|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The Greek form of the name of several Persian kings.
(1.) The king who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:7). He was probably the Smerdis of profane history.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 7:1, in the seventh year (B.C. 458) of whose reign Ezra led a second colony of Jews back to Jerusalem, was probably Longimanus, who reigned for forty years (B.C. 464-425); the grandson of Darius, who, fourteen years later, permitted Nehemiah to return and rebuild Jerusalem.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ar-taks-urk'-sez (Artaxerxes): Is the Greek and Latin form of one, and perhaps of two or three kings of Persia mentioned in the Old Testament.
(1) All are agreed that the Artaxerxes at whose court Ezra and Nehemiah were officials is Artaxerxes I, the son of Xerxes, commonly called Longimanus, who reigned from 465 to 424 B.C. This Artaxerxes was the third son of Xerxes and was raised to the throne by Artabanus, the murderer of Xerxes. Shortly after his accession, Artaxerxes put his older brother Darius to death; and a little later, Artabanus, who perhaps aimed to make himself king, was killed. Hystaspes, the second brother, who seems to have been satrap of Bactria at the time of his father's death, rebelled, and after two battles was deprived of his power and probably of his life. The reign of Artaxerxes was further disturbed by the revolt of Egypt in 460 B.C., and by that of Syria about 448 B.C.
The Egyptians were assisted by the Athenians, and their rebellion, led by Inarus and Amyrtaeus, was suppressed only after five years of strenuous exertions on the part of the Persians under the command of the great general Megabyzus. After the re-conquest of Egypt, Artaxerxes, fearing that the Athenians would make a permanent subjugation of Cyprus, concluded with them the peace of Callias, by which he retained the island of Cyprus; but agreed to grant freedom to all Greek cities of Asia Minor. Shortly after this Megabyzus led a revolt in Syria and compelled his sovereign to make peace with him on his own terms, and afterward lived and died in high favor with his humiliated king. Zopyrus, the son of Megabyzus at a later time, while satrap of Lycia and Caria, led a rebellion in which he was assisted by the Greeks. It is thought by some that the destruction of Jerusalem which is lamented by Nehemiah occurred during the rebellion of Syria under Megabyzus. Artaxerxes I died in 424 B.C., and was succeeded by his son Xerxes II, and later by two other sons, Sogdianus and Ochus, the last of whom assumed the regnal name of Darius, whom the Greeks surnamed Nothus.
(2) Ewald and others have thought that the Artaxerxes of Ezra 4:7 was the pseudo-Smerdis. The principal objection against this view is that we have no evidence that either the pseudo-Smerdis, or the real Smerdis, was ever called Artaxerxes. The real Smerdis is said to have been called Tanyoxares, or according to others Oropastes. Ewald would change the latter to Ortosastes, which closely resembles Artaxerxes, and it must be admitted that many of the Persian kings had two or more names. It seems more probable, however, that Artaxerxes I is the king referred to; and there is little doubt that the identification of the Artaxerxes of Ezra 4:7 with the pseudo-Smerdis would never have been thought of had it not been for the difficulty of explaining the reference to him in this place.
(3) The Greek translation of the Septuagint renders the Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther by Artaxerxes, and is followed in this rendering by Josephus. There is no doubt that by this Artaxerxes Josephus meant the first of that name; for in the Antiquities, XI, vi, 1 he says that "after the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes." He then proceeds to show how he married a Jewish wife, who was herself of the royal family and who is related to have saved the nation of the Jews. In a long chapter, he then gives his account of the story of Vashti, Esther and Mordecai. In spite of this rendering of the Septuagint and Josephus, there is no doubt that the Hebrew achashwerosh is the same as the Greek Xerxes; and there is no evidence that Artaxerxes I was ever called Xerxes by any of his contemporaries. The reason of the confusion of the names by the Septuagint and Josephus will probably remain forever a mystery.
R. Dick Wilson
Artaxerxes (14 Occurrences)
Ezra 4:7 In the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian character, and set forth in the Syrian language. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 4:8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent to Artaxerxes the king: Your servants the men beyond the River, and so forth. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 4:23 Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 6:14 The elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. the lowest (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 7:1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 7:7 There went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the commandments of Yahweh, and of his statutes to Israel: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect and so forth. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 7:21 I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 8:1 Now these are the heads of their fathers' houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Nehemiah 2:1 It happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it to the king. Now I had not been before sad in his presence. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Nehemiah 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Nehemiah 13:6 But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king: and after certain days asked I leave of the king, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)