Bible Notes Online - Esther 1 - ESV
Commentary

v1-3: Xerxes has been identified as Ahasuerus, who reigned during the time of Ezra. He ruled a vast empire.

v4: A feast lasting 6 months, to show off the enormous wealth of his kingdom.

How much greater is the glory and splendour of our God; He has eternity to demonstrate the splendour and glory of His majesty and kingdom.

v5-6: After the main feast, he invited the ordinary people of Susa to share in His glory; this was the second feast. This enclosed garden must also have been very large, to accommodate so many people.

v7-8: Each golden vessel was different, and no one was obliged to drink. Contrast Dan 1.8-10, where the captives from Judah were forced to eat and drink what was provided by the king.

v9: At the same time as the second feast, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women.

v10-12: At the end of the second feast, King Xerxes had become drunk. He demanded that Queen Vashti show her beauty (probably her nakedness), which she refused. This public act of rebellion created something of a constitutional problem at Susa.

The illustration is of Israel's disobedience to God, Matt 21.43; Rom 10.21, quoting Is 65.2. Esther later became the new Queen, illustrating the church, Rom 10.20.

v13-15: See 1 Chr 12.32; Matt 16.3; Luke 19.44. The King consulted the wise men of his kingdom.

v16-18: The wise men spoke of the consequences of Vashti's disobedience;

  • the Queen had done a great wrong, against the king, the nobles, and all the people, of all the provinces, i.e: everyone;
  • she encouraged disobedience in others; and
  • her single act would have serious consequences throughout the empire.

v19: The conclusion was that Queen Vashti be deposed, and someone to take her place.

See Rom 11; "give the vineyard to others", Matt 21.43; Luke 20.16; Rom 2.24.

v20: The king's decree, deposing the Queen, would reverse the attitude of rebellion that she had incited.

v21-22: The message was sent to all the peoples in their own language.