|The Cyrus Cylinder|
Brand, Chad et al., eds. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
2003 : n. pag. Print.
Appearing here courtesy of Faithlife Logos Bible Software
Now that we have finished reading a post-exilic history of the events leading up to the captivity of Judah, we are reading of the first exiles to return to their homeland. Zerubbabel was the leader of this group. He was a prince of Judah, being the grandson of the former king Jehoiachin. Zerubbabel and company are named in verse 2.
The names that we read in verses 3-35 that say "the children of __________" lists the names of towns and villages, not the names in a genealogy. See verse 21 for an example.
Does God issue any commands?
- Cyrus, king of Persia, stated that God had charged him with the responsibility of building Him a house in Jerusalem. Cyrus then made request for men whom the LORD was with to go up to Jerusalem and also told everyone to give silver, gold, and goods to meet this obligation. The chief men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the priests and Levites, answered this call. Cyrus himself began the offering by returning 30 gold chargers, 1,000 chargers of silver, 29 knives, 30 gold basons, 410 silver basons, and 1,000 other vessels that had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from the original temple for use in the second temple. In total he returned 5,400 vessels of gold and silver from the royal treasury.
Does God make any promises?
- It is stated that the decree to Cyrus was in fulfillment of the promise given to Jeremiah. (Not stated is the promise given in Isaiah 44:28, many years before the fact, that Cyrus would be the shepherd used of God to rebuild the foundation of the temple. "The shepherd" itself was a prophesy since Cyrus himself was said to have been raised anonymously by shepherds in order to keep him safe from the king/his grandfather that wished to kill him. That reminds me of the whole Herod episode in the early life of Jesus, the Great Shepherd and King of Israel.)
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- Prince Zerubbabel was a type of Christ in that he followed the will of God to establish true worship in Jerusalem for God's people.
Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
- One day the decree will go out from God just as it did to Cyrus for true worship to be established once again in Jerusalem.