1Now 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:) 2That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, 3In 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: 4When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. 5And 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;1.5 present: Heb. found 6Where 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.1.6 blue, hangings: or, violet, etc1.6 of red…: or, of porphyre, and marble and alabaster, and stone of blue colour 7And 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.1.7 royal…: Heb. wine of the kingdom1.7 state: Heb. hand 8And 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. 9Also 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,1.10 chamberlains: or, eunuchs 11To 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.1.11 fair…: Heb. good of countenance 12But 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.1.12 by his…: Heb. which was by the hand of his eunuchs
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: 14And 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;) 15What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?1.15 What…: Heb. What to do 16And 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. 17For 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. 18Likewise 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. 19If 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.1.19 If it…: Heb. If it be good with the king1.19 unto…: Heb. unto her companion1.19 from him: Heb. from before him1.19 be not…: Heb. pass not away 20And 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. 21And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:1.21 pleased…: Heb. was good in the eyes of the king 22For 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.1.22 that it…: Heb. that one should publish it according to the language of his people
Vashti Is Removed From Her Position as Queen
1King Xerxes ruled over the 127 territories in his kingdom. They reached from India all the way to Cush. Here is what happened during the time Xerxes ruled over the whole Persian kingdom. 2He was ruling from his royal throne in the fort of Susa. 3In the third year of his rule King Xerxes gave a feast. It was for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media were there. So were the princes and the nobles of the territories he ruled over.
4Every day for 180 days he showed his guests the great wealth of his kingdom. He also showed them how glorious his kingdom was. 5When those days were over, the king gave another feast. It lasted for seven days. It was held in the garden of the king’s courtyard. It was for all the people who lived in the fort of Susa. Everyone from the least important person to the most important was invited. 6The garden was decorated with white and blue linen banners. They hung from ropes that were made out of white linen and purple cloth. The ropes were connected to silver rings on marble pillars. There were gold and silver couches in the garden. They were placed on a floor that was made out of small stones. The floor had purple crystal, marble, mother-of-pearl and other stones of great value. 7Royal wine was served in gold cups. Each cup was different from all the others. There was plenty of wine. The king always provided as much as his guests wanted. 8He commanded that they should be allowed to drink as much or as little as they wished. He directed all his servants to give his guests what they asked for.
9Queen Vashti also gave a feast. Only women were invited. It was held in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
10On the seventh day Xerxes was in a good mood because he had drunk a lot of wine. So he gave a command to the seven officials who served him. They were Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas. 11King Xerxes told them to bring Queen Vashti to him. He wanted her to come wearing her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the people and nobles. She was lovely to look at. 12The attendants told Queen Vashti what the king had ordered her to do. But she refused to come. So the king became very angry.
13It was the king’s practice to ask for advice about matters of law and fairness. So he spoke with the wise men who understood what was going on at that time. 14They were the men closest to the king. Their names were Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan. They were the seven nobles of Persia and Media. They were the king’s special advisers and the most important men in the kingdom.
15“You know the law,” the king said. “What should I do to Queen Vashti? She hasn’t obeyed my command. The officials told her what I ordered her to do, didn’t they?”
16Then Memukan gave a reply to the king and the nobles. He said, “Queen Vashti has done what is wrong. But she didn’t do it only against you, King Xerxes. She did it also against all the nobles. And she did it against the people in all the territories you rule over. 17All the women will hear about what the queen has done. Then they won’t respect their husbands. They’ll say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought to him. But she wouldn’t come.’ 18Here is what will start today. The leading women in Persia and Media who have heard about the queen’s actions will act in the same way. They’ll disobey all your nobles, just as she disobeyed you. They won’t have any respect for their husbands. They won’t honor them.
19“So if it pleases you, send out a royal order. Let it be written down in the laws of Persia and Media. Those laws can never be changed. Let the royal order say that Vashti can never see you again. Also let her position as queen be given to someone who is better than she is. 20And let your order be announced all through your entire kingdom. Then all women will have respect for their husbands, from the least important to the most important.”
21The king and his nobles were pleased with that advice. So he did what Memukan had suggested. 22The king sent messages out to every territory in the kingdom. He sent them to each territory in its own writing. He sent them to every nation in its own language. The messages announced that every man should rule over his own family, using his own language.