Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Esther 1:1-9. The Book of Esther takes place during the reign of King Ahasuerus, who historians believe was also called Xerxes. For simplicity’s sake we will call him Xerxes (Zerk-sez), because it is easier to pronounce and spell. He was king over the land located between India and Ethiopia, which included over 127 provinces around 500 BC. This is considered to be the Persian Empire, or modern day Iran. The king’s palace was located in Shushan, which is also known as Shusha.
This book starts off with a great feast which took place in the third year of King Xerxes’ reign. This was a party of parties, all the powers that be from both Persia and Media and their servants were attending the party. It was a party where Xerxes was going to entertain these dignitaries for 180 days. He wanted to show off all the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty. Can you imagine having a party that lasted 180 days? Think about the expense of such a party. How about having to feed these people for this long? Can you even imagine attending a party that lasted for 180 days? Think about it: 180 days is almost six months.
When this time had passed he made a special feast for all the people in Shushan the palace. This feast was held in the court of the garden at the king’s palace. This was a beautiful decorated garden with tapestries of white, green, and blue hung by fine linen and purple cords attached to silver rings. There were pillars of marble and the couches were gold and silver. The floor of the courtyard was made of marble which was red, blue, white, and black. It sounds absolutely beautiful. What a lovely setting for a feast.
They served the finest royal wine at this feast. Each person had his own unique golden goblets. They were allowed to drink as much wine as they wanted. The men and women were not allowed to socialize with one another back in this time and culture. So, Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal house of King Xerxes.
Basically this Scripture sets the scene for us, so we can glimpse into royal life in the king’s palace. In the next lesson we will see how the plot thickens and how Esther is brought into the story of the Book of Esther, which was named after her.
Daily Bible Reading:
1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:
2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;
6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, 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 state of the king.
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.
9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.
Things to think about:
- What is the most elaborate party you have ever been to?
- How long did this party last?
- Can you imagine going to a feast at the king’s palace?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we study The Book of Esther, help us to see where You fit into the picture. Help us to look at our own lives and see where You fit into our lives as well. We know You have a plan for all of us and even when we don’t know what the plan is, You are making a way for us. Help us to trust You completely. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This is an excerpt from The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor
If you haven’t already read the book be sure to get your copy now!
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by Deborah H. Bateman
About the book:
The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading study of the book of Esther from the Old Testament of the Bible. In the book of Esther, Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai. In a series of events and through fasting, prayer and God’s favor Esther was placed in a position to save the Jewish people. Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai, who told her maybe she was born for such a time as this.
God puts us all in circumstances where He can use us to further His kingdom and give Him glory, if we are willing and obedient. Esther found her purpose for life. Like Esther you were born for such a time as this.
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Have a blessed day,