Esther 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Banquets of the King
1 Now it happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to [a]Cush over 127 provinces, 2 in those days as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in Susa, 3 in the third year of his reign he held a banquet for all his officials and attendants, the army officers of Persia and Media, the nobles and the officials of his provinces, in his presence. 4 [b]At that time he displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days.
5 When these days were finished, the king held a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, from the greatest to the least, in the courtyard of the garden of the king’s palace. 6 There were curtains of fine white and violet linen held by cords of fine purple linen on silver rings and marble columns, and couches of gold and silver on a mosaic floor of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and mineral stones. 7 Drinks were served in golden vessels of various kinds, and the royal wine was plentiful in proportion to the king’s [c]bounty. 8 But the drinking was done according to the royal law; there was no compulsion, for so the king had given orders to each official of his household, that he was to do as each person pleased. 9 Queen Vashti also held a banquet for the women in the [d]palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
Queen Vashti’s Refusal
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was cheerful with wine, he ordered Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal turban in order to display her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s order [e]delivered by the eunuchs. So the king became very angry, and his wrath burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times—for it was the custom of the king to speak this way before all who knew Persian law and justice 14 and were close to him, namely, Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media who [f]had access to the king’s presence and sat in the first place in the kingdom— 15 “According to law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti, since she did not [g]obey the command of King Ahasuerus [h]delivered by the eunuchs?” 16 And in the presence of the king and the other officials, Memucan said, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s conduct will [i]become known to all the women so as to make their own husbands despicable in their sight, when they say, ‘King Ahasuerus [j]commanded that Queen Vashti be brought in to his presence, but she did not come.’ 18 And this day the wives of the officials of Persia and Media who have heard about the queen’s conduct will talk about it to all the king’s officials, and there will be plenty of contempt and anger. 19 If it pleases the king, let a royal [k]edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot [l]be repealed, that Vashti may not come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to [m]another who is more worthy than she. 20 When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout his kingdom, [n]great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small.”
21 Now this word pleased the king and the officials, and the king did [o]as Memucan proposed. 22 So he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province according to its script and to every people according to their language, that every man was to be the ruler in his own house and the one who speaks in the language of his own people.
Esther 1 New International Version (NIV)
Queen Vashti Deposed
1 This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,[a] the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush[b]: 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.
4 For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. 5 When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. 6 The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. 7 Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. 8 By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.
9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.
15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”
16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.