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Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 1:1; Jeremiah 25:12-14; 29:10

Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 1:1; Jeremiah 25:12-14; 29:10

 

 

Ezra 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing

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Notice that Ezra wrote: “that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might fulfilled.” Ezra does not mention Isaiah, even though Isaiah mentioned Cyrus by name. To contemporary readers exposed to religious skepticism, it might seem amazing that the Lord caused Cyrus’s name to be recorded hundreds of years before his birth. Nevertheless, Ezra was aware of Isaiah’s prophecy and the Lord’s promise to punish the king of Babylon.

Let’s look at the specific prophecy from Jeremiah that Ezra 1:1 mentions:

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Jeremiah 25:12-13 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring upon that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

 

Jeremiah 29:10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.

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God, through the prophet Jeremiah, promised the Israelites that they would not stay slaves and captives forever. He had put a limit on the amount of suffering they would experience. Even though they had turned their backs on the Lord, he was not going to let them be punished indefinitely. The same can be said of the whole human race. Through our parents, Adam and Eve, we turned our backs on God from the very beginning of creation. Yet God did not leave them or us abandoned. He promised a Savior from our slavery to sin and then backed that promise up by sending his own Son, Jesus Christ. Christ has redeemed us from our slavery because of his own gracious mercy and love. What an amazing God we have.