Esther Chapter 1

Esther Chapter 1 deals with the end of the reign of Queen Vashti and the circumstances that surrounded it.

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The Banquet of Xerxes

Xerxes ruled over a massive kingdom of 127 provinces. To celebrate his greatness, he would often hold a huge banquet for all his officials and noblemen. Military leaders and princes from throughout the land would attend the banquet.

For 180 days leading up to his banquet, Xerxes celebrated himself by showing off all the wealth he had amassed. At the end of the 180 days, he held a week-long banquet. The event was a very extravagant one with the best wines being served in gold chalices. The king even ordered his servants to offer the guests of the banquet as much as they could drink without placing any restrictions on them whatsoever.

Queen Vashti Holds a Banquet

Queen Vashti decided to have her own banquet for the women of the region. Xerxes ordered his eunuchs to bring the queen to his banquet to show her off to his guests. Vashti refused the request and would not come.

This enraged King Xerxes. His friends told him this was a disastrous scenario. They said that as word spread among the populace, the king would lose the respect of the people. They went on to say that women throughout the land would become disrespectful to their husbands based on how the queen acted.

The King’s Edict

Out of anger, King Xerxes eventually issued an edict that removed Queen Vashti from her throne. She was barred from ever being in the presence of the king again. This edict had even greater ramifications throughout the land. He decreed that every man would be the ruler of his household and women were to follow the directions of their husband.

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Esther 1 (King James Version)

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:

4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;

6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure.

9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:

14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.

19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.

20 And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:

22 For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.

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