Esther 1 Commentary

Please choose a passage:

Esther 1:1-4

The Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes 1) hosts a lavish banquet in the capital city of Susa, a banquet which lasts half a year for the lords and princes in his kingdom. 

Esther 1:5-9

In the final week of the banquet, Ahasuerus opens his courtyard to the common folk of Susa. The most extravagant finery decorates the palace garden. Unlimited wine is served in golden cups to anyone and everyone, though no one is forced to drink.

Esther 1:10-12

On the last day of the banquet, Ahasuerus is quite drunk. He commands seven servants to fetch his wife Queen Vashti to show off her beauty to the men at his party.

Esther 1:13-20

Ahasuerus’s counselors are summoned to advise him concerning Vashti’s disobedience. His wiseman, Memucan, reframes the insulting matter as an affront to all men in the Persian Empire, that Vashti’s action will influence all wives to disrespect their husbands.

Esther 1:21-22

Ahasuerus approves of Memucan’s counsel. A message goes to every province of Persia in every language of its citizens, informing the people that Vashti is no longer queen, as well as declaring that men are the master of their own house.