The Book of Esther

Translated by Mordecai Housman

© Copyright 2015

Chapter 1

The King's Party

1 It was in the days of Achashvairosh -- this was the Achashvairosh who reigned from India to Ethiopia, over a total of one-hundred-twenty-seven provinces.

2 At that time, King Achashvairosh established his royal throne in Shushan, the capital (of the Persian Empire).

3 In the third year of his reign he made a party for all his ministers and servants. The army of Persia and Media, and the nobles and ministers of the provinces attended.

4 His purpose was to display the wealth of his great empire and the riches he inherited through his prestigious stature for many days, one hundred and eighty days.

5 After that, the king made a seven-day party in the garden enclosure of the king's palace, for everyone in Shushan Capital; everyone was treated equally.

6 There were exquisite white cotton and royal-blue wool hangings, embroidered with cords of fine linen and purple wool, suspended over silver rods and marble pillars; there were gold and silver couches, on platforms of green, white, shell, and onyx marble.

7 The drinks were served in gold goblets -- no two goblets were alike; royal wine was in abundance, as befits the hand of the king.

8 The drinks were served according to the law: no one was forced, because the king had instructed his officers to fulfill the wishes of each guest.

The Queen Pretends to be Proper and Decent

9 Queen Vashti also made a feast, for the women, in the royal house of King Achashvairosh.

10 On the seventh day, when the king was under the influence of the wine he had been drinking, he ordered Mehuman, Bizisa, Charvonah, Bigsa, Avagsar, Zesar and Charcas, the seven attendants who served King Achashvairosh,

11 to bring Queen Vashti, wearing only her royal crown, before the king, to show the nations and the ministers her beauty, for she was very beautiful.

12 The Queen refused to come at the word of the king as brought to her by the attendants, and the king grew angry, and his temper burst.

The King's Reaction

13 The King spoke to his advisors, who were familiar with established precedents, because it was the king's custom to confer with those who knew law and custom.

14 Those closest to him were Karshina, Shaisar, Admoso, Tarshish, Meres, Marsina, and Mimuchan, seven ministers of Persia and Media who were allowed in the presence of the king and were the highest ranking officials in the empire.

15 The question was: what does the law say should be done to Queen Vashti for not obeying the command that King Achashvairosh conveyed to her through the attendants?

Memuchan's Advice

16 Memuchan said to the king and the ministers, "When Queen Vashti was disobedient, she hurt not only the king but also all the ministers of all the nations in all of the provinces of King Achashvairosh's empire.

17 "When word of the Queen's behavior gets out to all the women, they will treat their husbands with less respect, pointing out that even King Achashvairosh ordered Queen Vashti to come to him and she did not come.

18 "This very day, the wives of the ministers of Persia and Media who have heard what Queen Vashti did, will bring up this incident to the ministers of the king, and that will cause a great deal of scandal and quarreling.

19 "If it pleases the king, let him issue a royal edict that a new immutable law be written into the laws of Persia and Media to the effect that Queen Vashti may never again come to King Achashvairosh, and that her royal position will be given to someone else more suitable.

20 "Let the King's decree be posted throughout the entire empire, even though it is very large, and then all the women will respect their husbands, regardless of their status."

21 The king and the ministers liked this idea, so the king did as Memuchan advised.

22 He sent scrolls to all the king's provinces, each scroll written in the alphabet and language of the province to which it was sent, stating that the man is legally the master of his own home, and that everyone in the household must speak the man's native language.

Chapter 2

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

[Purim Gateway] | [Being Jewish Home Page] | [Questions/Comments]