In the first chapter of sefer Ezra we read that Koresh sent all the utensils that had been stolen by Nevuchadnetzar back to Yerushalayim as part of the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. However the gemarah megillah 12a based on the pasuk in Esther 1:7 seems to indicate that the utensils that Achashveirosh used at his party were those of the Beit Hamikdash. If that is so, how did Achashveirosh have those keilim in his possession? Were they taken back from Yerushalayim? Is there any commentator who explains this?

5 Answers 5


In the Artscroll Divrei HaYamim bet page 473 (as well as Artscroll Sefer Ezra ad loc) he cites the Ramban on Megillah 11b who indicates that not all of the keilim were returned during the Koresh proclamation (contrary to Rashi's reading of Ezra 1:11).

  • I realize this is the same answer as Gershon's but that answer did not cite the sources
    – user6641
    Nov 14, 2014 at 14:47

I once heard this question asked at an Arachim function. The answer given was that although Koresh had the utensils returned, not all of them made it back and therefore Achashveirosh used the ones that he still had. I have not seen a written source for this though.

  • that was the answer i gave myself when first learning it, but Rashi on 1:11 seems to belie that approach. Nov 13, 2014 at 15:37
  • You mean Rashi on 1:7? Nov 13, 2014 at 16:38
  • sorry should have been clearer, rashi on Ezra Nov 13, 2014 at 16:45

Rabbi Hayyim Angel in a lecture on Megillat Esther posits that the gemarah should not be taken literally. Rather, like the gemarah (ibid) which mentions Achashveirosh wearing the clothing of the kohen gadol, this gemarah is alluding to a theme that relates to Achashveirosh being portrayed as eclipsing God and Shushan as the 'new' Jerusalem

  • Interesting. I think i remember hearing this in mesivta May 14, 2020 at 3:08

None of the Kelim, (including the clothes of the Kohen Godol) that the Medrashim say King Achosvairosh used at his Party, were the Kelim that Koresh (King Cyrus) gave back to Daniel (Shasbazzar).

King Cyrus only gave the Jews back Knives, Bowls to gather the blood and instruments to sprinkle the blood. That was All. (See Below)

It's clearly written in the "1st Pereck of Sefer Ezra" that Koresh (King Cyrus) took out the many "New Gold & Silver knifes, bowls to catch and sprinkle the Blood of Korbonos, made of silver new & old" from King Nebuchadnezzar's Personal Idol House and ordered it be given to the Jews for the (L'havdel) Bais Hamikdash, listing the number of vessels.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P2CDXW1 Per Pearlman YeC 'Moshe Emes' series for the alignment of Torah testimony, science and ancient civ. this was in 3389 anno-mundi after the fall of Bavel to Cyrus but PRIOR to the 3390 Cyrus proclamation when we took back the Holy Kelim. reference volume III 'Torah Discovery Chronology'

  • This answer would be improved by quoting sources in the body of your answer.
    – bondonk
    Feb 26, 2023 at 9:55

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