45:1 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
2 ‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other...
These are the same verses as yesterday because there is just too much in them. Cyrus was the Persian king who defeated Babylon nearly two hundred years after this was written. Not only does the prophecy name Cyrus and what he would do but how he would do it. The city of Babylon had a river running through it. To protect the city, gates went down from below the city wall into the waters of the river to prevent invasion.
After defeating Opis, Cyrus faced the daunting task of the impregnable walls of Babylon. The walls were high and wide enough for chariot races on the top. While he was scratching his head outside the city, the king was in the midst of a drunken party on the inside, convinced the city couldn't be taken. Then Cyrus got an idea. Whether it was his, or the suggestion of someone else in his army, or Divine inspiration we don't know. What we do know is that while Daniel was in the palace reading the ominous words written on the wall by a bodiless hand, Cyrus was outside diverting the waters of the river into a nearby Marsh so they could walk the riverbed into the city. When they got to gates they were already open. Some say they were left open. Considering the fact Opis had already fallen to Cyrus that seems a careless mistake unlikely to occur. Isaiah 45 says the bars were cut. There is no way to know but it makes me wonder if the same hand that did the writing on wall also cut the gates. God said He would give the city and it's treasures to Cyrus...
Tomorrow we'll keep exploring this fascinating event. Why would a "local/national" God of the Jews be interested in a battle between two "heathen" nations? See you tomorrow.