Esther 1:10
On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
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(10) Was merry with wine.—The habit of the Persians to indulge in wine to excess may be inferred from Esther 1:8.

Chamberlains.—Literally, eunuchs. The names of the men, whatever they may be, are apparently not Persian. The enumeration of all the seven names is suggestive of personal knowledge on the part of the writer.

1:10-22 Ahasuerus's feast ended in heaviness, by his own folly. Seasons of peculiar festivity often end in vexation. Superiors should be careful not to command what may reasonably be disobeyed. But when wine is in, men's reason departs from them. He that had rule over 127 provinces, had no rule over his own spirit. But whether the passion or the policy of the king was served by this decree, God's providence made way for Esther to the crown, and defeated Haman's wicked project, even before it had entered into his heart, and he arrived at his power. Let us rejoice that the Lord reigns, and will overrule the madness or folly of mankind to promote his own glory, and the safety and happiness of his people.Vashti - If Ahasuerus is Xerxes, Vashti would be Amestris, whom the Greeks regarded as the only legitimate wife of that monarch, and who was certainly married to him before he ascended the throne. The name may be explained either as a corruption of Amestris, or as a title, vahishta, (Sanskrit: vasishtha, the superlative of vasu, "sweet"); and it may be supposed that the disgrace recorded (Esther 1:19-21, see the note) was only temporary; Amestris in the later part of Xerxes' reign recovering her former dignity. 10-12. On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine—As the feast days advanced, the drinking was more freely indulged in, so that the close was usually marked by great excesses of revelry.

he commanded … the seven chamberlains—These were the eunuchs who had charge of the royal harem. The refusal of Vashti to obey an order which required her to make an indecent exposure of herself before a company of drunken revellers, was becoming both the modesty of her sex and her rank as queen; for, according to Persian customs, the queen, even more than the wives of other men, was secluded from the public gaze. Had not the king's blood been heated with wine, or his reason overpowered by force of offended pride, he would have perceived that his own honor, as well as hers, was consulted by her dignified conduct.

Chamberlains, or eunuchs; which were much in use and in favour in the eastern courts, and particularly with the Persian emperors, as ancient histories inform us.

On the seventh day,.... Of the feast, the last day of it, which the Rabbins, as Jarchi observes, say was the sabbath day, and so the Targum:

when the heart of the king was merry with wine; when he was intoxicated with it, and knew not well what he said or did; and the discourse at table ran upon the beauty of women, as the latter Targum; when the king asserted there were no women so beautiful as those of Babylon, and, as a proof of it, ordered his queen to be brought in:

he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains, that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king; or "eunuchs", as the word is sometimes rendered; and such persons were made use of in the eastern countries to, wait upon women, and so were proper to be sent on the king's errand to the queen.

On the {g} seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

(g) Which was the last day of the feast that the king made for the people as in Es 1:5.

10–22. Vashti’s disgrace

10. he commanded Mehuman etc.] The names of the seven chamberlains, or rather, eunuchs, who were sent to fetch Vashti, vary much in their form in the LXX. and other versions. Their derivation is, like their nationality, quite uncertain, inasmuch as the Persian market was largely supplied with men of other races for this purpose.

Verse 10. - When the heart of the king was merry with wine. We are told that once a year, at the feast of Mithra, the king of Persia was bound to intoxicate himself (Duris, Fr. 13). At other times he did as he pleased, but probably generally drank reason was somewhat obscured. Mehuman, etc. Persian etymologies have been given for most of these names, but they are all more or less uncertain; and as eunuchs were often foreigners, mutilated for the Persian market (Herod., 3:93; 8:105), who bore foreign names, like the Hermotimus of Herodotus (8:104-106), it is quite possible that Persian etymologies may here be out of place. Bigtha, however, if it be regarded as a shortened form of Bigthan (Esther 2:21) or Bigthana (ch. 6.), would seem to be Persian, being equivalent to Bagadana ( = Theodorus), "the gift of God." Chamberlains. Really, as in the margin, "eunuchs." The influence of eunuchs at the Persian court was great from the time of Xerxes. Ctesias makes them of importance even from the time of Cyrus ('Exc. Pera,' § 5, 9). Esther 1:10Vashti the queen also gave a banquet to the women in the royal house (palace) which belonged to King Ahashverosh, probably in the royal apartments of the palace, which were placed at her disposal for this great feast to be given to the women. The name Vashti may be compared with the Old-Persian vahista, i.e., optimus. In Persian šty, means a beautiful woman. This statement serves as an introduction to the scene which follows. Esther 1:10 and Esther 1:11. On the seventh, i.e., the last day of the banquet, when the king's heart was merry with wine, he commanded his seven chamberlains to bring Vashti the queen before him, with the royal crown, to show here beauty to the people and princes. וגו לב כּטוב, when the heart of the king was merry through wine, i.e., when the wine had made him merry, comp. 2 Samuel 13:28; Judges 16:25. It was the office of the seven eunuchs who served before the king (את־פּני משׁרת like 1 Samuel 2:18) to be the means of communication between him and the women, and to deliver to them messages on the part of the monarch. Their number, seven, was connected with that of the Amshaspands; see rem. on Esther 1:14. The attempts made to explain their several names are without adequate foundation; nor would much be gained thereby, the names being of no significance with respect to the matter in question. In the lxx the names vary to some extent. The queen was to appear with the crown on her head (כּתר, κίδαρις or κίταρις, a high turban terminating in a point), and, as is self-evident, otherwise royally apparelled. The queen was accustomed on ordinary occasions to take her meals at the king's table; comp. Herod. ix. 110. There is, however, an absence of historical proof, that she was present at great banquets. The notice quoted from Lucian in Brissonius, de regio Pers. princ. i. c. 103, is not sufficient for the purpose.
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