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The Weakness Of Esther

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CHAPTER 1 Nov.26 
The King Makes a Feast
Now it happened in the days of Ahasuerus (this is Ahasuerus who reigned from India even to Ethiopia, over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces), 2that in those days, when the King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom which was in Shushan the palace, 3in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his princes and his servants; the powerful ones of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him. 4He displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even one hundred and eighty days. 5When those days were fulfilled, the king made a seven day feast for all the people who were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. 6There were hangings of white, green and blue material, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars. The couches were of gold and silver, on a pavement of red, white, yellow and black marble. 7They gave them ample drinks in golden vessels of various kinds, including the wine of the kingdom, according to the bounty of the king. 8In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had instructed all the officials of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure. 9Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
Queen Vashti Disobeys the King
10On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcass, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, 11to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty; for she was beautiful. 12But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by the eunuchs. Therefore the king was very angry, and his anger burned in him. 13Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times, (for it was the king’s custom to consult those who knew law and judgement; 14and those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom), 15What shall we do to the queen Vashti according to law, because she has not done the bidding of the King Ahasuerus by the eunuchs? 16Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen has not done wrong to only the king, but also to all the princes, and to all the people who are in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus. 17For this deed of the queen will become known to all women, causing them to show contempt for their husbands when it is reported, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she didn’t come’. 18Today, the princesses of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s deed will likewise tell all the king’s princes. This will cause much contempt and wrath.
The King's Decree
19If it please the king, let a royal commandment go from him and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it cannot be altered, that Vashti may never again come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate to another who is better than she. 20When the king’s decree which he shall make is published throughout all his kingdom (for it is great), all the wives will give their husbands honour, both great and small. 21This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan: 22for he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to its writing, and to every people in their language, that every man should rule his own house, and that it should be published in the language of each people.


1:6 The language here is exactly that used about God’s tabernacle and temple. The cups used in :7 may well have been those taken from Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem (Jer. 52:19; Dan. 5:2). The Persian empire is therefore being presented as a fake Kingdom of God on earth. God’s people living there had to break from it and obey the command to return to the desolate land of Judah and rebuild God’s true Kingdom there. We have the same call in responding to the Gospel today, in leaving this world, which appears to be God’s Kingdom but isn’t, and take the hard, self-sacrificial journey in life towards His true Kingdom which will be re-established on earth at Christ’s return. "His glorious kingdom" (:4) uses the same two Hebrew words as in Ps. 145:11,12, where we read [in a Psalm that may well have been written or used by the righteous remnant in Babylon] that it is Yahweh God of Israel who has a Kingdom of glory, and who ultimately hears the cry of His people in distress, as Ahasuerus did. The Kingdom of Media and Persia had books in which the good and bad deeds of the citizens were written (10:2); and so in the one true Kingdom, there are ‘books’ from which the ultimate King will judge His people. Clearly, the Kingdom of Ahasuerus is being set up as an anti-Kingdom of God, with an antichrist figure ruling it, faking the Kingdom of God.