And the elders of the Jews builded
Went on with the building of the temple:
and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and
Zechariah the son of Iddo;
or grandson, as before; being animated and encouraged by them; and as they foretold and promised it would, be, so it was; they had success in their work, the Lord overruling the heart of Darius the king and his council in their favour:
and they builded and finished it;
that is, the temple:
according to the commandment of the God of Israel;
by the above prophets, who spoke to them, and prophesied in his name:
and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes
king of Persia;
the commandment of Cyrus is in ( Ezra 1:1 ) that of Darius in this, ( Ezra 6:8 ) , but who Artaxerxes is, and his commandment, is not easy to say; he cannot be the Artaxerxes between Cyrus and Darius, but one that followed the latter; besides, he was a hinderer of the building, ( Ezra 4:21-24 ) , some think this was Xerxes the son and successor of Darius, and who might be partner with his father in the empire at this time, and so is joined with him in this commandment; which is more probable than that he should be his grandson Artaxerxes Longimamus, in whose reign the temple, it is supposed, was beautified and ornamented, though the exterior building of it was before finished; and so he is spoken of by anticipation; and still more plausible than that he should be, with others, Artaxerxes Mnemon, the son of Darius Nothus; but, after all, I am most inclined to think, with Aben Ezra, that he is Darius himself; and the words to be read, Darius, that is, Artaxerxes, king of Persia; Artaxerxes being, as he observes, a common name of the kings of Persia, as Pharaoh was of the kings of Egypt; though this is by some rejected F8; and who goes by this name in the continuance of this history, in whose seventh year, the year after this, Ezra went up to Jerusalem, and, in the twentieth of his reign, Nehemiah, ( Ezra 7:1-7 ) ( Nehemiah 2:1 ) , and I find Dr. Lightfoot F9 was of the same mind; and, according to Diodorus Siculus F11, the kings of Persia were called by the name of Artaxerxes after Mnemon; and so they might before; Cambyses is so called in ( Ezra 4:7 ) . Herodotus F12 says the name signifies "a mighty warrior".
F8 Vid. Rainold de Lib. Apocryph. praelect. 31. p. 271.
F9 Works, vol. 1. p. 139.
F11 Bibliothec. l. 15. p. 400.
F12 Erato, sive, l. 6. c. 98.