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Wednesday, September 10 2014
Ezra 7: The Letter From Artaxerxes To Ezra
"Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time"
Artaxerxes was one of a number of Persian kings whose reign coincided with Biblical events. The chart below provides approximate reign dates, typical renderings of their names into English and how their names were pronounced in the actual ancient Persian language.
The return of the people of Judah to Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah) was accomplished in three major divisions of effort and responsibility. The first was done by Zerubbabel who oversaw the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra chapters 3 to 6). Zerubbabel faced most of the obstructionism (see The Temple Obstruction and Tatnai's Appeal To History).
The groups led by Ezra the Levite priest and Nehemiah the political governor followed later with specific mandates by other Persian Emperors (see The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia and The Decree Of Darius).
"7:1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 7:2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 7:3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 7:4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 7:5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest: 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7:7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
It was Artaxerxes who gave Ezra his authority to complete his part of the task. The written decree from Artaxerxes guaranteed that no local political or military authority could interfere with Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah).
"7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
Fact Finder: How were the Persian Emperor-Kings prophesied by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar?
This Day In History, September 10
210 BC: Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China died at age 49 (see also Gog and Magog).
506: The Church of Rome bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1419: John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy was assassinated by followers of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France.
1224: The first Franciscan missionaries arrived in England. The Roman Catholic monks, also then known as "Grey Friars," were founded by Francis of Assisi 15 years before. England officially split with the papacy during the time of King Henry VIII (reigned 1509-1547), who established himself, and all future monarchs right to the present day, as head of the Church of England.
1419: John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was assassinated by followers of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France.
1547: The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last full scale battle between England and Scotland, resulted in a decisive victory for Edward VI.
1588: Thomas Cavendish returned to England, becoming the third man to circumnavigate the earth.
1823: Simon Bolivar was declared President of Peru.
1846: Elias Howe patented his "sewing machine," a device that permitted greater industrial production of clothing at lower cost.
1897: The Lattimer Mine Massacre: At a coal mine in Pennsylvania, a sheriff's "posse" (from the ancient Latin posse comitatus, in effect meaning posing as official) killed 19 unarmed striking miners; dozens more were wounded.
1898: Empress Elizabeth of Austria was assassinated by Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist.
1912: Jules Vedrines of France became the first pilot to reach 100 m.p.h. in flight.
1914: The six-day Battle of the Marne ended during the First World War, halting the German advance into France.
1918: During the Russian Civil War, the Red Army captured Kazan.
1939: At the beginning of the Second World War, Canada declared war on Nazi Germany, joining the United Kingdom and France.
1948: US-born Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio broadcaster "Axis Sally," was indicted in Washington, D.C., for treason.
1952: The Treaty of Luxembourg was signed between Israel and Germany, whereby Germany agreed to make reparation payments to Israel for German crimes against the Jews in during the Second World War. Conrad Adenauer signed for Germany. Ironically (as news events in the coming years will plainly show), the ceremony was held at the Luxembourg City Hall, a site dictated by Adenauer's presence that day to initial the pact establishing the European Coal and Steel Community - one of the first steps that led to the formation of the new, but ancient, European Union.
1963: President John Kennedy federalized Alabama's National Guard to prevent Governor George Wallace from using guardsmen to stop public-school desegregation. 20 black students were enabled to enter college that year.
1967: The people of Gibraltar voted to remain a British dependency rather than becoming part of Spain.
2002: Switzerland, a traditionally a "neutral" country, became a member of the United Nations.
2003: Anna Lindh, the foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed while shopping.
2007: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after seven years in exile.
2008: The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history, was powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.