Esther 1:1, Question 2. Why does the verse say “hu Achashverosh” (“he was the Achashverosh”) as if we know him already?

  • According to the Vilna Gaon in his Peshat (literal) explanation, the verse emphasizes that he was a different Achashverosh from one noted elsewhere in TaNaCh, the father of Darius (Daniel 9:1).
  • According to the Talmud (Megillah 11a), the word “hu” is used regarding people who do not change, as we see regarding Eisav (Bereishis 36:43), Dasan and Aviram (Bamidbar 26:9) and King Ahaz (Divrei HaYamim 1 28:22). Some people never change. Achashverosh, as the Midrash points out, didn’t kill Haman in the end because he saw the error of his ways. Rather, he was motivated by the exact same (self-) love that motivated his earlier execution of Vashti.
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4 responses to “Esther 1:1, Question 2. Why does the verse say “hu Achashverosh” (“he was the Achashverosh”) as if we know him already?

  1. very nice Eddie. It might be more clear in the future though if you made bullets for each commentator 🙂

  2. In response to the first…no..and in response to the second, it was much clearer 🙂 Thanks Eddie

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