Queen Vashti Deposed

This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,[a](A) the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces(B) stretching from India to Cush[b]:(C) At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,(D) and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet(E) 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,(F) in the enclosed garden(G) 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(H) 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.(I) 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(J) for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits(K) from wine,(L) he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,(M) Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring(N) before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty(O) 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.(P)

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(Q) 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles(R) 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.(S)

19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king,(T) let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed,(U) 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,(V) proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

Footnotes

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

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet(A)

22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like(B) a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants(C) to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants(D) and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers(E) and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners(F) and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good,(G) and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend(H)?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’(I)

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”(J)

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