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Isaiah 45:1

Isaiah 45:1

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus
Cyrus is called the Lord's anointed, not because he was anointed with material oil, as the kings of Israel and Judah were; but because he was appointed by the Lord to be a king, and was qualified by him for that office; and was raised up by him to be an instrument of doing great things in the world, and particularly of delivering the Jews from their captivity, and restoring them to their own land: whose right hand I have holden;
whom he raised up, supported, strengthened, guided, and directed to do what he did: to subdue nations before him;
which was accordingly done. Xenophon F25 relates, that he subdued the Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappadocians, both the countries of Phrygia, the Lydians, Carians, Phoenicians, and Babylonians; also the Bactrians, Indians, Cilicians, the Sacae, Paphlagonians, and Megadinians; likewise the Greeks that inhabit Asia, Cyprians and Egyptians. Herodotus F26 says, that he ruled over all Asia: all which the Lord subdued under him; for it was he that did it rather than Cyrus; it was he that clothed him with strength and courage, gave him skill in military affairs, and success and victory: I will loose the loins of kings;
as Croesus king of Lydia, and Belshazzar king of Babylon, by divesting them of their dignity, power, and government; and particularly this was true of the latter, when, by the handwriting on the wall, he was thrown into a panic; "and the joints of his loins were loosed", ( Daniel 5:6 ) , "to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut"; the gates of cities and palaces wherever he came, which were opened to receive him as their conqueror and sovereign; this was very remarkably true of the gates of the palace of the king of Babylon, when the army of Cyrus by a stratagem had got into the city, and were come up to the king's palace, they found the gates shut; but a clamour and noise being made, the king ordered to see what was the matter; the gates being opened for that purpose, the soldiers of Cyrus rushed in to the king, and slew him F1; but, what is more remarkable, the gates of brass, which shut up the descents from the keys to the river, were left open that night Babylon was taken, while the inhabitants were feasting and revelling; which, had they been shut {b}, would have defeated the enterprise of Cyrus; but God in his providence ordered it to be so.


FOOTNOTES:

F25 Cyropaedia, l. 1. p. 2.
F26 Clio, sive l. 1. c. 130.
F1 Cyropaedia, l. 7. c. 22, 23.
F2 Herodot. l. 1. c. 191.
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