Esther - Page 4

Esther 1:5
tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp
and splendor of his maj­es­ty.
5 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. 6 The
courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue
hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple rib­
bons 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.
7 Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an
abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. 8 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.
9 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, Mar­
se­na, 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 Xer­
xes, 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 fol­
lowed Me­mu­can’s counsel. 22 He sent letters to all parts of the empire,
to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that e­ very
man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he
1:22 Or and should speak in the language of his own people. 
17B-ESTH_Inspire_Catholic_NLT.indd 600
5/2/2018 9:06:09 AM

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