The Stones Cry Out: The Cyrus Cylinder -- By: Bob Boyd

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 01:1 (Winter 1988)
Article: The Stones Cry Out: The Cyrus Cylinder
Author: Bob Boyd


The Stones Cry Out:
The Cyrus Cylinder

Bob Boyd1

There are so many archaeological discoveries which pinpoint the historical accuracy of the Bible that it is difficult to understand why critics of the Word of God still question its historical accuracy. One such discovery, found by Hormuzd Rassam in his excavations at Babylon in 1879–1882, and now in the British Museum in London, is a 9-inch long, barrel-shaped inscription (made of clay) of a decree issued by Cyrus, King of Persia. Cyrus was the founder of the Persian empire and died in 530 or 529 BC.

What is the significance of Cyrus and the Cyrus cylinder in relation to the Bible? God’s people, the children of Israel, had long lived in a state of disobedience. They had dethroned God as their king and enthroned a man-king (I Samuel 8:5, 6, 19, 20). In addition to a rejection of a theocratic form of government, Israel also dethroned God-worship and embraced Baal-worship (Judges 2:11, 12; 3:5–7). After Solomon’s death the kingdom was split (I Kings 11:33–35; 12:16–20). The Northern Kingdom of Israel fell prey to the Assyrians in 721 BC (II Kings 17:3–21). By the Ume we get to king Manasseh of the southem kingdom of Judah in ca. 680 BC, he had seduced Israel to do more evil than all the surrounding heathen nations (II Kings 21: 1–9).

God had long before promised that if His people disobeyed Him, captivity would follow (Deuteronomy 28). Another promise God had made concerning Israel’s dis-obediance was that if she did not keep the Sabbatical year (every 7th year) to let the land rest from planting, He would take His people out of the Promised Land a year for each year they failed to let the land rest (Leviticus 26:32–39). For at least 490 years this nation tilled the land during these Sabbaths until she had accumulated 70 years of “Sabbatical disobedience.”

Faithful to His Word, God permitted Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to besiege Jerusalem, destroy it, take the golden vessels of the temple, and transport thousands of Israelites to Babylon in 586 BC for a 70 year captivity period (the 7th year divided into 4...

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