The burden of this, the last of the Old Testament prophets, was the glaring inconcinnity between the identity of the Jewish community as the people of God and the living out of all that this required of them.
At least the king’s letter conveyed by Ezra gives that impression in places (Ezra , 23-26).
In other respects things were hardly more promising.
Before he could accomplish his objective of bringing them under control, he had to deal with the Ionian provinces which, though under Persian hegemony, decided to assist their island kinfolk.
Having at last prevailed, Darius determined to press on to the west and conquer mainland Greece as well. Shortly thereafter Darius died and was succeeded by his son Xerxes (486-465), the Ahasuerus of the Bible (Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1).
It is helpful to view this series of events against the larger political scene already outlined. C., a rebellion put down after five years by Megabyzus the satrap of Abar Nahara ().