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Esther 1 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 These events took place in the time of Achashverosh, the Achashverosh who ruled over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. 2 It was in those days, when King Achashverosh sat on his royal throne in Shushan the capital, 3 in the third year of his reign, that he gave a banquet for all his officials and courtiers. The army of Persia and Media, the nobles and the provincial officials were in attendance. 4 He displayed the dazzling wealth of his kingdom and his great splendor for a long time, 180 days. 5 At the end of that time, the king gave a seven-day banquet in the courtyard of the royal palace garden for all the people, both great and small, there in Shushan the capital. 6 There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings fastened to silver rods, with cords of fine linen and purple; the columns were marble; the couches [for reclining at table] were of gold and silver on a mosaic flooring of malachite, marble, mother-of-pearl and onyx. 7 Drinks were served in gold goblets, with each goblet different from the others. There was royal wine in abundance, as befits royal bounty. 8 The drinking was not according to any fixed rule, for the king had ordered the stewards to serve each man what he wanted. 9 Also Vashti the queen gave a banquet for the women in the royal house belonging to King Achashverosh. 10 On the seventh day, when the king was in high spirits from the wine, he ordered Mehuman, Bizta, Harvona, Bigta, Avagta, Zetar and Karkas, the seven officers who attended him, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with the royal crown, in order to show the people and the officials her beauty, for she was indeed a good-looking woman. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the order of the king, which he had sent through his officers. This enraged the king - his anger blazed inside him. 13 As was the king's custom, he consulted sages well-versed in matters of law and justice. 14 With him were Karshna, Shetar, Admata, Tarshish, Meres, Marsna and Memukhan, the seven vice-regents of Persia and Media, who were part of the king's inner circle and were the most important officials in the kingdom. 15 [The king asked the sages,] "According to the law, what should we do to Queen Vashti, since she didn't obey the order of King Achashverosh conveyed by the officers?" 16 Memukhan presented the king and vice-regents this answer: "Vashti the queen has wronged not only the king, but also all the officials and all the peoples in all the provinces of King Achashverosh; 17 because this act of the queen's will become known to all the women, who will then start showing disrespect toward their own husbands; they will say, 'King Achashverosh ordered Vashti the queen to be brought before him, but she wouldn't come.' 18 Moreover, the noble ladies of Persia and Media who hear of the queen's conduct will mention it to all the king's officials, which will bring about no end of disrespect and discord. 19 If it pleases his majesty, let him issue a royal decree - and let it be written as one of the laws of the Persians and Medes, which are irrevocable - that Vashti is never again to be admitted into the presence of King Achashverosh, and that the king give her royal position to someone better than she. 20 When the edict made by the king is proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom, then all wives will honor their husbands, whether great or small." 21 This advice pleased the king and the officials, so the king did what Memukhan had suggested - 22 he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, that every man should be master in his own house and speak the language of his own people.
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