The 1st verse, among several other places in Megillat Esther mentions that Ahashverush ruled over 127 Medinas.

שֶׁ֛בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָ֖ה מְדִינָֽה

Medina is located in what is now called Saudi Arabia. But, it was previously called Yathrib prior to the advent of Islam. So, this poses several problems in understanding the reference in the Megillah to Medina.

  • The name Medina did not exist at that time, so why are they using this name?
  • Even if it did, what would it mean to mention that there were 127 of these places located between Hodu and Kush?

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It's clearly a prophecy of the (then) future strength of Medina. As it is said about Yerushalayim in the Midrash (Midrash Shir Hashirim 503):

אמר רבי לוי עתידה ירושלים להיות כארץ ישראל

Translation: Said Rabbi Levi: In the future Yerushalayim shall be like Eretz Yisrael.

So too did the Megillah prophecise that Medina shall be like 127 city-states (at least in influence).


The Megillah was clearly referring to the future name of Yathrib. This is a normal occurence, like we see in Kesubos 10b, where the Gemara says that the city mentioned in the Pasuk in Bereishis is referring to the city that in the future will be in that site:

ומי כתב קרא לעתיד? אין, דכתיב (בראשית ב, יד), ושם הנהר השלישי חדקל הוא ההולך קדמת אשור, ותנא רב יוסף, אשור זו סליקא. ומי הואי? אלא דעתידה - Does a Pasuk refer to the future? Yes, like it is written- " The 3rd river's name was Chidekel, it went towards the east of Ashur." And did Ashur exist [at the beginning of creation?! Rather, [it is referring] to the future.

As for why it says there were 127 Medinas, well, I think you're just reading the Pasuk wrong. It really should be read like this:

הַמֹּלֵךְ מֵהֹדּוּ וְעַד־כּוּשׁ שֶׁבַע וְעֶשְׂרִים וּמֵאָה - Who ruled from Hodu to Kush, 127 [provinces]

מְדִינָה [and also] Medina.

Why was Medina mentioned specifically? I don't know. Maybe because it was a big city, or because of its importance to islam. Who knows? Maybe it's mentioned for a Derasha to teach us that Achasverosh ruled over Medina, which is a capitol, like his own capitol.

  • I think it's a pretty good answer. Why would anyone downvote Purim Torah? – Rafael Apr 3 '20 at 1:11

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