(Stephen E. Strang is an award-winning journalist, Charisma founder and author of the best-seller “God and Donald Trump.” This content was excerpted from his new book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.”)
By Stephen E. Strang
Evangelical Christians believe the Bible is God’s plan for mankind. But is it possible that ancient figures in Scripture foreshadow leaders of our own day—revealing what they do and when they rise and fall, even down to the exact timing of dates?
I can’t say for certain, but the evidence I gathered from Christian leaders while writing my new book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election” may give us a peek into the spiritual dimension of what is happening in our day.
I was surprised when during the 2016 presidential campaign I began hearing comparisons between this political outsider named Donald Trump and Cyrus the ancient Persian king who, although never a true follower of the Hebrew God, declared that the Lord God of heaven charged him to build Him a house in Jerusalem—the temple. In other words, God used a pagan king to accomplish His purposes.
Can the same be said of Donald Trump? Did God raise him up as He did King Cyrus to accomplish His purposes?
I’ve been following politics for a long time. I still remember going with my dad to see Richard Nixon speak at a rally in Tampa, Florida, during his 1968 presidential campaign. Years later, I saw Jimmy Carter visit the newspaper where I worked in Orlando, and I was in the room when Reagan gave his famous “evil empire” speech at the National Association of Evangelicals conference in 1983. Yet in all the years I’ve been observing politics, I’ve never heard of any political candidates—Republican or Democratic—being compared to biblical figures. The one exception is Harry Truman, who referred to himself as Cyrus during a speech to a Jewish group after the United States recognized Israel as a sovereign nation. But since his election Donald Trump has been compared to several biblical figures, not only to Cyrus. Why?
To understand whether God has raised up President Trump, you must first believe in God. Then you must understand that He has ruled over all the earth since the beginning of time and that He reveals Himself to mankind in His holy Word, which we call the Bible.
In the Bible and its stories of ancient people, there are mysteries that help unlock an understanding of how God is working. Of course, this isn’t always easy to see. There’s a New Testament scripture that even says, “Now we see through a glass, darkly,” meaning we don’t always understand what we can’t clearly see. But as I saw more and more parallels between Trump and certain biblical figures, I began to see more clearly their significance.
It was helpful to me to hear other leaders use Cyrus, the pagan Persian king, as an example of how God raised up a nonbeliever to accomplish His plans and purposes in the Old Testament. One of those leaders was Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who likened the U.S. president to Cyrus in 2019 before meeting Trump in the Oval Office. In fact Netanyahu has made several statements associating Trump with King Cyrus.
Jonathan Cahn, the author of “The Harbinger,” also sees a connection. He said, “Trump’s proclamation concerning Jerusalem holds striking parallels to the decree of the Persian king Cyrus as recorded in the Bible.” He went on to explain that “each proclamation recognizes the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. The result of Cyrus’ decree was the rebuilding of Jerusalem after 70 years. The result of Trump’s decree was the inauguration of the American embassy in Jerusalem after 70 years of Israel’s existence—to the exact day.”
Cahn also sees significance in Trump becoming president at age 70. Many Christians perceive meaning in the pattern of the number 70 in Trump’s presidency that correlates to scriptural passages. In his latest book, “The Oracle,” Cahn explains that Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem exactly 70 years from when the Jewish state was formed. Seventy years was also the length of the Jewish exile foretold by Jeremiah, who wrote: “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will … perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return.”
The prophecy was fulfilled when Cyrus became king of Persia exactly 70 years after the exile. And according to Cahn, the separation of the newborn Jewish state from Jerusalem and the world’s refusal to grant Israel legal recognition of its ancient capital was a type of exile ended by Trump. As I mentioned previously, President Harry Truman, who recognized Israel soon after its birth was announced in 1948, even referred to himself as Cyrus because he encouraged the Jewish diaspora to return home. Raised going to Sunday school, Truman knew the prophecies that the Jewish people would one day return to their homeland. So if Trump is also like Cyrus, the two Cyruses frame the 70 years of Israel’s existence.
In “The Oracle,” Cahn elaborates:
“And when [President Trump] issued that declaration, he made special mention of another president. He spoke of the other Cyrus, Harry Truman. And his declaration contained the phrase that would link the modern declaration to the ancient—the phrase 70 years. He said this: ‘It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel.’ So the proclamation itself makes note that the proclamation is itself going forth at the end of a 70-year period.”
I’m proud to call Cahn a close friend and to also be his publisher. “The Harbinger” has been the best-selling book my company has ever published, and it has spawned other popular books, including “The Paradigm.” Here, Cahn found in the Old Testament comparisons between contemporary and ancient leaders, including between two couples: the wicked King Ahab and his pagan wife, Jezebel, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. In Christian prophetic circles, preachers like to use Jezebel to represent any evil, but never before “The Paradigm” had anyone shown the parallels between Ahab and Jezebel and Bill and Hillary Clinton in such a detailed way.
But Cahn does not stop there. He goes on to show parallels between Bible characters and other leaders, including Barack Obama. The Clintons and Obama won’t be running against Trump in 2020, so you might be asking yourself why this matters in a book about the upcoming election. It matters because the timing of each leader’s emergence on the national stage and his or her rise to prominence matches the parallels from Israel’s history that Cahn uncovers in his book.
And all of it leads up to Donald Trump.