Esther 1:4, Question 1. Why does the Megillah list so many nouns to describe Achashverosh’s wealth?

ד בְּהַרְאֹתוֹ אֶת-עשֶׁר כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ וְאֶת-יְקָר תִּפְאֶרֶת גְּדוּלָּתוֹ יָמִים רַבִּים שְׁמוֹנִים וּמְאַת יוֹם

4. In his showing the wealth and honor of his kingship and the splendor beauty of his greatness for many days – eighty and a hundred day.

One reason for the description is to overwhelm even the reader. As we know, not all leaders can command both wealth and prestige. According to the Malbim, Achashverosh is saying that he has both. The Midrash suggests that six nouns are used to describe Achashverosh’s wealth because he felt compelled to show six great gifts each day1. According to the Vilna Gaon (in his peshat commentary), the Midrash goes on to explain that Nebuchadnezzer had 1080 treasures which were bequeathed upon Cyrus, and which now fell into the hands of Achashverosh. Showing six of the 1080 treasures per day would require 180 days, the exact length of the party.

1RoS, one class participant, suggests that six, being the “mispar katan” of sheker, falsehood, may be indicative of the vapid, superficial nature of Achashverosh’s supposed wealth.

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