If Cyrus king of Persia practiced the Zoroastrian faith and God (presumably Jehovah) moved his heart (2 Chronicles 36:22) and Cyrus prayed to him (Ezra 1:2), what are the biblical bases that Zoroastrians worship a different god than the God of the Bible?

2 Chronicles 36:22 NIV

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

Ezra 1:2 NIV

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.

I am not looking for opinion, but the biblical bases for either position.

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    If you think that Jews, Muslims and Christians worship the same God, I rather think the answer is that they do worship the same God (along with some other groups like the Samaritans). If you don't think that then you can point to any number of differences in theology - for example they tend to emphasise the power of their satanic figure in a way that might seem uncomfortable to some Christians. – Reluctant_Linux_User Dec 3 '14 at 18:38
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    What is the biblical basis of 'Cyrus king of Persia practiced the Zoroastrian faith'? – user13992 Dec 3 '14 at 18:47
  • @FMS Really? Cyrus was not Jewish and that is not open for debate. – The Freemason Dec 3 '14 at 18:53
  • I believe since you restrict this to biblical basis, the bible must be explicit about the King's faith. – user13992 Dec 3 '14 at 19:11
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    This is a strange question. You've made a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the evidence given. That when Cyrus prayed that one time it was to Zoroaster (or whoever) instead of to God. – fгedsbend Dec 4 '14 at 5:48

Let's try to address all the questions here.

  1. God moved Cyrus heart. That statement itself doesn't mean that Cyrus became a worshipper of God. God can move the hearts of all sort of people to do all sorts of things (for example read how he moved the heart of Pharoah in Exodus). All it says is God caused Cyrus to do a specific thing, i.e. make a proclamation.
  2. The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth This statement does imply that Cyrus recognizes God in some way. However we don't know if perhaps he recognized God as 'one God among many', and so not a true worshipper. It is also possible that Cyrus couched the proclamation in those terms for his own reasons - perhaps to emphasise to the Israelites his authority.

In any case, none of this implies that Cyrus was a worshipper of God by virtue of his being a Zoroastrian (assuming he was - it's far from certain) and thus doesn't imply that the Zoroastrian God is Yahweh.


The fact that Cyrus worshiped a different god than the God of the bible is found in

Isaiah 45:1-4 KJV

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

While I do not understand how or why God would speak someone who worshiped a different god, apparently he did.

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    I'm not sure that this answer makes any sense. You may wish to rephrase it. – Reluctant_Linux_User Dec 3 '14 at 20:17
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    I wonder if Cyrus, who did many great things for the Jewish people and is revered in the bible is burning in hell because he didn't know God. – The Freemason Dec 3 '14 at 20:25
  • That's an interesting thought, but I'm still having trouble understanding the point of the question. – fгedsbend Dec 4 '14 at 19:40
  • And you answer affirms the strangeness of the presumptions in the question. Whether he prayed or not is irrelevant to a God that speaks to whom He will and shows favor on whom He will. The flaw behind the flaw in the premise is that God must wait for us to pray before he interacts with us. – fгedsbend Dec 4 '14 at 19:43
  • Originally my question was simply, was Cyrus praying to Jehovah. Since it is well accepted (except maybe here?) that he was zoroastrian, I wondered how this could be possible. The questionhasmorphed. – The Freemason Dec 4 '14 at 19:48

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