While reading the Cyrus the Great in the Wikipedia, I found the mentioned sentence in this paragraph:

Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered.[13] It is said that in universal history, the role of the Achaemenid empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects.[8] In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus.[14] What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration (actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion where because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the people of the Jewish faith, as "the anointed of the Lord".[15][16]

I guess something positive after word by word translating to Farsi but I am not sure about the right meaning and think it refers to a religious historical believe.

2 Answers 2


From Wikipedia:

Among the Hebrews, the act of anointing with the Holy anointing oil was significant in consecration to a holy or sacred use: hence the anointing of the high priest (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Exodus 30:26). Later, Kings and Prophets were given the right to partake in this sacrament as well.


The primary purpose of anointing with the holy anointing oil was to cause the anointed persons or objects to become qodesh – most holy (Exodus 30:29).

Originally the oil was used exclusively for the priests and the Tabernacle articles but was later extended to include prophets and kings (I Samuel 10:1). It was forbidden to be used on an outsider (Exodus 30:33) or to be used on the body of any common persons (Ex. 30:32a)

Basically, it's a symbol of extremely high regard towards a ruler and acceptance as being part of them (if true), on a religious/holy level.

Sort of like honoris causa degree :)

  • It should be noted the Talmud explains that the oil used for anointing kings (persimmon oil) was different that which was used to anoint the Kohanim (a special olive oil preparation), which was only used on a few occasions (the priesthood did not require that each priest to be anointed) and was forbidden for use by those who were not kohanim, including Moses himself.
    – user2590
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:47

Isaiah 45:1 actually directly calls Cyrus the Lord's annointed (the Messiah):

This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:

Whether Cyrus was "the" Messiah or just "a" Messiah is debated amongst theolgians, both Christian and Jewish, but the plain sense of the text can explain why Cyrus is called the annointed of the Lord.


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