For those like myself who want to understand the history of Nehemiah this is rather interesting. In Nehemiah, Iran was the Persian Empire. Now as Iran is rewriting its history, both references to the Achaemenid & Persian Empire have been erased. It is important to remember that they are the same otherwise you can up in a wild good chase, like I was, tracing one or the other and getting a lot of dead ends.
In Old Persian, Nehemiah was a servant in the the Haxâmanishiya Empire. It is also called the Achaemenid after its founder’s Cambyses family name: Achaeminds. This was changed in Ancient Greek to be in keeping to how they related Dynasties (this was also done to the Egyptian when it was overthrown by Alexander the Great generals). The Persian &/or Achaemenid family tree looks like this suing the familiar biblical style, starting with their founder Teispes.
Teispes begets Cyrus I who begets Cambyses I who begets Cyrus II, The Great who begets Cambyses II who begets Smerdis, (the Magian — they are a class of Zororastian priests) who begets Darius I, The Great.
Darius is the father of Xerxes I who begets Artaxerxes I who begets Xerxes II who begets Darius II who begets Artaxerxes II who begets Artaxerxes III who begets Arses who begets the last of the line Darius III
After the death of Cambyses II (522 BC) another line starts. This junior line comes to the throne with his son Darius I but things that far back are sketchy. I was able to determine that this second dynasty became extinct with the death of Darius III, following his defeat (330 bc) by Alexander the Great.
The new Genealogy
The current Iranian Dept. of Commerce site explains their genealogy in a far different manner. One that is definitely “invented” that the new commentator Glenn Beck noted on one of his shows.
We know little about the Persians, like where they came from because so much is lost in myth and mythmaking, but this is the current scenario that modern day Iran perpetrates: Around 1400 BC, Persia was populated with an Aryan people (as I mentioned earlier that is why they changed their name to Iran) with long heads, high foreheads and thin noses. Their blood though may have already been mixed with a slight Mongol strain because of the Silk Road trade. These people were Medes, who also emerged from the great grasslands of Central Asia and intermingled with the Scythians, who also originated from the Russian steppes.
That mythic tale is countered by Britannica which states instead the Persians arose (modern day Iraq or “the Aryan people) and eventually expanded from the Indus Valley (India) into the east and Thrace and Macedon (Greece) in the west. In its zenith, it encompassed some 1 million square miles all of which were unified by a complex network of roads, armies and ruled by bureaucrats of whom Sanballat and Tobiah the Ammonite were two in Nehemiah’s tale.