Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Nehemiah & Artaxerxes
Artaxerxes was the son of Xerxes, and the grandson of Darius and the Archmagus Ostanes. Given all the court intrigues, poisonings, and assassinations of the time, the cup bearer of the Shah was a very serious position. And it makes sense that one would want a pious Jew in this role since they are commanded by God not to murder.
"For I was the king's [Artaxerxes's] cupbearer." -- Nehemiah 1:11
"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time." -- Nehemiah 2:1-6