New International Version

Esther 1

Queen Vashti Deposed

1This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,[a] the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush[b]: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.

19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

  1. Esther 1:1 Hebrew Ahasuerus; here and throughout Esther
  2. Esther 1:1 That is, the upper Nile region

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

以斯帖记 1

亚哈随鲁王大宴群臣

1亚哈随鲁在位期间,统治从印度到古实的一百二十七个省。 亚哈随鲁王在书珊城登基, 他在执政第三年大宴群臣,波斯和玛代的将领、各省的贵族和大臣都在场。 整整一百八十天,他展示自己帝国的财富和王权的威荣。 之后,他又一连七天在御花园宴请书珊城里所有的居民,无论尊卑。 御花园里有白色的棉帐和蓝色的彩帐,用细麻绳和紫色绳系在大理石柱的银环上。有金银制成的床榻摆在各色斑岩、大理石、珍珠贝壳及其他贵重石头铺成的地上。 饮酒用的是各式各样的金器皿,御酒大量供应,足显王的慷慨。 喝酒有个规矩,不许勉强人,因为王吩咐过宫里所有的侍从,招待各人要随其所愿。 瓦实提王后也在亚哈随鲁王的宫里设宴招待女宾。

瓦实提王后被废

10 第七天,亚哈随鲁王喝得心中畅快,就吩咐在王身边服侍的米户幔、比斯他、哈波拿、比革他、亚拔他、西达和甲迦七位太监, 11 去请瓦实提王后戴着后冠到王面前,向百姓和官员展现她的美貌,因为她非常美丽。 12 但瓦实提王后违抗太监所传的谕旨,拒绝前来,王非常生气,怒火中烧。

13 王有事习惯征求通晓律例和法则之人的意见,于是他去问精通时务的哲士。 14 那时,靠近王的有甲示拿、示达、押玛他、他施斯、米力、玛西拿和米姆干七位波斯和玛代的大臣,他们常见王的面,在国中身居高位。 15 王问他们:“瓦实提王后违抗太监所传的谕旨,按律该如何处置她?”

16 米姆干当着王和大臣们的面说:“瓦实提王后不但冒犯了王,而且有害于举国的臣民。 17 因为王后的事必传到所有妇女的耳中,致使她们藐视自己的丈夫,因为她们会说,‘亚哈随鲁王请瓦实提王后到他面前,她却不去。’ 18 今天,波斯和玛代的贵妇听到王后这事,也会如此对待王的大臣,藐视和恼怒之事必层出不穷。 19 王若愿意,就请降旨不准瓦实提再到王面前,把她王后的位分赐给比她更好的女子,并将此谕旨写入波斯和玛代的律法,永不更改。 20 王的谕旨传遍王辽阔的国境后,所有的妇女,无论丈夫贵贱,都必尊重他们。”

21 王和大臣们都赞同米姆干的建议,王便依照他的建议, 22 用各省的文字和各族的语言写谕旨,通告各省,丈夫要做一家之主,说话有权柄。