Isaiah 45:1 calls King Cyrus of Persia “G-d’s Messiah” among other references to him:

כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר יְהוָה֮ לִמְשִׁיחוֹ֮ לְכ֣וֹרֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־הֶֽחֱזַ֣קְתִּי בִֽימִינ֗וֹ לְרַד־לְפָנָיו֙ גּוֹיִ֔ם וּמָתְנֵ֥י מְלָכִ֖ים אֲפַתֵּ֑חַ לִפְתֹּ֤חַ לְפָנָיו֙ דְּלָתַ֔יִם וּשְׁעָרִ֖ים לֹ֥א יִסָּגֵֽרוּ׃

Thus saith the Hashem to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and to loose the loins of kings; to open the doors before him, and that the gates may not be shut.

Scholars date Isaiah to have lived around the mid-eighth century BCE, but Cyrus lived around 529 BCE (after Isaiah’s death). How could Isaiah know about him?

Inspired by this question.

  • 2
    This is basically the same question as the one you linked. How could a prophet know about a future figure? Answer: That's the point of him being a prophet - he knows future stuff. A secular POV would probably claim that Isaiah was edited after the rise of Cyrus, and the original text featured a nameless messiah, but this site isn't a secular site. Biblical Hermeneutics might give you the latter answer.
    – Harel13
    Apr 2, 2020 at 8:46
  • Either it's prophetic or it's a later addition (by the Anshei Kenesset hagedolah who edited various neviim) or it's a different koresh. How are we supposed to know which?
    – Double AA
    Apr 2, 2020 at 11:55
  • @Harel religious pov (at least a traditional Jewish one) also comes to a conclusion like that. No other prophet names people centuries out, and barely even names contemporaries. That's not the way our God does prophecy. Maybe you're thinking of modern fantasy literature?
    – Double AA
    Apr 2, 2020 at 11:57
  • 2
    @DoubleAA you're giving an answer to "Why did Isaiah know about King Cyrus of Persia?". But the question is "How could Isaiah know about King Cyrus of Persia?" which doesn't start from a religious perspective.
    – Heshy
    Apr 2, 2020 at 12:29
  • 1
    @heshy only if the editors weren't also neviim. But AKG were מאה ועשרים זקנים ומהם שמונים וכמה נביאים
    – Double AA
    Apr 2, 2020 at 12:33


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