‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“The Lord, 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 to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.” ’ ”
- Ezra 1:1-3
551-538 BC, Cyrus Conquerors Babylon and Sends the Jews Home
The same year, 538 BC, that Darius appoints 120 satraps to rule the kingdom with three administrators over them and Daniel over all of them, his partner in ruling, Emperor Cyrus, issues decree for the Jews to return and rebuild their Temple to the Lord in Jerusalem. It has been almost 70 years since Daniel was taken captive in 605 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. And, the Jews are getting ready to return and rebuild according to Jeremiah's prophecy. (Jeremiah 29:10)
- Cyrus captures Astyages, the king of the Medes. Cyrus and Darius
begin the empire of the Medes and the Persians.
- Egypt, Persia and Media resume good relations.
- Medes cross the Tigris and overrun eastern Babylon.
- Elamites overrun southern Babylonia.
These events will take place 220 years in the future.
- Nabonidus flees Babylon and goes 11 miles south to Borsippa, the site of the famous ziggurat which still stands today and is identified in the Talmud as the actual Tower of Babel.
- September, Cyrus defeats Babylon at Opis and Sippara. Only the double wall of the city of Babylon remains.
- October 10, Nabonidus marches against Cyrus, surrenders and flees back into his fortified city of Babylon.
- October 12, (Daniel 5) Belshazzar is having a drunken feast when the Lord writes on the plaster of the banquet hall wall: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin”.
Belshazzar’s mother Nitocris (Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter) hears the noise and enters the banquet hall and suggests that Belshazzar send for a man named Daniel.
Daniel interprets the writing to mean: "God has numbered your days, you have been weighted on teh scales and your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians."
The Persian military, under the leadership of Darius the Mede, enter Babylon that night, killing Belshazzar and taking over the city of Babylon.
- October 29, Cyrus enters Babylon himself. Cyrus is presented as a gracious libertor. Cyrus reverses the policies of the Assyrians and the Babylonians by sending the captured people back to their homelands.
- Daniel is 84 years old if he was taken captive at the age of 18 in 605
- Daniel prays the prayer in Daniel chapter 9 and receives a visit from Gabriel explaining the "seventy 'sevens' " (Daniel 9:24)
- Daniel may have shown Cyrus
- Isaiah 41:2-7, 25
- Josephus says Cyrus read these prophecies and an "earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was written."
- 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 says, "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word spoken by Jeremiah the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia, to make a proclamation throughout his realm..."
- The Jews are given permission to return to Jerusalem and other peoples are sent back to their homelands.
- Darius appoints 120 satraps to rule the kingdom with three administrators over them. One of the administrators is Daniel.
- Darius plans on putting Daniel over the whole kingdom (Daniel 6:3)
- King Darius is tricked into putting Daniel, age 85, into the lions den
- Cyrus allows any Jews to return and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
- The Cyrus Cylinder confirms the biblical account of Cyrus liberating the people after he conquered Babylon. See details:
Someone to Quote
Something to Ponder
◦ 2 Peter 1:16
◦ 1 John 1:1-3
◦ Luke 1:1-3
◦ Acts 1:1-3
◦ 1 Corinthians 15:6-8
◦ John 20:30-31
◦ Acts 10:39-42
◦ 1 Peter 5:1
◦ Acts 1:9
◦ Acts 2:22
◦ Acts 26:24-28
Here’s a Fact
Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away."
- Proverbs 6:32-33
New International Version (NIV)
Ahijah’s Prophecy Against Jeroboam
14 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, 2 and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people. 3 Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” 4 So Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.
Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age. 5 But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.”
6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I raised you up from among the people and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 8 I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.
10 “‘Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. 11 Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’
12 “As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the Lord, the God of Israel, has found anything good.
14 “The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam. Even now this is beginning to happen. 15 And the Lord will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the Lord’s anger by making Asherah poles. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”
17 Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and left and went to Tirzah. As soon as she stepped over the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 They buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, as the Lord had said through his servant the prophet Ahijah.
19 The other events of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel. 20 He reigned for twenty-two years and then rested with his ancestors. And Nadab his son succeeded him as king.
Rehoboam King of Judah
21 Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.
22 Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done. 23 They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.
25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26 He carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 28 Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards bore the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.
29 As for the other events of Rehoboam’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 30 There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 31 And Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. And Abijah his son succeeded him as king.
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Promise to David
17 After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.”
2 Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”
3 But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:
4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. 5 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another. 6 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
7 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth. 9 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 10 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies.
“‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”
15 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men.
18 “What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, 19 Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises.
20 “There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 21 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 22 You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
23 “And now, Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, 24 so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you.
25 “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. 27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.”