The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
We read of this palace in the book of Esther also. It also was the scene of Daniel and the three Hebrew children. Esther became the queen of the palace. It is possible that her king-husband was the father of the Artaxerxes we find in the book of Nehemiah. So, though she was a bit older than Nehemiah, they were in the palace at the same time. As the Queen Mother [though it is likely that Artaxerxes was the son of one of his father’s other wives], she would have quite an influence on this king. This may be one reason that King Artaxerxes was so helpful to Nehemiah.
Today, the palace is in ruins. It is still an active archaeological site. It is located in the present country of Iran. It was already an ancient city when Esther arrived there.
The summer temperatures at Shushan are practically unbearable. Therefore, it was the king’s winter palace. It was luxurious. The palace and adjoining city were kept abuzz with military exercises, sumptuous feasts, etc. The main audience hall was ornate, and had a ceiling 70 feet high. In some parts of the palace, the king had used gold in place of cement.
Today, the area is known for its great poverty.
Men build palaces and empires, create a lot of bustle, and then pass away. Their great palaces and empires become just a crumbling heap of bricks. We, too, will one day pass away. All our precious treasures will end up in a yard sale, or be carted off to the landfill. We have only one way to beat this cruel joke: make sure our eternal soul is in the safekeeping of the eternal God through faith in the Christ of Calvary. Then, let the world pass away, and all the glory of it. I will be far away basking in the love of Jesus in my eternal home!