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Cyrus Lets the Jews Return Home

Years ago the Lord sent Jeremiah with a message about a promise[a] for the people of Israel. Then in the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia,[b] the Lord kept his promise by having Cyrus send this official message to all parts of his kingdom:

2-3 I am King Cyrus of Persia.

The Lord God of heaven, who is also the God of Israel, has made me the ruler of all nations on earth. And he has chosen me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. The Lord God will watch over and encourage any of his people who want to go back to Jerusalem and help build the temple.

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Footnotes

  1. 1.1 a promise: That the people of Israel would be set free from Babylonia after seventy years (see Jeremiah 25.11; 29.10).
  2. 1.1 the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia: Probably 539 B.C., when Cyrus captured Babylonia. He had actually ruled Persia since 549 B.C.