“King Cyrus of Persia Lets the Jews Go Back to Jerusalem to Build the Temple—Cyrus Returns the Vessels of the House of the Lord Taken by Nebuchadnezzar”

Ezra 1:1–3, 7

1 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. . . .
7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods . . .

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“King Cyrus lived more than five hundred years before Christ and figured in prophecies of the Old Testament mentioned in 2 Chronicles and the book of Ezra, and by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Daniel. The Bible states how ‘the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, King of Persia’ (2 Chronicles 36:22). Cyrus restored certain political and social rights to the captive Hebrews, gave them permission to return to Jerusalem, and directed that Jehovah’s temple should be rebuilt. . . .

“God, the Father of us all, uses the men of the earth, especially good men, to accomplish His purposes. It has been true in the past, it is true today, it will be true in the future.”

(“Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints,” Ensign, July 1972, 59.)

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