In the previous study, the introductory, we saw according to the scriptures that all scriptures are God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, correction, reproof and so on. The end result is that the child of God will be thoroughly furnished for every good work.
In this study, we shall first of all understand this Persian king. Until we do, we will not be able to appreciate what God wants us to learn from the book of Esther. Just as we said in the previous introductory study, the book of Esther is the only book of the bible without the mention of the word ‘God’.
Let’s begin from chapter one verse one
“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),”
FIRST APPROACH – THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS JURISDICTION
The very first approach towards understanding the Persian king is first the knowledge of the jurisdiction of his government – the expanse to which he can exercise his kingship. The term Ahasuerus is not the name of a person in the case of the book of Esther as in some cases, rather it is a title used to refer to the office of the king or ruler, just like the governor, the president and so on.
In the case of the book of Esther, the man we are studying this reign ruled over 127 provinces spanning from Ethiopia to India.
What are the implications?
He reigned over a people of different cultural, socio-political, ethnic and racial differences. He reigns over great and small, over whites and blacks, over the good and the bad; over people of variant weather conditions; people of different tongues and religions etc.
The word reign:
The word ‘reign’ has two meanings. If we understand the meaning and are able to apply it to our hearts, we will be able to appreciate this king. First, to reign is to become king or queen. Secondly, it meant to give counsel or advice. If we understand what it means to be a king over such a huge expanse of the kingdom, to give counsel and settle disputes when there are clashes especially among people of different ethnic nationalities, then we will appreciate why the jurisdiction of the reign of the king would have to be included in the book. He was not just a King. He reigned over a large expanse of land.
THE SECOND APPROACH – HIS DOMAIN OF OPERATION
In this approach, we will need to have a peep into his domain of operation. Let’s look at verse 2.
“in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel”
During the period of his reign, he does not need to be running helter skelter when there arises any issue from any part of the province under his jurisdiction. He only sat in the capital and things are going on well everywhere around the province. He would not shiver to bring obedience to the rule of law to other elements under the province. It would only take his word and things are settled.
Let’s read verses 3 and 4 from the EasyEnglish translation:
“When King Xerxes had ruled for more than 2 years, he gave a big feast. The feast was for all the important men who had authority in the kingdom.
The feast was for 180 days. King Xerxes wanted to show everyone how rich and powerful he was.”
Whereas other translations mentioned the class of persons as – the nobles, the princes, the, military et cetera, I chose this translation because in it we saw that he had this banquet for men and women that has collected authority from his hands. Though the king had the desire to have this banquet for everyone, yet no one was permitted into the banqueting hall except if that man has collected authority. It was for all those that wield some level of authority in the kingdom. It was not just a banquet of meals only, rather a banquet of demonstration of wealth and power.
Wealth and power are two words that we are very familiar with in the modern society. As we see, King Xerxes set out to impress all those that had authority throughout his kingdom – so that they would pledge their loyalty and commitment to him.
We follow a king who owns the wealth of the world and who alone is omnipotent – all-powerful. There is nothing to compare with the splendor and the glory of his majesty. Permit me to say that God is not just out to impress us with His wealth and power but to draw us more closely to himself by his love. He seeks that we love him more dearly.
Permit me to ask you – “WHY WOULD A MAN ORGANIZE A BANQUET THAT WILL LAST FOR 180 DAYS?”
Before we close the study, I want to remind you that this 180days banquet was for people who had authority in the kingdom. Do you have authority? John 1:12(EasyEnglish);
“But some people did accept him. Some people did believe who he was. So, he gave authority to those people so that they could become – God’s children.”
Have you accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour? If not, say a brief prayer, asking him to come into your life and be your Lord and Saviour.
God bless you.