I was hoping you could answer my a question on Isaiah 45:14. It seems to say that Cyrus the Great would gain tribute or conquer Egypt, Cush and the Sabeans (which I believe are Ethiopians). But Cyrus the Great never conquered Egypt. Rather Cyrus’ son Cambyses invaded Egypt and conquered Egypt. He then tried to conqer Cush but had to turn back after taking heavy losses. Also could you give me a Protestant interpretation on how Catholicism developed?


When God prophesied through Isaiah the conquests of the future Cyrus, he included the conquests of his son Cambysses. Here, Cyrus stands for Persia as a whole, which is a common literary device in the ancient world. Although Cambysses may not have completed the absorption of the entire Cushite and Sabean cultures and realms, the prophecy that the products of Egypt, the merchandise of Cush and the merchandise of the Sabeans were taken and that their people were also taken in chains is in fact a correct description of the events of the reign of Cambysses. These facts are confirmed by Herodotus and other Greek historians. Herodotus reports an expedition deep into Ethiopia and Cush. The expedition was not completely successful, but the description given in Isaiah 45:14 is a good description of the extent of the military carreer of Cambysses.

As for the Protestant interpretation of Catholicism, I am not a Protestant, so you will have to ask a Protestant their opinion. I have written a Church History which will be published in the next couple of months. It will be available in February or March at There I describe in much detail the emergence of what became the Roman Catholic Church out of Western Christianity. It is my opinion that the "Protestant" interpretation of Catholicism will tend to be somewhat biased as, by the very phrase you are using, you are asking what the opponents of Catholicism say about Catholicism. It is my opinion that although Roman Catholicism has much to be criticized in terms of their practices and concept of what the church is, their theology is probably closer to biblical thinking than much of the theology found in Protestant Christianity.

John Oakes

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