View Esther 1 in the note window.
Ahasuerus feasts his great men, ver. 1 - 9.
Sends for his queen, who refuses to come, ver. 10, 11.
He divorces her, ver. 12 - 22.
1: Ahasuerus - Many suppose this to be Darius Hystapas, for his
kingdom was thus vast, and he subdued India, as Herodotus reports:
and one of his wives was called Atossa, differing little from
Hadassah, which is Esther's other name, (Es 2:7).
Provinces - So seven new provinces were added to those hundred and
twenty mentioned, (Da 6:1).
2: Sat - Was settled in the peaceable possession of it.
Shushan - The chief or royal city. Shushan might be the
proper name of the palace, which thence was given to the whole city.
Here the kings of Persia used to keep their courts in winter, as at
Exbatana in summer.
4: Many days - Making every day a magnificent feast, either for all
his princes, or for some of them, who might come to the feast successively,
as the king ordered them to do. The Persian feasts are much celebrated
in authors, for their length and luxury.
6: Beds - For in those eastern countries, they did not then sit at
tables as we do, but rested or leaned upon beds or couches.
8: The law - According to this law which the king had now made, that
none should compel another to drink more than he pleased. How does this
Heathen prince shame many, that are called Christians, who think they do
not make their friends welcome, unless they make them drunk, and under
pretence of sending the health round, send the sin round, and death with it!
9: Women - While the king entertained the men. For this was the
common custom of the Persians, that men and women did not feast together.
12: Refused - Being favoured in this refusal by the law of
Persia, which was to keep mens wives, and especially queens,
from the view of other men.
13: The times - The histories of former times, what princes have done
in such cases as this was.
14: Saw - Who had constant freedom of access to the king, and
familiar converse with him: which is thus expressed, because the
Persian kings were very seldom seen by their subjects.
Sat - Who were his chief counsellors and officers.
18: Contempt - Contempt in the wives, and thereupon wrath
in the husbands; and consequently strife in families.