When the king sent servants to have Queen Vashti to come to his banquet to show her beauty, she refused. This irritated the king because she did not obey his order.
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9. Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house
“It was a breach of social custom for men and women to attend the same feast.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume II: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 548)
10. This is the seventh day of the last banquet.
The king was merry with wine probably means he was drunk.
It is interesting to me that the king sent seven men to bring the queen back.
“The eunuchs are listed here for a reason. The names serve to verify the event.” (Breneman, Mervin, The New American Commentary, Volume 10 Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther: [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993], 307)
11. The king wanted to shew the people and the princes her beauty.
He wanted to show off the queen.
The Queen Refused
12. The queen Vashti refused to come
“We are not told why the queen disobeyed the king’s command, but a likely reason was that she was offended at being treated like a possession for the king to brag about.” (MacArthur, John. Daniel & Esther: Israel in Exile: Nashville: [Nelson Books, 2016], 90)
“Vashti’s courage must be acknowledged. She defied her king and her husband by refusing to shame herself in public. Whatever else may be said of her, she was brave.” (Breneman, 308)
Now the king was angry!
13 – 14 The king consulted his advisors.
Many nations have advisors who consult with the leader of the nation.
These are men that knew the law.
“The phrase ‘highest in the kingdom’ indicates that this is the best.” (Breneman, 309)
15. What should we do with queen Vashti according to law?
The queen did not obey the king.
16. Memucan “is afraid that, when the deed of the queen comes to the attention of all women, they will look with contempt upon their husbands.“ (McGee, 550)
17. Once this becomes common knowledge throughout the land the women shall despise their husbands in their eyes.
This will be disastrous to all marriages when it becomes known.
18. When the ladies in our kingdom learn of this there will arise too much contempt and wrath.
NIV translates this as there will be no end of disrespect and discord.
Husbands and wives will not respect each other.
19. This sounds like a divorce to me.
Memucan is making sure that Vashti can no longer see the king.
If the king issues a royal commandment, then Vashti will not be able to even come into the presence of the King.
Daniel 6:19 tells us: “the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.”
If the king issues this commandment, then it becomes law.
Then let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
This begins the search for a new queen.
Respect for husbands
20. The court record will be sent throughout all his empire.
Note: it does not say anything about respecting wives!
“It is good for women to honor their husbands, but it is far better for them to do it out of obedience to God’s Word rather than out of fear and compulsion. Husbands who imitate the love of Christ make it far easier for their wives to honor them.” (MacArthur, 91)
21. The king and the princes were pleased!
22. The proclamation went out: that every man should bear rule in his own house.
“If women might follow the queen’s example of defiance, then it is equally likely that ordinary men would imitate the king’s example of rage. Paul would later write in Ephesians 5:21-33 about what a godly marriage looked like and what the responsibilities were of the husband and wife.” (MacArthur, 91)
Ephesians 5:25 tells us: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Christ brought new respect for women.
In this article Scripture quotations are taken from KJV.
NIV Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.
Breneman, Mervin, The New American Commentary, Volume 10 Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993
MacArthur, John. Daniel & Esther: Israel in Exile: Nashville: Nelson Books, 2016
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume II: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983