Several uncanny similarities between US President Donald Trump and Cyrus the Great, together with Isaiah Chapter 45, trigger the question: Was Trump’s ascension to power Divinely orchestrated?
“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. And to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut. I will go before you and level the mountains. I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures and riches that are 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.“ – Isaiah Chapter 45:1-4
Isaiah’s prophesy takes place a full 150 years before Cyrus is even born. Notice the beginning and end of this passage. First, Cyrus, a non-Israelite king, is called G-d’s anointed, a term previously used only for Jewish leaders. Second, Cyrus, although called by the G-d of Israel, doesn’t actually know the G-d of Israel. Instead, like the vast majority of people in the ancient world, he either worshipped different deities in the form of idols or worshipped none at all.
In verse 3, the prophet tells us that God will lavish him with tremendous wealth, “so that you may know that I am the Lord who calls you by name.” The 19th-century Torah commentator Rabbi Meir Leibush Wisser, known as the Malbim, gives an amazing explanation to this verse, according to which God is telling Cyrus: I’ve given you the key to the treasury of Babylonia – in order for you, Cyrus, to understand that your rise to the pinnacle of power has come about in an obviously unnatural way, so that the nations of the world will recognize My great name, and that you will be a salvation for the people of Israel.
In other words: You don’t deserve all the good that is happening to you, you are but a vessel to bring out my Great name.
Seventy years after the Jews are in exile, the new pagan Babylonian king encourages them to go back to Jerusalem – go back to their homeland and rebuild their Holy Temple, also helping to finance their endeavor to boot.
Does Isaiah Chapter 45 perhaps prophesize more than one “Cyrus”? After all, it was written almost two centuries before his birth. Well, let’s see. The State of Israel is in its 70th year, awaiting the rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem, with an American president – number 45 confirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital! All this from a president who certainly had more than just a little help from Above in obtaining the presidency.
By: Yehoshua Schechter
The author is a rabbi and businessman living in Modi’in, Israel.