And the next unto him
That sat next to the king, and was the chief in dignity and authority under him:
and so everyone in their rank and order, as next mentioned:
Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan;
who, according to the latter Targum, were of different countries; the first of Africa, the second of India, the third of Idumea, the fourth of Egypt, the fifth of Resen, ( Genesis 10:12 ) which is framed out of Marsena, who is dropped, and the last of Jerusalem, said to be Daniel; though the former Targum makes him to be Haman:
the seven powers of Persia and Media;
which custom of having seven counsellors with the kings of Persia arose from the seven princes that slew Smerdis the pretender, and made Darius Hystaspis king, the father of Xerxes:
which saw the king's face;
were intimate and familiar with him, often in his presence; yea, might go into it when they pleased, without the ceremony of being introduced; which privilege the above persons reserved to themselves, when they placed Darius on the throne, as Herodotus relates F21:
and which sat the first in the kingdom;
next to the king, and were assisting to him in the administration of government, see ( Ezra 7:14 ) .
F21 lb. (Thalia, sive, l. 3.) c. 84, 118.