Ancient Susa

Shushan Palace

Christianity Oasis provides this Where is Susa study on Ancient Susa Shushan Palace of Ahasuerus King. We'll look into that and all aspects of the Bible seeking truth, understanding and then peace.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The Book of Esther
Chapter 1

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Era

Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our ... Where Is Susa study taking a look into the Ancient Susa and the Shushan Palace of Ahasuerus King in the Book of Esther and how the most interesting Where Is Susa Shushan Palace message affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King of Persia
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace in Esther

Hope you're ready for a truly interesting story with Daily Bread that we're about to study called The Book of Esther.

The story starts off with a grand celebration that the king of Media and Persia was throwing. King Ahasuerus reigned over more than 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, known at that time as Media and Persia.

First a little bit of background, to bring you more information about the setting of the story and to acquaint you with the king. As you may know, the Bible is not completely, in chronological order.

However, if you research some things, you can usually figure out the general time frame of a story by some clues given. Here are some things that give us a fairly good idea of when the story of Esther took place.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King at the Time
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace in Persia

In the Book of Ezra 4:6, Ahasuerus was king during the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. That would make it somewhere between five and six hundred years before Christ. In the Book of Daniel, it says that Nebuchadnezzar ruled in Babylon in the third year of king Jehoiakim, which was 644 years before Christ.

Then Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar reigned as king of the Chaldans after that, then Darius the Median who was the son of Ahasuerus, took the kingdom after that as the prophet Daniel predicted, so that puts us in the same general time frame. It's interesting to notice that the Book of Ezra and the Book of Daniel are 12 books apart in the Bible, yet they cover the same era!

The palace where king Ahasuerus' throne was located, was in a place called Shushan, or on some maps it was called Susa. That pretty well covers the setting, as for the people, I'll be introducing you to them as the story unfolds.

Now, in the third year of his reign, King Ahasuerus held a feast for all his princes, nobles and servants. He showed off the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty for 180 days. That was quite a long party!

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Study
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Event

One can imagine it would take quite a long time to properly entertain all of the princes, nobles and servants of 127 provinces, giving each a bit of your time. At either rate ... It was quite a party.

After that, the king held another feast for all the people who were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, for 7 days in the court of the garden of the king's palace. The palace was very elaborate with fancy linens and furnishings and the guests were served royal wine generously, in all different kinds of golden cups, as the king commanded.

No one contested the drinking because the king told all the officers of his house to serve every man as much as they wanted. In addition to the festivities that the king held, Vashti, the queen, held a feast for the women in the royal house that belonged to Ahasuerus.

On the 7th day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he ordered his seven chamberlains to bring Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty, because she was pretty. But Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains. This made Ahasuerus mad and his anger burned inside him.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Lesson
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Party

This is interesting, don't you think? At the utterance of the name Vashti, does not an image of a rebellious woman come to your mind? Let's step back just a pace or two and look at this story closer, shall we?

In our perception of what consists of the qualities a virtuous woman, it may be safe to say that she should be modest, at the very least. And wouldn't one agree that if a husband held any amount of virtue, he would protect his bride from anything that was unrighteous? Now, let's look again at our impression of Vashti, shall we?

Consider this situation. Firstly, the women had a separate feast from that of the men, as you can imagine at a party where the host offers as much as you can drink to the men for free ... Well, enough said.

So here we have the king, merry with wine (drunk, in other words) who orders his top officials (who probably weren't abstaining because they were designated drivers for the evening, but that is assumption of consumption) to go fetch the little woman so he could show everyone what a fox she is.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Celebration
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Warning

Now, put yourself in Vashti's shoes for a moment ... You're having a little get together with the women and seven guys who are partying with the hubby who is "merry with wine" come to get you to show the kingdom that not only does the king have fabulous riches but a hot wife too! Any virtuous women out there who can't wait to walk that runway?

So, Vashti, that snakestress ... was wrong for refusing to go, because a woman is submissive to her husband, right? Was Ahasuerus wrong? Does it matter who was ... Wronger?

Take a look at this verse:

Genesis 20:16

And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Angered
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Danger

This was advice that Abimelech gave Sarah ... A husband should be as a covering of the eyes ... In other words she must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by another. And shouldn't a wife trust that her husband will protect her from such? Why would a righteous husband put his wife in such a situation which is totally opposite? That Vashti ... That ... That vixen!

Ahasuerus consulted with his scholars who knew law and the times, and his seven princes of the kingdom asking them, What should we do to queen Vashti according to the law, because she disobeyed the order of the king? One must suppose (tongue in cheek of course), that punishing the queen would be better than admitting the truth of the matter.

To give balance to this whole situation while we're stroking our chins and judging who was right and who was wrong, Media and Persia were not necessarily God fearing realms. So golly, that doesn't really tip the balance back, does it? We're just going to take a Fox News perspective here and use their little motto "We report - You decide." Alas, the infamous "gray area." At any rate ...

It must have been a tough decision for the king, once he sobered up and realized that he had a situation. Verse 12 says his anger burned in him. That is pride. He refused to be wrong. Perhaps inside he suffered a great deal and struggled with pride, as we all do at times. Only God knows what's in a man's heart.

One of the princes answered, Vashti hasn't only done wrong to the king, but also to all the princes and all the people of the provinces. What she's done will become known to women everywhere. They'll despise their husbands when they hear the news that the king commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she didn't obey.

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Remarries
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Concern

It'll cause too much contempt and anger. If it please the king, let a law be written that can't be changed, that Vashti never be seen again in the presence of king Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another woman, better than her.

When the kings order is proclaimed throughout all his great empire, all the wives will give their husbands honor, both great and small. The king was happy with the idea and the law was written. The king sent letters to every province in their own language that every man should rule in his own house.

So, the contentious (?) ways of queen Vashti caused her to be divorced from the king and expelled from his presence forever. And what happened to the king because he put the queen in such a precarious situation? Has your impression of Vashti changed?

Ancient Susa of Ahasuerus King Conclusion
Where is Susa and the Shushan Palace Summary

How often do we judge things, and people, without really considering all things? Next in our story, we'll find out all about how Esther became queen in Vashti's place and about a situation that arose when her cousin Mordecai stood up for his beliefs. See you again for more of this story next time, right here at Daily Bread.

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare