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 Cyrus As A Potential Messiah In Isaiah's Prophecies

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CHAPTER 45 Jun. 21 
The Lord Appoints Cyrus
Thus says Yahweh to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him, and strip kings of their armour; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut: 2I will go before you, and make the rough places smooth. I will break the doors of brass in pieces, and cut apart the bars of iron. 3I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, Yahweh, who call you by your name, even the God of Israel. 4For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known Me. 5I am Yahweh, and there is none else. Besides Me, there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me; 6that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides Me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else. 7I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Yahweh, who does all these things. 8Distil, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up with it. I, Yahweh, have created it.
Yahweh’s Supremacy 
9Woe to him who strives with his Maker— a clay pot among the clay pots of the earth! Shall the clay ask Him who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’ or your work, ‘He has no hands?’. 10Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What have you become the father of?’ or to a mother, ‘To what have you given birth?’ 11Thus says Yahweh the Maker and Holy One of Israel: You can ask Me about the things that are to come, concerning My sons, and you command Me concerning the work of My hands! 12I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army. 13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways. He shall build My city, and he shall let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward, says Yahweh of Armies. 14Thus says Yahweh: The labour of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours. They will go after you. They shall come over in chains and they will bow down to you. They will make supplication to you: ‘Surely God is in you; and there is none else. There is no other god. 15Most certainly You are a God who has hidden Yourself, God of Israel, the Saviour’. 16They will be disappointed, yes, confounded, all of them. Those who are makers of idols will go into confusion together. 17Israel will be saved by Yahweh with an everlasting salvation. You will not be disappointed nor confounded to ages everlasting. 18For thus says Yahweh who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn’t create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am Yahweh; and there is no other. 19I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness. I didn’t say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’. I, Yahweh, speak righteousness. I declare things that are right. 20Assemble yourselves and come. Draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. Those have no knowledge who carry the wood of their engraved image, and pray to a god that can’t save. 21Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven’t I, Yahweh? There is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Saviour; There is no one besides Me. 22Look to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 23I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness and will not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. 24They will say of Me, ‘There is righteousness and strength only in Yahweh’. Even to Him shall men come; and all those who were incensed against Him shall be disappointed. 25In Yahweh shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.


45:5-7 Of especially significant influence upon Judaism were the Persian views of Zoroastrianism. This was a philosophy which began in Persia about 600 B.C., and was growing in popularity when Judah went to Babylon / Persia in captivity. This philosophy taught that there was a good god of light (Mazda) and an evil god of darkness (Ahriman). Is. 45:5–7 is a clear warning to the Jews in captivity not to buy into this – Israel’s Godalone made the light and the darkness, the good and the calamity or “evil”. The Jews were influenced by the Zoroastrian idea that somehow God Himself would never cause evil in our lives – and therefore, God is to be seen as somehow distanced from all good or evil actions, as these are under the control of the good and evil gods. The fact is, God personally is passionately involved with this world and with our lives; and so it is He who brings about the dark and the light, good and evil. “In pre-exilic Hebrew religion, Yahweh made all that was in heaven and earth, both of good and of evil. The Devil did not exist”. During their captivity in Babylon, the Jews shifted towards understanding that there was actually a separate entity responsible for disaster. Hence Isaiah 45:5–8 warns them not to adopt the views of Babylon in this area, but to remain firm in their faith that God, their God, the God of Israel, the one and only Yahweh, was the ultimate source of all things, both positive and negative, having no equal or competitor in Heaven. This becomes a frequent theme of Isaiah and other prophets who wrote in the context of Israel in captivity. The Jews of course were monotheists, and these ideas were developed in order to allow them to believe in both one God, and yet also the dualistic, god of evil / god of good idea of the Persians. It was in this period that the Jews fell in love with the idea of sinful Angels, even though the Old Testament knows nothing of them. They didn’t want to compromise their monotheism by saying there was more than one God; and so they set up the ‘evil god’ as in fact a very powerful, sinful Angel. And this wrong notion was picked up by early Christians equally eager to accommodate the surrounding pagan ideas about evil.
45:18 This verse is proof enough that God won’t allow the world to be destroyed- He has a glorious purpose with it.
45:20-24 These words are quoted in Phil. 2:9-11 in description of the believer’s response to the suffering Saviour. And yet they are quoted again in Rom. 14:10-12 regarding our confession of sin before the Lord at judgment day. The connections mean simply this: before the Lord’s cross, we bow our knee and confess our failures, knowing the imputation of His righteousness, in anticipation of how we will bow before Him and give our miserable account at the judgment. And both processes are wonderfully natural. We must simply allow the power of a true faith in His cross to work out its own way in us. At the judgment, no flesh will glory in himself, but only in the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 1:29). And even now, we glory in His cross (Gal. 6:14).