Queen Vashti Deposed
1This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,1:1 Hebrew Ahasuerus; here and throughout Esther the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush1:1 That is, the upper Nile region: 2At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3and 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.
4For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. 5When 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. 6The 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. 7Wine 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. 8By 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.
9Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
10On 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— 11to 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. 12But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
13Since 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 14and 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.”
16Then 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. 17For 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.’ 18This 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. 20Then 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.”
21The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22He 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亞哈隨魯在位期間，統治從印度到古實的一百二十七個省。 2亞哈隨魯王在書珊城登基， 3他在執政第三年大宴群臣，波斯和瑪代的將領、各省的貴族和大臣都在場。 4整整一百八十天，他展示自己帝國的財富和王權的威榮。 5之後，他又一連七天在御花園宴請書珊城裡所有的居民，無論尊卑。 6御花園裡有白色的棉帳和藍色的彩帳，用細麻繩和紫色繩繫在大理石柱的銀環上。有金銀製成的床榻擺在各色斑岩、大理石、珍珠貝殼及其他貴重石頭鋪成的地上。 7飲酒用的是各式各樣的金器皿，御酒大量供應，足顯王的慷慨。 8喝酒有個規矩，不許勉強人，因為王吩咐過宮裡所有的侍從，招待各人要隨其所願。 9瓦實提王后也在亞哈隨魯王的宮裡設宴招待女賓。
10第七天，亞哈隨魯王喝得心中暢快，就吩咐在王身邊服侍的米戶幔、比斯他、哈波拿、比革他、亞拔他、西達和甲迦七位太監， 11去請瓦實提王后戴著后冠到王面前，向百姓和官員展現她的美貌，因為她非常美麗。 12但瓦實提王后違抗太監所傳的諭旨，拒絕前來，王非常生氣，怒火中燒。
13王有事習慣徵求通曉律例和法則之人的意見，於是他去問精通時務的哲士。 14那時，靠近王的有甲示拿、示達、押瑪他、他施斯、米力、瑪西拿和米姆干七位波斯和瑪代的大臣，他們常見王的面，在國中身居高位。 15王問他們：「瓦實提王后違抗太監所傳的諭旨，按律該如何處置她？」
16米姆干當著王和大臣們的面說：「瓦實提王后不但冒犯了王，而且有害於舉國的臣民。 17因為王后的事必傳到所有婦女的耳中，致使她們藐視自己的丈夫，因為她們會說，『亞哈隨魯王請瓦實提王后到他面前，她卻不去。』 18今天，波斯和瑪代的貴婦聽到王后這事，也會如此對待王的大臣，藐視和惱怒之事必層出不窮。 19王若願意，就請降旨不准瓦實提再到王面前，把她王后的位分賜給比她更好的女子，並將此諭旨寫入波斯和瑪代的律法，永不更改。 20王的諭旨傳遍王遼闊的國境後，所有的婦女，無論丈夫貴賤，都必尊重他們。」