The book of Ezra chapter 4 tells us that Artaxerxes stopped the work of the temple, and that it remained unfinished until the second year of Darius (verse 24). Who is this Artaxerxes? He is probably not the same Artaxerxes from Ezra 7 since the latter reigned after Darius as is evident from the order of the chapters. See also Ezra 6:14 which lumps together Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes. Are we dealing here with two different kings each named Artaxerxes, or are they the same person?

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    This question may be a duplicate of this one. Although that one focuses on Ezra 7, while your question focuses on Ezra 4 and suggests excluding Ezra 7, the top-voted / accepted answer over there actually covers the content of your question.
    – user2910
    Jul 5 '16 at 18:39

Interestingly, the Wikipedia article on Ezra gives a slightly different Persian king list that does J. M. Cook in The Persian Empire, which I generally use for reference. However, the differences involve omission of kings who only reigned briefly and are not important for our purposes. Cambyses was the son of Cyrus the Great and therefore lived before Darius I and Artaxerxes I.

There were three kings known as Darius and four known as Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes I reigned 465–424 and Darius II reigned 423–404.


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