Thursday, November 19, 2009

Xerxes and Esther Were Real

"The Jews have no history -- or what may be termed real history ...." -- Jonathan M. Roberts, scientist, 1894

Antisemites and other scientists tell us that the Bible is myth and not history.

Despite what scientists claim, the Biblical Xerxes was not a mythical ruler.

"O king, if opposite opinions are not uttered, it is impossible for someone to choose the better...." -- Artabanus in Herodotus, History Book VII, ~440-420 B.C.

"If an army must by all means be sent against these Greeks, hear me now: let the king [Xerxes] himself remain in the Persian land, and let us two [Mardonius and Artabanus] stake our children's lives upon it; you lead out the army, choosing whatever men you wish and taking as great an army as you desire. If the king's fortunes fare as you say, let my sons be slain, and myself with them; but if it turns out as I foretell, let your sons be so treated, and you likewise, if you return. But if you are unwilling to submit to this and will at all hazards lead your army overseas to Hellas, then I think that those left behind in this place will hear that Mardonius has done great harm to Persia, and has been torn apart by dogs and birds in the land of Athens or of Lacedaemon, if not even before that on the way there; and that you have learned what kind of men you persuade the king to attack." -- Artabanus in Herodotus, History Book VII, ~440-420 B.C.

"Xerxes answered angrily, 'Artabanus, you are my father's brother; that will save you from receiving the fitting reward of foolish words. But for your cowardly lack of spirit I lay upon you this disgrace, that you will not go with me and my army against Hellas, but will stay here with the women; I myself will accomplish all that I have said, with no help from you.'" -- Xerxes in Herodotus, History, Book VII, ~440-420 B.C.

"... this is Ahasuerus [Xerxes] who reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces--that in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan [Susa] the castle...." -- Esther 1:1-2

"... let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus [Xerxes], and that the king give her royal estate unto another [Esther] that is better than she." -- Esther 1:19


Jeffery Keown said...

The name Xerxes has not traditionally appeared in English bibles, but has rather appeared as 'Ahasuerus'. While in many other more modern translations and paraphrases they have directly listed Xerxes. Xerxes appears three times in the Bible: firstly as Esther's husband, followed by a perfect example in the Book of Ezra, listing him as king of Persia in proper order after Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great (skipping Cambyses and the short rule of the Magi as being unrelated to the events of the book); the third reference comes from the prophecy of Daniel 11:2, foretelling his invasion of Greece. The reference to "Darius the son of Ahasuerus" in Daniel 9:1is unrelated.

In the Book of Esther
For these same reasons and due to the historical context of the text, it is also commonly understood and translated that Esther's husband Ahasuerus is Xerxes the Great. But the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible identifies Esther's husband as Artaxerxes I (Longimanus), rather than Xerxes himself, as does the Judeo-Roman historian Josephus. Yet it is now thought that the translators of this portion of the Septuagint simply mistook Xerxes the Great for Artaxerxes I (Longimanus).

I do not see anybody denying his existance. The quote from Roberts is rather out-of-context, don't ya think?

Why the return of this science = antisemitism? Didn't you beat that horse over the summer?

OilIsMastery said...

You mean to say that you take the Bible literally?

Quantum_Flux said...

The Bible is mythology mixed with history, just like all the other mythology of history. You wouldn't call me an anti-athenian or an anti-hinduist or anti-buddhist even though I consider all those religious texts to be of mythological credibility.

Quantum_Flux said...

For save that Zues really dwelt upon Mt. Olympus and that the Centaur really had a maze or that Icarus really flew too close to the sun.

Jeffery Keown said...

Quoth Oils:
You mean to say that you take the Bible literally?

I didn't say that. You know better.

I do not take the Bible literally... I think some of it is history, and some is myth. Then again, it's not my place to define it. I was addressing your specific claim... You, as usual, took it out of context.

Congrats, you're still an ass.

OilIsMastery said...


"I do not take the Bible literally"

So you think that Xerxes is metaphorical?

Raptor Lewis said...


Science can not possibly "retarded" as the context of that word refers to intelligence and, as science is only term used to describe concise, experimentation and rational explanation of the Universe and not an organism, or even a human for that matter.

Second of all, I ask you not to use that word again as it is a sign of ignorance and an insult to those with Down's Syndrome and Fragile-X Syndrome. So, behalf of them and others with Special Needs including Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders, I ask you politely to refrain from using derogatory, belligerent language in these contexts and I request an apology. Not a coerced apology, but a sincere one. I will not follow this blog anymore and I may block you from PaleoQuest, so I ask you to refrain from this diction and apologize to not just me, but to ALL of those with Special Needs.

Raptor Lewis said...


Just because Jeffery says it is Mythological combined with history, doesn't mean he thinks Xerxes is Mythological. I don't understand why you're saying these things. I'm honestly starting to believe you ARE LITERALLY insane!! Have you taken your meds, dare I ask?

Jeffery Keown said...

So you think that Xerxes is metaphorical?

What are you, binary?

Xerxes was a real person. I imagine that a lot of real people in the Bible were real people... Just because I don't believe it literally, doesn't mean I have to take all of it metaphorically.

Get a life.

OilIsMastery said...

Young Mr. Lewis,

I apologize for having offended you. You should know that I think you are exceedingly intelligent by anyone's standards regardless of age and genetics.

OilIsMastery said...


"Xerxes was a real person."

Why do you think Xerxes was real if he was in the Bible?

Were God and Jesus real?

KV said...


What science -- Jonathan M. Roberts, scientist -- do, and where from?

Anaconda said...

@ OilIsMastery:

Check out Watt's Up With That?

Climate scientists have been caught manipulating the data.

Looks like biggest scientific FRAUD in history (might be worth a post).

e-mails talk of putting pressure on peer-reviewed journals not to publish anything that contradicts AGW.

Might this type of pressure be going on in other scientific fields?

Raptor Lewis said...


Thank you for the kind words and the apology. I merely wanted you to watch your diction next time. I know several people who ARE mentally defficient and they are terrific!!

Jeffery Keown said...

Were God and Jesus real?

I don't know. The existance of god can't be shown. Jesus' existance is suspect on a number of historical grounds.

If you take the Bible literally, then you are left wondering why the zombie invasion wasn't reported by the Romans, for example.

Like most agnostics, I take the Bible for what it is. A collection of stories, some of which are true, others of which are made up.

OilIsMastery said...



I'll have a look in a sec.

OilIsMastery said...

Mr. Lewis,

My cousin is terrific as well. One of the funniest people I've ever met in my life. Of course, that's because he doesn't exactly have total control over everything he says.

OilIsMastery said...


"Were God and Jesus real?

I don't know."


I'm stunned and shocked to hear you say that.

I must say I'm most pleasantly surprised to see you're not a fundamentalist.

"The existance of god can't be shown."

I think you meant to say, it hasn't been shown to you?

"Jesus' existance is suspect on a number of historical grounds."

Why would the Romans crucify and feed people to lions for believing in someone who never even existed? I think all the people who were crucified, fed to lions, and beheaded would find that idea extremely insulting.

"If you take the Bible literally, then you are left wondering why the zombie invasion wasn't reported by the Romans, for example."

Verse please. I'm not sure what you're referring to.

"Like most agnostics, I take the Bible for what it is."

You don't know most agnostics and agnostics don't pass judgement on the Bible.

"A collection of stories, some of which are true, others of which are made up."

One thing I've come to learn in my research is that the Bible has a lot more truth in it than even believers realize.

Raptor Lewis said...


"One Thing I've Come to Learn In My Research is that the Bible has a lot more truth in it than even most believers realize"

In what ways does the Bible have more truth than most "believers realize?" I mean, it's really difficult to know for sure if the Bible's the only reference of these men, and there's a lack of evidence to prove it true for somebody else.

I'm no Archeologist nor Anthropologist so I honestly can't say for sure. I am a Christian Amateur Vertebrate Paleontologist. (And, no, I'm NOT a "Creationist.")

Arie Sheyn said...

Calling someone who is mentally challenged a "retard" is far more insulting than calling a slow-witted person a "retard". Not a very scientific term.

Disabled is also a derogatory term.

Both imply a person is lessor than most, and abnormal.

"Special Olympics"

Calling a dimwitted buffoon a "special person" (sarcastically) would be a specific and direct assault on people who have down's syndrome, or any other similar condition.

Arie Sheyn said...

Of course Ahasuerus/Xerxes and Esther is real!

Purim! Hamantaschen!

& the best part...

"A person is obligated to drink wine on Purim till he no longer knows the difference between 'Cursed-is-Haman,' and 'Blessed-is-Mordechai."


Most Jews I spend time with do not consider the Book of Esther to be a factual story.

I'm still too much of a kid at heart to not believe there is some truth to the story. I don't consider Torah to be literally accurate, but I do consider it to be Wholly True.

Now the movie '300' came out with the giant evil Xerxes, it is more funny to think of Purim.

Arie Sheyn said...

When I say...

"Of course Ahasuerus/Xerxes and Esther is real!"

I really mean "are real", or "were real".

OilIsMastery said...

Mr. Lewis,

"In what ways does the Bible have more truth than most 'believers realize'?"

For example the fact that Jesus himself claimed to be an extraterrestrial (John 8:23) and is therefore yet more evidence of exobiology and extraterrestrial intelligence. The Bible is filled with UFOs and abductions.

Or the fact that the sun and moon stayed in the sky because magnets stop rotating and sometimes even go in the opposite direction.

Or the Bible was prescient about meteorites when scientists denies them.

Or the prescience of parthenogenesis.

Arie says a lot of Jews don't even believe in the Bible. So that's what I mean when I say the Bible has more truth in it than even believers realize.

Arie Sheyn said...

There are a lot of Jews who are not religious, true... Karl Marx is a dazzling example.

I doubt most Jews would dispute the existence of various Persian rulers or the existence of the various other people involved in the story of Esther. The connection between 'Ahasuerus', 'Xerxes', 'Darius', or 'ArtaXerxes' is well known. The idea of a Jewish woman who looked Persian enough to pass as a wife for the king, and all the rest of the story... this is somewhat questioned.

However, what I mean to convey is the book of Esther is enigmatic among the other parts of the Tanakh. There is no mention of G0d in Esther. Because of this, Esther draws unique attention, unique criticism, and unique analysis... and unique skepticism. It receives more charges of allegory than any other book in the Tanakh (to my personal knowledge and experience; I'm no Schlomo Goren!).

Why would the book be in the Tanakh?

Divine influence!!


Not one letter is wasted in Torah. Perhaps a reason to more intensely study the book.

I find the story useful when dealing with people from Iran who are not sure if a Jew is going to like people from present-day "Ahmadinejadland".

It's also nice to think back to when Persian government was not atrocious, and the Persians were mono-theist Zoroastrians who encouraged the 2nd Temple to be built. Perhaps the story is a seed of peace planted by G0d centuries ago to keep Netanyahu from pressing "the button" and holding out for more "diplomacy" with Iran's terrorist government. It is important for Israelis to know it is more fun to party with Persians during Purim than to be at war with Jihad.

-Abraham being the father of Issac AND Ishmael is a way to remember the Ishmaelite (early Arab) Mohammedans originally started out on a good note (Abraham) and perhaps Islam may evolve into an actual religion. It's either this or Islam is Amelek... and Islam is diametrically opposed to all morality to the core, and will be the "force of evil", which "good" fights during Armageddon. lol


Some far out Kabbalists believe that all the characters and stories in the Tanakh are actually different aspects of G0d's personality... an attempt to teach man about G0d, a way to teach man to transcend the earthly realm back into Eden. I am far too young to crack a copy of the Zohar myself, but I like to listen to older people talk about Kabbalah.

I think (somehow) it ALL is true... historically, fictionally, allegorically, literally, and countless other ways... all at once.

It's G0d we are dealing with!!

Solve the mystery of Torah, win a prize!

Jeffery Keown said...

51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Arie Sheyn said...

Not that Jews and Persians do not look similar sometimes, just the idea of tricking a dumb guy like the story goes.

While very tanned from a So-Cal summer I shaved my mustache off but kept the rabbi-looking beard and wore my largest kippah, people started greeting me like I was Muslim! Me, a Muslim, just for a day! lol

“Assalaamu alaykum”, says the Muslim man from the "middle east", as he extends his hand to me...

*I was momentarily confused*

As I extend my hand to shake his, I respond in an Adam Sandler "Zohan" Hebrew accent, "Shalom shalom! Boker tov! Mashloma?"

The man is confused...

"Yes, my friend, I am Jewish."

*shock and awe*

Arie Sheyn said...

Mr. Raptor Lewis?

"Second of all, I ask you not to use that word again as it is a sign of ignorance and an insult to those with Down's Syndrome and Fragile-X Syndrome. So, behalf of them and others with Special Needs including Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders, I ask you politely to refrain from using derogatory, belligerent language in these contexts and I request an apology."


"Have you taken your meds, dare I ask?"


Have we established that it's okay to insinuate someone who does not agree with you "needs medication" (as an insult) even though, by definition, medication is something deemed a necessity to a person's well being and only a medical professional can deem someone "medication worthy".

Do people with Down's Syndrome and Fragile X syndrome take medications?

Using a dictionary defined example of the word "retarded" to describe (insult) someone who is being oppositional to one's ideas is frowned upon?

Inconsistent. Like Global Warming data.