Modern English Version
Queen Vashti Deposed
1 Now in the days of Ahasuerus, also called Xerxes, who reigned from India to Ethiopia, over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, 2 in those days, the palace where King Ahasuerus sat on the royal throne of his kingdom was in Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he prepared a feast for all his officials and his servants. So the army commanders of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the officials of the provinces were before him.
4 He unveiled the riches of his glorious kingdom and the costly luxury of his greatness for many days, one hundred and eighty days. 5 When these days were completed, the king prepared a seven-day feast for all the people present, from the greatest to the least, in the citadel of Susa. This feast was in the courtyard garden of the king’s palace 6 where white and blue linen hangings were fastened with cords of white and purple linen to silver rings and columns of marble. The gold- and silver-plated couches were on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones. 7 They provided drinks in golden vessels (the vessels being diverse one from another) and royal wine in abundance, by the expense of the king. 8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not mandatory, because the king had directed all the stewards of his house to serve according to every man’s pleasure.
9 Additionally, Vashti the queen prepared a feast for the women in the royal house of King Ahasuerus.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Karkas, the seven eunuchs attending to the needs of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with the royal crown, to unveil her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by his eunuchs. Therefore, the king grew very angry, and his wrath burned within him.
13 Then the king spoke to the wise men, who understood the times (for in this way the king would speak before all who understood law and judgment). 14 Those nearest him were Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memukan. They were the seven princes of Persia and Media and the king’s closest confidants who met with the king and held the highest rank in the kingdom.
15 “According to law, what should be done about Queen Vashti because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus when it was delivered by the eunuchs?”
16 And Memukan answered before the king and the princes, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the princes and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For should this matter of the queen spread to all wives, then they would look with contempt on their husbands when it is reported that, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she never came.’ 18 This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media, who hear of the queen’s act, will say the same thing to all the king’s princes. Then there will be more contempt and wrath.
19 “If it pleases the king, let a royal decree be sent by him, and let it be written in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it may not be altered, that Vashti can never enter into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and that the king will give her royal position to another woman who is better than she. 20 When the king’s decree that he shall make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is vast), then all the wives shall give honor to their husbands, both the prominent and lowly.”
21 The suggestion pleased the king and the princes, so the king did according to the word of Memukan. 22 He sent letters to all the king’s provinces, in the script of every province and in the language of every people group, bearing the message in the languages of his people that each man should rule over his own house.