3 in the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the army of Paras uMadai, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him;
bish-NAT sha-LOSH l’-mol-KHO a-SAH mish-TEH l’-KHOL sa-RAV va-a-va-DAV khayl pa-RAS u-ma-DAI ha-par-t’-MEEM v’-sa-RAY ha-m’-dee-NOT l’-fa-NAV
ג בִּשְׁנַת שָׁלוֹשׁ לְמָלְכוֹ עָשָׂה מִשְׁתֶּה לְכָל שָׂרָיו וַעֲבָדָיו חֵיל פָּרַס וּמָדַי הַפַּרְתְּמִים וְשָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת לְפָנָיו.
1:3 He made a feast
What reason was there to celebrate in Ahasuerus’ third year? The prophet Jeremiah, who lived at the end of the First Temple period, prophesied that the Jews would be in exile for seventy years (Jeremiah 29:10). According to the Sages, Ahasuerus erroneously thought that these seventy years had elapsed and that God had forsaken the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Not only does he host a celebratory banquet, the Sages add that he dons the garb of the high priest and uses captured vessels from the Temple to emphasize this point. Belshazzar, a previous emperor who had made a similar mistake, had been killed immediately (Daniel 5). This time, punishment is exacted on Queen Vashti, wife of Ahasuerus and the granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar who had destroyed the Temple. The Sages teach that Vashti convinced her husband not to allow the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem during his reign. It is Vashti, therefore, that is punished.
4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty, many days, even a hundred and fourscore days.
ד בְּהַרְאֹתוֹ אֶת עֹשֶׁר כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ וְאֶת יְקָר תִּפְאֶרֶת גְּדוּלָּתוֹ יָמִים רַבִּים שְׁמוֹנִים וּמְאַת יוֹם.
5 And when these days were fulfilled, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the castle, both great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;
ה וּבִמְלוֹאת הַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה עָשָׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ לְכָל הָעָם הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה לְמִגָּדוֹל וְעַד קָטָן מִשְׁתֶּה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בַּחֲצַר גִּנַּת בִּיתַן הַמֶּלֶךְ.
6 there were hangings of white, fine cotton, and blue, bordered with cords of fine linen and purple, upon silver rods and pillars of marble; the couches were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of green, and white, and shell, and onyx marble.
7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold–the vessels being diverse one from another–and royal wine in abundance, according to the bounty of the king.
ז וְהַשְׁקוֹת בִּכְלֵי זָהָב וְכֵלִים מִכֵּלִים שׁוֹנִים וְיֵין מַלְכוּת רָב כְּיַד הַמֶּלֶךְ.
8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel; for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure.
ח וְהַשְּׁתִיָּה כַדָּת אֵין אֹנֵס כִּי כֵן יִסַּד הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל כָּל רַב בֵּיתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כִּרְצוֹן אִישׁ וָאִישׁ.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Bizzetha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that ministered in the presence of Achashveirosh the king,
י בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי כְּטוֹב לֵב הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּיָּיִן אָמַר לִמְהוּמָן בִּזְּתָא חַרְבוֹנָא בִּגְתָא וַאֲבַגְתָא זֵתַר וְכַרְכַּס שִׁבְעַת הַסָּרִיסִים הַמְשָׁרְתִים אֶת פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ.
11 to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the peoples and the princes her beauty; for she was fair to look on.
יא לְהָבִיא אֶת וַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת לְהַרְאוֹת הָעַמִּים וְהַשָּׂרִים אֶת יָפְיָהּ כִּי טוֹבַת מַרְאֶה הִיא.
12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by the chamberlains; therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
יב וַתְּמָאֵן הַמַּלְכָּה וַשְׁתִּי לָבוֹא בִּדְבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד הַסָּרִיסִים וַיִּקְצֹף הַמֶּלֶךְ מְאֹד וַחֲמָתוֹ בָּעֲרָה בוֹ.
13 Then the king said to the wise men, who knew the times–for so was the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment;
יג וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לַחֲכָמִים יֹדְעֵי הָעִתִּים כִּי כֵן דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לִפְנֵי כָּל יֹדְעֵי דָּת וָדִין.
14 and the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Paras uMadai, who saw the king’s face, and sat the first in the kingdom:
יד וְהַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו כַּרְשְׁנָא שֵׁתָר אַדְמָתָא תַרְשִׁישׁ מֶרֶס מַרְסְנָא מְמוּכָן שִׁבְעַת שָׂרֵי פָּרַס וּמָדַי רֹאֵי פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיֹּשְׁבִים רִאשֹׁנָה בַּמַּלְכוּת.
16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: ‘Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the peoples, that are in all the provinces of the king Achashveirosh.
17 For this deed of the queen will come abroad unto all women, to make their husbands contemptible in their eyes, when it will be said: The king Achashveirosh commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
18 And this day will the princesses of Paras uMadai who have heard of the deed of the queen say the like unto all the king’s princes. So will there arise enough contempt and wrath.
יח וְהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה תֹּאמַרְנָה שָׂרוֹת פָּרַס וּמָדַי אֲשֶׁר שָׁמְעוּ אֶת דְּבַר הַמַּלְכָּה לְכֹל שָׂרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּכְדַי בִּזָּיוֹן וָקָצֶף.
19 If it please the king, let there go forth a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more before king Achashveirosh, and that the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
20 And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his kingdom, great though it be, all the wives will give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.’
כ וְנִשְׁמַע פִּתְגָם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה בְּכָל מַלְכוּתוֹ כִּי רַבָּה הִיא וְכָל הַנָּשִׁים יִתְּנוּ יְקָר לְבַעְלֵיהֶן לְמִגָּדוֹל וְעַד קָטָן.
21 And the word pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan;
כא וַיִּיטַב הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִים וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּדְבַר מְמוּכָן.
22 for he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and speak according to the language of his people.
כב וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים אֶל כָּל מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְאֶל עַם וָעָם כִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ לִהְיוֹת כָּל אִישׁ שֹׂרֵר בְּבֵיתוֹ וּמְדַבֵּר כִּלְשׁוֹן עַמּוֹ.