6 In the first year that Xerxes was king,[c] the neighboring people brought written charges against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
7 Later, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and their advisors got together and wrote a letter to Artaxerxes when he was king of Persia.[d] It was written in Aramaic and had to be translated.[e]
4.5Cyrus. . . Darius: Cyrus ruled 539-530 B.C. (see the note at 1.1); Darius I, known as Darius the Great, ruled 522-486 B.C.
4.6Jerusalem: Verses 6-23, which tell about the events of a later period, are placed here because they are also concerned with the problem of stopping or slowing down work on the temple.
4.6first year that Xerxes was king: Either the end of 486 or the beginning of 485 B.C. The Hebrew has the king’s Persian name “Ahasuerus,” but he is better known as “Xerxes,” the Greek form of the name.
4.7Artaxerxes. . . Persia: Artaxerxes I (465-425 B.C.).
4.7It was. . . translated: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Ezra 4.8—6.18 is written in Aramaic, instead of in Hebrew like most of the Old Testament.
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