Achashveirosh’s reign

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Description of Achashveirosh’s reign:[1]

Achashveirosh reigned over 127 countries that ranged from Hodu until Kush. The capital city that was home to his throne was called Shushan.


Who preceded Achashveirosh as king?[2]

Achashveirosh was preceded by Koresh [and Daryaveish]. Achashveirosh took the throne towards the end of the Jew’s 70 year exile in Bavel. [Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled Bavel, was assassinated by Daryaveish. That night Daryaveish became king of Media and he gave over the kingship of Persia to Koreish.[3]]


Was Achashveirosh of royal lineage?

Some[4] say that Achashveirosh was the son on Daryaveish. In the times of the rule of Belshazzar Achashveirosh served as the guard of his horse stable.[5]


Was Achashveirosh ruler of the entire world?[6]

The Midrash[7] writes that there were 252 countries in existence at that time. Achashveirosh ruled over 127 of those countries. However the Gemara[8] states that Achashveirosh was king over the entire world. Perhaps however one can say that he had influence over the entire world but was not able to control and decree upon all 252 countries, and only fully controlled 127 of them.


What is the meaning of the name “Achashveirosh”?

The sages expound that the name Achashveirosh stands for Acharis and Reishis; beginning and end. This relates that Achashveirosh was a Rasha from the beginning until the end.[9] [He was a Rasha in the beginning as he stopped the building of the Temple and placed a decree of annihilation against the Jews.] He was a Rasha also in the end as even after the Purim story he still refrained the Jews from building the Temple.[10] The Midrash states that the name Achashveirosh refers to Hashem, as it stands for that the beginning and end belong to Him.[11]


The throne of Achashveirosh:[12]

Nebuchadnezzar had captured the famous throne of King Shlomo. This throne was kept in Media. No one dared sit on it, as when Nebuchadnezzar tried to sit on it one of the golden lions maneuvered and hit him until he fell off the throne. Achashveirosh ordered an exact replica of King Shlomo’s throne to be made for himself. They were unsuccessful in doing so and hence built him a different throne.

A description of Shlomo’s throne: King Shlomo made a most magnificent and technologically advanced throne. It was made of special stones and gems. It had six steps leading up to it. Each step was laid with precious stones of various colors, white, green and red, and contained crystals. Date palms surrounded the throne with eagles hovering over it. These trees were decorated with fine linen cloths. Two gold lions stood by the first step, with two marble pillars resting on top of their head. Two gold grape vines stood on the two sides of the step, giving shade to those who sat there. Two more hollow gold lions stood opposite the first gold lions. They were filled with incense, and as king Shlomo would ascend the throne, incense would be dispersed. Six gold stools stood on the sides of the throne for the Kohen Gadol and his helper. When king Shlomo placed his foot onto the first step the lion stretched his arm towards the right and the eagle towards the left and the king rested on them and walked to the next step. When he ascended the throne, a gold dove would bring him a Torah scroll and place in his arms.


Was Achashveirosh a wealthy king?[13]

Yes. He inherited all the spoils that were buried by Nebuchadnezzar prior to him passing away.



[1] 1/1-2

[2] Rashi ibid; Even Ezra ibid

[3] Yalkut Shimoni 1049

[4] Yalkut Shimoni 1049; see Manos Levi for a full discussion on this matter.

[5] Megillah 12b; Yalkut Shimoni 1049

[6] Kaf Hachaim 689/1

[7] Esther Raba 1/7

[8] Megillah 11a

[9] Megillah 11a

[10] Iyun Yaakov Megillah ibid

[11] Maoreiy Or Erech Alef/182 in name of Midrash; See Toras Menachem 1953 2/27

[12] Yalkut Shimoni Esther 1047

[13] Yalkut Shimoni 1047

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