What the scriptures say about
Xerxes
AKA Cyaxares, Cambyses, Artaxerxes, Ahasuerus
King of Persia
References:
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

Wikipedia:
Ahasuerus was a title applied to 3 rulers in scriptures
Persian kings: Cyrus the Great -> Cambyses II -> Bardiya (Smerdis?) -> Darius I the Great -> Xerxes I -> Artaxerxes I Longimanus -> Xerxes II (45 days) -> Sogdianus -> Darius II

Xerxes in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Ezra 4:6 - Ahasuerus
Ezra 4:7ff - Artaxerxes
Esther 1:1ff - Ahasuerus


XERXES (AHASUERUS and ARTAXERXES) [Easton's Bible Dictionary]
AHASUERUS
There are three kings designated by this name in Scripture.
* The father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Daniel 9:1. This was probably the Cyaxares I. known by this name in profane history, the king of Media and the conqueror of Nineveh.

* The king mentioned in Ezra 4:6, probably the Cambyses of profane history, the son and successor of Cyrus (B.C. 529).

* The son of Darius Hystaspes, the king named in the Book of Esther. He ruled over the kingdoms of Persia, Media, and Babylonia, "from India to Ethiopia." This was in all probability the Xerxes of profane history, who succeeded his father Darius (B.C. 485). In the LXX. version of the Book of Esther the name Artaxerxes occurs for Ahasuerus. He reigned for twenty-one years (B.C. 486-465). He invaded Greece with an army, it is said, of more than 2,000,000 soldiers, only 5,000 of whom returned with him. Leonidas, with his famous 300, arrested his progress at the Pass of Thermopylae, and then he was defeated disastrously by Themistocles at Salamis. It was after his return from this invasion that Esther was chosen as his queen.

ARTAXERXES

The Greek form of the name of several Persian kings.
* The king who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:7). He was probably the Smerdis of profane history.

* 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.


Xerxes [Smith's Bible Dictionary]
AHASUERUS
(lion-king), the name of one Median and two Persian kings mentioned in the Old Testament.
1. In (Daniel 9:1) Ahasuerus is said to be the father of Darius the Mede. [DARIUS] This first Ahasuerus is Cyaxares, the conqueror of Nineveh. (Began to reign B.C. 634.)

2. The Ahasuerus king of Persia, referred to in (Ezra 4:6) must be Cambyses, thought to be Cyrus’ successor, and perhaps his son. (B.C. 529.)

3. The third is the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. This Ahasuerus is probably Xerxes of history, (Esther 1:1) (B.C. 485), and this conclusion is fortified by the resemblance of character and by certain chronological indications, the account of his life and character agreeing with the book of Esther In the third year of Ahaseuerus was held a great feast and assembly in Shushan the palace, (Esther 1:3) following a council held to consider the invasion of Greece. He divorced his queen Vashti for refusing to appear in public at this banquet, and married, four years afterwards, the Jewess Esther, cousin and ward of Mordecai. Five years after this, Haman, one of his counsellors, having been slighted by Mordecai, prevailed upon the king to order the destruction of all the Jews in the empire. But before the day appointed for the massacre, Esther and Mordecai influenced the king to put Haman to death and to give the Jews the right of self-Defence.


ARTAXERXES

(the great warrior).
1. The first Artaxerxes is mentioned in (Ezra 4:7) and appears identical with Smerdis, the Magian impostor and pretended brother of Cambyses, who usurped the throne B.C. 522, and reigned eight months.

2. In (Nehemiah 2:1) we have another Artaxerxes. We may safely identify him with Artaxerxes Macrocheir or Longimanus, the son of Xerxces, who reigned B.C. 464-425.


Xerxes [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

zerks'-ez: The name is an attempt to transliterate into Greek (Xerxes) the Persian Khshayarsha. The same word in unpointed Hebrew took the form 'chshwrsh, probably pronounced 'achshawarash, but at a later time it was wrongly vocalized so as to produce 'achashwerosh, from whence "Ahasuerus" in English versions of the Bible comes.

Xerxes was king of Persia in 485-465 BC. The first part of his reign was marked by the famous campaign into Greece, beginning in 483. After the defeat at Salamis in 480 Xerxes himself withdrew from the expedition and it was finally discontinued in the next year. During the remainder of his reign, Xerxes seems to have spent a listless existence, absorbed in intrigues of the harem, and leaving the government to be carried on by his ministers and favorites (often slaves). He was finally murdered by his vizier and left an unenviable reputation for caprice and cruelty. For the various Biblical references see AHASUERUS [below].

Burton Scott Easton


Ahasuerus or Asseurus [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

a-haz-u-e'-rus, (Septuagint Assoueros, but in Tobit 14:15 Asueros; the Latin form of the Hebrew 'achashwerosh, a name better known in its ordinary Greek form of Xerxes): It was the name of two, or perhaps of three kings mentioned in the canonical, or apocryphal, books of the Old Testament.
1. In Esther:
There seems to be little reasonable doubt, that we should identify the Ahasuerus of Est with the well-known Xerxes, who reigned over Persia from 485 to 465 BC, and who made the great expedition against Greece that culminated in the defeat of the Persian forces at Salamis and Plataea. If Est be taken as equivalent to Ishtar, it may well be the same as the Amestris of Herodotus, which in Babylonian would be Ammi-Ishtar, or Ummi-Ishtar. Amestris is said to have been the daughter of Otanes, a distinguished general of Xerxes, and the grand-daughter of Sisamnes, a notorious judge, who was put to death with great cruelty by the king because of malfeasance in office. Sisamnes may be in Babylonian Shamash-ammanu-(shallim). If he were the brother and Otanes the nephew of Mordecai, we can easily account for the ease with which the latter and has ward Esther, were advanced and confirmed in their Positions at the court, of Xerxes.
2. In Ezra:
An Ahasuerus is mentioned in Ezra 4:6, as one to whom some persons unnamed wrote an accusation against Judah and Jerusalem. Ewald and others have suggested that this Ahasuerus was Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus. It seems to be more probable that Xerxes, the son and successor of Darius Hystaspis, is meant: first, because in the following verse Artaxerxes, the son and successor of Xerxes, is mentioned; and secondly, because we have no evidence whatever that Cambyses was ever called Ahasuerus, whereas there is absolute certainty that the Pets Khshayarsha, the Hebrew 'achashwerosh, the Greek Assoueros or Xerxes, and the Latin Ahasuerus, are the exact equivalents of one another.
3. In Tobit:
In the apocryphal book of Tobit (14:15, the King James Version) it is said that before Tobias died he heard of the destruction of Nineveh, which was taken by Nabuchodonosor and Assuerus. This Assuerus can have been no other than Cyaxares, who according to Herodotus (i.196) took Nineveh and reduced the Assyrians into subjection, with the exception of the Babylonian district. As we shall see below, he was probably the same as the Ahasuerus of Daniel 9:1. The phrase "which was taken by Nabuchodonosor and Assuerus" is not found in the Syriac version of Tobit.
4. In Daniel:
An Ahasuerus is said in Daniel 9:1 to have been the father of Darius the Mede, and to have been of the seed of the Medes. It is probable that this Ahasuerus is the same as the Uvakhshatara of the Persian recension of the Behistun inscription, which in the Babylonian is Umaku'ishtar, in the Susian Makishtarra, and in Herod Cyaxares. It will be noted that both the Greek Cyaxares and the Hebrew Akhashwerosh omit the preformative uwa- and the "t" of the Persian form Uvakhshatara. That this Median king had sons living in the time of Cyrus is shown by the fact that two rebel aspirants to the throne in the time of Darius Hystaspis claimed to be his sons, to wit: Fravartish, a Median, who lied saying, "I am Khshathrita of the family of Uvakhshatara" (Behistun Inscr, col. II, v); and Citrantakhma, who said, "I am king in Sagartia of the family of Uvakhshatara" (id, II, xiv). If we accept the identification of Gubaru with Darius the Mede, then the latter may well have been another of his sons, at first a sub-king to Astyages the Scythian, as he was later to Cyrus the Persian.
R. Dick Wilson


Xerxes [Thompson Chain Reference]
 

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