Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cyrus-The Great Decree

By Mary Vee
Ezra 1

From Ezra's Journal

Photo Courtesy
I am here on the streets of what is now called Persia with many other of my Hebrew brothers and sisters. The cheering is so loud!

As you probably remember, we the people of Judah were taken captive to the land of Babylon. God had told Jeremiah we would be slaves for seventy years due to our disobedience to Him.The seventy years have ended!

The Babylonians who first captured us were conquered by the Medes. And now the Medes have been conquered  by the Persians. Cyrus is the king of Persia, and the ruler over us.

The Babylonians and Medes liked to take their prisoners away from their homeland and make them slaves in their country.

Cyrus, king of Persia, preferred to let the people live in their homeland and be under his power. He felt the people would not rise up against him that way and be easier to control.

The year is 539 BC and a herald has just read this decree from Cyrus:

"The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you--may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem."

We get to go home.

Imagine that.

We can go back to Judah, plow our fields, worship in the temple, do everything we use to do. I imagine we'll have to pay tribute to Cyrus, but going home is worth it.

We're going home.


1. Who first took the Hebrews from Judah?
2. Where were they taken?
3. Who conquered the Babylonians?
4. Who conquered the Medes?
5. Who is the new king?
6. Why did he make this decree?
7. What made the Hebrews from Judah so happy?

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