And the drinking was according to the law, none did
&c.] According to the law Ahasuerus gave to his officers next mentioned, which was not to oblige any man to drink more than he chose; the Targum is,
`according to the custom of his body;'
that is, as a man is able to bear it, so they drank: some F6 read it, "the drinking according to the law, let none exact"; or require it to be, according to the custom then in use in Persia; for they were degenerated from their former manners, and indulged to intemperance, as Xenophon F7 suggests: the law formerly was, not to carry large vessels into feasts; but now, says he, they drink so much, that they themselves must be carried out, because they cannot go upright: and so it became a law with the Greeks, at their festivals, that either a man must drink or go out F8; so the master of a feast, at which Empedocles was, ordered either that he should drink, or the wine be poured on his head F9; but such force or compulsion Ahasuerus forbad: and thus with the Chinese now, they force none to drink, but modestly invite them F11:
for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his
they should do according to every man's pleasure;
to let them have what wine they would, but not force them to drink more than was agreeable to them.