Isaiah 44:28—How could Isaiah talk in such specific terms about a king that would not exist for some 200 years?
Problem: In Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, Isaiah specifically names Cyrus in connection with the future restoration of Israel and the laying of the foundations of the temple. However, Isaiah conducted his ministry some time between 739 and 681 b.c., while Cyrus would not even become king of Persia until 539 b.c. That is a period of at least 150 years. How could Isaiah specifically name Cyrus before he even lived?
Solution: This is an instance of supernatural prophecy. Although it was not in the power of Isaiah to look into the future, it is certainly in the power of God who declares “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10). Not only does God know who will come to power, but, “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Dan. 4:32). It is God who sets up kingdoms, and it is God who brings them down. It is no small wonder, then, that God is able to name a king almost 200 years before he takes the throne. (See comments on Daniel 1:1.)
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.