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Esther: Chapter 1

Ahasuerus makes royal feasts, 1-9. Vashti, sent for, refuses to come, 10-12. Ahasuerus, by the counsel of Memucan, puts away Vashti, and makes the decree of men's sovereignty, 13-22.

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this is Ahasuerus who reigned from India even to Cush, over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces), 2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in the palace of Shushan, 3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast to all his princes and his servants. The power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, were before him, 4 When he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days, even one hundred and eighty days.

5 And when these days had expired, the king made a feast for all the people who were present in the palace of Shushan, both for great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace, 6 Where white, green, and blue hangings, were fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble. The beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, blue, white, and black marble. 7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold (the vessels being diverse from one another), and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. 8 And the drinking was according to the law, and no one was forced, for thus the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure. 9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to 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 Carcas, the seven chamberlains who served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, 11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty, for she was fair to look upon. 12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains. Therefore, the king was very angry, and his anger burned in him.

13 Then the king said to the wise men, who knew the times (for thus was the king's manner toward all who knew law and judgment, 14 And were close to him: Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and who sat the first in the kingdom), 15 "What shall we do to the queen Vashti according to law, because she has not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?" 16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, "Vashti the queen has not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people who are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. 17 For this deed of the queen will come abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when it is reported, 'The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she did not come.' 18 The ladies of Persia and Media will speak likewise this day to all the king's princes, who have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus there will arise too much contempt and wrath. 19 If it pleases the king, let a royal commandment go from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it may not be altered, that Vashti may no longer come before king Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal estate to another who is better than she is. 20 And when the king's decree which he shall make is published throughout all his empire (for it is great), all the wives will give to their husbands honor, both to great and small."

21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to its writing, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.