All the main characters in the story of Purim were either killed, or raised to a level of authority. additionally, it is mentioned in the megillah what happened to them (Vashti was killed, Haman and sons were hanged, Esther remained queen, Mordechai had a status upgrade) but there isn't a clear mention of what happened to Achashverosh.

Did he walk away from everything to live out his days with no retribution for his wickedness?

All helpful information is appreciated.

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    Besides ruling over a large empire and collecting taxes with Mordecai as his viceroy? Nov 16, 2023 at 19:20
  • @יהושעק So the wicked Achashverosh got away scott free?
    – The Targum
    Nov 16, 2023 at 19:21
  • Targum, there are many texts in our beautiful tradition that require years of study to master and understand. The deeper meaning of, say, the entire Gamarra would take much of a lifetime. But the pshat (simple meaning) of Meguillat Esther can be acquired in about 20 minutes. Why don't you give it a try? sefaria.org.il/Esther.1.1?lang=bi&with=all Nov 16, 2023 at 22:12
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    @יהושעק Shkoyach
    – The Targum
    Nov 16, 2023 at 22:19
  • @TheTargum Vashti was killed, not banished, as the pre-edited question assumed. See Rashi on the Megillah.
    – ElonMusk
    Nov 17, 2023 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


Quote from Let My Nation Live by Yosef Deustch, based on aggadata and many commentaries from Ibn Ezra, to Chasam Sofer:

Acheshverosh, however, enjoyed a great improvement in his situation. His appointment of Mordechai as prime minister also enhanced his position greatly. He regained all the lands he had lost to the rebellion in the early years of his reign and even gained some lands and islands he had never before controlled. His opposition to the reconstruction of the Beis Hamikdash had caused the downturn in his fortunes, but now that he had been kind to Esther, Mordechai and the Jewish people, Hashem restored his losses. Furthermore, Hashem honors the Jewish people by elevating the kings who rule over them.

More secure than ever in his power, Achashverosh reinstated the taxes he had suspended in honor of Esther becoming queen. In fact, he raised the taxes even higher than they had been before to punish the provinces for not speaking out against Haman's injustice against the Jews and to replenish the imperial treasuries, which had long been deprived of the revenues. No longer would anyone be exempt from taxes, not even high palace officials and dignitaries. Cemetery taxes were instituted and made mandatory; with all the deaths this was a great source of revenue for the king. So great was his power that even nations outside his empire paid him annual tribute. Once again, everyone under Achashverosh's rule was impoverished by the large taxes they had to pay.

The only exception was the Jews, who now got a tax exemption for the first time. Achashverosh considered it only fair that the Jews, who had paid taxes for seven years while everyone else had not, should get a respite of their own....

...In the end, Mordechai did not serve as prime minister for very long. Achashverosh's entire reign only lasted fourteen years. He died young, in retribution for having stopped the construction of the Beis Hamikdash and the torment to which he had subjected the Jews, but he did gain a share in the world to come by emerging as their champion and protector.

As you can see, he was punished with an early death due to his wickedness, but was rewarded with prosperity in his later years, and Olam Haba, for his change of heart in the end and emergence as the Jew's protector.

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    I don't have time to copy out all the footnotes, I might do one day but if you want to know anything specific, ask in comments and I will provide the source
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 16, 2023 at 19:39

King Achashverosh probably died a natural death. But his successor "did not know Esther and Mordechai". This site says: "According to accounts from medieval times, after the death of Achashverosh (Xerxes I), supporters of Haman tried to kill Mordechai and Esther, who fled to Hamedan, where they lived out their lives." Hamedan, Iran, is where what is believed to be their tomb is located.

  • Interesting, this causes lots of confliction with the fact that Darius was Esthers son, which granted permission for the temple to resume construction etc etc etc
    – The Targum
    Nov 16, 2023 at 19:31
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    The oldest account of the grave site in Hamedan is based on the account of Benjamin of Tudela, a Spanish Jew who traveled through Europe, Africa and Asia in the 12th century. Worth adding in? The article says that the point about the fleeing of Mordechai and Ester isn't in any Jewish traditional sources
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 16, 2023 at 19:58
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    @TheTargum there is no historical evidence for that Midrash (and plenty of evidence contradicting it)
    – Double AA
    Nov 16, 2023 at 19:58

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