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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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was the king of Persia, who advanced Esther to be queen, and at her request delivered the Jews from the destruction plotted for them by Haman. Archbishop Usher is of opinion that this Ahasuerus was Darius Hystaspes; and that Atossa was the Vashti, and Artystona the Esther, of the Scriptures. But, according to Herodotus, the latter was the daughter of Cyrus, and therefore could not be Esther; and the former had four sons by Darius, besides daughters, born to him after he was king; and therefore she could not be the queen Vashti, divorced from her husband in the third year of his reign, nor he the Ahasuerus who divorced her. Besides, Atossa retained her influence over Darius to his death, and obtained the succession of the crown for his son, Xerxes; whereas Vashti was removed from the presence of Ahasuerus by an irrevocable decree, Esther 1:19 . Joseph Scaliger maintains that Xerxes was the Ahasuerus, and Hamestris his queen, the Esther, of Scripture. The opinion is founded on the similitude of names, but contradicted by the dissimilitude of the characters of Hamestris and Esther. Besides, Herodotus says that Xerxes had a son by Hamestris that was marriageable in the seventh year of his reign; and therefore she could not be Esther. The Ahasuerus of Scripture, according to Dr. Prideaux, was Artaxerxes Longimanus. Josephus positively says that this was the person. The Septuagint, through the whole book of Esther, uses Artaxerxes for the Hebrew Ahasuerus wherever the appellation occurs; and the apocryphal additions to that book every where call the husband of Esther Artaxerxes; and he could be no other than Artaxerxes Longimanus. The extraordinary favour shown to the Jews by this king, first in sending Ezra, and afterward Nehemiah, to relieve this people, and restore them to their ancient prosperity, affords strong presumptive evidence that they had near his person and high in his regard such an advocate as Esther.

Ahasuerus is also a name given in Scripture, Ezra 4:6 , to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus; and to Astyages, king of the Medes, Daniel 9:1 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Ahasuerus'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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