The Cyrus Cylinder

Text. The Cyrus Cylinder, discovered in 1879 and now in the British Museum, is one of the most famous cuneiform texts, because it was once believed that it confirmed what the Bible says (Isaiah 44.23-45.8; Ezra 1.1-6, 6.1-5; 2 Chronicles 36.22-23): that in 539 BCE, the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great had allowed the Jews to return from their Babylonian Exile.