“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.” (Isaiah 44:28)
This is a remarkable prophecy, one of the main stumbling blocks of liberals who use it as an excuse for their completely wrong notion of a “second Isaiah.” Long before Jerusalem was invaded and its temple destroyed by the armies of Babylon, Isaiah was already prophesying its rebuilding!
Furthermore, the great Persian emperor Cyrus (whose nation would eventually conquer Babylon) was here named by God about 150 years before he was born and 175 years before he would fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy by giving Ezra authority to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-2).
Since liberal scholars do not want to believe in miracles and fulfilled prophecy, they have decided that this prophecy could not have been written by the original Isaiah but by some later writer living after Cyrus. The truth is, however, that God controls the future and can reveal it if He chooses, using this very fact as proof that He will keep His other promises. “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus . . . I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou has not known me” (Isaiah 45:1, 4).
God had also named King Josiah before he was born (1 Kings 13:2; 2 Kings 23:15-16), with the specific prophecy concerning him waiting to be fulfilled for over 300 years after it was first spoken.
It may take a long time, but God will surely do all He has said. “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10). HMM