Great king, the name or title of several kings of Persia.
1. It is given in Ezra 4:7-24, to Smerdis the Magian, who usurped the throne after the death of Cambyses, B. C. 522, pretending to be Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, whom Cambyses had put to death. His usurped power was used, at the rebuilding of the temple. He was murdered, after a reign of eight months, and was succeeded by Darius son of Hystaspes.
2. The king of this name mentioned in Ezra 7:1-28, is most probably Artaxerxes Longimanus, the son and successor of Xerxes, who ascended the throne B. C. 425, after a mild reign of thirty-nine years. In the seventh year of his reign, Ezra led a second company of the Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem. In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem as governor, Nehemiah 2:1; 5:14.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.