As far as I can tell, the latest date mentioned in Tanach is in Nechemiah 13:6:

כִּ֡י בִּשְׁנַת֩ שְׁלֹשִׁ֨ים וּשְׁתַּ֜יִם לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁ֤סְתְּא מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶל֙ בָּ֣אתִי אֶל־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ

for in the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes of Babylon, I went to the king.

If I understand Seder Olam's chronology correctly, this Artaxerxes is identified with Darius in whose reign the Temple was built (in his second year). This would mean this event takes place in the 31st year of the Second Temple's 420 year history i.e. 321 BCE (give or take a year or two).

Alternatively, following conventional chronology and identifying this Artaxerxes of Nechemiah with Artaxerxes I of Persia would give us a date of 434 BCE.

My question is two-fold:

  1. Are there are any verses in Tanach which are assumed or interpreted (by Torah scholars or academics) to be referring (in a historical rather than prophetic manner) to later dates than Nechemiah 13:6 refers to?

  2. Are there other interpretations of Nechemiah 13:6 which have been offered that yield a different year to the two I have already mentioned (maybe by identifying Artaxerxes with a different king, or otherwise positing a different chronology to the two I've mentioned).

1 Answer 1


Some scholars argue that references to Artaxerxes with regard to Ezra's arrival refer to Artaxerxes II. Accordingly, the seventh year of Artaxerxes in Ezra 7:7 would be 398 BCE. You can read a summary of arguments for and against this dating in Edwin Yamauchi, "The Reverse Order of Ezra/Nehemiah Reconsidered" (1980), reproduced here.

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