Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 539 B.C. Cyrus conquered Babylon.

October 539 B.C. Cyrus conquered Babylon. He reigned over Persia from 550-530. The same words of Ezra 1 parallel the closing words of 2 Chronicles.  In Ezra, the history of redemption continues. Jeremiah had prophesied 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Jer. 25.11-12; 29.10).  From 605 B.C. when the captives were first deported to 538 when Cyrus issued his decree to return is 67 years. There may have been preliminary deportations before 605 three to four years earlier.  The phrase below shows the main theme of the book of Ezra: God sovereignly works through responsible, believing and committed covenant peoples to accomplish His redemptive plan (6.22; 7.27).  In the words of Proverbs 21.1, in application to the King of Persia and Babylon, “The king’s hear it is the hands of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” 
Ezra 1.1-4:  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.”

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