1These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.H3117H325H325H4427H1912H3568H3967H7651H6242H4082 2At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa.H3117H4428H325H3427H3678H4438H7800H1002 3In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces.H7969H8141H4427H6213H4960H8269H5650H2428H6539H4074H6579H8269H4082H6440 4The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.H7200H6239H3519H4438H3366H8597H1420H7227H3117H3967H8084H3117 5When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden.H3117H4390H4428H6213H4960H5971H4672H7800H1002H1419H6996H7651H3117H2691H1594H4428H1055 6The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.H2353H3768H8504H270H2256H948H713H3701H1550H5982H8336H4296H2091H3701H7531H923H8504H1858H5508H8336 7Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king's generosity.H8248H3627H2091H3627H8138H3627H4438H3196H7227H3027H4428 8By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.H8360H1881H597H4428H3245H7227H1004H6213H376H7522 9At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.H2060H4436H6213H4960H802H4438H1004H4428H325 10On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas—H7637H3117H3820H4428H2896H3196H559H4104H968H2726H903H5H2242H3752H7651H5631H8334H6440H325H4428 11to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman.H935H2060H4436H6440H4428H3804H4438H7200H5971H8269H3308H2896H4758 12But when they conveyed the king's order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.H4436H2060H3985H935H4428H1697H3027H5631H4428H3966H7107H2534H1197 13He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice.H4428H559H2450H3045H6256H4428H1697H6440H3045H1881H1779 14The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.H7138H3771H8369H133H8659H4825H4826H4462H7651H8269H6539H4074H7200H4428H6440H3427H7223H4438 15"What must be done to Queen Vashti?" the king demanded. "What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king's orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?"H6213H4436H2060H1881H6213H3982H4428H325H3027H5631 16Memucan answered the king and his nobles, "Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire.H4462H559H6440H4428H8269H2060H4436H5753H4428H8269H5971H4082H4428H325 17Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king.H1697H4436H3318H802H959H1167H5869H559H4428H325H559H2060H4436H935H6440H935 18Before this day is out, the wives of all the king's nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.H8282H6539H4074H559H3117H4428H8269H8085H1697H4436H1767H963H7110 19"So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she.H2895H4428H3318H4438H1697H6440H3789H1881H6539H4074H5674H2060H935H6440H4428H325H4428H5414H4438H7468H2896 20When this decree is published throughout the king's vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!"H4428H6599H6213H8085H4438H7227H802H5414H1167H3366H1419H6996 21The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan's counsel.H1697H3190H5869H4428H8269H4428H6213H1697H4462 22He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.H7971H5612H4428H4082H4082H3791H5971H3956H376H8323H1004H1696H3956H5971
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