Cyrus King of Persia instructed the Jews to go to Judah which is in Jerusalem and build God a house there. He did so because the Lord told him this is what he must do.
Previously the Israelites were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Now they had come out of captivity.
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2 Thus saith 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.
3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
According to Britannica Persia is now modern day Iran.
Persia, historic region of southwestern Asia associated with the area that is now modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries and originated from a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis, alternatively as Pārs or Parsa, modern Fārs.
(end of excerpt)
How has Iran become such an enemy of Israel when King Cyrus was the one who wanted the house of the Lord to be built in Jerusalem. Did Iran forget this history?
What really happened, why did Israel get taken into captivity into Babylon. Scripture tells us why…
Ezra 5:12-13, 6:12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon. But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. And the God that hath caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
We see the outcome when they were delivered from Babylon…
Ezra 6:21-22 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat,
22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
What happened to the Israelites while they were in Babylon? Did they assimilate into Babylonian culture? Did they become worshiper of Idols or did they remember their God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Ezra 9:1-4 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
What was the Babylonian culture like and religious practice of it’s day?
Wikipedia excerpt: In Babylonian religion, the ritual care and worship of the statues of deities was considered sacred; the gods lived simultaneously in their statues in temples and in the natural forces they embodied. An elaborate ceremony of washing the mouths of the statues appeared sometime in the Old Babylonian period.
According to Britannica.com their chief god was marduk.
After a Hittite raid in 1595 BCE, the city passed to the control of the Kassites (c. 1570), who established a dynasty lasting more than four centuries. Later in this period, Babylon became a literary and religious centre, the prestige of which was reflected in the elevation of Marduk, its chief god, to supremacy in Mesopotamia.
by Joshua J. Mark
published on 09 December 2016
Marduk was the patron god of Babylon, the Babylonian king of the gods, who presided over justice, compassion, healing, regeneration, magic, and fairness, although he is also sometimes referenced as a storm god and agricultural deity. His temple, the famous ziggurat described by Herodotus, is considered the model for the biblical Tower of Babel. The Greeks associated him with Zeus and the Romans with Jupiter. He is depicted as a human in royal robes, carrying a snake-dragon and a spade. Marduk seems to have originated from a local deity known as Asarluhi, a farmer's god symbolized by the spade, known as a marru, which continued as part of his iconography. Marduk's name, however, though linked to the marru, translates as 'bull-calf,' although he was commonly referred to simply as Bel (Lord). Far from the local deity he sprang from, Marduk would become the most prestigious god of the Mesopotamian pantheon.
What is Babylonian mentality? We continue with this excerpt…
Marduk then regulates the workings of the world which includes humanity as co-workers with the gods against the forces of chaos. Henceforth, Marduk decrees, humans will do the work which the gods have no time for, freeing the divine to concentrate on higher purposes and care for human needs. As the gods will care for humans and supply all their needs, humans will respect and heed the will of the gods, and Marduk will reign over all in benevolence. (end of excerpt)
As we see marduk is a pagan god who rules, has no time to do the work but passes the responsibility down to humans. The gods are left to concentrate on higher purposes and caring for humans, supplying all their needs.
Who supplies the believer’s needs…Jesus.
Marduk's Reign in Babylon
This reign was centered, not in the heavens, but in the temple - the Esagila - in Babylon. Deities in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and elsewhere were thought to literally reside in the temple built for them, and this was as true for Marduk as any other deity. Marduk came to prominence in Babylon during the reign of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE). Prior to the elevation of Marduk, Inanna - goddess of sexuality and warfare - was the principal deity worshiped in Babylon and elsewhere throughout Mesopotamia; afterwards, although Inanna continued to be widely venerated, Marduk was the supreme deity of the city and his worship spread as Babylon conquered other regions.
Scholar Jeremy Black writes:
The rise of the cult of Marduk is closely connected with the political rise of Babylon from city-state to the capital of an empire. From the Kassite Period, Marduk became more and more important until it was possible for the author of the Babylonian Epic of Creation to maintain that not only was Marduk king of all the gods but that many of the latter were no more than aspects of his persona. (end of excerpt)
Did we get this? Marduk was king over all the gods and all the rest were nothing more than aspects of his persona. In other words, Jupiter, Zeus and all the gods or goddesses were just part of marduk’s persona. Who was really behind marduk?
As we see Babylon rising more and more we also see political rise from city-state to the capital if I may paraphrase the above statement. It is joining together as one, with one mind.
We know God does not reside in temples made with hands.
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Acts 7:48-49 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
So who would be residing in a temple and claiming to be god? The son of perdition-the anti-Christ. Hearts filled with Babylon will worship him as they did marduk.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
How many will be carried away into Babylon mentality if not already? What or who we worship will take us into that temple made with hands where the anti-Christ will proclaim himself to be god. Babylon rewards those who accept it’s culture and penalizes those who don’t. It is not freedom but bondage. But how will the masses see Babylon?
Revelation 18:9-11 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
Revelation 18:1-8 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Babylon rewards those who love her.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Verse 4 of Revelation 18 emphatically states come out of her my people, do not partake in her sins so you do not receive of her plagues!
Babylon mentality is on the rise like towers across the world, high towers reaching into the heavens.
We need to examine our hearts to see if Babylon has taken root into our hearts and minds, where every foul spirit seeks to capture, deceive and mesmerize the souls of men.
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Why were they casting dust on their heads, why were they crying and weeping? They no longer could be made rich.
As believers we are rich in the Lord.
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 15:6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
It is time to escape Babylon mentality. It will hold us prisoners to a world where the heavens will roll up like a scroll.
Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Who supplies the believer’s needs? Jesus. Who feeds us spiritual food?
Jesus the BREAD OF LIFE.
Who refreshes our soul? Jesus our Living Water.