The speed with which Cyrus rose to world dominion was nothing short of miraculous. At the beginning of the chapter, Yeshayahu predicts that on the night Cyrus will march his army into Babylonia, the gates of the city will be left open. In Cyrus’s own chronicle of his conquest, he describes in amazement how the gates of the cities opened before his armies. According to the prophet, this will be a sign to the new king Cyrus that he was chosen for a larger, divine purpose — restoring the People of Israel to their natural home. Indeed, one of the first things Cyrus does as king is grant permission to the Jews to return to Israel and to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (see Ezra 1), as predicted above (44:26-28).