Isaiah Chapter 45: Cyrus–Antitype of Jesus who takes down Mystic Babylon

Nov 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Isaiah, Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Isaiah Chapter 45: Cyrus–Antitype of Jesus who takes down Mystic Babylon

Isa. 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

God called Cyrus, a Persian king, “his anointed” and His “shepherd” (Isa. 44:28). Cyrus is the king who issued the decree to build the court walls of the Temple. Jehovah held the right hand of Cyrus “to subdue nations before him.”

How did God “loose the loins of kings, to open before him [Cyrus] the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut”? This action was the opposite of girding the loins. The thought is that Cyrus subdued many nations without a battle. Because he was so victorious, the very fear of him so intimidated and unnerved the populace of various cities that they often beseeched him for a truce and thus surrendered without a battle. Without warfare, they opened their gates and acknowledged Cyrus as their conqueror. As for those who opposed him, God strengthened the hand of Cyrus in a way that he could miraculously overtake them.

At Sardis in Turkey is a high, very steep mountain that served as an impregnable fortress, yet Cyrus was able to conquer King Croesus, who sat in this citadel. (Croesus of Sardis is the fabled king who had so much money.) Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Empire.

Isa. 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

No matter how strong, the fortifications of those who resisted Cyrus were to no avail, for God broke “in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.”

Isa. 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

Isa. 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

What “treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places” were given to the literal Cyrus? The cities stored their wealth in underground vaults. Croesus was supposed to be the richest king at the time Cyrus marched on Sardis, but the accumulated wealth of Babylon was superior to even that of Sardis. History tells that when Cyrus captured Sardis, he got $600 million, or 20,000 pounds of solid gold, plus artifacts and vessels of gold and silver. Thus Cyrus emptied the “treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.”

Notice that Jehovah, the God of Israel, called Cyrus by name before he was born.

Isa. 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

God “girded” Cyrus in two ways: (1) He gave Cyrus supernatural power in overcoming his enemies. (2) God prepared Cyrus as a child and fashioned him for his future work; He trained him for his position as general and renowned conqueror. Not only was God’s providence over the victories Cyrus later attained, but that providence operated from his earliest youth—even from his baptism, as it were, when he was given the name Cyrus. Thus God’s remarkable foreknowledge was displayed 150 years before the events occurred.

Isa. 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

The thought in the Hebrew is “from the rising of the sun, and from the setting of the sun,” that is, from east to west. What does this suggest? What did Cyrus do in regard to Israel? After Cyrus conquered Babylon, he issued the decree that Jews could return to Israel to rebuild the Temple, and he also decreed how large the Temple could be because he did not want the resultant structure to outdo what he contemplated building.

Actually, Darius the Mede is given the credit for conquering Babylon because the Median Empire superseded the Persian Empire at that time. Cyrus was the general and military planner, or strategist, of King Darius. The prophecy in Daniel 8:3 shows that the Median horn came up first, and after that, the Persian horn under Cyrus came up higher. “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.” The same principle operates in our country. Even though the President is higher in office and is called the Commander-in-Chief, the actual battles are planned by a general or generals.

What is the spiritual significance of Cyrus’s capture of Babylon? Cyrus, whose name means “sun,” pictures Jesus, and Babylon pictures mystic Babylon. Jesus will overtake mystic Babylon.

Revelation 16:12 is pertinent: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” In the symbolic Book of Revelation is the prophecy that the symbolic “great river Euphrates” will dry up. This prophecy is based on the actual event in history when Cyrus diverted the waters of the river Euphrates into another channel so that they would not go through the center of the city of Babylon but would leave the riverbed dry. Thus Cyrus and his armies were able to march into Babylon under the gates and capture the city. In Revelation 16:12, the word “kings” (plural) is used to indicate The Christ; that is, the water of the great river Euphrates will be dried up to prepare the “way of the kings of the east [The Christ].”

Hence Cyrus represents The Christ in this picture, for the Church will be part of “The Sun.” A proof text is Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise [the Church] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament [the sun].” “The Sun” is a composite Sun, that is, The Christ, The Messiah, in glory. Bro. Frey used the illustration of a daisy; its yellow center is composed of 144,000 tiny pollen nubs, which, altogether, form one golden crown. In the literal picture, Jesus and the Church can be represented either (1) by Cyrus alone or (2) by Cyrus and his followers.

The allegory follows through. Long before Jesus was created, Jehovah named or appointed him as His agent, as the Anointed One. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). In the Old Testament, Jesus was predicted in advance as the Messiah.

Therefore, prophecies that pertain to Cyrus are analogous to the experiences of Jesus. Cyrus was called God’s “shepherd” before his birth (Isa. 44:28), and Jesus was predicted to be God’s Anointed prior to birth. And Jesus’ preexistence, his birth as a human babe, and his childhood through his adulthood were all part of his being fitted or “girded” for his future role as King of earth. Moreover, Jesus will be victorious as King of kings; all of his foes will be vanquished.

Not only will Jesus be instrumental in the fall of mystic Babylon, but the Church beyond the veil will be associates with him. When Babylon falls, those of the consecrated who remain behind in the flesh will know the Church is complete and glorified.

Now we will read a little more to see how Israel reacted to this prophecy about Cyrus. An interesting and helpful observation is made in verses 9 and 10.

Isa. 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God did not create moral “evil” but natural evil such as storms—the opposite of peace. He makes peace, and He makes trouble. In other words, He blesses and He punishes.

Isa. 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Verse 8 will be fulfilled in the Kingdom. The skies pouring down righteousness like water are sometimes referred to as “showers of blessing” (Ezek. 34:26). God has long held these blessings in reservation until the Kingdom.

Isa. 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Isa. 45:10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Isa. 45:11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

Isa. 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

All of a sudden, God asked Israel, “Does the pot say to the pot maker, ‘What are you making?’

Do you ask the father, ‘What are you doing?’ Do you ask the mother, ‘What have you brought forth?’” What is the relationship between the deeds of a king named Cyrus, the rising and the setting of the sun, peace and trouble, light and darkness, and the Lord God as Creator? Why was Israel asked these questions? Why was God (through Isaiah) criticizing Israel? Because the Israelites were questioning God’s providence in bringing punishment and trouble upon them. They never thought they deserved punishment.

Imagine being a Jew back in Babylonian captivity and hearing that Cyrus, a heathen king, was coming to conquer Babylon. Wouldn’t we have asked how a heathen king could be the Lord’s “anointed” and Israel’s “shepherd”? Jews would have questioned the authenticity of Isaiah’s prophecy. Thus God was asking Israel, “Are you criticizing ME, the MAKER not only of Israel but also of the whole world, from the east to the west? I created light and darkness; I formed the earth. Are you questioning ME as to why I called this man Cyrus and surnamed him my shepherd and my anointed? Who are you to speak to ME?” This method seemed strange to the Israelites, and they reacted the same way toward Jesus, saying he was a false Messiah and of the Adversary. When the nation realizes Jesus truly is the Messiah, it will be a shock to them.

Isa. 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

The decree of Cyrus for the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple was made not with “price” or “reward” (tax or toll). They were allowed to return in liberty. And so in the future, Jesus’ message will go forth without price: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). In both cases, the opportunity is freely offered to all, but not all exert themselves to take advantage of it. With Cyrus, only 53,000 Jews went back to Jerusalem.

“I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways.” This prophecy of Cyrus sounds like Isaiah’s earlier prophecies of Messiah in Chapters 9 and 11.

Isa. 45:14 Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

This verse has a twofold aspect. Probably Daniel and the three Hebrew children showed Cyrus and other officials in the Persian Empire that the name of Cyrus was in their religious writings.

As a result, the great emperor was compassionate toward the captives of the tiny nation of Israel and granted them liberty to go back to the Holy Land. He did not regard their liberation as a potential threat because their own prophets had predicted his overcoming. No doubt Cyrus had noticed many unusual (and seemingly miraculous) providences in his life that resulted in so many victories, one after the other. Then along came several Jews who told him that ever since he was named as a babe, their God had prepared him and loosed the loins of kings before him to assure victories. Cyrus realized this was the answer to what he had observed. In gratitude and appreciation, he first granted the Jews liberty, and then a year or so later, he gave liberty to other peoples. In the Kingdom antitype, God’s miraculous deliverance of Israel and destruction of Gog will open the eyes of the Holy Remnant to Messiah and will also help to open the eyes of other nations.

Regarding Egypt, the Ethiopians, and the Sabeans, Isaiah 43:3 is pertinent: “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” Seba is difficult to locate, but it is associated with Africa (Ethiopia and Egypt).

Therefore, the Sabeans may be the Nubians, a strong, courageous black people of large stature.

In the future picture, the other nations will recognize that God is with Israel in the deliverance from Jacob’s Trouble. The captives of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba will go to the Jews in their chains and prostrate themselves and acknowledge that the God of Israel is the true God (Isa. 2:3). Thus the destruction of literal Babylon prefigures the destruction of not only mystic Babylon (the religious standpoint, as shown in the Book of Revelation) but also the political or civil aspect of Babylon (as shown here), which will occur later. The political aspect will fall in connection with the Gog and Magog invasion of Israel.

The Nubians are in Upper Egypt, above the cataracts of the Nile. Ethiopia was Cush’s country (that is, the land of Cush), whereas Egypt was the land of Ham. Seba was a child of Cush. Thus Ham’s lineage included Canaan, Cush, and Seba. Canaan went to Palestine, Japheth went to Asia Minor, and Shem went to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and part of Turkey.

Isa. 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

Isa. 45:16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

Isa. 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

Israel will be saved with an “everlasting salvation” in a “world without end.” In other words, after the deliverance from Jacob’s Trouble, Israel will never again be destroyed or overcome by a foreign power.

Isa. 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

God was saying, “Since I am the One who created the heavens and formed the earth, no one will thwart my purpose. All of these predictions will surely be fulfilled.”

Isa. 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

God repeatedly called attention to His being the Author of Israel and of the whole world and to the reliability of His Word. He speaks righteousness with constancy and lies not.

Isa. 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations.” Verse 20 refers to an assembly, or a convening, of the spared attackers (Gog), the onlookers (Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish), and the Jews (Holy Remnant) after Jacob’s Trouble. When God fights for Israel as in the day of battle with pestilence, disease, fire and brimstone, a flood, confusion that causes the enemy to slay one another, a plague of blindness, etc., many will die. Only one sixth of Gog will survive.

God prophetically addresses the surviving Gentiles: “Come, I want to talk to you. Your gods and religions are a form of worship but without definiteness or any prophetic particulars.

Haven’t I predicted events long in advance? What have your gods of sticks and stones told you? Whether you are of the enemy heathen nations or of the spared onlookers, note this point: What happened this day in Jacob’s Trouble was predicted long ago with great detail and clarity.” Earlier in Isaiah, Gog was pictured by the Assyrian. Here Cyrus and his defeat of Babylon are co-related to the experience of Gog and Magog. Thus certain incidents of the past, such as the fall of Babylon at the hands of Cyrus, help us to understand prophecy, for they are informative and illustrative of the climax at the end of the age. Following the fulfillment of the antitype, in which the real salvation occurs, Israel will not be confounded anymore, “world without end.”

Q: Will the instruction to “assemble yourselves and come” be addressed to all who “escape”?

A: Yes, to all who “escape” in Israel—Gentiles as well as the Holy Remnant. Before the New Covenant is established, God will lecture and instruct the Gentiles to return to their homelands to give eyewitness reports. The Ancient Worthies, who will be on the scene at this time, will make sure the Gentile eyewitnesses are transported back. (Perhaps the same boats or planes that are used to ship the eyewitnesses back to their  homelands will be used to send the Jews who survive the trouble in other nations back to Israel.) The Kingdom will be in process of establishment, and the booty, the armaments of Gog, will be melted down and converted  into farming equipment. In addition, the corpses of the forces of Gog will have to be buried.

Q: Will the sequence be as follows? God will stop the trouble in Israel, and very shortly afterward the trouble will be stopped worldwide. However, there will be a little pause before the Gentile survivors return to their homelands. In the anarchistic conditions, communications will be adversely affected, but will some news of the situation in Israel filter back to the nations prior to the arrival of the eyewitnesses?

A: Communications will be momentarily disrupted in the anarchy, but the nations will first hear a report about conditions in Israel. Then they will receive eyewitness accounts from the survivors. The resurrected Ancient Worthies, the holy angels, and the Church in glory will bring order out of chaos.

Q: Won’t the earth be so devastated by anarchy that when the final battle of Gog and Magog takes place, the people elsewhere will already have stopped fighting?

A: The worldwide anarchy that will be occurring during Jacob’s Trouble will end when God delivers the Holy Remnant, not before. Psalm 45:16 tells that the Ancient Worthies will be made “princes in all the earth.” In other words, the Ancient Worthies will come forth in Israel and be instructed by the Church in glory. The Church will then, as divine beings, instantly place the Ancient Worthies in (that is, translate them to) the various nations. With each Ancient Worthy having a jurisdiction under his or her control and authority, the people will be instructed, and order will be brought out of chaos. The Ancient Worthies will tell of Gog’s defeat and the Holy Remnant’s deliverance. Subsequently the eyewitness survivors will tell what they actually saw.

The anarchy will be brought on by man’s inhumanity to man. All the bestial instincts of man will surface in the Time of Trouble.

Isa. 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isa. 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isa. 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Isa. 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

Isa. 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

The Lord repeats and repeats this lesson because the nations of earth are so insensitive. “Wake up out of your stupor! Come to your senses and realize what has happened for your own good. Turn to me.” In connection with the Kingdom, God will tell the nations to repent. “Look unto me, and be ye saved…. unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” This message of repentance is in the same chapter as the mention of Cyrus, who pictures Jesus.

The feet members will be spoiled before the fall of Babylon, as shown in the type of Belshazzar’s feast. With the fall of Babylon will come the release of the Great Company class.

“Look unto me [for salvation], … all the ends of the earth.” Isaiah lifted his discussion from Israel to all people on earth. Not only will the world, the people, obtain righteousness, but they will consecrate in the Kingdom (“every tongue shall swear”—verse 23).

All [Jews] that are incensed against him [Jesus] shall be ashamed.” The Jews will be ashamed of how they reacted toward Jesus. In fact, very strong language has been used against him.

Verse 24 proves Israel will come to the knowledge that Jesus is the true Messiah. Verse 25 adds, “In the LORD [Jehovah] shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”

(1976–1981 Study)

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