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20 The survivors were taken to Babylonia as prisoners, where they were slaves of the king and his sons, until Persia became a powerful nation.

21 Judah was an empty desert, and it stayed that way for seventy years, to make up for all the years it was not allowed to rest.[a] These things happened just as Jeremiah the Lord’s prophet had said.[b]

Cyrus Lets the Jews Return Home

22 In the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia,[c] the Lord had Cyrus send a message to all parts of his kingdom. This happened just as Jeremiah the Lord’s prophet had promised.

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Footnotes

  1. 36.21 rest: According to Leviticus 25.1-7, the land was supposed to rest every seventh year.
  2. 36.21 Jeremiah. . . said: Jeremiah 25.11,12; 29.10. According to the Law, the people had to allow the land to rest one out of every seven years (see Leviticus 25.1-7).
  3. 36.22 the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia: Probably 538 B.C., when Cyrus captured Babylonia. He had actually ruled Persia since 549 B.C.

20 He carried into exile(A) to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants(B) to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests;(C) all the time of its desolation it rested,(D) until the seventy years(E) were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.

22 In the first year of Cyrus(F) king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

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