Now in the a
first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the b
mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the c
spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
The Argument - As the Lord is always merciful to his Church, and does not punish them, but so that they should see their own miseries, and be exercised under the cross, that they might contemn the world, and aspire to the heavens: so after he had visited the Jews, and kept them in bondage 70 years in a strange country among infidels and idolaters, he remembered his tender mercies and their infirmities, and therefore for his own sake raised up a deliverer, and moved both the heart of the chief ruler to pity them, and also by him punished those who had kept them in slavery. Nonetheless, lest they should grow into a contempt of God's great benefits, he keeps them still in exercise, and raises domestic enemies, who try as much as they can to hinder their worthy enterprises: yet by the exhortation of the prophet they went forward little by little till their work was finished. The author of this book was Ezra, who was a priest and scribe of the Law, as in (Ezra 7:6). He returned to Jerusalem the sixth year of Darius, who succeeded Cyrus, that is, about fifty years after the first return under Zerubbabel, when the temple was built. He brought with him a great company and much treasure, with letters to the king's officers for all things needed for the temple: and at his coming he fixed that which was amiss, and set things in order.
(a) After he and Darius had won Babylon.
(b) Who promised deliverance to them after 70 years were past, (Jeremiah 25:12).
(c) That is, moved him and gave him heart.