In whose reign did the events here recorded take place, and what is said of the extent of his kingdom'? N. B. This Ahasuerus is made out by the best historians to be identical with the Artaxerxes mentioned in the two former books, and Ezra gives an intimation of the vastness of his dominion by calling him "king of kings."
What was the metropolis of the Persian empire at this time?
What great festivity took place in the third year of his reign, how long did it last, and what was the motive of it? v. 3, 4.
Is it to be supposed that he feasted the same persons every day, or numerous parties of grandees in rotation?
For whom was the second shorter feast intended? v.5
Did he in this go on the principle which our Lord commands? Luke 14. 11—14.
What is said of the splendor of the decorations? v.6.
How was the wine served up and what was the rule of their drinking?
What is to be thought of the practice of urging, and, as it were, forcing men to drink, and to pledge one another in full cups? Hab.2. 15.
May this regulation of a heathen prince shame some who are called Christians?
What other arrangements about the feast tended to preserve sobriety and decorum?
How did this differ from Belshazzar's feast? Dan. 5. 2.
What occurrence, that ended unhappily, took place on the seventh day? v. 10—12.
Is it to be wondered at that a modest woman should be exceedingly averse to obeying such a command?
Would it not however have been better on the whole that she had complied? Eph. 5. 22. 24.
How was the king affected by her refusal, and what was his first step in the way of punishing the offence?
What was the counsel which Memucan gave his prince, and the reason of it? v. 15—20.
How did the king approve this advice, and what did he do to carry it into execution?
What was the design of recording this story in this place? N. B. "To show how way was made for Esther to the crown in order to her being instrumental to defeat Haman's plot, and this long before the plot was laid, that we may observe and admire the foresight and riches of Providence." Henry.
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