God . . . Cyrus. The same word is used for the command of God and the decrees of the Persian kings. God’s sovereign decree does not negate human responsibility, but rather establishes it. The reference to Artaxerxes may seem to be out of place, since the temple proper was completed before he became king. However, the temple is not explicitly mentioned in the Aramaic text of v. 14, so the reference could be a preview to the finishing of the rebuilding of the entire “house of God,” including the community and the wall that were rebuilt under the authority of Artaxerxes (7:11–26; Neh. 2:1, 8).