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Isaiah's "Cyrus"

"Cyrus" is Elamite for "shepherd" (cp Isa 44:28). His orig name was Agrodates. But Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd... all that came before me were thieves" (Joh 10:11,8), incl Cyrus!

Use of name of "Cyrus": How?

(1) Misguided rabbinical comment which has crept into text;

(2) Misreading of Heb for "God's workman", suggested by JWT;

(3) Deliberately inserted by Jews (ie political Zionists) to influence the real Cyrus into helping them back to their homeland [In just this way, Josephus unscrupulously sought to influence the Roman Vespasian -- by his own admission; other Jews similarly attempted to influence Gentile rulers -- see WIsa 396,397];


(4) "To Cyrus", by slight change = "to the heir, my shepherd" (WIsa 396).

All the prophecies of Isa 40-66 are built on Hezekiah and his times. The sudden insertion of one small section about Cyrus would be completely out of character and away from the main purpose of this part of the book: to use Hezekiah in order to foreshadow the Messiah.

All through Isa 40-53 "my servant" is another title for "Jacob-Israel" (eg, Isa 41:8; 44:1,2; 48:20; 49:3). This is evident also in two places (Isa 44:21; 45:4) in the section about "Cyrus". Is it reasonable that in the midst of all this, there is a sudden solitary reference to the pagan king and general as "my servant"?

It is now known for certain that Cyrus was not a monotheist, but an idolater (WIsa 394). In such a context (where idolaters are castigated so severely), is it reasonable that God would call the idolater Cyrus "my servant"?

The mandate given by Cyrus to the captive Jews in Babylon is introduced (Ezr 1:1-3) with a pointed allusion to relevant Jeremiah prophecies. But the Isaiah prophecy is given no mention!


"It is contrary to all analogy that Isaiah should have foretold the coming of Cyrus: incredible that any prophet, inspired to write the preceding paragraph (in Isa 44) ridiculing idolatry, should give to one, who boasted himself a worshiper of Merodach, the titles 'My Shepherd and Anointed'. It is almost incredible that scholars, who know the facts about Cyrus and believe the Spirit of the Holy One spoke through the prophets, should have acquiesced so long in the abominable insult to the most inspired of seers, which results from the Deutero-Isaiah hypothesis" (WA Wordsworth, cited WIsa 397,398).

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