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Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. Bible

“Among you of all his people.” This proclamation was sent out to all the people, so the meaning is, “among you [in Persia] of all his people [the Jews].” We can thus understand it as, “Whoever among the people in Persia is a Jew.”

“God.” Since this proclamation came from Cyrus the Persian who worshipped gods besides the God we know as the true God, a more accurate rendering of “God” in this verse would almost certainly be “god,” not God, especially in light of the last phrase, “he is the God [god] who is in Jerusalem.” It was common at that time to believe that there were different gods in different locations, and since many of the so-called “gods” were actually demons, that was true to a large extent. Of course that was not true of the true God, but Cyrus would likely not have thought that way, as this phrase indicates (see 1 Kings 20:28).


Commentary for: Ezra 1:3