The Last

The last of the Old-Testament writers was Malachi, who prophesied, in the latter part of Nehemiah's administration, about 416 years B. C. He reproved both priests and people for disorderly conduct, and foretold the coming of John the Baptist as a forerunner of Christ.  Artaxerxes Longimanus [ar-tax-erx'-es lon-gim'- a-nus]' (Ahasuerus) died B. C. 423; and after a short interval of commotion and bloodshed, Darius Nothus [da-ri'-us no'-thus] succeeded him. 

In the year 413 B. C., the Egyptians revolted, and maintained their independence for a period of sixty-four years.

Darius Nothus died B. C. 404, and was succeeded by his son, Artaxerxes Memnon, who, being a prince of mild and humane character, governed with much moderation and prudence. He made an unsuccessful attempt to reconquer Egypt in 373 B. C., and soon after, the Egyptian king, encouraged by this discomfiture of his enemies, took the offensive, and invaded Phoenicia; but no sooner had he left Egypt than a conspiracy arose, his army turned against him, and he was obliged to flee for protection to "the great and generous king of Persia, whose dominions he had invaded."

Artaxerxes Memnon died in B. C. 358, after a reign of forty-six years. During this long period the Jews enjoyed comparative peace and comfort, although their country must have suffered not a little from warlike operations; for not only did the opposing armies have to pass through Palestine in going to and from Egypt, but vast bodies of troops were sometimes rendezvoused in that country and the immediate vicinity.  Ochus [o'-chus], the son of Artaxerxes Memnon, succeeded his father on the throne of Persia. 

Having been much annoyed by the revolt of some of his provinces bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, he marched westward, and after taking Sidon, the stronghold of the Sidonians, enforced ready submission on the part of the Phoenicians and Cyprians. He then turned to Egypt, where he plundered the temples, dismantled the towns, and, to show contempt for the Egyptian religion, sacrificed Apis, their ox-god, to an ass. Having completely subdued the country, he returned to Babylon, richly laden with spoils of gold, silver, and other precious things. From that day to this, Egypt has been subject to other nations, having no king of her own, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:13-16.

Ochus, and all his sons but the youngest, were destroyed by Bagoas [ba-go'-as], an Egyptian eunuch, who had been raised to a high position, in the Persian government. He then made Arces, the youngest son of Ochus, king; but in the third year of his reign, slew him, and all the remaining members of his family. He then gave the throne to Codomannus [cod-o-man-nus], governor of Armenia, who assumed the name of Darius, and is known in history as Darius Codomannus. He took the scepter with the brightest prospects of a successful reign, but, four years later, B. C. 331, the Persian empire was completely overthrown by Alexander of Macedon, commonly called Alexander the Great.

Thus the he-goat cast the ram down to the ground, and stamped upon him; and the second universal empire came to an end.