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Esther 1:2

Context
1:2 In those days, as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa 1  the citadel, 2 

Esther 1:5

Context
1:5 When those days 3  were completed, the king then provided a seven-day 4  banquet for all the people who were present 5  in Susa the citadel, for those of highest standing to the most lowly. 6  It was held in the court located in the garden of the royal palace.

1 tn Heb “Shushan” (so KJV, ASV). Most recent English versions render this as “Susa.”

sn The city of Susa served as one of several capitals of Persia during this time; the other locations were Ecbatana, Babylon, and Persepolis. Partly due to the extreme heat of its summers, Susa was a place where Persian kings stayed mainly in the winter months. Strabo indicates that reptiles attempting to cross roads at midday died from the extreme heat (Geography 15.3.10-11).

2 tn The Hebrew word בִּירָה (birah) can refer to a castle or palace or temple. Here it seems to have in mind that fortified part of the city that might be called an acropolis or citadel. Cf. KJV “palace”; NAB “stronghold”; NASB “capital”; NLT “fortress.”

3 tc The Hebrew text of Esther does not indicate why this elaborate show of wealth and power was undertaken. According to the LXX these were “the days of the wedding” (αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ γάμου, Jai Jhmerai tou gamou), presumably the king’s wedding. However, a number of scholars have called attention to the fact that this celebration takes place just shortly before Xerxes’ invasion of Greece. It is possible that the banquet was a rallying for the up-coming military effort. See Herodotus, Histories 7.8. There is no reason to adopt the longer reading of the LXX here.

4 tc The LXX has ἕξ ({ex, “six”) instead of “seven.” Virtually all English versions follow the reading of the MT here, “seven.”

5 tn Heb “were found.”

6 tn Heb “from the great and unto the small.”



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