“Ahasuerus of Persia and Media Makes Royal Feasts—Vashti Disobeys the King and Is Deposed as Queen”

(See Esther 1:1–22.)

Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen wrote:

“The name Ahasuerus is an English transliteration of the Hebrew spelling of the Persian king’s name—Khshayarsha; the common Persian-to-Greek-to-English transliteration of it is Xerxes [see Bible Dictionary, “Ahasuerus”; “Xerxes”; “Chronology”]. He is thought to have reigned 486–465 B.C. If so, he lived earlier than the commission of Ezra (458 B.C.) and Nehemiah (444 B.C.).

“He is introduced as a vain king, showing off ‘the riches of his glorious kingdom,’ at a royal feast for the realm’s princes, nobles, and their servants in a celebration lasting one hundred eighty days! Added glamour and opulence were shown in a ‘feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days.’ Yet a quality of justice in the king was shown in that he compelled no one to imbibe. . . .

“Queen Vashti had her own standards and refused to be displayed before the reveling royal guests. The crisis that ensued is almost humorously related as it tells how the principals and counselors made urgent plans to avoid a wifely rebellion throughout the realms. Accordingly, the queen was banished, that she might ‘come no more before king Ahasuerus’; and her royal estate was given to someone ‘better than she.’”

(A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament [1993], 386–87.)

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