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When did the Purim story take place?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Holidays » Purim » The Story | Subscribe | What is RSS?


In the year 3338 (423 BCE) the first Holy Temple is destroyed by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. At this time the majority of the Jews are exiled to Babylon and Persia (modern day Iran and Iraq). Fifty-one years later (372 BCE) Babylon falls to the Medes and Persians, and in 3392 (369 BCE) King Ahasuerus of Persia ascends the throne, ruling over 127 provinces.

Three years later Ahasuerus throws the feast which leads to his wife Vashti's execution. A beauty pageant is orchestrated to find a new wife for the king; Esther is chosen to be the new queen; Haman is named prime minister; and in Nissan of the year 3404 (357 BCE) the "Final Solution" decree is issued.

Haman is hanged only a few days later, but the Jewish victory against their enemies occurs on the 13th of Adar the next year (356 BCE).

In the year 3408 (353 BCE), King Darius, son of Ahasuerus and Esther, allows the Jews to return to Israel and build the second Holy Temple.


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Descendant of anti-Semitic tribe of Amalek and prime minister of the Persian Empire in the 5th century b.c.e. Schemed to annihilate all the Jews, and the holiday of Purim was established when the plot was foiled.
1. Jewish wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the 4th century BCE. Foiled the plot of Haman, the prime minister, to exterminate all the Jews. The holiday of Purim commemorates this miraculous salvation. 2. One of the 24 Books of the Bible, which chronicles the abovementioned story.
King of the Persian Empire in the 4th century BCE. Husband of Esther, heroine of the Purim story.
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.