And when these days were ended
The one hundred and eighty, in which the nobles, princes, and great men of the kingdom were feasted:
the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan
the palace, both unto great and small;
of every age, rank, state and condition of life; these were the common people, whether inhabitants of the city or country people there on business, whether natives or foreigners; according to the Targum, there were Israelites there, but not Mordecai and his family; yea, it is said in the Midrash F14, that they were all Jews, and that their number was 18,500; but this is not probable; it is very likely there were some Jews among them, as there were many in the army of Xerxes, when he made his expedition into Greece, according to the poet Choerilus F15; which is not to be wondered at, since there were so many of them in his dominions, and they men of valour and fidelity, and to whose nation he was so kind and favourable: and this feast was kept
seven days in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
which no doubt was very large, and sufficient to hold such a number as was assembled together on this occasion, when there was not room enough for them in the palace. There is in history an account of a Persian king that supped with 15,000 men, and in the supper spent forty talents F16.
F14 Midrash Esther, fol. 94. 1.
F15 Apud Joseph. contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 22.
F16 Ctesias & Dinon in Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 4.