Esther 1

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Problem with queen Vashti

Est 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

Ahasuerus, was also known as Xerxes. He ruled the vast Persian empire that included Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel; and parts of modern day Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Arabia. These were inherited from his Father Darius 1, the friend of Daniel. The time was seventy years after King Cyrus, his grandfather, decreed that the temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt. Cyrus began ruling after the fatal "handwriting on the wall" and the end of king Balshazzar. The time is in the book of Ezra, between chapters six and seven. The hand of God was returning exiles to Israel, it was a time of restoration. There is no mention of God, the law, faith or prayer, yet God's hand is seen in this story, as well as the opposition from the evil one.

The author is unknown. Some say Mordecai, who was the prominent uncle and father in the story. Others say Ezra the priest; we do not know.

Est 1:2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

The story takes place in the kings palace in Shushan, the kings winter palace, two hundred miles from Babylon.. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of this palace. This is an actual place at a certain time in history.

Est 1:3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
Est 1:4 When he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even and hundred and fourscore days.

This was a great feast, honoring his people of importance and power. The princes, his servants, the princes and nobles of his vast empire. He showed off the glory of his riches and importance.

As Christians, all we have is given to us by God. We are not to show off our things and boast with men of importance. We are to boast in our God who has blessed us.

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Est 1:5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

After six months of feasting it was time for another feast, this time for all who were present in the palace and perhaps the surrounding city, both great and small, seven days in the court of the garden. All who were present : the nobles, servants, guards and visiting dignitaries.

Est 1:6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, 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, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

I had pictured a place of flowers and plants, perhaps, but the actually courtyard was luxurious. The public was invited, perhaps to see in part what their taxes were being used for?

Est 1:7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

They drank from various sizes and shapes of golden vessels and the kings wine given by the state (hand) of the king. A variety of people and various precious vessels. We are precious vessels to our king Jesus. We come in various shapes and sizes. As vessels, our use at the kings hand depends on how we keep the vessel we are given.

2 Tim 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
2 Tim 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
2 Tim 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Est 1:8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.

They were not compelled to drink. Let every man drink according to his conscience.

We as followers of Christ are free of many restrictions, but never should we sin or be a stumbling block to another. If we drink and are drunk, what message will this send to those struggling with alcohol?

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Est 1:9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

There was a third feast. This one by queen Vashti for the women of the palace.

Est 1:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
Est 1:11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

Was this the seventh day of the queens feast, that she is called away? The king, drunk on wine wishes to show off his wife to the princes of the provinces. He was bragging on her great beauty; for she was fair to look at. Perhaps the king wanted to show more of her than the queen wanted, for she refused the king. The king was drunk on wine.

Prov 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Est 1:12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

She did not want to parade herself before a bunch of drunken, lustful men, but to refuse the king was a serious offense. One translation said she was to come naked before the king. She may have to pay a price for disobeying the king. We can sometimes disobey authority if it causes us to sin against God's will. Let the conscience be your guide.

Est 1:13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
Est 1:14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)
Est 1:15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?

How can we legally punish the queen? This could apply to us. What laws will be made to restrict our free exercise of our faith?

Est 1:16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
Est 1:17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

Oh oh, we have disrespect of male authority: women who are "liberated" despising men? Well, we have seen that extreme, but we have also seen the extreme of sexual exploitation of women for lust or gain. What if the queen was forced to obey? What if any woman is forced to be humbled by evil? It happens, but as a wise woman has said,"they may hurt the body, but they cannot have my soul, God keeps my soul safe with him." I say this to women who have been violated, who have been treated as objects and not with honor. God made you in his image, he knows you and respects you.

The king would not force the queen to obey, but he would punish her by removing her wealth and position. Again, if we have Jesus it doesn't matter what others do or say, we know our position in Him. Finally, the angry king will put others into bondage by his law. Mans laws are never enough to stop evil. We need a new heart through Jesus Christ.

Est 1:18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.

If we do not put a stop to this, all the princes will have rebellious women.

Est 1:19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
Est 1:20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

The queen would be banned from the king, dethroned and her estate given to another. I do not know the attitude of the queen. Perhaps she was malicious and not submissive in other ways too.

A Christian wife should respect her husband and the husband as Christ, even dies for the wife, if need be.

Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. What? That isn't fair? It is fair if you love Jesus and your husband.

Est 1:21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:

Many laws are made to get even or in reference to one event. God's law is always true and fair. If other use you for lusts, remember that our God loves you. He knows the hearts of all people and offers the salvation that Jesus Christ brings for all who will receive. Sometimes life is not fair, bad things happen. God knows and he makes all things beautiful in His time. Do not let the past block your future. Praise God, glorify him. He has given us a place in his family. No devil can take that, we are in his hand.