1:3 Cyrus treated Israel in the same way as his other subject peoples. His purpose was to enlist the gods of these peoples in his own service (note the motivation of Darius in 6:10 and of Artaxerxes in 7:23). The Lord’s controlling purpose, however, is to continue the progress of redemption.
of all His people. Cyrus’s commission is directed to all the people, not the leaders, expressing a major theme of the book (Introduction: Characteristics and Themes): the people of God as a whole are vital to the accomplishing of God’s redemptive plan.