Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

Chapter 1:13-22 (ESV)

Posted on November 21, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 1:13-22 (ESV) - Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, the men next to him being 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): “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?” Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the queen's behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior will say the same to all the king's officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.

Question to consider: Why did the wise men decide to banish queen Vashti?

The command of the king was to be considered sovereign even if the king was drunk and trying to impress his drinking buddies. The only thing held more sacred than the decree of the king was when something was declared to be a law of the Persians and the Medes. Once something was declared to be a law of the Persians and the Medes, a decree became irrevocable, even if the king changed his mind. An example of this happened in Daniel when the counselors were able to get the king to pass a law that for thirty days people were to worship no other god than the king or be thrown into a den of lions. The counselors knew that Daniel prayed to God three times a day and used this decree as a trap, for they knew Daniel was highly favored by the king. Once Daniel was caught worshiping God, the king regretted his decree but could not reverse it. Of course hungry lions were no match for our God, and Daniel survived the ordeal.

The text described the king’s counselors as wise men who knew the times. The king lived lavishly and had no idea how to relate to the commoners so these counselors helped advise the king to rule in a way that would be received appropriately by the culture. In this case, the queen’s refusal had cultural implications. The counselors feared that if the women in the kingdom saw the queen was able to refuse the king without consequence, they would see it as a license to refuse their husbands who were rulers of their own households.

Therefore, the counselors advised that the king should make an irrevocable decree that the queen was to be kept from ever coming before him again. His new bride was banished from the king’s presence. If the marriage was a political union, my guess is that it would have caused an incident if they had her executed. The plan was to replace her with someone who would be even more beautiful so that the women would continue to honor their husbands.

Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the garden, every generation has desired to determine right and wrong for themselves. God established the marital covenant to ultimately point to Christ’s relationship with the church (see Ephesians 5:22-33), but the selfishness of sin causes husbands to try and dominate their wives, and wives to undermine the leadership of their husbands.


Dear heavenly Father, please stir up in us a desire to submit to one another as we all serve Christ who loved us and gave Himself up for us. May our civil and church leaders seek to do Your will in the world. Amen.