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The Feasts of the King and Queen

Now it happened in the days of (A)Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned (B)from India to [a]Ethiopia over (C)127 provinces, in those days as King Ahasuerus (D)sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in (E)Susa, in the third year of his reign, (F)he held a feast for all his princes and servants, the military officers of Persia and Media, the nobles and the princes of his provinces being in his presence, [b]while he displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days.

And when these days were fulfilled, the king held a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, from the greatest to the least, in the court of (G)the garden of the king’s palace. There were hangings of fine white and [c]blue linen held by cords of fine purple linen on silver rings and marble pillars, and (H)couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones. And drinks were served in golden vessels of various kinds, and the royal wine was plentiful (I)according to the king’s hand. And the drinking was done according to the law; there was no compulsion, for so the king had established it for each official of his household—that he should do according to what pleased each person. Queen Vashti also held a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to King Ahasuerus.

Queen Vashti’s Refusal

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was (J)merry with wine, he said for Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended to the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal (K)crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was [d]beautiful in appearance. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the word of the king which was delivered by the hand of the eunuchs. Then the king became exceedingly furious, and his wrath burned within him.

13 Then the king said to (L)the wise men (M)who knew the times—for it was the custom of the king thus to speak before all who knew law and justice 14 and were close to him: Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media (N)who [e]had access to the king’s presence and sat in the first place in the kingdom— 15 “According to law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti, because she did not do the declaration of King Ahasuerus delivered by the hand of the eunuchs?” 16 Then in the presence of the king and the princes, Memucan said, “Queen Vashti has committed iniquity against not only the king but also against all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the word about the queen will get out to all the women causing them to despise their husbands in their eyes by saying, ‘King Ahasuerus said for Queen Vashti to be brought in to his presence, but she did not come.’ 18 This day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the word about the queen will speak in the same way to all the king’s princes, and there will be plenty of spite and indignation. 19 If it seems good to the king, let a royal word go forth from him, and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so (O)that it cannot [f]be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to [g]another who is better than she. 20 And the king’s sentence, which he will make, will be heard throughout all his kingdom, for it is [h]vast, and (P)all women will give respect to their husbands, great and small.”

21 And this word was good in the eyes of the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 So he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, (Q)to each province according to its script and to every people according to their tongue, that every man should (R)be the ruler in his own house and the one who speaks in the tongue of his own people.


  1. Esther 1:1 Or Cush, cf. Gen 10:6
  2. Esther 1:4 Lit when
  3. Esther 1:6 Or violet
  4. Esther 1:11 Lit good, so in Esth
  5. Esther 1:14 Lit saw the face of the king
  6. Esther 1:19 Lit pass away
  7. Esther 1:19 Lit her neighbor
  8. Esther 1:20 Lit great