Esther 1

The Book of Esther
Chapter 1

Chapter Overview:

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.
1:1Ahasuerus - 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, 2:7 .Provinces - So seven new provinces were added to those hundred and twenty mentioned, Daniel 6:1 .
1:2Sat - 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.
1:4Many 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.
1:6Beds - For in those eastern countries, they did not then sit at tables as we do, but rested or leaned upon beds or couches.
1:8The 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!
1:9Women - While the king entertained the men. For this was the common custom of the Persians, that men and women did not feast together.
1:12Refused - 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.
1:13The times - The histories of former times, what princes have done in such cases as this was.
1:14Saw - 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.
1:18Contempt - Contempt in the wives, and thereupon wrath in the husbands; and consequently strife in families.