1. Exposition

What archaeological evidence confirms this proclamation?

Ezra 1:1 (ESV)

1 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, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

An oral proclamation was easy to change since there was no written record to which people could go back. Once a message has been put in writing, it has a lot more authority since you cannot change it very easily. In 1879 a cylinder was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. This cylinder became known as the Cyrus Cylinder. It dates from 539 BC and contains a proclamation from Cyrus king of Persian in which he declares that exiles (those taken from their native lands) are free to go home. Cyrus was also willing to pay for people to rebuild temples and take their various pagan gods back to their temples. This cylinder thus confirmed the biblical account and is a great testimony to the historical reliability of the Bible.