Esther 1 Women's Rights!


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Esther 1:1 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.

a. Esther 1:1 Hebrew Ahasuerus; here and throughout Esther
b. Esther 1:1 That is, the upper Nile region

Oh.... so Queen Vashti wouldn't jump when her husband, the king, bellowed..... so now there's divorce! The "wise" men said.... "if you let her get away with that.... then all the women in this empire will think they can get away with it. These women have to know their place...... " right? I can just hear them now....

The commentaries are excellent this morning..... this is described as a "story" and the commentaries note .....God is not mentioned in the book.... I'll have to watch for that..... meanwhile... this is from the easy English site.

The king asked the wise men about the law. Memucan did not mention the law when he answered the king. He just wanted to say something that would please the king. All the women in the country would hear that the queen had not obeyed the king. Memucan knew that. He was afraid that wives would not obey their husbands. Maybe he was afraid that his own wife would not obey him in future.
The king ordered that every man should rule over his own family. But the queen had not obeyed the king. So the king would find a better queen who would obey him. God was preparing the way for Esther to become queen.​
There were many different nations in the kingdom and they spoke many different languages. Officials wrote the king’s command in each nation’s own language. This would make sure that everyone would understand the new law.
Persia had good roads. So officials could deliver the royal messages quickly.​

This is from

“Vashti refused”: Her reason is not recorded, although suggestions have included that;​
1. Her appearance would have involved lewd behavior before drunken men; or​
2. That she was still pregnant with Artaxerxes.​
“Queen Vashti” was deposed at about the same time that she gave birth to a son, Artaxerxes (484 or 483 B.C.). Although her insubordination infuriated the king and cost her the kingdom, Vashti seems to have regained some of her influence when Artaxerxes ascended the throne (in 465 B.C. and until she died in 424 B.C.).​
Vashti had to realize that it might cost her her life to refuse to obey the command of her king, who was also her husband. She, perhaps, would rather lose her life, than become shamed by such an exhibit. This was as if he were showing her off for the envy of the other men. Her refusal to come would greatly shame her husband before his subordinates. He would possibly not have asked such a thing, had he not been drinking. She would have to be severely punished, and it had to be known publicly for him to regain his self-respect. Most kings would have had her killed for such an act of disobedience.
In the Persia and Media, women were thought to be under the complete rule of their husbands. This act of Vashti's would affect not only the women of the ordinary citizens, but would affect the wives of the princes. They thought they might lose control of their family. The queen was an example for all of the women of the land for good, or evil. Whatever she did, the other women did too. A good lesson is to be learned here. We can see that our lives influence others by the actions we take.​
I think I've heard one.... maybe a handful.... but definitely one sermon on "women's behavior". All the way through this book I've been reminding myself that women of the Bible are second to men. Very few women owned land. Men ran everything and women were there to procreate and do chores. In the Old Testament.... if a woman's husband died.... his brother took her. Women had no rights.... I figure either she was in labor, was huge with a baby, or she was having a hormone attack.... and the appeal of prancing in front of her drunked up ol' man when she was either huge with his son or still breastfeeding... just wasn't her cup of tea. Thank God.... right? Or we wouldn't have this book.

The preacher said.... men should rule the household.....
Jesus said..... "Do to others as you would have them do to you. " Luke 6:31.