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The New King James Version

Esther 1:1–12

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The King Dethrones Queen Vashti

1 Now it came to pass in the days of aAhasuerus 1(this was the Ahasuerus who reigned bover one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, cfrom India to Ethiopia), in those days when King Ahasuerus dsat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in eShushan 2the 3citadel, that in the third year of his reign he fmade a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him—when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.

And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in 4Shushan the 5citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the gcouches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble. And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, haccording to the 6generosity of the king. In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure.

Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, iHarbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

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a
1

Generally identified with Xerxes I (485–464 b.c.)

b
c
d
e
2

Or Susa

3

Or fortified palace, and so elsewhere in the book

f
4

Or Susa

5

palace

g
h
6

Lit. hand

i