Isaiah 44:28

Hebrew Bible

26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants and brings to pass the announcements of his messengers, who says about Jerusalem, ‘She will be inhabited,’ and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt, her ruins I will raise up,’ 27 who says to the deep sea, ‘Be dry! I will dry up your sea currents,’ 28 who commissions Cyrus, the one I appointed as shepherd to carry out all my wishes and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’ and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed.’

Zechariah 4:9

Hebrew Bible

7 “What are you, you great mountain? Because of Zerubbabel you will become a level plain! And he will bring forth the temple capstone with shoutings of ‘Grace! Grace!’ because of this.” 8 Moreover, the Lord’s message came to me as follows: 9The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this temple, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me to you. 10 For who dares make light of small beginnings? These seven eyes will joyfully look on the tin tablet in Zerubbabel’s hand. These are the eyes of the Lord, which constantly range across the whole earth.” 11 Next I asked the messenger, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the menorah?”

 Notes and References

"... According to the biblical sources, the first stage in the creation of a viable Jewish community in Judah was the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple and the resumption of its cult. Unfortunately, however, these sources do not give us a clear and unambiguous picture of how, when, and by whom this was accomplished. Ezra 1:2–4 presents the rescript of Cyrus as the fulfillment of prophecy in a way reminiscent of the exilic Isaiah (Isaiah 44:28–45:4). It is certainly not a transcript of an actual Persian period document and is contradicted in several respects by the Aramaic version of the same decree recorded in Ezra 6:1–5. The enthusiastic response to the decree leading to a mass emigration of some 50,000 Judaeo-Babylonians is equally implausible. The setting up of the altar before the work of rebuilding in order to ward off danger (Ezra 3:1–3) is modelled on the action of David who set up an altar in Jerusalem for the same reason (1 Chronicles 21:18–22:1). The foundations of the temple were laid by Zerubbabel within a year of his arrival according to Ezra 3:7–11, by Sheshbazzar about the same time according to Ezra 5:16, and by Zerubbabel early in the reign of Darius in Zechariah 4:9. The delay in getting on with the building is explained by external opposition in Ezra 4:1–5 and by the indifference of the population and the bad economic situation in the province according to Haggai 1:1–11. There is also a suggestion in Haggai and Zechariah that the impetus to build the temple came from the political crisis of the first two years of Darius when it may have seemed to Judaean nationalists that the Persian empire was about to collapse (Haggai 2:20–23). Furthermore, none of these sources takes account of the fact that the administrative capital of the province was still Mizpah, north of Jerusalem, probably associated with a cult centre which had replaced Jerusalem after the destruction of the city and its temple in 586 ..."

Blenkinsopp, Joseph Essays on Judaism in the Pre-Hellenistic Period (pp. 72-73) De Gruyter, 2017

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