Esther 1

1This is what happened during the time that Xerxes was king. Xerxes ruled over the 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. 2King Xerxes ruled from his throne in the capital city of Susa. 3In the third year of Xerxes’ rule, he gave a party for his officers and leaders. The army leaders and important leaders from all of Persia and Media were there. 4The party continued for 180 days. All during that time, King Xerxes was showing the great wealth of his kingdom. And he was showing everyone the majestic beauty and wealth of his palace. 5And when those 180 days were over, King Xerxes gave another party that continued for seven days. That party was held in the inside garden of the palace. All the people that were in the capital city of Susa were invited, from the most important to the least important person. 6That inside garden had white and blue linen hangings around the room. Those hangings were held in place with cords of white linen and purple material on silver rings and marble pillars. There were couches made of gold and silver. Those couches were setting on mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other expensive stones. 7Wine was served in golden cups. And every cup was different! And there was plenty of the king’s wine, because the king was very generous. 8The king had given a command to his servants. He told them that each guest must be given as much wine as he wanted. And the wine server obeyed the king. 9Queen Vashti also gave a party for the women in the king’s palace. 10- 11On the seventh day of the party, King Xerxes was in high spirits from drinking the wine. He gave a command to the seven eunuchs that served him. Those eunuchs were: Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas. He commanded those seven eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti to him wearing her royal crown. She was to come so she could show her beauty to the leaders and important people. She was very beautiful. 12But when those servants told Queen Vashti about the king’s command, she refused to come. Then the king became very angry. 13- 14It was the custom for the king to ask the advice of the experts about the law and punishments. So King Xerxes spoke with the wise men that understood the laws. Those wise men were very close to the king. Their names were: Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. They were the seven most important officials of Persia and Media. They had special privileges to see the king. They were the highest officials in the kingdom. 15The king asked those men, “What does the law say must be done to Queen Vashti? She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.” 16Then Memucan answered the king with the other officials listening, “Queen Vashti has done wrong. She has done wrong against the king and also against all the leaders and people of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17I say that, because all the other women will hear about what Queen Vashti did. And then other women will stop obeying their husbands. They will say to their husbands, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought to him, but she refused to come.’ 18“Today the wives of the Persian and Median leaders have heard what the queen did. And those women will be influenced by the thing she did. Those women will do the same thing to the king’s important leaders. And there will be plenty of disrespect and anger. 19“So, if it pleased the king, here is a suggestion: Let the king give a royal command and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media. The laws of Persia and Media can’t be changed. The royal command should be that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else that is better than she. 20Then when the king’s command is announced in all parts of his large kingdom, all the women will respect their husbands. From the most important to the least important, all the women will respect their husbands.” 21The king and his important officials were happy with this advice. So King Xerxes did as Memucan suggested. 22King Xerxes sent letters to all parts of the kingdom. He sent those letters to each province, written in its own language. He sent those letters to each nation in its own language. Those letters announced in every person’s language that every man was to be ruler over his own family.

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