But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem
Nehemiah, who was absent all the while these things were done by Eliashib, or otherwise they would not have been suffered:
for in the thirty second year of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, came I
unto the king from Jerusalem;
after he had governed there twelve years, to whom he came to give an account of affairs there; this was not Xerxes, as some F2 have thought, for he reigned but twenty one years; but Darius Hystaspis, who reigned thirty six years, according to Ptolemy's canon, and with which Herodotus F3 agrees; he is called king of Babylon, because that, with the whole empire, was in the hands of the king of Persia, as it had been from the times of Cyrus:
and after certain days obtained I leave of the king;
to return to Jerusalem again; not after five years, as Dr. Prideaux F4 thinks; for it is not likely that Nehemiah would stay so long ere he asked leave of the king to return to Jerusalem, which was so much his care, and on whose prosperity his heart was so much set; rather at most it was but a full year he stayed ere he got leave to return, as Vatablus and Piscator interpret it; in which sense the phrase of certain days is used in ( Leviticus 25:29 ) , and in other places quoted by the last mentioned interpreter.
F2 Apud Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 8. 2.
F3 Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 1.
F4 Connect. par. 1. p. 397.