(ahr tuh zerk' sees) HEBREW: ARTAHSASTA

Artaxerxes I, the son and successor to Xerxes I (Ahasuerus), ruled Persia from 465 to 425 B.C. He apparently became acquainted with members of the Jewish community that had been held captive in Babylon since 587 B.C., and in 458 he permitted the scribe Ezra to go to Jerusalem as the head of an official delegation.

Artaxerxes gave Ezra unlimited authority to spend money from the Persian treasury to renew temple sacrifices and do "whatever else is required for the house of your God" (Ezra 7:20). However, Artaxerxes temporarily halted the repairing of Jerusalem in response to a letter sent him by local officials who opposed Ezra's work. Construction was resumed about 445 B.C. by Nehemiah, a palace servant of Artaxerxes.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.