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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 1

 

 

Verses 1-22


The Disobedience and Disgrace of Queen Vashti

1. Ahasuerus] LXX has 'Artaxerxes,' but probably 'Xerxes,' the son of Darius Hystaspis, is meant, who succeeded his father in 485 b.c.

India.. Ethiopia] India here means not the peninsula of Hindostan, but the region near the Indus: Ethiopia is the modern Nubia.

2. Shushan] i.e. Susa in Elam, the country lying to the E. of the Persian Gulf. The palace] lit. 'the fortress,' as in Nehemiah 1:1.;

3. In the third year] i.e. 483 b.c. Thy power] better, 'the forces': and so in Nehemiah 8:11.

6. White, green, and blue] Some take the second term to designate the 'material,' and render 'of white cotton and blue,' white and blue (or violet) being the Persian royal colours (Esther 8:15). The beds] RV 'the couches,' upon which the feasters reclined.

7. Royal wine] LXX has 'wine which the king himself used to drink.' The state] RV 'the bounty.'

8. According to the law] i.e. according to the king's express command on this occasion; for it is implied that in general the drinking was regulated by the court officials, and the guests had to drink just as much or as little as they were bidden, not as they pleased.

9. Vashti] According to Herodotus, Xerxes' queen was called Amestris.

13. The wise men, which knew the times] probably experienced counsellors (cp. 1 Chronicles 12:32); but according to others, astrologers and diviners: cp. Isaiah 44:25; Daniel 5:15. For so was the king's manner toward all] better, 'for so was the king's business brought before all,' etc. The king was expected to consult 'those who knew law and judgment' in all matters before coming to a decision.

14. The next unto him] i.e. nearest to the king in rank and importance.

18. Likewise shall the ladies, etc.] RV 'And this day shall the princesses of Persia and Media which have heard of the deed of the queen say the like unto all the king's princes.'

19. That it be not altered] cp. Daniel 6:8. Any command written in the king's name and sealed with his ring was similarly irrevocable.

20. For it is great] i.e. the decree is weighty and important.

22. According to the writing thereof] i.e. the letters sent to the several provinces were written in the characters and language that prevailed in each. Many of the extant inscriptions of the Persian kings are tri-lingual.

And that it should be published, etc.] better (by a slight correction), 'and that he should speak all that seemed good to him,' i.e. should speak his mind freely, without regard to the feelings of his women-folk.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Esther 1:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/esther-1.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, August 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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