Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which
reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty
.2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
. 4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
- Ahasuerus Hebrew 'Achashwerosh. Transliteration
of Persian Khshayarsha. In Greek this became Xerxes. and
in Latin, Assuerus. We know him in history as Xerxes I.
3 - Third year Beginning April 14, 483 BC and ending April 2, 482 BC. The feast could have begun in the spring.
3 - Power From chayil army or valiant man v9.
3 - Persia and Media Usually the nations are described in reverse order as Media and Persia da0528., da0608, da0820. This may imply that Persia had replaced Media at this time.
4 - Riches of glorious kingdom His pride reminds us of the sin of Nebuchadnezzar several hundred years earlier da04.
And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people
that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven
days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
|Days expired ... feast Likely to encourage the loyalty of the leaders of the people. Only men would have attended. Vashti made a feast for the women. See Esther's later approach to this area es0501.|
| 7 And they gave them drink
in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal
wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.
8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.
.9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.
|7 - Gave them drink "There is reason to believe from this account, as well as from Es 5:6; 7:2,7,8, where the drinking of wine occupies by far the most prominent place in the description, that this was a banquet rather than a feast." (JFB)|
| 10 On the seventh
day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman,
Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains
that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on [or "good of countenance].
.12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him. 13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
- Wine Alcohol clouds the judgment. See pr2001.
12 - Vashti refused I admire Vashti although Esther is the central figure in the book. Why would Vashti refuse? The text doesn't say but I have an idea that the king wanted his guests to see more than her pretty face. Refusing may have been more dangerous than was Esther's later approach to the king.
| 14 And the next
unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and
Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face,
and which sat the first in the kingdom;)
15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
.16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
|15 - Vashti ... law Persian rules were somewhat limited. The king did not want to seem vindictive.|
| 17 For this deed of the queen
shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands
in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded
Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.
|17 - Deed ... despise their husbands It was not a time of women's liberation. It is interesting that the women in the story were both virtuous while all the men except Mordecai were evil.|
If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let
it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be
not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the
king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.
21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:
22 For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people..
|22 - Man to rule See Ephesians 5 ep0523.|