The future (2 Chr 36:22-36:23)

“In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the word of Yahweh spoken by Jeremiah, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia. Thus he sent a herald throughout his entire kingdom. He also declared it in a written edict. ‘Thus says King Cyrus of Persia. Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may Yahweh his God be with him! Let him go up!’”

This ending to 2 Chronicles is the same as the beginning of the Book of Ezra. This has led some to believe that it is the same author. It certainly fits in better there since this was considered the last book of the Hebrew bible. In fact, 2 Kings end on an unhappy note. This story seems to indicate that Cyrus was a nice guy. Immediately on taking over the Persian Empire he wanted a Temple built in Jerusalem. Actually, he is doing this because Yahweh stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus so that he would fulfill the words of the prophet Jeremiah. Thus King Cyrus issued an oral and written decree that Yahweh had given him all his power. Therefore Yahweh wanted a house in Jerusalem in Judah.   Anyone who wanted to go build the house for Yahweh in Jerusalem should be let go. This seems strange that the Persian King Cyrus should care about a Temple in Jerusalem.

 

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