out of literal Babylon in order that they might return to Jerusalem, so God’s people today are called out of mystical Babylon (Revelation 14:8). The faithful will hear God’s voice and will get ready to enter the New Jerusalem (Matthew 7:21–27; John 10:4, 5).
In His service,