CYRUS – King of Persia

Compiled by WD Kemner



In the same manner that Nebuchadnezzar was destined by God to begin the chastising of the Jews by taking them into captivity; Cyrus was chosen by God as well.  Cyrus was identified in Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-4 by NAME.  This was 175 years before he was born. It states that Cyrus would be the one to allow the Jewish temple to be rebuilt!


His name is referenced often by Biblical writers to establish the time of an event taking place. For example: “in the third year of the reign of King Cyrus”


In Ezra 3-6 – The Jews are rebuilding Jerusalem and Cyrus is referenced throughout those chapters as the one issuing the decree that allows them to do so.


This study intends to address other locations in scriptures where his name also appears.  Cyrus, either by name or other means does appear frequently.


The first mention is in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra Chapter 1.


This details the proclamation being written by Cyrus to allow the Jews to return home from captivity and returns the temple vessels back to the Jews.



References in Book of Daniel


Daniel served under the reigns of Babylonian kings from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus the Persian.


Daniel 1:21; 6:28 – Daniel continued to be of influence from the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius until King Cyrus


Daniel 10:1 – Daniel’s 4th vision takes place during the 3rd year of Cyrus reign.



References in Book of Isaiah


The Book of Isaiah contains a lot of information regarding King Cyrus of Persia. 


Beginning in Isaiah Chapter 41:


Verses 1-3 - He is called “the righteous man from the east”. He does what God says and honors it.


Verses 4-7 - The nations around Israel attempt to create a union to be able to withstand the conquering armies of Cyrus.


Verse 25 – God declares that he “raised up” Cyrus for this purpose. He states from the “north”, as that is where he invades that area from out of the north. He will have freewill over nations as he conquers.


Isaiah 44:28 – God calls Cyrus His “shepherd”.  Declaring that Cyrus will rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundation for the temple.


Isaiah 45:1-6, 13-14 – The Call and Mission of Cyrus


·         Cyrus is called God’s “anointed”.

·         God called Cyrus.

·         God gave Cyrus his name.

·         God acknowledges that Cyrus is righteous even without Cyrus having “known” God.

·         God will allow nations to be subdued by Cyrus. Going before him to open gates and bring treasures of those nations to his hands.

·         God will direct Cyrus paths.

·         Cyrus will rebuild Jerusalem.

·         Cyrus will release the Jews out of Captivity in Babylon


Isaiah 46:11


Cyrus is referred to as a “ravenous bird”. Destruction left behind as a King on a warpath.



Isaiah 48:14-15 – God has called Cyrus and made his way prosperous.



Additional Resources



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There are further possible Biblical connections to Cyrus.  There are three separate scrolls that have been found that deal with the lineages of the kings in Daniel and Ezra. See further details below.


These show the possible connection between the Book of Esther and these Kings. Queen Esther (of the book of Esther) was married to a king named Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.  This “name” is a transliteration.  Who was this king?  Attempting to identify him with what records still remain is difficult.  The name has been linked to the names of “Astyages” and “Darius the Mede” of Daniel 5.


It is a possibility (not scriptural or any proven evidence) that Queen Esther WAS mother to a child named Cyrus. If this would be the case, that sheds far more meaning to what Mordecai says to Esther regarding “…God putting you in place for such a time as this…”


The name can be studied more deeply elsewhere.




For further study on the scrolls mentioned above see the following links at external websites:


Rock of Behistun – an ancient description unearthed.  In it; Darius details his exploits for two years and gives his own genealogy.

This is all carved into a mountainside.


The Rock of Behistûn


Behistun, Persian Text



Cylinder of Cyrus – a cylinder with inscriptions of Cyrus taking the Babylonian capital and his own listing of his genealogy


Cylinder at British Museum


World History Encyclopedia


Livius org - The Cyrus Cylinder



History of Herodotus – an early historian can be found at the following website


Herodotus Histories