Daniel was one of the original captives, taken as a young man, and now it is about 70 years later.  Let’s presume for a moment the term “a young man” meant he was 13, he is now 80- something years old.  His mind begins to realize two things.  God said that this captivity would last 70 years; and a guy named Cyrus has become king.


“Cyrus, Cyrus, why does that name sound familiar?  There is something going on here.  God, you said this captivity would last 70 years; is that time about over?”


Suddenly it would have come to him.  Like any dedicated Jewish man, Daniel had an extensive knowledge of the Scriptures.  Imagine his excitement when he sees them come true, with his own eyes.


Isaiah 44:28 (NRSV) 28 who says of Cyrus, "He is my shepherd, and he shall carry out all my purpose;" and who says of Jerusalem, "It shall be rebuilt," and of the temple, "Your foundation shall be laid."




Jeremiah 29:10-12 (NRSV) 10 For thus says the LORD: Only when Babylon's seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.


I don’t think that’s exactly the way it happened, but I may be close.  I can also see that nobody in the kingdom would be in a better position than Daniel to casually mention something to the king at just the right time.


“Oh, by the way, your majesty, did you know you were in the Scriptures?  God tells us of a man named Cyrus who would help to rebuild His city, Jerusalem, and restore His Temple in the city.  Funny huh?”


Apparently Cyrus didn’t think it was funny because:


Ezra 1:1-4 (NRSV) 1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared: 2 "Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah.