Reconciling the Messianic Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 with Secular History
Identifying Solutions – continued (2)
6. The Medo-Persian Kings Succession Problems, A Solution
The passage we need to investigate for a solution is Ezra 4:5-7.
Ezra 4:5 tells us “hiring counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus the king of Persia down till the reign of Da·riʹus the king of Persia.”
There were problems for the rebuilding of the temple from Cyrus to Darius the [Great] King of Persia. The reading of verse 5 clearly indicates there was at least one king or more between Cyrus and Darius. The Hebrew preposition translated here as “down to”, can also be translated as “up to”, “as far as”. All these phrases indicate time passing between the reign of Cyrus and the reign of Darius.
Secular history identifies Cambyses (II) the son of Cyrus, succeeding his father as one king. Josephus also states this.
Ezra 4:6 continues “And in the reign of A·has·u·eʹrus, at the start of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.”
Josephus then goes on to describe a letter written to Cambyses that resulted in the work on the Temple and Jerusalem being stopped. (See “The Antiquities of the Jews”, Book XI, chapter 2, paragraph 2). It, therefore, makes sense to identify the Ahasuerus of verse 6 with Cambyses (II). As he only reigned 8 years, he cannot be the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther who ruled at least 12 years (Esther 3:7). Besides, the king, variously known as Bardiya/Smerdis/the Magi, ruled less than a year, leaving very little time for such a letter to be sent and a reply received, and clearly cannot match the Ahasuerus of Esther.
Ezra 4:7 continues “Also, in the days of Ar·ta·xerxʹes, Bishʹlam, Mithʹre·dath, Tabʹe·el and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Ar·ta·xerxʹes the king of Persia”.
The Artaxerxes of Ezra 4:7 would make sense if we identified him as Darius I (the Great), however, it is much more likely to be the King called Magi / Bardiya / Smerdis. Why? Because the account in Ezra 4:24 continues to say that the result of this letter was “It was then that the work on the house of God, which was in Jerusalem, stopped; and it continued stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius the King of Persia.” This wording indicates that there was a change of King between this Artaxerxes and Darius. Also, Haggai 1 shows that the building restarted in the 2nd Year of Darius. The Jews would not dare go against the order of the King only given a year before if the King was Darius. However, the circumstances of the change of Kingship from Bardya to Darius would afford the Jews hope that he would be more lenient.
While it cannot be stated categorically, notice the name also mentioned “Mithredath”. That he would write to the King and be read would indicate that he was a Persian official of some sort. When we read Ezra 1:8 we find a treasurer in the time of Cyrus was also named Mithredath, surely not a coincidence. Now this official would likely still be alive only 17-18 years later at the beginning of the reign of Darius, which the solution suggests was also called Artaxerxes in Ezra. However, it would be impossible for the official to be the same one, some additional (8+8+1+36+21) = 74 years later. (Adding the reigns of Cyrus, Cambyses, Magi, Darius, Xerxes to reach secular Artaxerxes I).
Interestingly Ctesias, a Greek historian from around 400BC states “the Magus was ruling under the name of Tanyoxarkes”[i] , which pronounced is very similar to Artaxerxes and notice that the Magus was ruling under another name, a throne name. Xenophon also gives the Magus name as Tanaoxares, very similar and again likely a corruption of Artaxerxes.
We also previously raised the question:
Is this Darius to be identified as Darius I (Hystapes), or a later Darius, such as Darius the Persian at/after the time of Nehemiah? (Nehemiah 12:22). For this solution and also agreeing with secular identification the Darius mentioned in verse 5 is understood to be Darius I, not a later Darius.
A solution: Yes
7. The High Priest Succession and length of service – A Solution
This is easier to show how the solution works than describe, however, we will attempt to explain it clearly here.
With the shortened succession of Persian kings, a very reasonable succession of High Priests can be created. This scenario takes into account the marker points, those scriptures where there are an identifiable King and year of King’s reign, with the High Priest actually being named.
As Ezra was the second son of Seraiah, the High Priest who was killed by Nebuchadnezzar only months after the fall of Jerusalem, Ezra had to have been born by the fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:18). This also means his older first-born brother, Jehozadak, likely in his late 50’s or early 60’s had likely died before the return from Babylon, was likely born at least 2 years before, maybe more. Jeshua or Joshua was Jehozadak’s son and therefore was possibly likely as young as 40 years of age on the return to Judah.
This solution has Jeshua as around 43 years of age on the return from exile. The last mention of Jeshua is in the 2nd year of Darius, by which time he would have been around 61 years of age (Ezra 5:2). Jeshua was not mentioned at the completion of the Temple in the 6th year of Darius so it can be assumed that perhaps he had recently died and Joiakim was now High Priest.
Assuming a minimum age of 20 for the High Priest to have a first-born son, puts Jeshua’s son, Joiakim, at approximately 23 years of age on the return to Judah in the 1st Year of Cyrus.
Joiakim is mentioned as High Priest by Josephus in the 7th year of Artaxerxes (a.k.a. Darius in this scenario). This was just after the completion of the Temple just 5 years later after the last mention of Jeshua, in the 7th year of Artaxerxes or Darius (I), by which time, (if born when his father was 20 years old) he would be 44-45 years of age. This would also give Ezra the seniority, being Joiakim’s uncle, so that he could take the lead in the arrangements for the appointments for service at the newly completed Temple. This, therefore, also makes sense of Josephus account about Joiakim.
Eliashib is mentioned as being High Priest in the 20th year of Artaxerxes when Nehemiah came to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:1). Calculating on a consistent basis, if born when his father was 20, he would be around 39 years of age at this time. If only just appointed, his father, Joiakim, would have died aged 57-58 years old.
Nehemiah 13:6, 28 is dated to at least the 32nd year of Artaxerxes, and likely a year or two later and indicates that Eliashib was still High Priest, but that Joiada his son, had an adult son at that time and hence Joiada was likely circa 34 years old as a minimum at that time, while Eliashib was 54 years of age. Based on the information about Joiada he probably died the following year at 55 years of age.
Nehemiah 13:28 mentions Joiada the High Priest had a son who became a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. The context of Nehemiah 13:6 indicates that this was a period after Nehemiah’s return to Babylon in the 32nd Year of Artaxerxes. An unspecified time later Nehemiah had asked for another leave of absence and returned again to Jerusalem when this state of affairs was discovered. Based on this Joiada was therefore likely High Priest from around 34 years old, (in the 35th Year of Darius / Artaxerxes), till around 66 years of age.
If Joiada died aged around 66 then he could have been succeeded by his son Jonathan / Jehohanan who by this time would have been around 50 years old. If he lived till 70 years old, then his son Jaddua would have been close to 50 years old when he became a High Priest. But if the Elephantine papyri, discussed later, are to be dated to the 14th and 17th year of Darius II, where Johanan is referred to, then Johanan probably died around age 83 when Jaddua was around 60-62 years old.
Josephus says that Jaddua welcomed Alexander the Great to Jerusalem and would likely have been in his early 70’s by this time. Nehemiah 12:22 tells us that “the Levites in the days of E·liʹa·shib, Joiʹa·da and Jo·haʹnan and Jadʹdu·a were recorded as heads of paternal houses, also the priests, down till the kingship of Da·riʹus the Persian”. Our solution has Darius III (the Persian?) being conquered by Alexander the Great.
It is understood from Josephus that Jaddua died not long after Alexander the Great’s death, by which time Jaddua would be around 80 years of age and was succeeded by his son Onias.[ii]
While some of the ages suggested here are guesswork, they are reasonable. Likely, the High Priest’s first-born son would normally marry promptly on reaching adulthood, perhaps around 20 years of age. The first-born son would also likely have children very quickly to ensure the succession of the High Priest line via the firstborn son.
A solution: Yes
8. A Comparison of the Priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel with those who signed the Covenant with Nehemiah, A Solution
The similarities between these two lists (please refer to part 2, p13-14) do not make any sense within the confines of current secular chronology. If we take the 21st year of Artaxerxes to be Artaxerxes I, then that means that 16 of 30, that is half of those named who returned from exile in the 1st year of Cyrus were still alive some 95 years later (Cyrus 9 + Cambyses 8 + Darius 36 + Xerxes 21 + Artaxerxes 21). As they were all likely at least 20 years old to be priests that would make them a minimum of 115 years old in the 21st year of Artaxerxes I.
This clearly makes no sense. Even in today’s world we would struggle to find just a handful of 115-year old people in a country such as the USA or the U.K., despite advances in medical and increases in longevity in the latter part of the 20th century. 16 among a population that may only have been a maximum of a few hundred thousand or less defies belief.
However, under the suggested solution this time period of 95 years reduces to around 37 years, bringing the survival of half of those named into the realms of a distinct possibility. If we reasonably assume that they could live into their late 70’s if healthy, even all those centuries ago, it would mean they could have been anywhere between 20 and 40 years old on their return from Babylon to Judah, and still be in their early 60’s through to their late 70’s in the 21st year of Darius I / Artaxerxes.
A solution: Yes
9. The 57-year gap in the narrative between Ezra 6 and Ezra 7, A Solution
The account in Ezra 6:15 gives a date of the 3rd day of the 12th Month (Adar) of the 6th Year of Darius for the completion of the Temple.
The account in Ezra 6:19 gives a date of the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan), for the holding of the Passover, and it is reasonable to conclude it refers to the 7th Year of Darius and would have been only 40 days later and not interrupted by a 57 year gap.
The account in Ezra 6:14 records that the returned Jews “built and finished [it] due to the order of the God of Israel and due to the order of Cyrus and Da·riʹus and Ar·ta·xerxʹes the king of Persia”.
How can we understand this? At first sight it seems there was also a decree from Artaxerxes as well. Many assume this is Artaxerxes I and identify him with the Artaxerxes of Nehemiah and Nehemiah coming to Jerusalem in his 20th year as a result of that decree. However, as we established earlier, Nehemiah did not get a decree to rebuild the Temple. He asked for permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. How else can we understand this passage?
We can better understand the passage by examining more closely the translation of the Hebrew text. The explanation is a little technical, but in Hebrew the conjunction or joining word is a letter known as “waw”. Both the Hebrew words for Darius and Artaxerxes have the “waw” character at the front of “Dareyavesh” (pronounced “daw-reh-yaw-vaysh”) and in front of “Artachshashta” pronounced (“ar-takh-shash-taw.”) Being a conjunctive, “waw” is usually translated as “and”, but it also can mean “or”. The usage of “or” is not as an exclusive action, but as an alternative, being the equivalent. An example would be that to communicate with someone you telephone them or write to them or speak to them in person. Each is a valid alternative to fulfill the action of communication. An exclusive action example could be you can have one free alcoholic drink with your meal so you can either order the beer or the wine. You cannot get both free.
If the “and” is replaced by “or”, or perhaps “even” or “also” to read better in English in the context as some scholars contend, then this is still acting as a conjunctive. However, this subtly changes the meaning in this context and makes a better sense of the text. The phrase “Darius and Artaxerxes” which is understood as two separate individuals, would then mean “Darius or/even/also/known as Artaxerxes”, that is, that Darius and Artaxerxes are the same people. This could also be understood to be in keeping with the overall context by preparing the reader for the change of usage of the title of the King we find between the end of Ezra 6 and Ezra 7.
For examples of this use of “waw” we can look in Nehemiah 7:2, where “I gave the charge to Hanani my brother, that is Hananiah the leader of the citadel of Jerusalem, he was a faithful man and feared God more than many” makes more sense with “that is” than “and” as the sentence continues with “he” rather than “they”. The reading of this passage is awkward with the use of “and”.
One further point is that Ezra 6:14 as currently translated in the NWT and other Bible translations would indicate that Artaxerxes gave a decree to finish the Temple. At best, taking this Artaxerxes to be the secular Artaxerxes I, would mean the Temple was not completed until the 20th Year with Nehemiah, some 57 years later. Yet the Biblical account here in Ezra 6 makes it clear the Temple was finished at the end of the 6th year of Darius and would suggest that sacrifices were instituted early in the 7th year of Darius/Artaxerxes.
The account in Ezra 7:8 gives a date of the 5th month of the 7th Year but gives the King as Artaxerxes. If the Darius of Ezra 6 is not called Artaxerxes in Ezra 7, as raised before as an issue, we have a very large unexplainable gap in history. Darius I is believed to have ruled another 30 years, (totaling 36) followed by Xerxes with 21 years followed by Artaxerxes I with the first 6 years. This means that there would be a gap of 57 years, at the end of which period Ezra would be about 130 years old. To accept that after all this time and at this unbelievably old age, Ezra only then decides to lead another return of Levites and other Jews back to Judah defies credibility. It also ignores the fact that it would mean that even though the Temple had been completed a lifetime ago for most people, no regular sacrificial offerings at the Temple had yet been instituted.
It makes much more sense that on hearing of the completion of the Temple late in the 6th year of Darius/Artaxerxes, Ezra requested help from the King to reinstitute teaching of the law and the sacrifices and the Leviticus duties at the Temple. Ezra, on being granted that help, then arrived at Jerusalem only 4 months later, and only at the age of about 73 years old, in the 5th month of the 7th year of Darius/Artaxerxes.
A solution: Yes
10. Josephus record and succession of Persian Kings, A Solution
In Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter one he mentions that Cyrus gave the order for the Jews to return to their own country if they wished and rebuild their city and to build the Temple where the previous one stood. “I have given leave to as many of the Jews that dwell in my country as please to return to their own country, and to rebuild their city, and to build the temple of God at Jerusalem on the same place where it was before”[iii].
This would confirm our understanding that the decree under consideration is that of Cyrus and agrees with the solution.
A solution: Yes
In, Chapter 2 para 2,[iv] he identifies Cambyses [II] son of Cyrus as the Persian King receiving a letter and replying to stop the Jews. The wording is very similar to Ezra 4:7-24 where the King is called Artaxerxes.
“When Cambyses had read the epistle, being naturally wicked, he was irritated at what they told him, and wrote back to them as follows: “Cambyses the king, to Rathumus the historiographer, to Beeltethmus, to Semellius the scribe, and the rest that are in commission, and dwelling in Samaria and Phoenicia, after this manner: I have read the epistle that was sent from you; and I gave order that the books of my forefathers should be searched into, and it is there found that this city hath always been an enemy to kings, and its inhabitants have raised seditions and wars.”[v].
Earlier in the examination of the solution, it was found that this naming is possible as we found that potentially any of the Kings of Persia could have used or been called by any of the titles of Darius, Ahasuerus, or Artaxerxes. However, in point 7 it was proposed that the letter identified as being sent to Artaxerxes was likely Bardiya/Smerdis/Magi as the best fit, both timewise and fitting in with events, and the ruling political climate.
Did Josephus misidentify the King (perhaps Artaxerxes in his reference documentation) with Cambyses?
Josephus’s account disagrees with the solution which better ascribes the letter to Bardiya/Smerdis/The Magi which Josephus may not have known about. This King only reigned a few months (estimates vary between about 3 and 9 months).
Bardiya / Smerdis / Magi
In chapter 3, para 1,[vi] Josephus mentions the Magi (known to us as Bardiya or Smerdis) ruling for about a year following the death of Cambyses. This agrees with the suggested solution.
A solution: Yes
He then mentions the appointment of Darius Hystapes to be King, supported by the seven families of the Persians. It also mentions he had 127 provinces. These three facts which are found in and agree with the description given of Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther, which we have suggested was Darius I / Artaxerxes / Ahasuerus in our solution.
Josephus also confirms that Zerubbabel was permitted by Darius to continue to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem as per Cyrus decree. “AFTER the slaughter of the Magi, who, upon the death of Cambyses, attained the government of the Persians for a year, those families which were called the seven families of the Persians appointed Darius, the son of Hystaspes, to be their king. Now he, while he was a private man, had made a vow to God, that if he came to be king, he would send all the vessels of God that were in Babylon to the temple at Jerusalem.”[vii]
There is a discrepancy in the date the Temple was completed. Ezra 6:15 gives it as the 6th year of Darius on the 3rd of Adar whereas Josephus account gives it as the 9th Year of Darius on the 23rd Adar. All books are subject to copying errors, but Josephus’s written accounts, were not necessarily compiled using the Bible. Besides, the earliest copies known are from the 9th to 10th century with the majority being in the 11th to 16th centuries.
Finally, there are far more, and far older copies of the Bible passages being reviewed than there are of a book by Josephus with limited distribution. In case of conflict therefore, this author defers to the Bible record.[viii] An alternative explanation for the discrepancy is that the Biblical date given was that for which the Temple itself was complete enough to inaugurate sacrifices, but Josephus’s date was when the ancillary buildings and courtyard and walls were completed. Either way this is not a problem for the solution.
A solution: Yes
In Chapter 5[ix] Josephus wrote that Xerxes the son of Darius as succeeding his father Darius. He then mentions Joacim son of Jeshua was the High Priest. If it was the reign of Xerxes then Joachim would have to be in the region of 84 years old or more, a slim possibility. Under the suggested solution he would be between about 50-68 years old in the reign of Darius for the period of the 6th year to the 20th year of Darius / Artaxerxes. This mention of Joachim only makes sense if it was in the reign of Darius as per the solution.
Again, the account of Josephus is at odds with the suggested solution, but it helps the High Priest succession make sense if we identify the events ascribed to Xerxes to Darius.
The events and wording assigned to the 7th year of Xerxes in Josephus Chapter 5 para. 1. is very similar to the Bible account of Ezra 7 in the 7th Year of Artaxerxes, which the solution assigns to Darius.
From the context it appears to be in the next year (8th) that Joacim died and Eliashib succeeded him according to Josephus in Chapter 5, paragraph 5[x]. This too fits in with the solution.
In the 25th year of Xerxes Nehemiah comes to Jerusalem. (Chapter 5, Paragraph 7). This does not make any sense as it is. Xerxes is not attested by any other historian to have ruled at least 25 years. It does not even match the Biblical account if Xerxes was Darius or Artaxerxes I. Therefore, as this statement of Josephus cannot be reconciled to any known history, or to the Bible, it will have to be assumed to be incorrect, either at the time of writing or in transmission. (His writings were not kept with the same care as the Bible was by Masoretic scribes).
The timing of the high priest succession only really makes sense in our solution, I.e. that Darius is also called Artaxerxes.
The assigning of some of these events to Xerxes by Josephus are puzzling as they appear all out of chronological order in this way. Even if using secular chronology Xerxes did not rule 25 years. Therefore, the use of Xerxes here will have to be assumed to be wrong on the part of Josephus.
A solution: Yes
Chapter 6[xi] gives the succession as Cyrus son of Xerxes – called Artaxerxes.
According to Josephus, it was this Artaxerxes who married Esther, having a feast in the third year of his reign. According to paragraph 6, this Artaxerxes also reigned over 127 provinces. These events are out of place even for secular chronology who commonly assign them to Xerxes.
However, if we take the proposed solution namely that Darius was also called Artaxerxes and Ahasuerus in the Bible and then suggest that Josephus confused the Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes with the Book of Ezra, chapter 7 onwards calling Darius I, Artaxerxes, then these events about Esther can also be reconciled to the proposed solution.
Chapter 7[xii] mentions that Eliashib was succeeded by Judas his son and Judas by his son John, who caused the pollution of the Temple by Bagoses the general of another Artaxerxes (secular Artaxerxes II who is either our Artaxerxes I or Artaxerxes III?). High Priest John (Johanan) was succeeded by his son Jaddua.
These understandings of Josephus’ record slot nicely into the solution we have suggested, and in that solution make sense of the High Priest succession without any need to duplicate or add unknown High Priests which secular chronology is required to do. Most of Josephus account of this Artaxerxes would likely be the Artaxerxes III in our solution.
A solution: Yes
Chapter 8[xiii] mentions another Darius the King. This is in addition to Sanballat (another key name) who died at the time siege of Gaza, by Alexander the Great.[xiv]
Philip, King of Macedonia, and Alexander (the Great) are also mentioned at the time of Jaddua and are given as contemporaries.
This Darius would fit with Darius III of secular Chronology and the last Darius of our solution.
However, even with the compressed timeline of the suggested solution, there is a gap of nearly 80 years between the Sanballat of Nehemiah and the Sanballat of Josephus with Alexander the Great. Simply put, the conclusion has to be that they cannot be the same individual. A possibility is that the second Sanballat is the grandson of the first Sanballat, as the names of the sons of the Sanballat of Nehemiah’s time are known. Please see our final part for a more indepth look at Sanballat.
One other key conclusion of a successful solution.
A solution: Yes
11. The Apocrypha naming of Persian Kings in 1 & 2 Esdras, A Solution
Esdras 3:1-3 reads “Now King Darius made a great feast unto all his subjects and unto all that were born in his house and unto all the princes of Media and of Persia, and to all the satraps and captains and governors that were under him, from India to Ethiopia, in the hundred twenty and seven provinces”.
This is almost identical to the opening verses of Esther 1:1-3 which read: ”Now it came about in the days of Ahasuerus, that is the Ahasuerus who was ruling as king from India to Ethiopia, [over] a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts …. In the third year of his reigning he held a banquet for all his princes and his servants, the military force of Persia and Media, the nobles and the princes of the jurisdictional districts before himself”.
It would, therefore, remove any contradiction between these two accounts if as per the suggested solution we identify Ahasuerus and Darius as the same King.
A solution: Yes
Esther 13:1 (Apocrypha) reads “Now this is the copy of the letter: The great king Artaxerxes writeth these things to the princes of a hundred and seven and twenty provinces from India unto Ethiopia and to the governors that are set under them.”. There is also similar wording in Esther 16:1.
These passages in Apocryphal Esther give Artaxerxes as the King instead of Ahasuerus as the King of Esther. Also, Apocryphal Esdras identifies King Darius acting in an identical manner to King Ahasuerus in Esther.
It would, therefore, remove any contradiction between these two accounts if as per the suggested solution we identify Ahasuerus and Darius and this Artaxerxes as the same King.
A solution: Yes
12. The Septuagint (LXX) Evidence, A Solution
In the Septuagint version of the Book of Esther, we find the King is named Artaxerxes rather than Ahasuerus.
For example, Esther 1:1 reads “In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the great king, on the first day of Nisan, Mardochaeus the son of Jarius,”…. “And it came to pass after these things in the days of Artaxerxes, (this Artaxerxes ruled over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India)”.
In the Septuagint book of Ezra, we find “Assuerus” instead of Ahasuerus of the Masoretic text, and “Arthasastha” instead of the Artaxerxes of the Masoretic text. These slight name differences are solely due to the Masoretic text containing the Hebrew transliteration as opposed to the Septuagint having the Greek Transliteration. Please see section H in part 5 of this series.
The Septuagint account in Ezra 4:6-7 mentions “And in the reign of Assuerus, even in the beginning of his reign, they wrote a letter against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Arthasastha, Tabeel wrote peaceably to Mithradates and to the rest of his fellow-servants: the tribute-gatherer wrote to Arthasastha king of the Persians a writing in the Syrian tongue”.
According to the proposed solution the Ahasuerus here would be Cambyses (II) and the Artaxerxes here would be Bardiya / Smerdis/ Magi as per the understanding of the Masoretic Ezra 4:6-7.
A solution: Yes
The Septuagint for Ezra 7:1 contains Arthasastha instead of Artaxerxes of the Masoretic text and reads “Now after these things, in the reign of Arthasastha king of the Persians, came up Esdras the son of Saraias,”.
This is just the difference of Hebrew transliteration and Greek transliteration for the same name and according to the proposed solution is Darius (I) of secular history which it fits the description of. Notice that Esdras is equivalent to Ezra.
The same is true of Nehemiah 2:1 which reads “And it came to pass in the month Nisan of the twentieth year of king Arthasastha, that the wine was before me:”.
A solution: Yes
The Septuagint version of Ezra uses Darius in the same places as the Masoretic text.
For example, Ezra 4:24 reads “Then ceased the work of the house of God in Jerusalem, and it was at a stand until the second year of the reign of Darius king of the Persians.” (Septuagint version).
In the Septuagint books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Arthasastha is consistently equivalent to Artaxerxes (although in different accounts timewise the Artaxerxes is a different King and Assuerus consistently equivalent to Ahasuerus. However, Septuagint Esther, which was probably translated by a different translator to the translator of Ezra and Nehemiah, consistently has Artaxerxes instead of Ahasuerus. Darius is found consistently in both Septuagint and Masoretic texts.
A solution: Yes
13. Cuneiform assignment and Secular Inscription Issues to be resolved, A Solution?
To be continued in Part 8 ….
[i] The Complete Fragments of Ctesias translated by Nichols, page 92, para (15) https://www.academia.edu/20652164/THE_COMPLETE_FRAGMENTS_OF_CTESIAS_OF_CNIDUS_TRANSLATION_AND_COMMENTARY_WITH_AN_INTRODUCTION
[ii] Josephus – Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter 8, paragraph 7, http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf
[iii] Page 704 pdf version of Complete Works of Josephus. http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf
[iv] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[v] Page 705 pdf version of Complete Works of Josephus http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf
[vi] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[vii] Page 705 pdf version of Complete Works of Josephus http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf
[viii] For more information see http://tertullian.org/rpearse/manuscripts/josephus_antiquities.htm
[ix] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[x] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[xi] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[xii] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[xiii] Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI
[xiv] http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter 8 v 4