26th March 2015

Josephus, noted Jewish historian, wrote about Darius I in the Antiquities of the Jews XI – Chapter 3. His writings indirectly confirm that Esther was married to this King of Media and Persia:

  • Josephus said that Darius I ruled over 127 provinces, including India and Ethiopia. Esther 1: 1 confirmed that Xerxes “ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.”
  • Cyrus the Great aka Darius- chapter 2  – 539 – 530 = 9
    Cambyses II, son of Cyrus – chapter 2:  530 – 522 (8 years)
  • Darius I, son of Hystaspes (522 – 485)
  • seven families of the Persians appointed Darius, the son of Hystaspes, to be their king.- chap 3

  • feasted in the first year of his reign with key officials in his kingdom  – ” those that were about him, and those born in his house, with the rulers of the Medes, and princes of the Persians, and the toparchs of India and Ethiopia, and the generals of the armies of his hundred and twenty-seven provinces.”

  • Esther 1: 1 described a similar feast in the third year of his reign in which Vashti was deposed as Queen. The feast included  “his nobles and officials, the military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces…”

  • Zerubabel. govenor of Jerusalem, returned to Babylon in the first year of the reign of Darius 1 in order to seek  permission to continue temple construction. This had been stopped by Cambyses.

  • Zerubbabel had known Darius I and the King appointed him as one of his chief body guards (there were two others)

  • Unable to sleep in the night, Darius I asked his body guards four questions and Zerubbabel instructed him about women. It seemed that the King had a problem with women disrespecting him since the govenor described an incident in which “Apame, the daughter of Rabsases Themasius, his concubine, and his diadem taken away from him, and put upon her own head, while he bore it patiently.”  Josephus also stated that Apame was his wife. Was she Vashti?

  • Pleased with Zerrubabel’s discourse, Darius I granted his request to resume temple construction and also gave other forms of assistance.

  • Zerrubabel returned to Jerusalem with a large delegation of Jewish exiles

  • Mordecai was among them. Ezra recorded that a Mordecai went up with the first group of captives who were released under Cyrus. This was the

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