(Investigator 188, 2019 September)

My evidence identifying Ahasuerus in the book of Esther (Investigator 177 & 184) as Darius I, who reigned 522-486 BCE, is supported in the Journal of Creation Research.

I don't take young-Earth Creationists seriously when they argue for a young Universe 6000 years old, but on the topic of Ahasuerus James R. Hughes makes a reasonable case.

His arguments largely overlap with mine. But he gives some extra arguments which my articles lacked, and I supplied some which he lacked. Like me Hughes accepts that "who" in Esther 2 refers to Mordecai not Kish and that Mordecai went into exile in 597 BCE.

One point which Hughes makes but I had not noticed, is that when Xerxes was in Persia he spent most of his time in Persepolis, not Susa where the events of Esther take place during a 10-year period. The use of Susa as a royal residence declined after Darius until the time of Artaxerxes II.

Hughes, citing Herodotus, says that the "islands of the [Aegean] sea" (Esther 10:1) which Ahasuerus taxed were conquered by Darius but lost by Xerxes after his defeat in 480 BCE at Salamis.

Another argument of Hughes which I omitted is: "Esdras 3:1–2 (in the Apocrypha) uses the name Darius as the king who reigned over 127 provinces from Egypt to Ethiopia; as did the Ahasuerus of Esther (Esther 1:1–3)."

Hughes also notes that the identification of Ahasuerus with Xerxes was first suggested by Dutch scholar Joseph Scaliger (1540–1609), but that James Ussher (1581–1656) understood Ahasuerus to be the father of Xerxes (i.e. Darius ).

Hughes omits to explain how Esther could be young enough to win a beauty contest when her cousin was in his seventies — a point which I tackled using hypothetical ages and birth dates.

Hughes, J.R. Which Persian monarch was the Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther? Journal of Creation 30(3) 2016, pp 74-77