Cyrus was to have a profound effect on the history of the house of Israel and the world.One historian noted the significance of this man: “Cyrus the Great emerged in history in 559 as ruler of the little province of Anshan, a district in northwestern Elam just south of Media and east of the Zagros Mountains. When Cyrus revolted against his overlord Astyages, the Median army went over to him in a body, surrendering Astyages as prisoner.Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the Divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfil what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God, for that he would be their assistant, and that he would write to the rulers and governors that were in the neighbourhood of their country of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver for the building of the temple, and besides that, beasts for their sacrifices.” ( bk. Adam Clarke suggested: “It is very probable that when Cyrus took Babylon he found there, who had been long famed as one of the wisest ministers of state in all the East; and it is most likely that it was this person who pointed out to him the prophecy of Isaiah, and gave him those farther intimations relative to the Divine will which were revealed to himself” ( Elder Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the contributions of Cyrus: “King Cyrus lived more than five hundred years before Christ and figured in prophecies of the Old Testament mentioned in 2 Chronicles and the book of Ezra, and by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Daniel.
After conquering northern Mesopotamia he attacked and defeated the fabulously rich Croesus, king of Lydia, whose kingdom extended from the river Halys [in Turkey] to the Aegean Sea [in Greece]. “Returning in 539 , Cyrus advanced against Babylon, which opened its gates to him without a battle.
[According to Daniel, Belshazzar saw the handwriting on the wall telling him of the fall of Babylon the very night before Cyrus entered the city and brought an end to the Babylonian empire (see Daniel 5).] Indeed, [Cyrus] seems to have been welcomed by the populace as a friend and benefactor. “The fall of Babylon marked the end of Semitic world power.
If these peoples resisted their new masters, Nebuchadnezzar responded swiftly and savagely.
So fell Judah in 586 Though the Lord used the conquering empires as scourges in His hand to punish rebellious and backsliding Israel and Judah, once they had fulfilled their purpose they too came to a swift end.
Instead of tyrannizing over them and holding them in subjection by brute force, he treated his subjects with consideration and won them as his friends.
He was particularly considerate of the religions of conquered peoples. 348–49.) This revolution in policy was to have a profound effect on the history of the world and particularly on Jewish history, for when Cyrus marched into Babylon, the Jews were still in exile there.
Yet, within a few short decades, the Assyrian Empire had crumbled before the onslaught of the Babylonians.
Under Nebuchadnezzar Babylonia became a world empire, inheriting for the most part territories and peoples conquered by Assyria.
As long as the mighty stag in the forest is erect and strong, its enemies are held at bay. East and north of the Persian Gulf, two nations were coming to power: the Medes and the Persians.