2:1 month Nisan. This would mean the first day of the month Nisan, which was the first month of the religious year of Israel. The twentieth year of Artaxerxes is generally accepted as 445 B.C., in terms of more or less standard secular chronology. This date is important as the starting date of the uniquely significant prophecy of the seventy weeks (see notes on Daniel 9:25-27).
2:1 wine. Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11), evidence of the high degree of trust placed in him by Artaxerxes. The use of poison as a means of assassination was common in antiquity.