Esther 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Queen Vashti Disobeys the King
1 This is what happened during the ·time [days] of ·King Xerxes [L Ahasuerus; C the Persian king who reigned about 486–465 bc], the ·king [L Ahasuerus] who ruled the one hundred twenty-seven ·states [provinces] from India to Cush [C in present-day Sudan and Ethiopia]. 2 In those days King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·ruled from his [L sat on his royal throne in the] ·capital city [or fortress; citadel; C the winter residence of Persian kings, separate from the city] of Susa. 3 In the third year of his ·rule [reign; C about 483 bc], he gave a banquet for all his ·important men [nobles] and ·royal officers [ministers; officials]. The ·army [military] leaders from Persia and Media and the ·important men [nobles] from all ·Xerxes’ empire [L his provinces] were there.
4 The ·banquet [celebration] lasted one hundred eighty days. All during that time King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·was showing off [displayed] the ·great wealth of his kingdom [riches of his royal glory] and ·his own great riches and glory [splendor of his great majesty]. 5 When the one hundred eighty days were ·over [completed], the king gave another banquet [C these celebrations may have been in preparation for the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 bc]. It was held in the courtyard of the palace garden for seven days, and it was for everybody in the ·palace [citadel; fortress] at Susa, from the greatest to the least. 6 The courtyard had fine white ·curtains [linen hangings] and ·purple [blue; violet] drapes that were tied to silver rings on marble pillars by white and purple cords. And there were gold and silver couches on a floor set with ·tiles [mosaics] of ·white [porphyry] ·marble [alabaster], ·shells [mother-of-pearl], and ·gems [precious stones]. 7 ·Wine [Drinks] was served in gold ·cups [goblets] of various kinds. And there was ·plenty [an abundance] of the king’s wine, ·because he was very generous [in keeping with his generosity/liberality]. 8 ·The king commanded that the guests be permitted to drink as much as they wished [L The drinking was according to law/edict without compulsion]. He told the ·wine servers [staff] to serve each man what he wanted.
9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal ·palace [L house] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus].
10 On the seventh day of the banquet, King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was ·very happy [in high spirits], because of the wine. He gave a command to the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas. 11 He commanded them to bring him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown. She was to come to ·show [display] her beauty to the people and ·important men [nobles] because she was very beautiful. 12 The eunuchs told Queen Vashti about the king’s ·command [L word], but she refused to come [C possibly because she felt it would be humiliating; a dangerous decision]. Then the king became very angry; his anger ·was like a burning fire [L burned in him; C because it undermined his authority].
13 It was customary for the king to ·ask advice from [confer with] ·experts [wise men] about law and ·order [justice; custom; L judgment]. So King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] spoke with ·the wise men who would know the right thing to do [L those who understood the times]. 14 The wise men ·the king usually talked to [closest to the king] were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, seven of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media. These seven had ·special privileges to see [access to] the king and had the highest ·rank [offices] in the kingdom. 15 The king asked them, “What does the law say must be done to Queen Vashti? She has not obeyed the command of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], which the eunuchs took to her.”
16 Then Memucan said to the king and the other ·important men [nobles], “Queen Vashti has not done wrong to the king alone. She has also done wrong to all the ·important men [nobles] and all the people in all the ·empire [L provinces] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. 17 All the wives of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media will hear about the queen’s ·actions [conduct]. Then they will ·no longer honor [be contemptuous of; despise] their husbands. They will say, ‘King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] commanded Queen Vashti to be brought to him, but she refused to come.’ 18 Today the ·wives [noble ladies] of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media have heard about the queen’s actions. So they will speak in the same way to ·their husbands [the king’s nobles], and there will be no end to ·disrespect [contempt] and anger.
19 “So, our king, if it pleases you, give a royal ·order [edict; decree], and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be ·changed [repealed; revoked; 8:8; Dan. 6:8, 12, 15]. The law should say Vashti [C at this point, the title “queen” is symbolically dropped from before her name] is never again to enter the presence of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. Also let the king give her place as queen to someone who is ·better [more worthy/deserving] than she is. 20 And let the king’s ·order [edict; decree] be ·announced [spread] everywhere in his ·enormous [great] kingdom. Then all the women will ·respect [honor] their husbands, from the greatest to the least.”
21 The king and his ·important men [nobles] were ·happy [pleased] with this advice, so King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] did as Memucan ·suggested [advised; proposed]. 22 He sent ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] to all the ·states [provinces] of the kingdom in the ·writing [script] of each ·state [province] and in the language of each group of people. These ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] announced that each man was to be the ·ruler [master] ·of [over] his own family.