THE STAGE IS SET
The Heroine Of The Bible
Esther is one of the most fascinating people in the Bible. From her humble beginnings to her courageous triumphs and all the hardships in between, she’s an amazing heroine. This series will take a complete look at her life with a breakdown of each chapter in the book of Esther. In Chapter 1, the stage is being set for Queen E.
Esther Chapter 1
In Esther’s time, King Xerxes was the world’s most powerful monarch who ruled the Persian Empire. He was incredibly powerful, wealthy and very prominent.
In the third year of his reign, he throws a huge, extravagant party flaunting his riches among high-ranking governors and officials. Esther 1:6-8 (NIV) describes the scene.
“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. 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. 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.”
King Xerxes was married to Queen Vashti. The king’s celebration was for the men. Meanwhile, Queen Vashti hosted a similar party for women.
“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— 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. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.” -Esther 1:10-12
So King Xerxes summons his Queen to show her off in her royal crown for the people and nobles. She refuses. I’ve read opinions that this act made Queen Vashti a feminist of her time. I don’t think it was about being a feminist. I don’t think she was very fond of the king, IMO. King Xerxes consults his nobles about what he should do which was customary for this time.
“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. 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.’ 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.
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. 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.’
The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 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.” -Esther 1:15-22
Memukan was one of the seven vice-regents of the king. He makes sure his opinions are heard including banishing Queen Vashti forever, decides the king needs to find a better Queen and suggests that Xerxes write a royal decree to avoid the so-called uproar of disrespect and discord that would take place by women following Queen Vashti’s actions. I mean, Memukan obviously sounds like a great guy. Lol. King Xerxes and the nobles agree with Memukan’s ideas and follows through with them.
This chapter ends with that but it sets the stage for the rise of a gorgeous woman named Esther. An orphan whose cousin Mordecai raised her after her parents died. Esther grew up learning about the importance of her Jewish heritage from him. People all over the region knew of Esther’s beauty but not of her courage, her strength and her spirit. They will know though. She’ll reign, they’ll bow.
Be sure to check back on AOK Social for Chapter 2 of this series. You can sign below so you won’t miss a chapter of this royally epic story.