Someone told me today that the Purim story starts in the third year of Achashverosh's rain. How can this be? After the forty days of Noach's rain, Hashem said he'd never bring such a big rain again!
closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio♦ Mar 27 '16 at 4:48
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Hashem didn't bring the rain, but free will is preserved. It clearly says that Achashveirosh rained, not Hashem:
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus--this is Ahasuerus who rained, from India even unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces (1:1)
Now, you might ask, how can a person rain at all, let alone over such a vast territory, and for three years? While Haman is the villain of the book of Esther, Achashveirosh doesn't get off completely free of blame -- he was a sorceror. How do we know this?
There were hangings of white, fine cotton, and blue (1:6)
And they gave them drink in vessels of gold [...] and royal wine in abundance, according to the bounty of the king. (1:7)
Achashveirosh practiced sympathetic magic. The hangings of blue and white -- hangings that hang high up above the floor -- evoke clouds. The drink flowing freely and in abundance evokes rain.
Achashveirosh was surely a mighty sorceror in order to do these things, but his rain did not last forever:
The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honour. (8:16)
Sounds like the rains ended and gave way to the sun in the end.
Aderaba, Hashem said he wouldn't bring such a rain OVER THE ENTIRE EARTH. Achashverosh only ruled over the MAJORITY of the earth, which is why the possuk goes out of it's way to state that he ONLY RULED FROM HODU TO KUSH.
It rained for three years straight in his kingdom, and normally outside his kingdom.