Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and of Mandane. Cambyses I was the king of Anshan and Mandane was the daughter of King Astyages of the Medes. Cyrus became the king of Anshan when his father died in 559 BC. He quickly started to gain control over the land that surrounded his empire. Cyrus conquered the people and developed one of the largest empires of his time.
Cyrus the Great was the king of the Medes and the Persians. Cyrus the Great started out with Anshan in 559 BC. By 549 BC, Cyrus conquered Media and expanded his empire. In 539 BC, Cyrus’ army defeated the Babylonian army. Cyrus’ empire became so large it was one of the largest empires anyone had seen at the time.
Unlike many other rulers, Cyrus the Great was generous and friendly. In the Bible, his friendship towards the Jews is remembered. When Cyrus had control over Babylon, there were captive Jews living in the city. He gave them permission to go back to Jerusalem. They were also allowed to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. He gave ideas to those who were not able to return for ways to support the rebuilding of the Temple. They could give goods, silver or gold, and animals to help out. Cyrus also had many vessels of the house of the Lord returned to the Jews, which had been taken from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. These vessels were to go back to the Temple. Cyrus was referred to as the ‘sheppard’ of the Lord in Isaiah because of the interest he showed in the Jews.
Cyrus the Great died in 529 BC. He was known as a great conqueror. Cyrus the great built up one of the largest empires anyone of his time had seen. He was kind and generous to the people he ruled over. He allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. Cyrus also allowed them to rebuild their temple. He helped the people who could not go back support the rebuilding the Temple. Cyrus was known for his great friendship towards the Jews.
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