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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Cyrus Cylinder

cyrus_cilinder_3_450We took about a long lunch break and ducked into the Sackler Gallery of Art in downtown Washington, DC.  The Cyrus Cylinder was on display, loaned from the British Museum, its first stop on a US tour.  This iconic artifact of Biblical history was discovered in 1879 in Babylon, and has a most amazing story to tell, dating from the mid-6th Century BCE.

“Nearly 150 years before Cyrus’ birth, God declared through theCyrus-Cylinder prophet Isaiah that a man named Cyrus would be the anointed shepherd of his people and rebuild Jerusalem. At the time of the prophecy of Isaiah, Jerusalem was a prosperous city that would not be destroyed for more than 100 years by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.”

This prophetic foretelling is found in Isaiah 44:24,26-28:

stock-footage-scripture-selection-from-the-holy-bible-book-of-isaiah“That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited ; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built , and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:   That saith to the deep, Be dry , and I will dry up thy rivers:  That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd , and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”

Historians such as Herodotus and others confirm that this did indeed happen, the Babylonian Captivity ending, andcyor the rest, as they say, is history.

Enter the Cyrus Cylinder, wedged-shaped cuneiform script on clay, and buried as a foundation deposit when it was excavated in Babylon.  It again recounts Cyrus the Great’s humanitarian exploits, allowing conquered people to return home to their lands.  This ancient document confirms the Biblical record of the destruction of the Babylonian Empire by Cyrus and the Jews’ return to Israel.

About the size of a small loaf of bread, the Cyrus Cylinder is well worth a look.  It will be on display at the Sackler through the end of April, then traveling to Houston, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, accompanied by other objects, such as a gold, griffin-headed armlet, or a chalcedony Darius seal, filling three rooms in all. Our family took about 30 minutes to read most of the commentary of the display cases.

A very nice offering at the Smithsonian this spring, meaningful on many levels.

 

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