As Persian Emperor from 465 to 424 BC, Artaxerxes had control over Jerusalem during the time of the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. In the early part of his reign he responded to the complaints of local Palestinians by ordering that work on the rebuilding of Jerusalem cease (Ezra 4:7-23). But his decree made provision for him to reverse his decision at a later date if he so desired (Ezra 4:21). In the seventh year of his reign, Artaxerxes did, in fact, reverse his decree, when he gave permission to Ezra to carry out reforms in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:7,11-26). His other significant decision in favour of the Jerusalem Jews came in the twentieth year of his reign, when he appointed Nehemiah governor and gave him full imperial support to rebuild and secure the city (Neh 2:1-8). For further details see EZRA; NEHEMIAH; PERSIA.

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