454 BC: The Seventy Weeks Begin Nehemiah 2:1-8 "... in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes ... I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king ... I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it.' "So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time;'". I am going to leave for previous (and future) articles most of the background and proofs for this particular date and incident as the starting point for the famous Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. I want this piece to be relatively short and to the point, but we must first touch lightly on the who's, when's and why's. Well, I say "touch lightly" now but watch me - as this article progresses - forget what I just wrote and launch right into those intriguing pronouns. In a way I can't help it, because, after so many page-turning, mouse-clicking years, I laboured with the same hands-in-the-air exasperation that maybe many of you may still have. But about five years ago certain details just clicked in place. And in the last year or so - reading this new edition of Ussher's Annals of the World (almost finished), coupled with the notes of the editors, Larry and Marion Pierce - these details have - to my satisfaction, at least - been greatly confirmed. None of those thrilling details have un-clicked out of place. Okay. Let's get to these questions first. Why this decree? Why this particular ruler? Why this date? Why is this so important?