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a spoil, all that Spoiled her were satisfied.
A sword was upon her treasures, and they were robbed". Here Cræsus gave an exact account of his riches, and surrendered all his vast possessions to Cyrus. Thus the treasures of darkness, and hidden treasure of secret places were given to him by the God of Israel, who called him by his name'.
Soon after the taking of Babylon, Cyrus published a Decree, acknowledging that “the Lord God of heaven had given him all the kingdoms of the earth,” and had appointed him to build the Temple at Jerusalem; and
. Jerem. 1. 10. . • Bossuet's Universal History, p. 442, 443. Prideaux, vol. i. p. 92, 93. Usser Annales, tom. i. p. 144. Xenophon's Cyropædia, lib. vii. Herodoti lib. i. c. 190, 191. Jerem. l. li. 32, 36, &c. Dan. v. Berosus quoted by Josephus contra Apion. lib. i. c. 20. Eusebii Præp. Evang. 1. ix. c. 40.
Xenophon gives the following list of the nations conquered by Cyrus. The Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappadocians, both the Phrygians, Lydians, Carians, Phænicians, and Babylonians. He moreover reigned over the Bactrians, Indians, Cilicians, the Sacæ, Paphlagones, and Mariandyni. Cyrop. lib. i. p. 4.
« Thus faith Cyrus, king of Perfia, All the Kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, k24
therefore commanding all the people of Israel. “ to go up to Jerusalem, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel.” Josephus 9 fays, that Cyrus was shewn the Prophecy of Ifaiah, wherein his name was expressly mentioned. It is probable that Daniel, who had obtained the highest reputation in the court of Babylon for his piety, and extraordinary wisdom, had not only thewn to the king the Prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, but had related to him the wonderful history of the people, “ for whose fake he had been girded" with the sword of victory. It is evident from the remarkable words of the Decree (“ he is the God') that the mind of Cyrus was sufficiently enlightened to understand, that there was but one Supreme God-He whom the Jews worshipped, and who spake in those
which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.” 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23.
« Thus faith Cyrus, king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and · he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with hiin, and let him go up to Je. rufalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (he is the God) which is in Jerusalem.” Ezra i. 2, 3.
9 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xi. c. I.
holy books which were shewn him; though the opinions and habits, which prevailed in the Heathen world concerning the different gods which presided over different nations, might induce him to consider a species of inferior worship as allowable. The 70 years, predicted by the Prophets for the continuance of the captivity, were now accomplished. The captives were set free, and the precious vessels of gold and of silver, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem, and had placed in the house of his gods, were restored by the munificent conqueror of the East, to the people whom he sent to their own land, by the especial direction of their God.
Thus did Cyrus, “ the shepherd of the Lord, fubdue nations before him, and perform all the pleasure of the Lord,” by whom he had been named more than 100 years before his birth, as the instrument which should execute the designs of his Providence. Exactly at the time, and exactly in the manner predicted, he conquered the vast Allyrian Em-. pire, and restored the people of Israel to their own land, where they again inhabited JeruSalem, built the cities of Judah, and raised up ibe decayed places thereof. The house of God
was builded, and the daily facrifices were renewed.
Thus were the people re-established in their own land at the expiration of the allotted punishment for the transgression of that Law, which was ordained to continue till the Lord should raise up a Prophet “ like unto Moses." And thus the partial dispersion of the people destined to preserve the promises of God, became the means of spreading the knowledge of the most High among the nations of the East, preparatory to the coming of the Mel.. fah, to whom all nations were to be gathered.
CHAPTER THE SIXTH.
The Destruction and defolate State of Babylon considered as an awful Example of the
Judgments of God upon the Enemies of his
THE Prophets point out various reasons, on account of which the Assyrians were made the signal objects of Divine Displeasure. Nebuchadnezzar was remarkable for excessive pride, and the most gross and intolerant idolatry, notwithstanding the certain information he received from his Jewish captives concerning the true God. Bellhazzar his successor, equally well acquainted with the true religion, and a witness of the awful punishment which had been inflicted upon Nebuchadnezzar, preferred his false deities to Jehovah, the God of Israel, and profaned at his riotous feasts the consecrated vessels of the K4