A clay cylinder covered in cuneiform script was discovered in the ruins of Babylon (modern-day Iraq) in 1879. It is about 9 inches long by 4 inches thick. The script describes, in part, how Cyrus (king of Persia) was victorious over the Babylonians. The biblical prophet Isaiah had written about this long before by revelation from God. (Isaiah 45:1,4, NKJV) “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut…For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.” Cyrus was identified by Isaiah 150 years before his birth as God’s tool. The Medo-Persian empire had not even risen to be a world power at this time. He would conquer Babylon and secure the release of Israel from bondage. He would issue a decree that the Jews return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city. Some historians claim Cyrus did this when he was made aware of the Hebrew prophecy mentioning him by name. “[God] Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 44:28, NKJV). The discovery of this cylinder backs up historical accounts of Babylon’s destruction. It also proves how amazingly accurate the Bible is not only in historical records, but also in predictive prophecy. God knew that Cyrus would be raised up by His hand to both punish Babylon and bless Israel as they returned to Jerusalem. Cyrus no doubt was impressed by hearing his name and future written down in the holy scriptures of the Hebrews. We should be no less impressed today.
Posted by: Rob Lester | March 21, 2011