Esther 1:8

8 By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

Read Esther 1:8 Using Other Translations

And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.
And drinking was according to this edict: "There is no compulsion." For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired.
By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.

What does Esther 1:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Esther 1:8

And the drinking was according to the law, none did compel,
&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 house, that
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.


F6 Vid. Drusium in loc.
F7 Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 51.
F8 Cicero. Tusculan. Quaest. l. 5.
F9 Laert. in Vit. ejus, l. 8. p. 608.
F11 Semedo's History of China, par. 1. c. 13.
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