1 During the first year of King Cyrus of Persia’s reign in 539 b.c., the Eternal One influenced the spirit of the Persian king to send a proclamation and written letter throughout his empire, fulfilling the Eternal’s earlier message through the prophet Jeremiah.[a]
King Cyrus actually rules the Persian Empire from 559–530 b.c., but it is in 539 b.c. when Persia finishes its conquest of Babylonian territory and Cyrus sends a decree that the Jews might return to Judah.
Cyrus’ Proclamation: 2 The Eternal One, the God of heaven, has decided to give me all the kingdoms of the world to rule as my own. In return for this, He has told me to build Him a new house in Jerusalem of Judah. 3 Any of His people living in my empire may return to Jerusalem of Judah with the help of the Eternal God. There you may rebuild the temple of the Eternal, Israel’s God, with my resources and blessing, because He is the God who lives in Jerusalem.