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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : Esther Index : Chapter 1

Esther, Chapter 1
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
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1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of a Ahasuerus, (this [is] Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, [over] an b hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

The Argument - Because of the variety of names, by which they used to call their kings, and the number of years in which the Hebrews and the Greeks vary, various authors write concerning that Ahasuerus but is seems in (Da 6:1,9:1) that he was Darius king of the Medes and son of Astyages also called Ahasuerus which was a name of honour and signified great and chief as chief head. In this is declared the great mercies of God toward his church: who never fails them in their greatest dangers, but when all hope of worldly help fades, he stirs up some, by whom he sends comfort and deliverance. In this also is described the ambition, pride and cruelty of the wicked when they come to honour and their sudden fall when they are at their highest and how God preserves and prefers them who are zealous of his glory and have a care and love for their brethren.
(a) Also called Darius, who was now the favourite monarch and had the government of the Medes, Persians and Chaldeans. Some think he was Darius Hystaspis also called Artaxerxes.
(b) (Da 6:1) makes mention of only 120 leaving out the number that are imperfect as the scripture uses in various places. 1:2 [That] in those days, when the king Ahasuerus c sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the palace,

    (c) That is, had rest and quietness.
1:6 [Where were] white, green, and blue, [hangings], fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the d beds [were of] gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
    (d) Which they used in those countries instead of tables.
1:7 And they gave [them] drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the e state of the king.
    (e) As was befitting for so magnificent a king.
1:8 And the drinking [was] according to the law; none did f compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.
    (f) No one was forced to drink more than it pleased him.
1:10 On the g 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,

    (g) Which was the last day of the feast that the king made for the people as in (Es 1:5).
1:13 Then the king said to the wise men, h which knew the times, (for so [was] the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
    (h) Who had experience in things as they had learned by diligent marking in continuance of time.
1:14 And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the i king's face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom;)
    (i) Who were his chief counsellors that always had access to him.
1:16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done k 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.
    (k) By her disobedience she has given an example to all women to do the same to their husbands.
1:17 For [this] l 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.
    (l) That is, her disobedience.
1:18 [Likewise] shall the m 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.
    (m) Meaning, that they would take the first opportunity to do the same and the rest of the women would also do the same.
1:19 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 n no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
    (n) Let her be divorced and another made queen.
1:20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is o great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.
    (o) For he had under him a hundred and twenty-seven countries.
1:22 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 p bear rule in his own house, and that [it] should be published according to the language of every people.
    (p) That is, that the wife should be subject to the husband and at his commandment.

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