Esther 1:5-15 (New International Version)

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5 When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days,1 in the enclosed garden2 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 couches3 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.4 8 By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished. 9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet5 for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. 10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits6 from wine,7 he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him--Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,8 Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas-- 11 to bring9 before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty10 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.11 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 times12 14 and were closest to the king--Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven nobles13 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."
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