The Form of the Soul

Covered by Cairo link

J E Bradburn


The question is now: How far is the man of this Culture himself fulfilling what the soul image that he has created requires of him?  If we can, today, state the theme of western (found in or characteristic of countries, especially in Europe and North and South America, whose culture and society are greatly influenced by traditions rooted in Greek and Roman culture and in Christianity), physics (the scientific study of matter, energy, force, and motion, and the way they relate to each other. Physics traditionally incorporates mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, and thermodynamics and now includes modern disciplines such as quantum mechanics, relativity, and nuclear physics.) state the theme of Western physics quite generally to be efficient space, we have ipso facto defined also the kind of existence, the content of existence as lived by contemporary man (existing or occurring at or dating from the same period of time as something or somebody else). Too answer this question; read the chapters below.


BOOK OF ADAM AND EVE, Vita XVI:3,4 and XVII (p.137), and John 8:44.

12:1 And with a heavy sigh, the devil spake: “O Adam! All my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the heavens in the midst of the angels and for thee I was cast out in the earth.”

12:2 Adam answered, “What dost thou tell me? ‘What have I done to thee or what is my fault against thee?’”

13:3 Seeing that thou hast received no harm or injury from us, why dost thou pursue us?


13:1 The devil replied, “Adam, what dost thou tell me? ‘It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place.’”

13:2 When thou wast formed, I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels.

13:3 When God [Elohim] blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake:”

13:4 Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.’”


14:1 And Michael went out and called all the angels saying: ‘Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.”

14:2 And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: ‘Worship the image of God the Lord.’

14:3 And I answered, ‘I have no (need) to worship Adam. And since Michael kept urging me to worship,’ I said to him, ‘Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.”


15:1 When the angels, who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him [Adam].”

15:2 And Michael saith, ‘Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God [Elohim] will be wrath with thee.’”

15:3 And I said, ‘If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest {Jehovah].’”


16:1 And God the LORD was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory; and on thy account was we expelled from our abodes into this world and hurled on the earth.”

16:2 And straightaway we were overcome with grief, since we had been spoiled of so great glory.’”

16:3 And we were grieved when we saw thee in such joy and luxury.

16:4 And with guile [Cunning and deceitfulness] I cheated thy wife and caused thee to be expelled through her (doing) from thy joy and luxury, as I have been driven out of my glory.”


17:1 When Adam heard the devil say this, he cried out and wept and spake: ‘O Lord my God, my life is in thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul, and give me his glory which he himself hath lost.’”

17:2 And at that moment, the devil vanished before him.”

17:3 But Adam endured.”


John 8:44 (KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


We, as Faustian natures, are accustomed to take note of the individual according to his effective and not according to his plastic static appearance in the field of our life-experience. We measure what a man is by his activity, which may be directed inwardly or outwardly, and we judge all intentions, reasons, powers, convictions, and habits entirely by this directedness. The word with which we sum up this aspect is character (phase, or part of a whole).


Relating to, or characteristic of Faust: a Faustian novel. sacrificing spiritual values for power, knowledge, for material gain: a Faustian pact with the Devil. characterized by spiritual dissatisfaction or torment. possessed with a hunger for knowledge or mastery.”


We habitually speak of the “character” of heads and landscapes, of ornaments, brush strokes and scripts; of whole arts and ages of Cultures. The art of the characteristic is, above all, Baroque music—alike in respects of its melody and its instrumentation. Here again is a word indicating an indescribable, a something that emphasises, among all the Cultures, the Faustian in particular.  And the deep relation between this word “character” and the word “will” is unmistakeable, what will is in the soul image, character is in the image of life as we see it, the Western life that is self-evident to Western men. It is the fundamental metaphysical or practical precepts (a rule, instruction, or principle that guides somebody's actions, especially one that guides moral behaviour), that man has character. Character, which forms itself in the stream of the world –the personality, the relation of living [as opposed to] doing—is a Faustian impression of the man made by the man; and significantly enough, just as in the physical world-picture it has proved impossible (in spite of the most rigorous theoretical examination) to separate the vectoral idea (a quantity that has both direction and magnitude, e.g. force or velocity, usually) of forces from the idea of motion (because of the inherent directional quality of the vector), so also, it is impossible to draw a strict distinction between:


1.      Will and the Soul,

2.      Character and life.

The great part played by learned Jesuits (an offensive term for somebody regarded as crafty or scheming, especially somebody who uses deliberately ambiguous or confusing words to deceive others) in the development of theoretical physics must not be overlooked. Father Boscovich, with his system of atomic forces (1759), made the first serious advance beyond Newton. The idea of the equivalence of God and pure space is even more evident in Jesuit work than it is in that of the Jansenists of Port Royal (a Roman Catholic reform movement of the 17th and 18th centuries based on the theological views of Cornelis Jansen, who maintained that there can be no good act without divine will or the grace of God) with whom Descartes and Pascal were associated.


At the height of our Culture, certainly since the 17th Century, we feel the word “life” as a pure and simple synonym of willing (a word that means the same, or almost the same, as another word in the same language, either in all of its uses or in a specific context. Examples of synonyms in this sense are 'environment' and 'surroundings' and the verbs 'tear' and 'rip').

   “Where there’s a “will” there’s a way”. How can life on this earth mean, “willing is a way of life to them.”


Jeremiah 32:27-35 (KJV)

27Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?”

28Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:

29And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke Me to anger.”

30For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked Me to anger with the work of their hands, ‘saith the Lord.’”

31For this city hath been to Me as a provocation of Mine anger and of My fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before My face,”

32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

33And they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.”

34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by My name, to defile it.”

35And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”


Expressions like living force, life-will, active energy, abound in our ethical literature and their import is taken for granted, whereas the age of Pericles could not even have translated them into its language.


So also was this useful for our withdrawal from evil.

1.      Firstly, because man is taught by it not to prefer the devil to himself, nor to honour him who is the author of sin; ‘Since human nature is so united to God as to become one person, let not these proud spirits dare to prefer themselves to man, because they have no bodies.’

2.      Secondly, because we are thereby taught how great is man’s dignity, lest we should sully it with sin; God has proved to us how high a place human nature holds amongst creatures, inasmuch as He appeared to man as a true man.’ and: Learn O Christian, thy worth; and being made a partner of the Divine nature, refuse to return to evil deeds to your former worthlessness.’

3.      Thirdly, because, in order to do away with man’s presumption, the grace of God is commended in Jesus Christ, though no merits of ours went before,

4.      Fourthly, because man’s pride [The Pride Movement consists of homosexuals and Lesbian, among other things], which is the greatest stumbling block to our clinging to God, can be convinced and cured by humility so great,

5.      Fifthly, In order to free man from the thraldom of sin, which, ought to be done in such a way that the devil should be overcome by the Justice of the man  Jesus Christ, and this was done by Christ satisfying for us. Now a mere man could not have satisfied for the whole human race, and God was not bound to satisfy; hence it behoved Jesus Christ to be both God and man. Hence: Weakness is assumed by strength, lowliness by majesty, and mortality by eternity, in order that one and the same Mediator of God and men might die in one and arise in the other—for this was our fitting remedy. Unless He was God, He would not have brought a remedy; and unless He was man, He would not have set an example. Moreover, there are very many other advantages which accrued, above man’s apprehension (foreboding) (a feeling of anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen).

Hitherto the pretension of each and every morale to universal validity has obscured the fact that every Culture, as a homogeneous being (having the same kind of constituent elements, or being similar in nature) of higher order, possesses a moral constitution proper to itself  There are as many morals as there are Cultures.


It appears that we are only now ripe enough for such a study.


The conception of mankind as an active, fighting, progressing whole is (and has been since Joachim of Floris and the Crusades) so necessary an idea for us that we find it hard to realise that it is exclusively a Western Hypothesis (a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation), living and only valid for a season. To the Classical spirit mankind appears as a stationary mass, and correspondingly there is quite that dissimilar morale that we can trace from the Homeric dawn to the time of the Roman Empire. And, more generally, we shall find that the immense activity of the Faustian life feeling is most nearly matched in the Chinese and the Egyptian, and the rigorous passivity of the Classical in the Indian.

  If ever there was a group of nations that kept the “struggle for existenceconstantly before its eyes, it was the Classical Culture. Right up the 1st and 2nd world wars and beyond. All the cities, big and little, fought one another to sheer extinction, without plan or purpose (except being led by God against Satan and his forces), without mercy, body against body, under the stimulus of a completely anti historical instinct.


Ezekiel 20:5 (KJV) And say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel,  and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up Mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God;’”


However, Greek ethics, notwithstanding Heraclitus, were far from making struggle an ethical principle. The Stoics and the Epicureans alike preached abstention from it as ideal.


We inherited our education and our literature from the Greek politicians, and more unjustly by the enemy, who was already wreaking havoc here on this earth.


The overcoming of resistances may far more be justly called the typical impulse of the Western soul.  Activity, determination, self-control, are postulates (to assume or suggest that something is true or exists, especially as the basis of an argument or theory). To battle against the comfortable foregrounds of life, against the impressions of the moment, against what is near, tangible, and easy, to win through to that which has generality and duration and links past and future—these are the sum of all Faustian imperatives (necessary) from earliest Gothic to Kant and Fichte, and far beyond them again to the Ethos (the fundamental and distinctive character of a group, social context, or period of time, typically expressed in attitudes, habits, and beliefs). Of immense power and will exhibited in our States, our economic systems and our technics. The carpe diem (used as an invocation to enjoy the present and not worry about the future) the saturated being, of the Classical standpoint is the most contrary of that which is felt by Goethe, Kant, and Pascal, by Church and Freethinker, as alone possessing value—active, fighting and victorious being. 1

1 Luther placed practical activity (the day’s demands, as Goethe said) at the very centre of morale, and that is one of the main reasons why it was to the deeper natures that Protestantism appealed more cogently (forceful and convincing to the intellect and reason). Works of piety devoid of directional energy (in the sense that we give the words here) fell at once from the high esteem in which they had been sustained (as the Renaissance was sustained) by a relic of Southern feeling. On ethical grounds Monasticism thenceforth falls into ever increasing disrepute (a lack or loss of good reputation or respect). In the Gothic Age entry into the cloister, the renunciation of care (a denial or rejection of something or somebody, usually for moral or religious reasons), deed and will, has been an act of the loftiest ethical character—the highest sacrifice that it was possible to imagine, that of life. However, in the Baroque even Roman Catholics no longer felt thus about it. And the institutions, no longer of renunciation but merely of inactive comfort, knelt down before the spirit of Enlightenment.


As all the forms of Dynamic (whether pictorial, musical, physical, social or political) are concerned with the working out of infinite relations and deal, not with the individual case and the sum of individual as the Classical physics had done, but with the typical course or process and its functional rule, “character” must be understood as that which remains in principle constant in the working out of life; where there is no such constant we speak of “lack of character (a complete absence of a particular thing, the set of qualities that make somebody distinctive, especially somebody's qualities of mind and feeling). It is character—the form in virtue of which a moving existence can combine the highest constancy in the essential with the maximum variability in the details—that makes of telling biography (such as Goethe’s Wahrheit und Dichtung = Poetry and truth), possible at all. Plutarch’s truly Classical biographies are by comparison mere collections of anecdotes strung together chronologically and not ordered pictures of historical development, and it will hardly be disputed that only this second kind of biography is imaginable in connection with Alcibiades or Pericles or for that matter, any purely Apollonian figure. Their experiences lack, not mass, but relation there is something atomic about them. Similarly in the field of Science the Greek did not merely forget to look for general laws in the sum of his experimental data; in his cosmos they were simply not there to be found.

  It follows that the science of character-study particularly physiognomy (the features of somebody's face, especially when they are used as indicators of that person's character or temperament) and graphology (the study of handwriting, especially in order to assess somebody's personality from patterns or features of his or her writing), would not be able to glean much in the Classical field. Its handwriting we do not know, but we do know that its ornament, as compared with the Gothic, is of incredible simplicity and feebleness of character expression—think of the Meander (to move in a leisurely way, especially for pleasure or because of a lack of motivation) and the Acanthus shoot (a design characteristic of the capital of a Corinthian column, representing acanthus leaves). On the other hand, it has never been surpassed in timeless evenness.

  It goes without saying that we, when we turn to look into the Classical life-feeling, must find there some basic element of ethical values that is antithetical to “Character” (expressing or constituting the complete or exact opposite) in the same way as the statue is antithetical to the fugue (a disordered state of mind in which somebody typically wanders from home and experiences a loss of memory relating only to the previous, rejected, environment).

 It is this hat provides the necessary foundation for a spiritual static. The word that stands in the Classical vocabulary where “personality” stands in our own “persona” (an identity or role that somebody assumes)—namely mask. In late Greek or Roman speech it means the public aspect and mind of a man, which for classical man is tantamount to the essence and kernel of him. An orator was described as speaking as a layman—not the character or the vein as we should say—of a priest or soldier. The slave was defunct (no longer operative, valid, or functional)—that is, he had no attitude or figure for the public life—but not completely—that is, he did have a soul.


The Patriarchs: Abraham to Joseph

                                                                                                                                           Lineage  1

Lineage  2

Lineage  3

Lineage  4


A major era began with Jehovah’s call  of Abram


Genesis 12 (KJV)

01 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”

02 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”

03And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

04So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”

05And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”

06 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.”

07And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.’”

08 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

09 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.”

10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”

11And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, ‘Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:’”

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, ‘This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.’”

13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.”

14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.”

15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.””

16And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.”

18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this that thou hast done unto me? ‘Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?’”

19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? ‘So I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.’”

20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. “  


The First Hebrew Patriarch

Abram was the son of Terah, a descendant of Noah’s son, Shem


Genesis 11:27 (KJV) Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.”


His childhood was spent in Ur of the Chaldees, a prominent Sumerian city. He was known at the beginning as “Abram which means the “father is exalted,” but this was changed subsequently to “ABRAHAM” which means “father of a multitude


Genesis 17:5 (KJV) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”


About 2092 B.C. Terah, his father, moved to Haran with the family Genesis 11:31 (KJV) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.” and after some years Terah died there. Jehovah called Abram to migrate to Canaan, assuring him that he would father a vast nation. At different time he lived in Shechem, Bethel, Hebron, and beer-Sheba. His wife Sarai’s beauty attracted the Pharaoh  when they moved to Egypt during a famine:


Genesis 12:10 (KJV) And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” But Jehovah intervened to save her. The trouble arose partly because Abram had claimed her as his sister rather than his wife, and in fact she was his half-sister.


Genesis 20:12 (KJV) And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.”


After returning to Palestine, Abram received further Covenantal assurances from Jehovah (Genesis 15 KJV).  He decided he could produce offspring by taking Sarai’s handmaiden Hagar as a concubine. Although the union produced a son, Ishmael, he was not destined to become Abram’s promised heir. Even after another Covenantal assurance in which the rite of circumcision was made a Covenantal sign, Abram and Sarai still questioned Jehovah’s promise of an heir.


Genesis 17:1—21 (KJV)

01 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.’”

02And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.”

03 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,”

04 As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”

05Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”

06And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”

07And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”

08And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

09 And God said unto Abraham, ‘Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.’”

10This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

11And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you.”

12And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.”

13 “He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”

14 “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.”

15 And God said unto Abraham, ‘As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.’”

16And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.”

17Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?’”

18And Abraham said unto God, ‘O that Ishmael might live before thee!’”

19 And God said, ‘Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.’”

20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: ‘Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.’”

21But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”


Here is the truth of the covenant by Jehovah Himself.


Then Sarai, whose name had been changed to Sarah (which means “princess” in Hebrew,) had her long promised son, Isaac (“laughter” Hebrew), when Abraham was a 100 years of age. Ishmael’s presence caused trouble in the family, and he was expelled with his mother Hagar to the wilderness of Paran. Abraham’s faith and obedience were tested by Jehovah in Moriah when he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac.  Jehovah provided an alternative sacrifice, however, sparing the boy’s life. As a reward for Abraham’s faithfulness, Jehovah renewed the covenant promises of great blessing and the growth of a mighty nation to father and son. To this day the enemy Satan has ardently tried to disrupt and overturn the decision of Jehovah, and claim for himself and his followers the treasured covenant. [Wheat and Tares]

Blessing Of the 10 Tribes by Isaac from his son Joseph [Ephraim (U.K.) and Manessah (U.S.A.)

Isaac’s right hand is squarely on the head of Ephraim


Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Continuing the pattern, the younger of the twins, Jacob, became the child of the promise. His 12 sons became the namesakes for the 12 tribes of Israel, but the child of the promise, Judah was not the hero of his generation, and rather Joseph became the saviour of his family. 


 Joseph’s story (Genesis 37—50 KJV) accurately reflects the history of Egypt in the 19th century B.C.  Joseph’s story falls into three parts:

1.      Joseph and his brothers in Canaan.

2.      Joseph alone in Egypt.

3.      Joseph in Egypt with his father Jacob. (This time renamed Israel), his brothers and their families.


One of the younger sons favoured by his father [Israel] (As indicated by the image on the left; the right hand of Israel; is placed on Ephraim’s head.) Joseph was resented deeply by his brothers who sold him into slavery and told his father Isaac he was dead. While in Egypt he repeatedly overcame great obstacles until he rose to the right hand of Pharaoh.

Famine sent his brothers to Egypt for food where they came before Joseph who, after testing them, brought his father’s family to live in safety in Egypt about 1875 B.C. The Joseph stories exhibit an overwhelmingly Egyptian context that fits well with that which is known of the period. Joseph’s story provides the explanation for why Jacob’s family and the tribes of Israel found themselves in Egypt for the next 430 years.



Third king of Anshan, Cyrus (the Great) assumed the throne about 559 B.C. According to the best histories Cyrus was reared by a shepherd after his grandfather, Astyages, king of Media, ordered that he be killed. Apparently, Astyages had dreamed that Cyrus would one day succeed him as king before the reigning monarch’s death. The officer charged with the execution instead carried the boy into the hills to the shepherds.

  As an adult, Cyrus organised the Persians into an army and revolted against his grandfather and father (Cambyses I) He defeated them and claimed their throne. One of his first acts as king of Medio-Persia was to launch an attack against Lydia, capital of Sardis and storehouse for the riches of its king Croesus. Turning eastward, Cyrus continued his campaign until he had carved out a vast empire, stretching from the Aegean Sea to India.

  The Babylonian Empire next stood in his path, an obstacle that appeared to be insurmountable. Engaging the Babylonian army at Opus, Cyrus’s troops routed them and moved on Babylon. The people in the capital welcomed Cyrus with open arms, seeing him as a liberator rather than a conqueror. All that remained was Egypt, which he left for his son Cambyses II. Cyrus was truly was the ruler of the world.

  Cyrus’s military exploits have become legendary. However, he is best remembered for his policies of peace. His famous decree in 539 B.C. set free the captives Babylon had taken during its harsh rule. Among these prisoners were the Jews taken from Jerusalem in 586 B.C.


2 Chronicles 36:22—23 (KJV)

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,”

23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, ‘All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and He hath charged me to build Him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.’ ‘Who is there among you of all His people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.’”



Ezra 1: 1—4 (KJV)

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,”

2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.’”

3 Who is there among you of all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem’.”

4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”


They were allowed to return to rebuild the temple and city. Along with his freedom Cyrus restored the valuable treasures of the temple taken during the exile [Dispersion] (the fact or state of being spread, scattered, or distributed). Since the Jews had done well (financially) in Babylon, many of them did not want to return to the wastes of Judah. From these people Cyrus exacted a tax to help pay for the trip for those who did wish to rebuild Jerusalem. An astute politician, Cyrus made it a practice to publicly worship the gods of each kingdom he conquered. In so doing, he won the hearts of his subjects and kept down revolt. He is referred to Yahweh’s shepherd and anointed because of his kindness to the Jews and worship of Yahweh.


Isaiah 44:28-45:1--6 (KJV)

28 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.”


45:6 (KJV)

1 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;’”

2 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:”

3 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.”

4 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.”

5 “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me:”

6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.”


His last years are obscure. Cyrus was killed while fighting a frontier war with the nomadic Massagetae people. His tomb is in Pasargadea (modern Murghab). Shortly after 600 B.C. the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and took away many of the people as captives. After Cyrus overcame the Babylonian Empire, the Jews who desired to, were allowed to return. The Temple was rebuilt. Under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra, the Jewish religious community established itself, and the worship and life of the people continued. Here Old Testament history ends, and the intertestamental period begins (during, from, or relating to the period between the composition of the last books of the Hebrew Scriptures, called the Old Testament by Christians, and the first books of the New Testament of the Bible). 


1.      Who are we?


2.      Where do we come from?


3.      Where are we going?


4.      Why are we here?


5.      Why does wickedness seem to be in the ascendant?


6.      Why is Atheism and Agnosticism so rife?


7.      Why have Churches lost their way?


8.      Why have Governments lost their way?


9.      Why have people lost their way?


10.   Why have the younger Generations lost their way?


11.   Why have most schools omitted Religious Education out of the curriculum?


12.   The most important question is, “Who Cares”? [If you can answer this question then you are saved]


It is not likely that people who were not associating with Christians would be suspected. The probability is that many who had been Christians in name did in a cowardly fear obey the command to offer incense.


The Christian who did not partake of such sacrificial feasts socially ostracised himself, and yet to partake meant grave moral temptation. But that form of Heathenism which no Christian could avoid, however he might keep himself aloof from the social and commercial life of his fellow citizens, was the worship of the emperors which was increasingly imposed on all the inhabitants of the empire, no matter whatever their race or religion.


The rest is prediction, based on unwavering confidence that God will deal with the persecutor as he deserves.


Finally a word must be said about the anti-Christ idea. The conception arose of the battle of God (or His representative) with the devil at the end of the world. It is very unlikely says Bousset, “that anti-Christ is originally nothing else than the incarnate devil (invested with bodily and especially human nature and form)


It so happens we have a letter written by the Governor of Bithynia, the province mentioned in (1 Peter 1:1), written in the year 110 A.D. (almost as slow as our snail mail) to the Roman emperor, about the Christians.


“With those who have been brought before me as Christians, I have pursued the following course: I have asked them if they were Christians, and if they confessed, I have asked them a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment: If they have persisted I have commanded them to be led away to punishment.” (For further discussion see R W Robinson, The Life of Paul, and P160).


Who shall say how many were saved from a cowardly surrender by the triumphant faith and conviction conveyed in such an Epistle as this of Peter? If many fell away, the church was purified and made stronger. This Epistle and the victory pervading it made the victory sure. In every age, the Spirit of Jesus expressing itself through His followers assures the triumph of the higher kind of life and more and more ennobles human experience.


First Peter is best understood as a revelation of a great historical situation in which the purer and higher triumphed over the baser and the worse.


The Epistle is no longer viewed merely as a statement of doctrine by a single author. History proves that the Epistle found response in the hearts of a great multitude. This is shown not merely by the fact that Christianity triumphed of persecution, but also by the fact the Epistle was preserved and taken into the canon of Scripture. In a very real sense it may be said that First Peter is the triumphant song of countless heroes who saved the world from militarism and materialism, setting up an ideal of spiritual fellowship and brotherhood which is still marching toward the great victory.


The Author of the Epistle

The modern reader of the Epistle has no difficulty in the matter of authorship. Anything in it which does not sound like a direct word of the apostle Peter may be regarded as due to the work of Sylvanus. He was Greek as his name indicates. He may even have been the same Sylvanus (called Silas in Acts) who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey.


Sylvanus either may have written at Peter’s dictation, or have been told by Peter to write the Epistle. It is even conceivable (as suggested by von Soden) that Sylvanus may have written after the death of Peter. In any case the Epistle stands forth in all its glory as an expression of that remarkable fortitude which Peter manifested in his imprisonment and endurance of every kind of persecution, even to his death by crucifixion.