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                                  Harry Truman Comes As A 'Cyrus' To The Jews

   Harry Truman had a strange Presidency by any standard.  He followed Franklin Roosevelt, a man that was arguably the most imposing political figure of the 20th century.  He became the 33rd President of the United States. He had to decide whether or not to use the A-bombs.  And he had to decide whether to back the formation of Israel, stay neutral, or oppose it. 

  This was a surprisingly difficult issue.  Although most of the Christian United States was enthusiastic about it, the Arab world was not.  And even then, Arabia meant oil.  Not only that, but it was likely that the formation of a zionist state in Israel would cause a war to erupt there with the neighboring countries, which brought up the question of what the USA would do if such war did begin.

  Some of Truman's top advisors were adamantly against backing a Zionist state of Israel.  But, as Truman finally said he had decided, his constituency was Christian, not Arab.

  I had heard a story that a group of Jewish leaders met with Truman, and convinced him that he was God's chosen instrument for restoring Israel as a nation, and that he therefore must act.  That he was a latter-day Cyrus of sorts.  Cyrus the Persian was the king who restored Israel to their former lands after the Babylonian captivity, which lasted 70 years.  God had given prophets word about Cyrus - BY NAME! - years before he was even born.  Before there even was a 'Babylonian captivity', in fact.  Cyrus was surely an instrument of God.  And the prophet Daniel was among those who showed Cyrus the 'antique' scroll of Isaiah which predicted Cyrus's coming.  And it also told of how God had given Cyrus his previous victories, and brought him to his present greatness for such a reason. 

   We can only guess how Cyrus - a king that had been blessed where ever he went with unusual fortune, greatness, and victories - must have felt to learn who was the author of such care, nurturing, protection, and blessing:  Yahweh, the God of the Jews, and He that would later send the Messiah! 

  I had an opportunity to visit the Truman Presidential Library, which is certainly an excellent one.  They allowed visitors to send in questions to the historical experts, and one of them was kind enough to reply.  I will not use their name, in case they do not wish it, but part of the letter is as follows:    

 Greetings from the Truman Library:

Thank you for your recent inquiry concerning President Truman and Cyrus
the Great.  The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Isaac Halevi Herzog, visited the
White House in 1949 and told Truman, "God put you in your mother's womb
so that you could be the instrument to bring about the rebirth of Israel
after two thousand years."  According to a witness, Truman wept when he
heard this statement.  The rabbi then quoted from the Book of Ezra,
referring to the promise of Cyrus the Great to restore the temple at
Jerusalem.  The rabbi assured Truman "that he had been given the task
once fulfilled by the mighty King of Persia, and that he too, like
Cyrus, would occupy a place of honor in the annals of the Jewish

Some years later, former President Truman and his friend Eddie Jacobson
visited the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  Jacobson told the
president of the seminary that Truman had helped create the State of
Israel.  "What do you mean, helped create?" Truman said.  "I am Cyrus, I
am Cyrus!"

These stories appear in Michael T. Benson, Harry S. Truman and the
Founding of Israel (Westport: Praeger, 1997), pgs. 189-190.

  End Quote. 

  So, I would understand this to be confirmation that President Truman felt himself an instrument of God, and that if so, America is also.  And it is interesting to think about how very much national blessing we received afterwards, in keeping with the scriptural passage saying, concerning Israel, 'I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.'  May we always remain a defender and keeper, a friend and ally of our Father's chosen people.   May we always be a Jonathan to their David. 

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website