I The proclamation of Cyrus, for the release of the Jews, and building of the temple, ver. 1-4. The return of many of them, ver. 5, 6. Orders given for restoring the vessels of the temple, ver. 7- 11.
Verse 1. Fulfilled - Nebuchadnezzar carried many of the Jews into captivity in the first year of his reign (the fourth of Jehoiakim). He reigned forty-five years, his son Evil-merodach twenty-three, and his grandson Belshazzar, three years, which make up the seventy years foretold by Jeremiah. First year - Of his reign in Babylon: for he had been king of Persia for many years.
Verse 2. All, &c. - In those parts of the world; all that vast empire formerly under the Assyrians and Babylonians. The gift of which he ascribes to the great God; by that express prophecy of Isaiah concerning him, Isaiah xliv, 28; xlv, 1, 13, so long before he was born; which prophecy the Jews had doubtlessly shewed him, which also carried a great evidence with it, especially to him who was so highly encouraged by it: or by a special illumination which God vouchsafed to him, as he did to Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, and some other Heathen princes.
Verse 5. Then rose up, &c. - These being a new generation, went out like their father Abraham, from this land of the Chaldees, not knowing whither they went.
Verse 6. Strengthened their hands - God can, when he pleases, incline the hearts of strangers to be kind to his people; yea, make those strengthen their hands, who formerly weakened them.
Verse 8. Sheshbazzar - Zerubbabel; the Chaldeans called him Sheshbazzar, that is, Joy in tribulation, but among his own people he was called Zerubbabel, a stranger in Babylon. So he looked upon himself, tho' (Josephus says) he was captain of the life- guard.