Cyrus King of Persia

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Thousand Hills, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    Here are a couple of passages I'd like some thoughts on, from both the Calvinist and Non-Cal points of view. Thank You!

    Ezra 1: 1 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,2 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. 3 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. 4 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.5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered. 7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.

    Isaiah 45:1 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed,To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: 2 ‘ I will go before you And make the crooked places[a] straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’
     
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    I do not know if Cyrus is among the elect of God.
    Perhaps he is, more than likely he is not.
    But Cyrus ruled at the time of the captivity of God's people, national Israel, who is a picture of the true Israel, and God, who is the God of History and who has the hearts of kings in His hands, was moving in favor of His elect people, to free them and to have His house built in Jerusalem.
    I am not a history buff, but I understand from those who are that the capture of Babylon itself was a very remarkable event, in that certain things were in place that normally would not have been, such as security in the palace being lax.
    This same God of the Old Testament who came in human form in the New Testament still has the heart of kings in His hands, and while the unbelieving ruler thinks he has power, where God's people are concerned God will move events in their favor anywhere, because this God does not change and His purposes will stand.
     
  3. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    These verses are consistent with the rest of the Bible on this matter.

    God is in full control of ALL things at all times and though men may do what they do for wicked purposes, God ordains those same deeds for the most glorious of purposes.

    Prov 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.

    Exodus 4:21, "And the Lord said to Moses, 'When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go."
    See also Exodus 7:3; 9:12; 10:1; 11:10; 14:4 where God hardens Pharaoh's heart.

    Exodus 8:32, "But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go."
    Exodus 14:17, "And as for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen."

    Deut. 2:30, "But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today."

    2 Chron. 25:20, "But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom."

    Isaiah 6:10, "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed."

    Rom. 9:18, "So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires."



    The fact of the matter is that...

    Ps 103:19
    The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.

    and...

    Ps 115:3
    Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.
     
  4. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    Thank you both, I had underlined a couple of phrases I thought interesting. In the Ezra passage it talked about God "stirring up the spirit" of the King, how did he do this?, and then in the Isaiah passage "though you have not known me". Maybe, I'm trying to read too much into it.

    Also, Luke you mentioned the Exodus passage about Pharaoh, and the other two Sihon king of Heshbon and Amaziah (not familar with these) but what other examples are there of God using earthly rulers/kings to achieve his plan, where he's clearly made himself known to them.
    Pilate? - washed his hands
    King Agrippa? - almost persuaded
     

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