• Cyrus the Great and Zoroastrianism

Cyrus the Great and Zoroastrianism / He believed in Zoroastrianism but he worked for God.
Cyrus the Great beleved in Zoroastrianism but he liberated the Jews from the Babylonian captivity to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem
About Cyrus the Great and Zoroastrianism. A very interesting story about Cyrus the Great who believed in Zoroastrianism. 538 B.C. Cyrus the king of Persia, issued an edict that Jews went back to Jerusalem and built the temple of the Lord. He commanded the resident to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem. And he allowed to bring the articles belonging to the temple of God which plundered by Babylon. The Cyrus king’s edict now reads as follows.

Ezr 1:1-3 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.

Why did he issue this edict? He was  the king of Persia believed in Zoroastrianism. However, he said “The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth” and praised God.. Why did Cyrus who profess(believe in) Zoroastrianism praise the LORD(God)?


Symbol of Zoroastrianism
Symbol of Zoroastrianism

Let’s find out about the religion of Persia, Zoroastrianism first. It may sound unfamiliar but, have you heard about Thus Spoke Zarathustra written by Nietzsche? Here, Zarathustra is Zoroaster in Persian. Zoroaster is traditionally dated from 628 to 551 B.C. He was the founder of Zoroastrianism believed in one god, Ahura Mazda. By the age of 30, he began to work as a preacher and taught the idea of monotheism and the truth at a time when Persia was considered utterly corrupt and people believed in multiple gods and goddesses. However people didn’t listen it then he went on a journey and met the king of Bactria, Vistaspa. He thoughts monotheism helps to unite people of the multiracial and multi religious country. Zoroastrian doctrine earned him the patronage of Vishtaspa and expanded congregation. It expanded beyond the Bactria empire throughout Persia and neighboring countries.


Before the advent of Zoroastrianism, Persia people believed in many gods. Mostly they were personifications of natural phenomenon. But, after formation of Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda was emphasized as one almighty god. Ahura Mazda means “best god” combined the meaning of Ahura ‘god’ and the meaning of Mazda ‘wisdom’. Angra Mainyu is agaist Ahura Mazda to use evil but he eventually lost and Ahura Mazda ruled over the whole world.

The most important doctrine of Zoroastrianism is dualistic monotheism. It means that twin spirit Spenta Mainyu-good spiritand Angra Mainyu-evil spirit emanating from Ahura Mazda are broken in two and fight in the war. However, this manipulative power of ruling classes creates conflict from one’s mind not the material world.


There is the inextricable link between Zoroaster and royal authority. Dr. Robert C, Zaehner who is the expert of Zoroastrianism said it is an ideal relation which Zoroaster and royal authority intimately connected. And the glorification of royal authority was recorded in the book of Zoroastrianism, Denkard. Zoroastrianism is the source of the strength of royal authority. So the first duty of royal authority is to protect people’s religious faith. Persian people thoughts if royal authority lay on the basis of good religion, Zoroastrianism and king aggressively protects the religion, the sovereign was flourishing and people lived an affluent life.


Isa 44:28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’

Isa45:1-7 “This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains ; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.

 Cyrus, the king of Persia which is the root of Zoroastrianism, why did he allow Jews to build Jerusalem and dedicate to support them? What changed his mind? At a time when Cyrus conquered Babylon, he found a book, Isaiah. The book of Isaiah said, he got to know the prophecy about himself already was written 170 years ago. He finally realized everything is God’s work not his ability.


  1. Wikipedia, Zoroaster
  2. Wikipedia, Zoroastrianism
  3. World Mission Society Church of God, Cyrus
  4. Jewish Economic History
  5. Religion in Persia
  6. Bible with 5 Empires


  1. Christine

    Unbelievable! But it’s true history of Cyrus the Persian king. If I were him I must do like him too.

  2. Lindsy

    Everything has been done by God Elohim. God Elohim is true God!

    1. N.Vijaya Kumar

      Elohim (Del Shadai) is Hebrew world of God ! Say him as”Ahura Mazda”!

  3. canes

    It’s very helpful article to me understanding about king Cyrus.

  4. Cathy

    It’s so surprise that the prophecy of Cyrus, the king of Persia, was written in the Bible, 170 years ago. And He fulfilled it. It means that God leads everything.

  5. younggong ha

    What has made him praise God who he didn’t believe? So mysterious, but there must the reason!

  6. Eden

    There must be something hidden which explains why Cyrus praised the LORD.

  7. GraceKim

    Cyrus was surprised with the prophecies of the bible because it was so accurate. and he couldn’t help but praise God. Whenever I study the prophecies of the Bible, I can realize everything is done by God’s will.

  8. Erica

    It’s amazing the bible propecy is accomplished by God exactly.

  9. Hena

    In the bible, Cyrus praise the Lord. How could he do that?

  10. James Heo

    It is so amazing to know the religious background of Cyrus the Great. Even though he was a Gentile King worshipping a pagan god when he was used as tool for the salvation of the people of God, he realized his mission and eagerly obeyed the commands of God. Through this we can see the words of God never fails and truly fulfilled at its appointed time.

  11. Gimba

    It’s amazing!
    I’ve read ‘Cyrus’ in the Bible.
    I thought he believed in God since he was written in the Bible.
    Though he didn’t know God, he praised God and gave glory to God.
    It should be God’s plan and power.
    I’m surprised.

  12. Caty

    I was surprised to read this story that he fufilled the prophecy of the bible even though he didnt believe God.

  13. R.K

    It’s very interesting that Cyrus was closely related with Israel though he is a enthusiastic sun-god worshiper!

  14. Keith

    God used king Cyrus and let him realize true God. Now we need to know God’s plan God let us see this article.

  15. Diana

    I could know deeply about the relation between Cyrus and zoroastrianism.

  16. Ryan

    After realizing the prophecies in the Bible, King Cyrus gave glory to God and set the Israelites free.

  17. Preciois

    I have been curious why he set the Israelites free and let them build the temple of God. Now, I found the answer!! Thanks?

  18. Julie

    Even Cyrus, who believed in zoroastrianism, praised God! Amazing!!

  19. Mansol

    ZOROASTRIANISM? Do I have to learn about this for the salvation of my soul?

  20. Joshua

    After I reading this, I realized how amazing providence of God. It is very amazing Cyrus who professed zoroastrianism praised to God!

  21. Wendy

    God truly exists. We can understand it through the Bible

  22. Sante

    ZOROASTRIANISM? I have no idea of that. But, heard about king Cyrus, king of Persia in history channel. Have something to do with the Bible?

  23. Genie

    Way trendy, some valid points! I appreciate you making this article available, the remaining part of the site is also high quality.
    Have a enjoyable.

  24. Amily Parker

    I think king Cyrus was surprised to read bible at that time. He didn’t know everthing about God of Israel. But he fufilled the prophecy of the bible even though he didnt believe the God. So king Cyrus would help the work of God.

    1. csara

      The bible which God gives us is as clear as that.

  25. younggong ha

    All of the prophecies in the bible are so amazing and perfect ! The king Cyrus must be surprised with the prophecy so he couldn’t help praising God.

    1. Collinse

      Truly, amazing. God wrote what will take place in the future for the salvation of God’s ppl. And, they will try their own best for Elohim God’s glory when they realize Their great love.

  26. James

    It’s amazing that God had already prophesied about Cyrus long before his birth. God truly knows future and runs our history.

  27. bren

    The Bible is an amazing book letting us know God’s existence and almightiness.

  28. ikee

    The prophecy of God is formed by touching the hearts of the Gentiles.
    At this very moment, the fulfillment of God’s prophecy is on going.
    May you have wisdom to obey prophecy with faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *