The Ralbag famously includes lists of lessons/benefits after sections of Tanach. FE, at the beginning of his Esther benefits:

התועלה הראשון הוא במדות. והוא שראוי לשמוח בטוב בהימצאו, כאומרו "ביום טובה היה בטוב" (קהלת ז:יד). ולזה סיפר שאחר שהראה המלך רוב "עשר כבוד מלכותו" ו"יקר תפארת גדולתו" עשה זה המשתה הגדול "לכל שריו ועבדיו" ו"לכל העם הנמצאים בשושן הבירה למגדול ועד קטן" שבעת ימים.

Does this mean that the Ralbag thinks it was a good idea for Achaverosh to have a banquet?

Per Talmud Megilla 11b, however, the timing of Achashverosh's banquet is to malevolently celebrate/mark the fact that per his reckoning seventy years had passed and the Jews' return to Zion had not occurred. He then brings out temple vessels/defiles them while partying hard!

Is the Ralbag ignoring this evil motive? Pshat v. Drash? Seems pretty audacious to laud the king for his party!

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    Ah, you must be new to Ralbag... Feb 14 at 13:12
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    Interesting question! Do you think that perhaps it need not be set up as a binary? People can have more than one motive behind a given action. Also, celebrating the good in a time of good is a true idea as we see in the Ralbag's quoted verse in Qoheleth, however that does not mean that what one perceives as good is in fact good. If Ahasaures had a distorted concept of the "good" it doesn't detract from the propriety of celebrating good on its occasion. Sidenote: It is generally encouraged around here to provide a translation or at least paraphrase quotations. Feb 14 at 14:30


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