King Ahasuerus is Xerxes, king of Persia from 486 to 464 B. C. who ruled a vast kingdom of 127 provinces. In reading Esther 1, he gave a luxurious feast and we get a picture of the great wealth of the kingdom. Couches made of gold and silver and wine served in golden goblets.
In that society, men and women socialized separately. The passage says that queen Vashti held a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes (v. 9). As the endless party started to get boring, king Xerxes wanted to show off his beautiful queen so he told one of his men to get her. When Queen Vashti got the news, she refused to take part in the king’s request.
The king was ticked off. He wanted his queen to flaunt her stuff in front of his men friends. He was so furious at Queen Vashti that he gathered his law team together to see what could be done. They decided to draw up a decree that Vashti could never enter the presence of King Xerxes and that he could give her royal position to someone else who was better than she (v. 19). The point being made was that in his kingdom, all women would respect their husbands and do exactly as told. Each man would be ruler over his own household (v.22).
The position of women in the society during the reign of Xerxes is much different than the freeing of women that we see in the teachings of Christ. A good lesson to take from today’s reading is that the Lord reigns and we should let Him overrule the madness or foolishness of mankind.
Common sense tells us that contempt in wives produces wrath in a husband and strive in families. The queen named Vashti’s didn’t want to intermingle among the men as the king wanted and king Xerxes saw this as a lack of respect. The king then made some decisions when in a bad mood instead of consulting with God in prayer and waiting for better days.
Be sure and visit again tomorrow for more thoughts on the book of Esther as we continue this thrilling story of a Jewish girl whom God uses to save her nation.
- Esther 1. Queen Vashti defies King Xerxes. The King dethrones Queen Vashti. (KJV). (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- Banished: Queen Vashti’s Plight (joseardila93.wordpress.com)
- Watch The Book of Esther (electjfs.wordpress.com)
- My Biblical Heroes: Vashti (rodalena.com)
- Ahasuerus-Xerxes (biblicalpeople.wordpress.com)