Add parallel Print Page Options

The King’s Banquet

These events happened in the days of King Xerxes,[a] who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.[b] At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.

When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.

Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.

At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

Queen Vashti Deposed

10 On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas— 11 to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12 But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.

13 He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14 The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.

15 “What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”

16 Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17 Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18 Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.

19 “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. 20 When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”

21 The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. 22 He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.[c]

Footnotes

  1. 1:1a Hebrew Ahasuerus, another name for Xerxes; also throughout the book of Esther. Xerxes reigned 486–465 B.c.
  2. 1:1b Hebrew to Cush.
  3. 1:22 Or and should speak in the language of his own people.

10 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given.[b] As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

Salvation Is for Everyone

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.[c] But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says,

“The message is very close at hand;
    it is on your lips and in your heart.”[d]

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[e] 12 Jew and Gentile[f] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[g]

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[h]

16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[i] 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. 18 But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have:

“The message has gone throughout the earth,
    and the words to all the world.”[j]

19 But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,

“I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.
    I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”[k]

20 And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying,

“I was found by people who were not looking for me.
    I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”[l]

21 But regarding Israel, God said,

“All day long I opened my arms to them,
    but they were disobedient and rebellious.”[m]

Footnotes

  1. 10:1 Greek Brothers.
  2. 10:4 Or For Christ is the end of the law.
  3. 10:5 See Lev 18:5.
  4. 10:6-8 Deut 30:12-14.
  5. 10:11 Isa 28:16 (Greek version).
  6. 10:12 Greek and Greek.
  7. 10:13 Joel 2:32.
  8. 10:15 Isa 52:7.
  9. 10:16 Isa 53:1.
  10. 10:18 Ps 19:4.
  11. 10:19 Deut 32:21.
  12. 10:20 Isa 65:1 (Greek version).
  13. 10:21 Isa 65:2 (Greek version).

Bible Gateway Recommends

NLT Gift & Award Economy Bible
NLT Gift & Award Economy Bible
Retail: $5.99
Our Price: $4.49
Save: $1.50 (25%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
NLT One Year Premium Slimline Large Print Bible, Softcover
NLT One Year Premium Slimline Large Print Bible, Softcover
Retail: $22.99
Our Price: $15.99
Save: $7.00 (30%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NLT Premium Gift Bible Imitation Leather, black
NLT Premium Gift Bible Imitation Leather, black
Retail: $15.99
Our Price: $11.99
Save: $4.00 (25%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
KJV/NLT People's Parallel Bible Burgundy Imitation Leather
KJV/NLT People's Parallel Bible Burgundy Imitation Leather
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $36.99
Save: $13.00 (26%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars