The result was a rupture between Astyages and Cyrus and the eventual conquest of Media by the young Persian upstart in 550 B. Meanwhile, Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562), who had conquered and destroyed Jerusalem and deported its leading citizens in July of 586 B.C., had passed from the scene to be followed by Amel-Marduk (562-560), Neriglissar (560-556), and Labashi-Marduk (556).The history of God’s people would no longer be recorded and recounted in isolation from the remainder of the civilized world.Pieter Verhoef also makes the point that dating of prophetic oracles emphasized the authenticity of the message.
5:1-31), who fell to Cyrus when Babylon finally capitulated to the Persians on October 12, 539 B. Beginning in 555, the year Cyrus defeated his Median grandfather, he had incorporated Media, Lydia, and Babylonia into his rapidly expanding Persian empire. Its surrender to Cyrus was a foregone conclusion since, according to the so-called “Verse Account of Nabonidus” and other texts, Nabonidus had so offended Marduk, chief deity of Babylon, by his impious devotion to Sin that Marduk had determined to turn his estate over to a “shepherd” who would better tend it. The biblical version of the rise of Cyrus is quite different, for it is Yahweh, not Marduk, who raised him up (Isa.That it was Yahweh who provided the impulse is attested to in the Old Testament by both the Chronicler (2 Chron. Thus the various Jewish governors could carry their case directly to the satrap in times of difficulty.The first of these governors was Sheshbazzar, leader of the first return from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:5-11; ).—45:7) and who called him to deliver His captive people from Babylonian bondage. Cyrus issued his decree that the Jews and all other captive peoples could return to their respective homelands.That Cyrus was indeed called to do so is clear from the famous Cylinder of Cyrus. He had begun to organize his vast domain into a system of satrapies further subdivided into provinces, The picture is not entirely clear, but it seems that Yehud, though weak and impoverished compared to its provincial neighbors such as Samaria, was independent of them and not a subdivision.