Cyrus the Great of Persia - the first Christ of the Judaeans

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"And when no elite existed, one could always be imported from elsewhere. Cyrus [the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire], even as he flattered the Babylonians with the attentions he paid to Marduk [Babylonian God], had not ignored the yearnings of the city's deportees, exiles such as the Judaeans, brought to Babylon decades previously - for the Persians had recognised in these wretched captives, and in their homesickness, a resource of great potential. Judaea was the pivot between Mesopotamia and Egypt; a land of such strategic significance might certainly be considered worth a small investment. Not only had Cyrus permitted the Judaeans to return to the weed-covered rubble of their homeland, but he had even paid for the rebuilding in Jerusalem of their obliterated Temple. Yahweh, the Judaean's god, was said to have hailed the Persian king in gratitude as His 'anointed', His 'Christ', and asserted that for the messiah of his chosen people the earth itself would prove the limit. 'I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name'.

This comical notion, that Cyrus might somehow have owed all his greatness to the Judaeans' boastful god, was one that the Persians were nevertheless perfectly content to indulge; for they well understood the longing of a slave to believe himself his master's favourite."

 

From 'Persian Fire' by Tom Holland.

The 'Christ' reference is from 'the bible' - Isaiah 45.1-3. And the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals says: -We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. So it must be true.

 

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