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'Achashverowsh of the book of Esther is a title for king. He says this is Xerxes, son of Darius I. So when Xerxes became king over Persia, he and his queen, Vashti, ruled over 127 provinces, the entire civilized world.

Later, at a banquet celebrating the Jewish people's demise, Xerxes ordered Vashti to appear at the feast unclothed so that he could show off her beauty to his entire kingdom. When she refused his command, Xerxes had her beheaded. Vashti's execution set the stage for Esther's appointment as queen, ultimately leading to the Jewish people's deliverance.

This Drama took place in the 5th century BC in the Persian Empire (Iran) - 465 BC. This is the story of a woman who wins a beauty contest, meets a handsome ruler, and ends up saving her people. The only difference from this story and a fairytale is that this is a true story.

The author of Esther is unknown. It may have been written by Mordecai. Esther is a Persian word meaning "star". The Hebrew name equivalent would be Myrtle. The book of Esther reminded the Jews of the day of the Lord's protection of them 'outside the land'. The book should also be an encouragement today for all believers today as we face anti-Semitism today.

Message of the Book of Esther:

1. Reminds us of the Lord's care of Jews persecuted outside the land.

2. Reminds us of God's commitment to the Abrahamic Covenant.

3. Reminds us that Jesus Christ controls History.

4. Book is also about us as believers in the Church Age.

Chapter 1

{Chapters 1-5: Danger of the Jews Extermination}
{Chapter 1: Dethroning of Queen Vashti}
{Verses 1-9: Splendor of Persian Empire of Xerxes}
1~~~Now it came to pass in the days
of 'the king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh
  {'Achashverowsh - title for king - RBT says is Xerxes,
  son of Darius I},
(this is 'the king' who reigned,
from India even unto Ethiopia,
over an hundred and seven and twenty
"provinces" {m@diynah}).

{Note: See Daniel 2:39. RBT says Persia was the 'arms of silver' in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Darius I ruled from 522-486 BC and his son Xerxes (Zurk-ceeze) called 'Achashverowsh (a title not a name).}

{Note: A m@diynah is an administrative subdivision of a satrap. Herodias, the historian, said there were 20 satraps (compare with US states) in this day.}

2~~~That in those days,
when the king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh
sat/'dwelled in prosperity' {yashab}
on the throne of his kingdom {'holding court'},
which was in Shushan the palace.

{Note: Shushan was also the name of the citadel, around which the city of Shushan was built - a very typical situation for the day. This is why a lot of the warfare of the day was siege warfare.}

3~~~In the third year of his {Xerxes'} reign {483 BC},
he made a feast/banquet {mishteh}
unto all his princes and his servants.
The power of Persia and Media,
the nobles and princes of the provinces,
being before him.

{Note: Xerxes was planning for his Greek campaign. It took 4 years to prepare for the campaign. He took an army of a million men to go against Greece (but he will lose!). He was persuading his nobles to provide money and men for the campaign.}

4~~~When he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom
and the honor of his excellent majesty many days,
even an hundred and fourscore days {a lavish 6 month party}.

{Note: The Septuagint was a translation of the Hebrew bible into Greek in circa 300 BC. It was used often as the OT source for NT writers and is very valuable in clarifying the meaning of use of many ancient Hebrew words. In verse 3, mishteh was translated into "Doche" in the Septuagint translation of banquet, which was the general term for banquet. But in the next verse mishteh was translated potos in the Septuagint translation. This is the Greek word for a drinking and carousing party. So, we can gather the first was a formal 6 month political gathering and then followed a 7 day 'let off steam' party.}

{7 Day Relaxation Drinking Party}
5~~~And when these days were expired,
the king made a feast/banquet {mishteh}
unto all the men { `am - no women at this party}
who were present in Shushan the palace,
both unto great and small, seven days,
in the court of the garden of the king's palace.

{Fine "Draping" of the Palace - Wealth and Power of Empire is Obvious}
6~~~There where were white, green, and blue, hangings,
fastened with cords of fine linen and purple
to silver rings and pillars of marble.
The 'reclining couches for feasting' {mittah}
were of gold and silver,
upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

7~~~And they "caused them to drink"
  {shaqah Hiphil stem - heavy drinking to get drunk}
in vessels of gold,
(the vessels being diverse one from another)
and royal wine in abundance,
according to the state of the king.

8a~~~And the drinking was according to the law {dath}.

{Note: Dath is the word used here not Torah. This is a Persian decree - no one HAD to drink but you could drink as much as you wanted. And remember, there were no women present at this time.}

8b~~~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.

9~~~Also Vashti, the queen,
  {name in Persian means 'the best' or 'one who is desired'}
gave a feast/banquet {mishteh}
for the women in the royal house
which belonged to king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh.

{Note: Vashti was the daughter of King Belshazzar of Babylon and the great-granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar, the man who destroyed the first Temple in Jerusalem. The night her father was murdered (as predicted by the famous "writing on the wall"); there was much bloodshed and looting in the palace. Amidst the confusion, Vashti was unaware of the death of her father and ran to his quarters where she was captured by Darius, the succeeding king. Darius took pity on the young Vashti and gave her to his son Achashveirosh as a wife.}

10-11~~~On the seventh day,
when the heart/'right lobe' of the king
was 'merry with wine' {gassed - barely coherent}
  {he was drunk - at the end of a 7 day drinking binge},
he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha,
and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas,
the seven eunuchs
  {7 aristocrats who had been castrated - to serve in the harem of
  the king}
who served in the presence of {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh,
the king, 11~~~
to bring Vashti, the queen,
before the king with the crown royal,
to show the people and the princes her beauty . . .
for she was extremely beautiful on which to look.

{Note: This was not the king's finest hour. Maybe this meant for her to appear nude. Maybe not. But no matter, she was being commanded to be put on display before a large number of men and this offended his wife.}

12~~~But the queen Vashti refused to come
at the king's commandment
{via a message delivered} by his chamberlains.
Therefore was the king very angry,
and his wrath burned in him.

{King Consults His Cabinet}
13-15~~~Then the king said to the
"wise men"/"shrewd men"/astrologers,
  {chakam - political men who supposedly
  read the stars and made predictions - some
  were demon possessed}
who knew 'what was to happen'/'the times',
(for so was the king's manner
toward all that knew law and judgment 14~~~
and those next unto him were
Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish,
Meres, Marsena, and Memucan,
the seven princes of Persia and Media,
who saw the king's face,
and who sat the first in the kingdom) 15~~~
"What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law,
because she has not performed the commandment
of the king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh
{via a message delivered} by the eunuchs?"

{Note: Remember that Xerxes is trying to show his nobles what a great ruler he is and then his own wife refuses his command. This is a very serious slight to the King at this point even though his request of Vashti was unreasonable. The King has been embarrassed and he commits the mental attitude sin of anger.}

16-20~~~And Memucan answered before the king and the princes,
"Vashti the queen has not done wrong/'a crime'
  {`avah - a strong word - dramatizing incident for his own purposes
  Memucan is trying to manipulate the King}
to the king only,
but also to all the princes,
and to all the people who are in all the provinces
of the king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh. 17~~~
  {saying that this was a crime against all manhood in Persia -
  this is a man with ulterior motives}
For the conduct of the queen
shall become known abroad unto all women,
so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes,
when it shall be reported,
'The king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh
commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him,
but she came not. 18~~~
Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media
say this day unto all the king's princes {all the men in the kingdom},
who have heard of the deed of the queen.
Thus shall there arise much contempt and wrath. 19~~~
  {saying ALL the women of the kingdom will look with
  contempt on their husbands!}
If it please the king,
let there go a royal commandment from him,
and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes,
that it be not altered,
that Vashti come no more before king {Xerxes}'/'Achashverowsh.
And let the king give her royal estate unto another who is better than she. 20~~~
And when the king's decree
which he shall make
shall be published throughout all his empire
(for it {the empire} is great)
all the wives shall give to their husbands honor,
both to great and small."

21~~~And the saying pleased the king and the princes.
And the king did according to the word of Memucan.

22~~~Therefore he sent letters into all the king's provinces,
into every province according to the writing thereof,
and to every people after their language,
that every man should bear rule in his own house,
and that it should be published
according to the language of every people.