|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-9 The pride of Ahasuerus's heart rising with the grandeur of his kingdom, he made an extravagant feast. This was vain glory. Better is a dinner of herbs with quietness, than this banquet of wine, with all the noise and tumult that must have attended it. But except grace prevails in the heart, self-exaltation and self-indulgence, in one form or another, will be the ruling principle. Yet none did compel; so that if any drank to excess, it was their own fault. This caution of a heathen prince, even when he would show his generosity, may shame many called Christians, who, under pretence of sending the health round, send sin round, and death with it. There is a woe to them that do so; let them read it, and tremble, Hab 2:15,16.
Verse 7. - They gave them drink in vessels of gold. Drinking-vessels of gold were found in considerable numbers in the Persian camp near Plataea (Herod., 9:80) when the Greeks took it. They had been the property of Persian nobles. The king would naturally possess in great abundance whatever luxury was affected by the upper class of his subjects. The vessels being diverse one from another. This is a minute point, which must have come from an eye-witness, or from one who had received the account of the banquet from an eye-witness. It was perhaps unusual. At least, in the grand banquet represented by Sargon on the walls of his palace at Khorsabad, it is observable that all the guests hold in their hands goblets which are exactly alike (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 214). Royal wine. Literally, "wine of the kingdom" - wine, i.e., from the royal cellar, and therefore good wine, but not necessarily the "wine of Helbon, which was the only wine that the king himself drank (Athen., 'Deipnosoph,' 4. p. 145, A).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They gave them drink in vessels of gold, the vessels being divers one from another,.... In the pattern and workmanship of them, though of the same metal, which diversity made the festival the more grand; earthen cups, with the Persians, were reckoned very mean; when a king would disgrace a man, he obliged him to use earthen cups (d). The Targum represents these vessels to be the golden vessels of the temple at Jerusalem Nebuchadnezzar carried away; which could not be, since they had been delivered by Cyrus to Zerubbabel, Ezra 1:7,
and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king; such as the king was able to give, the best he had, and that in great plenty; the wine the kings of Persia used to drink, as Strabo (e) relates, was Chalybonian wine, or wine of Helbon, as it is called, Ezekiel 27:18; see Gill on Ezekiel 27:18, but by the wine of the kingdom, as it may be rendered, is meant wine of the country; the wine of Schiras is reckoned the best in Persia (f).
(d) Ctesias in Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 11. (e) Geograph. l. 15. p. 505. (f) Universal History, vol. 5. p. 85.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. they gave them drink in vessels of gold—There is reason to believe from this account, as well as from Es 5:6; 7:2, 7, 8, where the drinking of wine occupies by far the most prominent place in the description, that this was a banquet rather than a feast.
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