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Bible Teaching, Bible Study, Teaching, Verses, Sermons, online, mp3, classesA Bible Teaching Ministry of Galyn Wiemers

Daily Devotions, Evening and Morning Devotional


Sunrise on Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Back to Previous Devotion

May 13 - Morning

"This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,
 the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present."

- Esther 1:1-3

Sunset on the Sea of Galilee; Click to go to next devotion  
Xerxes, the Husband of Esther    

(See table below and the 483 BC date of Esther chapter 1 and other chapters, events and dates for Esther including her estimated age of 58 in 445 BC when Nehemiah speaks with Esther's step son Artaxerxes about returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls.) 

Xerxes ruled the Persian Empire from 486 until 465 BC when he is assassinated by 3 men in his bedchamber. At least twenty inscriptions from Xerxes himself plus information recorded by numerous historians provide us with information and details of Xerxes life and administration as emperor.

In Esther chapter one Xerxes is preparing for his most famous enterprise, his invasion of Greece in 481 that is chronicled by the Greek historian Herodotus. Chapter one of Esther is dated in the text as the third year of Xerxes’ reign which would be 483 just a few months before he begins movement towards Greece, or two years before his invasion of Greece and burning of Athens. These military exploits against Greece occur in a four year period between chapter one (483) and chapter two when Esther is taken to Xerxes in his seventh year (Dec 479/Jan 478).

In preparation for the invasion of Greece Xerxes demonstrated his power and wealth for six months while he conferred and strategized with all of his top military personnel and administrators. This lengthy and lavish party is typical of Persian and other eastern kings. One of the primary goals of Xerxes lavish display of power and wealth was political propaganda meant to generate support and enthusiasm for his invasion of Greece in the West. Persia already ruled as far south as it was thought humanly possible to live due to the heat and, likewise, into the north to the borders of the uninhabited frigid wastelands and into the east to the ends of the earth. Now, Persia was going to conqueror to the West. (Xerxes details here and here; historical image of Xerxes here and here; Hollywood image of Xerxes in the movie "300" here, here and here?!?!; and, tomb of Xerxes here, here and here.)

  • Xerxes begins to reign.
  • Samaritans take this chance to file a complaint. (Ezra 4:6)
Ezra 4:6
483 Xerxes displays his vast wealth and military power at a banquet in preparation for his invasion of Greece as seen in Esther 1 Esther 1

Xerxes goes to war against Greece. Persia fights the battles of:

  1. Thermopylae – This battle is the basis of the movie “300” that features the Spartan king Leonidas and his 300 men who fight the invading King Xerxes and his Persian troops.
  2. Salamis – Persians occupy Athens and burn the temple.
    The Persians move their ships into a strait through a bottle neck thinking the beached Greek trireme ships are trapped. Xerxes watches from his ivory throne placed on a hill in disbelief as his ships are rammed, congested and unable to maneuver while Persians ships continue to sail into the bottle neck. Xerxes heads back to Persia, leaving behind 1/3 of his troops which then burn Athens to the ground.
  3. Plataea – In what looked like a rout of the Greeks, the Persians fail to stay organized and are driven from Greece.

These Greek battles fulfill Daniel 11:2: “a fourth Persian king, who will be far richer. . .will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.”
This sets the stage for the rise of Alexander the Great who will seek deliverance and revenge for the burning of Athens in 336 BC.



Battles of:

  • Thermopylae
  • Salamis
  • Plataea

Daniel 11:2

478 Esther goes to Xerxes and becomes Queen in Dec/Jan in Esther 2 Esther 2

Esther’s fifth year as queen.
• April 17 is the date set to meet to determine fate of Jews.

  • Esther 3:7 - "In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur (that is, the lot) was cast in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on[a] the twelfth month, the month of Adar."
Esther 3:7
473 • According to Haman’s plans and Xerxes order, the Jews are to be killed in Persia on March 7
• March 7, the Jews defend themselves. The Jews kill 500 men in Susa and 10 of Haman’s sons.


Esther 3:12-14


• Xerxes is inside his bedchamber when he is assassinated by 3 conspirators. They convince Artaxerxes, Xerxes’s son, to slay his older brother. They then try to kill Artaxerxes who is only wounded but kills his attacker.
• Artaxerxes becomes Persian Emperor and will reign for 41 years.
• Esther would be about 38 years old if she became queen when she was 25.



464 • Artaxerxes orders the rebuilding of the rebellious city, Jerusalem, to stop.
• Samaritans send a letter to Artaxerxes to say Jerusalem is a rebellious city. (Ezra 4:7)
• Artaxerxes replies: “this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.”
(Ezra 4:21)

Ezra 4:7-23
Ezra 4:21
Daniel 9:25
458 • In Artaxeres’ seventh year he issues the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.
• Ezra leaves Babylon on April 8 and arrives in
Jerusalem on August.
• December 19 the people assemble and the investigation of
intermarriage begins.
• The 70 weeks (or, 490 years) of Daniels prophecy in Daniel 9:25 begins with Artaxerxes’ decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 458 BC. The decree is found in Ezra 7:12-26. The 70 weeks (490 years) are interrupted after 69 weeks (483 years) with the coming of the Messiah. 458 BC minus 483 years equals 25/26 AD which is when John the Baptists will introduce the Messiah to the Jewish nation.

Decree to Rebuild

Ezra 7: 8-9

Ezra 7:12-26
Daniel 9:25
Ezra 10:9-16

457 Ezra committee ends their three month long investigation into intermarriage by Mar/Apr (Ezra 10:17) Ezra 10:17
446 Nov/Dec, Nehemiah is in Susa and hears a report from a Jew from Jerusalem that the walls of Jerusalem have not been rebuilt

Nehemiah 1

  • Artaxerxes 20th year
  • Mar/Apr, Nehemiah, Artaxerxes cup bearer, speaks to
    Artaxerxes about Jerusalem’s ruined wall system. (Neh. 2:1)
  • August 10, Nehemiah begins to rebuild the walls of
  • Opposition to building the walls. (Neh. 4, 6)
  • October 2, The walls of Jerusalem are completed in 52 days.
    (Neb. 6:15)
  • October 8, Ezra reads the law to public for first time in
    thirteen years. (8:2)
  • October 9, the people of Jerusalem celebrate the Feast of
    Tabernacles. (8:13)
  • October 30, Israel confesses their sin. (Neh. 9)
  • If Esther were 25 when she married Xerxes she is now 58

Nehemiah 2:1

Nehemiah 4

Nehemiah 6:15

Nehemiah 8:2

Nehemiah 8:13

Nehemiah 9

Esther is 58

  Christian Quote from Church History

“The writers of the New Testament not only said, ‘Look, we saw this,’ or ‘We heard that,’ but also they turned the tables around and right in front of their most adverse critics said, ‘You also know about these things. You saw them; you yourselves know about it.’ ”
– Josh McDowell







Something to Ponder??

Even though the most popular apple in the Bible is associated with
Genesis 3:1-13, in reality the only places apples are mentioned in the scripture are Joel 1:12, Song of Solomon 2:3 and 7:8 and 8:5, and Proverbs 25:11 (and, these could be translated as "apricots").

There is no mention of an apple in the account of Adam and Eve’s fall.

(The Hebrew word in the phrase "apple of his eye" in Zechariah 2:8 is the word babah and means "pupil" as in "pupil of the eye." In Deuteronomy 32:10 and Proverbs 7:2 the word is iyshown and means "pupil" or "ball")

Hebrew and Greek Word Study   Facts and Information

Ahab (Hb) – Love (Eng) – the Hebrew verb ahab is translated “to love” or “to like.” Ahab indicates a desire to be with, to be in the presence of or to possess a person or an object. Ahab can refer to:

    • Romance or friendship as in Gen. 22:2; 34:3; Ruth 4:15
    • Sexual lust (a rare usage) in 2 Sam. 13:1
    • Sexual intercourse in 1 Kings 11:1; Jer. 2:25; Zec. 13:6
    • A servants loyalty to his master in Exodus 21:5
    • Family love in Deuteronomy 15:16 and 1 Samuel 16:21

The Hebrews knew of some sort of hanging and exposing a dead body on walls, poles of trees in Moses’ day since Moses warned of it
(Deut. 21:23) and Joshua did it to Canaanite kings
(Joshua 10:26).

Assyrians impaled their dead enemies and victims on poles outside the walls of conquered cities.

Persians followed with a form of crucifixion after the victims were dead

The Greeks under Alexander made crucifixion of traitors, rebellious slaves and defeated enemies common.
Romans reserved crucifixion as a form of capital punishment for non-citizens, the poor, violent criminals, treason and desertion during war.

According to the Qumran documents, the Jews considered anyone who had been crucified to be under God’s curse because of Deut. 21:23, “anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.” Thus, Paul writes that Jesus’ crucifixion was a “stumbling block to Jews” who could not get past the apparently clear theological position that execution on a cross and the curse of God went hand in hand. (Details)

Confession to Action   Facts and Information
Do I recklessly make promises or attempt things without thinking?
Or, do I promote things that I have no good reason for doing? 
I will consider carefully before committing to do things or taking on responsibility before God.
  "The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out."

- Proverbs 13:9
Read the Bible in a Year; Bible Reading Program
Read one chapter each day to read through the narrative portion (or, the story line) of the whole Bible Genesis-Acts in one year. Read the General Text of the Bible Read the Complete Text of the Bible in a Year
Judges 15 Second Kings 3 2 Samuel 11-12
Prayer for Today
Personal Prayer Church Prayer Item National Prayer Concerns World Prayer Concerns

For joy

Grow in Faith

USA and Israel relationship

Photo of Jerusalem; Pictures of Israel Bible Map and Diagram
David's Palace, royal palace, kings of Judah

Sepphoris Model

Sepphoris Model

Inside the palace of David and the kings of Judah  
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