In the third year of his reign he made a feast unto all his
princes, and his servants
The nobles and officers in his court; on what account this was cannot be said with certainty, whether the first day of it was his birthday, or the day of his coming to the throne, on which day Xerxes used to make a feast annually, as Herodotus relates F6:
the power of Persia and Media;
the mighty men therein, the potentates thereof; or the "army", the principal officers of it:
the nobles and princes of the provinces being with him.
The first word Aben Ezra declares his ignorance of, whether it is Hebrew or Persian; Jarchi interprets it governors; and the persons intended by both seem to be the deputy governors of the one hundred and twenty seven provinces who were present at this feast. Xerxes, having reduced Egypt, meditated a war with Greece, to which he was pressed by Mardonius, a relation of his; upon which he summoned the chief men of his kingdom, to have their advice about it F7, which perhaps was taken at this time; for it was in the third year of his reign he resolved upon the war, and began to make preparations for it; and it was usual, at banquets and feasts, that the Persians debated their most important affairs F8.
F6 lb. (Herodot.) Calliope, sive, l. 9. c. 109.
F7 Ib. l. 7. c. 8.
F8 lb. Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 133.