Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step?[a] He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. (Isaiah 41:2 English Standard Version)
[a] Or whom righteousness calls to follow?

I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. (Isaiah 41:25 English Standard Version)

  • Who stirred up in vers 2, is it a rhetorical question?
  • Who is the man from east whom victory meets at every step?
  • I stirred up one from the north, who is this?

2 Answers 2


In Isaiah 41:2, Yeshayahu refers to "Cyrus" | כ֣וֹרֶשׁ Koresh מְשִׁיחוֹ֘ His-Anointed. - If you read the entire scroll in context from chapters 41 to 45.

[Yeshayahu | Isaiah 41:2] "Who aroused from the East, [the one] whom righteousness accompanied? He placed nations before him and over kings He gave him dominion; He made his sword like dust, his bow like wind-blown stubble." ( מִ֚י הֵעִיר֙ מִמִּזְרָ֔ח צֶ֖דֶק יִקְרָאֵ֣הוּ לְרַגְל֑וֹ יִתֵּ֨ן לְפָנָ֚יו גּוֹיִם֙ וּמְלָכִ֣ים יַ֔רְדְּ יִתֵּ֚ן כֶּֽעָפָר֙ חַרְבּ֔וֹ כְּקַ֥שׁ נִדָּ֖ף קַשְׁתּֽוֹ )
[Yeshayahu | Isaiah 45:1] "So said YHVH to His-Anointed one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I held, to flatten nations before him, and the loins of kings I will loosen, to open portals before him, and gates shall not be closed." ( כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָה֘ לִמְשִׁיחוֹ֘ לְכ֣וֹרֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־הֶֽחֱזַ֣קְתִּי בִֽימִינ֗וֹ לְרַד־לְפָנָיו֙ גּוֹיִ֔ם וּמָתְנֵ֥י מְלָכִ֖ים אֲפַתֵּ֑חַ לִפְתֹּ֚חַ לְפָנָיו֙ דְּלָתַ֔יִם וּשְׁעָרִ֖ים לֹ֥א יִסָּגֵֽרוּ )

Wait - King Cyrus was a "Meshiach" who helped build God's Temple on earth? | Where does the Bible say that?

[Yeshayahu | Isaiah 44:28] "Who says of Cyrus, "He is My shepherd, and all My desire he shall fulfill," and to say of Jerusalem, "It shall be built, and the Temple shall be founded." ( הָֽאֹמֵ֚ר לְכ֙וֹרֶשׁ֙ רֹעִ֔י וְכָל־חֶפְצִ֖י יַשְׁלִ֑ם וְלֵאמֹ֚ר לִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ תִּבָּנֶ֔ה וְהֵיכָ֖ל תִּוָּסֵֽד )

Wait.. Isaiah - you mean Jesus, not Cyrus - right?

Ezra, did Isaiah 41:2 refer to Cyrus? [Ezra 1:1] "YHVH aroused the Spirit of Cyrus" ( הֵעִ֣יר יְהֹוָ֗ה אֶת־ר֙וּחַ֙ כֹּ֣רֶשׁ )

but wait - Ezra, but did Cyrus conquer all nations to build God a Temple?

[Ezra 1:2] "So said Cyrus, the king of Persia, 'All the kingdoms of the earth YHVH God of the heavens delivered to me, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judea." ( כֹּ֣ה אָמַ֗ר כֹּרֶשׁ מֶ֣לֶךְ פָּרַ֔ס כֹּל מַמְלְכ֣וֹת הָאָ֔רֶץ נָ֣תַן לִ֔י יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְהֽוּא־פָקַ֚ד עָלַי֙ לִבְנֽוֹת־ל֣וֹ בַ֔יִת בִּירֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּֽיהוּדָֽה )

Isaiah 41:2a

Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step?


who raised up from the East one whom righteousness will call to his foot. It is generally agreed among moderns that the reference is to Cyrus

Isaiah 41:25a

I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;

Most commentators believed that they referred to the same man: Cyrus.


Cambridge: In point of fact Cyrus came from the north-east.


Cyrus might be said to come from the north, because he was a Mede by his mother, as he was a Persian by his father; or because a great part of his army was gathered out of Media, which was northward in reference to Judea, and because Darius the Mede was joined with him in this expedition.

The chronicler affirmed it in 2 Chronicles 36:

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah—the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia

Cyrus himself acknowledged the LORD in Ezra 1:

2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

There seems to be little controversy about this. Isaiah prophecized about Cyrus in chapter 41.

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