The One from the North?

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great

Q. Isa 41:25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. Who is the one referred to in this passage?

A. Many commentators believe this “one from the north” to be Cyrus the Great. King of Persia (559-530 BC), the same as the “one from the east” in Isa 41:2, for the following reasons:

• Cyrus’ mother was a Mede (north of Babylon), but his father was Persian (east of Israel, from the rising of the sun).
• From a Israelite perspective, most invasions come from the north (Jer 1:14; 6:1, 22; 10:22).
• “he shall call upon My name” – Ezra 1:2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘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.”
• “he shall trample on rulers” – Cyrus conquered the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, and the Babylonian Empire.
• “calling him in righteousness to His service” (v 2) – Isa 45:13 I will raise up Cyrus in My righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild My city and set My exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty.”

All these clues point to Cyrus as the one from the east and the north.

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