The first king of the Persians and Medes. He captured Babylon and overthrew the Chaldean dynasty (of which Nabonidus was the last king, with Belshazzar his son as commander-in-chief). He issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to the land of Judah and rebuild the temple, possibly as a token of gratitude for assistance given to him in his conquest (2 Chr. 36:22; Ezra 1; 3:7; Isa. 44:28; 45:1; Dan. 1:21; 6:28; 10:1).