The earnest and well-expressed prayer or hymn of praise cannot fail to draw the divine power to the worshipper and make it yield to his supplication; whilst offerings, so far from being mere acts of devotion calculated to give pleasure to the god, constitute the very food and drink which render him vigorous and capable of battling with the enemies of his mortal friend.
Brahma), originally denoting, it would seem, "one who prays, a worshipper," perhaps also "the composer of a hymn" (brahman, n.); and the same term came subsequently to be used not only for one of the sacerdotal order generally, but also, and more commonly, as the designation of a special class of priests who officiated as superintendents during sacrificial performances, the complicated nature of which required the co-operation of a whole staff of priests, and who accordingly were expected to possess a competent knowledge of the entire course of ritual procedure, including the correct form and mystic import of the sacred texts to be repeated or chanted by the several priests.
(2) If, however, the worshipper place his god on a level with himself, so far at any rate as to make him to some extent dependent on the service man contracts to render him, then genuine prayer tends to be replaced by a mere bargaining, often conjoined with flattery and with insincere promises.
In other words, the ordinary Israelite worshipper of Yahweh was at this time far removed from monotheism, and still remained in the preliminary stage of henotheism, which regarded Yahweh as sole god of Israel and Israel's land, but at the same time recognized the existence and power of the deities of other lands and peoples.
Nevertheless, if Cyrus was not originally a Persian and was not a worshipper of Yahweh (Isa.
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