The king of Persia from 486 to 465 BC. He inherited the throne from his father, Darius; his son Artaxerxes was king during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. In the Bible Xer-xes is called “Ahasuerus” (though the NIV and some other versions use “Xerxes”), a Hebrew equivalent (’akhasherosh) of his Persian name. Esther (Hadassah) was wed to Xerxes in 479 BC and became queen (Esther 2:17), and thus she was in a position to save the Jewish nation from the annihilation plotted by Haman (Esther 4:12–17). Additionally, the “enemies of Judah and Benjamin” (Ezra 4:1) wrote a letter to Xerxes when the Jews began rebuilding God’s temple in Jerusalem.