1:3 in the third 1 year of his reign he provided a banquet for all his officials and his servants. The army 2 of Persia and Media 3 was present, 4 as well as the nobles and the officials of the provinces.
1:14 Those who were closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These men were the seven officials of Persia and Media who saw the king on a regular basis 5 and had the most prominent offices 6 in the kingdom.
1:18 And this very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard the matter concerning the queen will respond in the same way to all the royal officials, and there will be more than enough contempt and anger! 1:19 If the king is so inclined, 7 let a royal edict go forth from him, and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media that cannot be repealed, 8 that Vashti 9 may not come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king convey her royalty to another 10 who is more deserving than she. 11
1 sn The third year of Xerxes’ reign would be ca. 483
2 tc Due to the large numbers of people implied, some scholars suggest that the original text may have read “leaders of the army” (cf. NAB “Persian and Median aristocracy”; NASB “the army officers”; NIV “the military leaders”). However, there is no textual evidence for this emendation, and the large numbers are not necessarily improbable.
3 sn Unlike the Book of Daniel, the usual order for this expression in Esther is “Persia and Media” (cf. vv. 14, 18, 19). In Daniel the order is “Media and Persia,” indicating a time in their history when Media was in the ascendancy.
4 sn The size of the banquet described here, the number of its invited guests, and the length of its duration, although certainly immense by any standard, are not without precedent in the ancient world. C. A. Moore documents a Persian banquet for 15,000 people and an Assyrian celebration with 69,574 guests (Esther [AB], 6).
5 tn Heb “seers of the face of the king”; NASB “who had access to the king’s presence.”
6 tn Heb “were sitting first”; NAB “held first rank in the realm.”
7 sn Heb “If upon the king it is good”; KJV “If it please the king.” Deferential language was common in ancient Near Eastern court language addressing a despot; it occurs often in Esther.
10 tn Heb “her neighbor”; NIV “someone else.”
11 tn Heb “who is better than she.” The reference is apparently to worthiness of the royal position as demonstrated by compliance with the king’s wishes, although the word טוֹב (tob, “good”) can also be used of physical beauty. Cf. NAB, NASB, NLT “more worthy than she.”