The King’s Banquet
1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes,a]">[a] who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.b]">[b] 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.