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I. The Return from Exile

Chapter 1

The Decree of Cyrus. (A)In the first year of Cyrus,[a] king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: “Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord, the God of heaven,[b] has given to me, and he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

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Footnotes

  1. 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus: the first regnal year of Cyrus was 539 B.C., but his first year as ruler of Babylon, after the conquest of that city, was 538 B.C., the year in which he issued an edict, replicated on the famous Cyrus cylinder, permitting the repatriation of peoples deported by the Babylonians.
  2. 1:2 The God of heaven: this title, used as in 7:12, 21, 23, corresponds to a title of the Zoroastrian supreme deity Ahura Mazda, though it is not certain that Cyrus was a Zoroastrian.

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