Persian Problem The
The methods of modern scholarship have undermined biblical historicity and the original intent of biblical writers. The Persian Problem highlights one of these key controversial areas. A dilemma confronts all who would identify the Persian kings in Scripture and then synchronize them chronologically. This aspect of the "Persian Problem" has three parts. First, the identity of the "Artaxerxes" mentioned in Ezra 6-7 and in Nehemiah. Persian history gives us little help because the Greeks and Muslims destroyed nearly all their records. In attempting to identify this king, scholars have forced the ages of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Mordecai to be much older. They "solved" this issue by subsequently "inventing" a second Ezra, Nehemiah, and Mordecai. However, this created a greater difficulty! Most historians agree that Xerxes ascended the throne in 486 BC and that his son Artaxerxes I, or Longimanus, succeeded him, dying in 424 BC. However, with regard to biblical usage, the first year Longimanus was associated on the throne has not been correctly fixed! This shocking fact is the second part. Indeed, this date is a major key to Bible chronology! Finally, there has been a failure to carefully compare the list of 31 priests and Levites returning with Zerubbabel (536 BC: Cyrus' 1st year) in Nehemiah 12:1-9 with the 10:1-10 list. This oversight leads to a 91-year gap between the two rolls, creating a far greater age problem involving many more people than the Ezra, Nehemiah, and Mordecai issue! Moreover, the entire "Persian Problem" is convoluted. As the kings from Darius the Mede to Artaxerxes I are examined, an overview of neo-Babylonian history becomes necessary-and new problems surface. While honoring all relevant Scripture, the work contained herein resolves all the above issues.