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Isaiah 45:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Thus saith Jehovah to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Thus saith Jehovah to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him—and I will loose the loins of kings; to open before him the two-leaved doors, and the gates shall not be shut:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Thus, saith Yahweh, to his Anointed, to Cyrus—Whose right hand I have firmly grasped, To subdue, before him, nations, And, the loins of kings, will I ungird,—To open, before him, the two-leaved doors, And, the gates, shall not be shut:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Thus said Jehovah, To His anointed, to Cyrus, Whose right hand I have laid hold on, To subdue nations before him, Yea, loins of kings I loose, To open before him two-leaved doors, Yea, gates are not shut:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Thus saith the LORD to his Anointed, to Cyrus whose right hande I haue holden, to subdue nations before him: and I will loose the loines of kings to open before him the two leaued gates, and the gates shall not be shut.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Thus saith the Lord God to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, that nations might be obedient before him; and I will break through the strength of kings; I will open doors before him, and cities shall not be closed.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Thus saith Yahweh to his anointed, to Koresh, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Thus x3541
(3541) Complement
From the prefix K and H1931; properly like this, that is, by implication (of manner) thus (or so); also (of place) here (or hither); or (of time) now.
saith 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
to his anointed, 4899
{4899} Prime
From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah.
to Cre כּוֹרֶשׁ, 3566
{3566} Prime
From the Persian; Koresh (or Cyrus), the Persian king.
whose x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
right hand 3225
{3225} Prime
From H3231; the right hand or side (leg, eye) of a person or other object (as the stronger and more dexterous); locally, the south.
I have holden, 2388
{2388} Prime
A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence to seize, be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer.
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
to subdue 7286
{7286} Prime
A primitive root; to tread in pieces, that is, (figuratively) to conquer, or (specifically) to overlay.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
nations 1471
{1471} Prime
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
him; and I will loose 6605
{6605} Prime
A primitive root; to open wide (literally or figuratively); specifically to loosen, begin, plough, carve.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
the loins 4975
{4975} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be slender; properly the waist or small of the back; only in plural the loins.
of kings, 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
to open 6605
{6605} Prime
A primitive root; to open wide (literally or figuratively); specifically to loosen, begin, plough, carve.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
him the two leaved gates; 1817
{1817} Prime
From H1802; something swinging, that is, the valve of a door.
and the gates 8179
{8179} Prime
From H8176 in its original sense; an opening, that is, door or gate.
shall not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
be shut; 5462
{5462} Prime
A primitive root; to shut up; figuratively to surrender.
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 45:1

_ _ Isaiah 45:1-25. The subject of the deliverance by Cyrus is followed up.

_ _ Isaiah 45:1-7. These seven verses should have been appended to previous chapter, and the new chapter should begin with Isaiah 45:8, “Drop down,” etc. [Horsley]. Reference to the deliverance by Messiah often breaks out from amidst the local and temporary details of the deliverance from Babylon, as the great ultimate end of the prophecy.

_ _ his anointed — Cyrus is so called as being set apart as king, by God’s providence, to fulfil His special purpose. Though kings were not anointed in Persia, the expression is applied to him in reference to the Jewish custom of setting apart kings to the regal office by anointing.

_ _ right hand ... holden — image from sustaining a feeble person by holding his right hand (Isaiah 42:6).

_ _ subdue nations — namely, the Cilicians, Syrians, Babylonians, Lydians, Bactrians, etc.; his empire extended from Egypt and the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and from Ethiopia to the Euxine Sea.

_ _ loose ... girdle loins — that is, the girdle off the loins; and so enfeeble them. The loose outer robe of the Orientals, when girt fast round the loins, was the emblem of strength and preparedness for action; ungirt, was indicative of feebleness (Job 38:3; Job 12:21); “weakeneth the strength of the mighty” (Margin), “looseth the girdle of the strong.” The joints of (Belshazzar’s) loins, we read in Daniel 5:6, were loosed during the siege by Cyrus, at the sight of the mysterious handwriting on the palace walls. His being taken by surprise, unaccoutred, is here foretold.

_ _ to open ... gates — In the revelry in Babylon on the night of its capture, the inner gates, leading from the streets to the river, were left open; for there were walls along each side of the Euphrates with gates, which, had they been kept shut, would have hemmed the invading hosts in the bed of the river, where the Babylonians could have easily destroyed them. Also, the gates of the palace were left open, so that there was access to every part of the city; and such was its extent, that they who lived in the extremities were taken prisoners before the alarm reached the center of the palace. [Herodotus, 1.191].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 45:1-4

_ _ Cyrus was a Mede, descended (as some say) from Astyages king of Media. The pagan writers are not agreed in their accounts of his origin. Some tell us that in his infancy he was an outcast, left exposed, and was saved from perishing by a herdsman's wife. However, it is agreed that, being a man of an active genius, he soon made himself very considerable, especially when Croesus king of Lydia made a descent upon his country, which he not only repulsed, but revenged, prosecuting the advantages he had gained against Croesus with such vigour that in a little time he took Sardis and made himself master of the rich kingdom of Lydia and the many provinces that then belonged to it. This made him very great (for Croesus was rich to a proverb) and enabled him to pursue his victories in many countries; but it was nearly ten years afterwards that, in conjunction with his uncle Darius and with the forces of Persia, he made this famous attack upon Babylon, which is here foretold, and which we have the history of Dan. 5. Babylon had now grown exorbitantly rich and strong. It was forty-five miles in compass (some say more): the walls were thirty-two feet thick and 100 cubits high. Some say, They were so thick that six chariots might drive abreast upon them; others say, They were fifty cubits thick and 200 high. Cyrus seems to have had a great ambition to make himself master of this place, and to have projected it long; and at last he performed it. Now here, 210 years before it came to pass, we are told,

_ _ I. What great things God would do for him, that he might put it into his power to release his people. In order to this he shall be a mighty conqueror and a wealthy monarch and nations shall become tributaries to him and help him both with men and money. Now that which God here promised to do for Cyrus he could have done for Zerubbabel, or some of the Jews themselves; but the wealth and power of this world God has seldom seen fit to entrust his own people with much of, so many are the snares and temptations that attend them; but if here has been occasion, for the god of the church, to make use of them, God has been pleased rather to put them into the hands of others, to be employed for them, than to venture them in their own hands. Cyrus is here called God's anointed, because he was both designed and qualified for this great service by the counsel of God, and was to be herein a type of the Messiah. God engages to hold his right hand, not only to strengthen and sustain him, but to direct his motions and intentions, as Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands when he was to shoot his arrow against Syria, 2 Kings 13:16. Being under such direction,

_ _ 1. He shall extend his conquests very far and shall make nothing of the opposition that will be given him. Babylon is too strong a place for a young hero to begin with; and therefore, that he may be able to deal with that, great additions shall be made to his strength by other conquests. (1.) Populous kingdoms shall yield to him. God will subdue nations before him; when he is in the full career of his successes he shall make nothing of a nation's being born to him at once: yet it is not he that subdues them; it is God that subdues them for him; the battle is his, and therefore his is the victory. (2.) Potent kings shall fall before him: I will loose the loins of kings, either the girdle of their loins (divesting them of their power and dignity) or the strength of their loins, and then it was literally fulfilled in Belshazzar, for, when he was terrified by the handwriting on the wall, the joints of his loins were loosed, Daniel 5:6. (3.) Great cities shall surrender themselves into his hands, without giving him or themselves any trouble. God will incline the keepers of the city to open before him the two-leaved gates, not treacherously nor timorously, but from a full conviction that it is to no purpose to contend with him; and therefore the gates shall not be shut to keep him out as an enemy, but thrown open to admit him as a friend. (4.) The longest and most dangerous marches shall be made easy and ready to him: I will go before thee, to clear the way, and to conduct thee in it, and then the crooked places, shall be made straight; or, as some read it, the hilly places shall be levelled and made even. Those will find a ready road that have God going before them. (5.) No opposition shall stand before him. He that gives him his commission will break in pieces the gates of brass that are shut against him, and cut asunder the bars of iron wherewith they are fastened. This was fulfilled in the letter, if that be true which Herodotus reports, that the city of Babylon had 100 gates all of brass, with posts and hooks of the same metal.

_ _ 2. He shall replenish his coffers very much (Isaiah 45:3): I will give thee the treasures of darkness, treasures of gold and silver, that have been long kept close under lock and key and had not seen the light of many years, or had been buried under ground by the inhabitants, in their fright, upon the taking of the city. The riches of many nations had been brought to Babylon, and Cyrus seized all together. The hidden riches of secret places, which belonged either to the crown or to private persons, shall all be a prey to Cyrus. Thus God, designing him to do a piece of service to his church, paid him richly for it beforehand; and Cyrus very honestly owned God's goodness to him, and, in consideration of that, released the captives. Ezra 1:2, God has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and thereby has obliged me to build him a house at Jerusalem.

_ _ II. We are here told what God designed in doing all this for Cyrus. What Cyrus aimed at in undertaking his wars we may easily guess; but what God aimed at in giving him such wonderful success in his wars we are here told.

_ _ 1. It was that the God of Israel might be glorified: “That thou mayest know by all this that I the Lord am the God of Israel; for I have called thee by thy name long before thou wast born.” When Cyrus should have this prophecy of Isaiah shown to him, and should there find his own name and his own achievements particularly described so long before, he should thereby be brought to acknowledge that the God of Israel was the Lord, Jehovah, the only living and true God, and that he continued to own his Israel though now in captivity. It is well when thus men's prosperity brings them to the knowledge of God, for too often it makes them forget him.

_ _ 2. It was that the Israel of God might be released, Isaiah 45:4. Cyrus knew not God as the God of Israel. Having been trained up in the worship of idols, the true God was to him an unknown God. But, though he knew not God, God not only knew him when he came into being, but foreknew him, and bespoke him for his shepherd. He called him by his name, Cyrus, nay, which was yet great honour, he surnamed him and called him his anointed. And why did God do all this for Cyrus? Not for his own sake, be it known to him; whether he was a man of virtue or no is questioned. Xenophon indeed, when he would describe the heroic virtues of an excellent prince, made use of Cyrus's name, and many of the particulars of his story, in his Cyropaedia; but other historians represent him as haughty, cruel, and bloodthirsty. The reason why God preferred him was for Jacob his servant's sake. Note, (1.) In all the revolutions of states and kingdoms, the sudden falls of the great and strong, and the surprising advancements of the weak and obscure, God is designing the good of his church. (2.) It is therefore the wisdom of those to whom God has given wealth and power to use them for his glory, by showing kindness to his people. Cyrus is preferred that Israel may be released. He shall have a kingdom, only that God's people may have their liberty; for their kingdom is not of this world, it is yet to come. In all this Cyrus was a type of Christ, who was made victorious over principalities and powers, and entrusted with unsearchable riches, for the use and benefit of God's servants, his elect. When he ascended on high he led captivity captive, took those captives that had taken others captives, and opened the prison to those that were bound.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 45:1

His anointed — His king, whom God has designed, and separated, and fitted, in all respects, for this work. Loose — I will take away their girdle, which was about their loins; their power and authority, whereof that was an ensign. Gates — The great and magnificent gates of their cities and palaces, which shall be opened to him as conqueror.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 45:1

Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to (a) Cyrus, whose (b) right hand I have held, to (c) subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

(a) To assure the Jews of their deliverance against the great temptations that they would abide, he names the person and the means.

(b) Because Cyrus would execute the office of a deliverer, God called him his anointed for a time, but after another sort than he called David.

(c) To guide him in the deliverance of my people.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
to his:

Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness.
Isaiah 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
1 Kings 19:15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael [to be] king over Syria:
Jeremiah 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.


Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Psalms 73:23 Nevertheless I [am] continually with thee: thou hast holden [me] by my right hand.

or, strengthened,
Ezekiel 30:21-24 Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. ... And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded [man].

to subdue:

Isaiah 41:2 Who raised up the righteous [man] from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made [him] rule over kings? he gave [them] as the dust to his sword, [and] as driven stubble to his bow.
Isaiah 41:25 I have raised up [one] from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as [upon] morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.
Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
Jeremiah 50:3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
Jeremiah 50:35 A sword [is] upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise [men].
Jeremiah 51:11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.
Jeremiah 51:20-24 Thou [art] my battle axe [and] weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; ... And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.
Daniel 5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
Daniel 5:28-30 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. ... In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had [two] horns: and the [two] horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

to open:
All the streets of Babylon, leading on each side to the river, were secured by two leaved brazen gates, and these were providentially left open when Cyrus's forces entered the city in the night, through the channel of the river, in the general disorder occasioned by the great feast which was then celebrated; otherwise, says Herodotus, the Persians would have been shut up in the bed of the river, as in a net, and all destroyed. The gates of the palace were also imprudently opened to ascertain the occasion of the tumult; when the two parties under Gobrias and Gadatas rushed in, got possession of the palace, and slew the king.
Nahum 2:6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
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1K 19:15. Ezr 1:1. Ps 73:23. Is 13:3; 41:2, 13, 25; 42:6; 44:28. Jr 27:6; 50:3, 35; 51:11, 20. Ezk 30:21. Dn 5:6, 28; 7:5; 8:3. Na 2:6.

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