The remarkable cylinder of King Cyrus of Persia, dated to 538 B.C. and now located in the British Museum, records his conquest of Babylon and his policy of tolerance and even patronage of native religions. Consistent with that policy, the Bible records his decree that the Jewish exiles taken captive by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II in 586 B.C. could return to their land and rebuild Jerusalem and its temple.
These events were a remarkable fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy a century and a half earlier that God would use a ruler named Cyrus to “perform all My pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’” God also foretold that Cyrus would “build My city and let My exiles go free” (Isaiah 44:28 Isaiah 44:28That said of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.
American King James Version×; Isaiah 45:13 Isaiah 45:13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, said the LORD of hosts.
American King James Version×). This was one of many amazing prophecies recorded in the Bible that later came to pass.