Tomb of Cyrus the Great
Was this king most famous because of his kind treatment to the Jews?
Cyrus II also known as "Cyrus the Great" was one of the greatest monarchs of all time. He conquered in 539 B.C. and ruled Persia until his death in 530 B.C. His wisdom and generosity was known throughout the ancient world. His capital was at Pasargadae in the land of Parsa (ancient Iran). He was chosen by the Lord to release the Jews from their captivity and allow them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their city and their Temple.
Cyrus was slain in battle in 530 B.C. and buried in this tomb which lies at the site of ancient Pasargadae (SW Iran). Inside was placed a golden sarcophagus and according to the historian Plutarch who wrote of it in 90 A.D. the tomb bore this inscription by Cyrus himself, "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body."
The Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadae, Persia, from the 6th century B.C. is important in the subject of Biblical Archaeology because it reveals the existence of Cyrus, who made the decree for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their city. This decree was prophesied by Daniel and began the countdown for the 69 weeks when Messiah would be cut off.
"Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." Isaiah 45:1
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