1 In the days of Artaxerxes, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over one hundred twenty-seven provinces,
2 when he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city of Susa was the root of his kingdom.
3 And so, in the third year of his reign, he made a great feast for all the leaders and his servants, for the most powerful among the Persians and the distinguished among the Medes, and for the rulers of the provinces before him,
4 so that he might show the glorious riches of his kingdom, as well as its greatness, and so boast of his power, for a long time, namely, one hundred and eighty days.
5 And when the days of the feast were nearly completed, he invited all the people, who had been found in Susa, from the greatest even to the least, and he commanded a feast to be prepared, for seven days, in the court of the garden and the arboretum, which had been planted by the care and by the hand of the king.
6 And, in every direction, tents the color of the sky and of flax as well as hyacinth were hung up, suspended by cords of linen and even purple, which had been placed through rings of ivory and were held up with marble columns. The couches also, of gold and silver, had been arranged over a pavement of emerald-green, bearing scattered jewels, which was decorated with a wonderful variety of images.
7 Moreover, those who had been invited drank from golden cups, and dishes of foods were brought in one after another. Likewise, choice wine was presented in abundance, as was worthy of royal magnificence.
8 Nor was anyone compelled to drink who was unwilling, but, just as the king had appointed, one of his nobles was set over each table, so that each one might select what he wanted.
9 Likewise, Vashti the queen made a feast for the women, in the palace where king Artaxerxes was accustomed to stay the night.
10 And so, on the seventh day, when the king was more cheerful, and, after excessive drinking, had become warmed with wine, he ordered Mehuman, and Biztha, and Harbona, and Bigtha, and Abagtha, and Zethar, and Charkas, seven eunuchs who served in his presence,
11 to bring in queen Vashti before the king, with the crown set upon her head, to show her beauty to the whole people and to the leaders, for she was very beautiful.
12 She refused, and she showed contempt towards the king's command, which he had delivered to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry and inflamed with a very great fury,
13 questioned the wise men, who, according to royal custom were always near him and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws as well as the judgments of their ancestors,
14 (but first and foremost were Carshena, and Shethar, and Admatha, and Tarshish, and Meres, and Marsena, and Memucan, seven rulers of the Persians as well as the Medes, who saw the face of the king and who were accustomed to sitting down first after him,)
15 as to what sentence should fall upon Vashti the queen, who had refused to do the commandment of king Artaxerxes, which he had delivered to her by the eunuchs.
16 And Memucan answered, in the hearing of the king as well as the rulers, 'Queen Vashti has wounded not only the king, but also all the people and the leaders, who are in all the provinces of king Artaxerxes.
17 For word about the queen will go out to all the women, so that they will show contempt for their husbands, and they will say, 'King Artaxerxes ordered that queen Vashti should enter before him, and she would not.'
18 And so, by this example all the wives of the leaders of the Persians and the Medes will belittle the authority of their husbands; therefore, the indignation of the king is just.
19 If it pleases you, let an edict be sent out from your presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians and the Medes, which it is forbidden to disregard, that Vashti shall no longer enter before the king, but let another, who is better than her, receive her queenship.
20 And let this be published in all the provinces of your empire, (which is very wide,) and let all wives, the greater as much as the lesser, give honor to their husbands.'
21 His counsel pleased the king and the rulers, and the king acted according to the counsel of Memucan,
22 and he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, so that every nation was able to hear and to read, in various languages and letters, that husbands are to be the greater rulers in their own houses, and that this should be published to every people.
Share this page