Cyrus the Great. figures in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews. He is mentioned 23 times by name and alluded to several times more. From these statements it appears that Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was the monarch under whom the Babylonian captivity ended, for according to the Bible, in the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to make a decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that such Jews as cared to might return to their land for this purpose. Moreover, he showed his interest in the project by sending back with them the sacred vessels which had been taken from the First Temple and a considerable sum of money with which to buy building materials. The existence of the decree has been challenged.