Esther 1:22, Question 1. Why did the books have to be written in different languages?

כב וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים אֶלכָּלמְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶלמְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְאֶלעַם וָעָם כִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ לִהְיוֹת כָּלאִישׁ שׂרֵר בְּבֵיתוֹ וּמְדַבֵּר כִּלְשׁוֹן עַמּוֹ

22. And he sent books to all the states of the King – to each state according to its script and to each nation according to its language – that each man should rule in his home and speak the language of his nation.

  • The Vilna Gaon relates that residents of Achashverosh’s 127 states spoke different languages because Sancherev mixed up the locals populaces he conquered. This is because a Frenchman and his descendants forcibly removed to Romania by a conquering ruler are less likely to rebel. After all, for what heritage are they fighting?
  • In Yosef Lekach, Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi writes that Achashverosh wrote his decree in different languages in order to ingratiate himself to his subjects. Much like the Soviet Union had the languages of all the republics on the rubles, Achashverosh attempted to show how much he cared for his subjects.
  • The Malbim writes that Achaverosh chose to write the decree in multiple languages to pointedly tell the people that, despite the fact that they lived in Persia, they were ruled by him alone. He was telling them that he was more special than the nation from which he comes.
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