The king of Persia deposed his queen
1 King Xerxes ruled a very big empire which had 127 provinces. It extended from India in the east to Ethiopia in the west. 2 He ruled the empire while he lived in the capital city, Susa. 3 During the third year that he ruled his empire, he invited all his administrators and other officials to a big banquet/feast. He invited all the commanders of the armies of Persia and Media to come to the banquet. He also invited the governors and other leaders of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted for six months. During that time the king showed to the guests all his wealth and other things that showed how great his kingdom was (OR, how great a king he was).
5 At the end of those six months, the king invited people to another banquet. He invited to the banquet all the men who worked in the palace, including those who had important jobs and those who had unimportant jobs. This celebration lasted for seven days. It was in the courtyard of the palace in Susa. 6 In the courtyard were beautiful blue and white curtains that were fastened by white and purple cords/ribbons to rings that were on pillars made from expensive white stone called marble. The guests sat on gold and silver couches. The couches were on a pavement/floor which had on top of it designs made from various kinds of expensive stones. 7 The guests drank wine from gold cups. Each cup had a different design on it. 8 There was a lot of wine, because the king wanted the guests to drink as much as they wanted. But the king told the servants that they should not force anyone to drink more than he wanted.
9 At the same time, the king's wife, Queen Vashti, invited the wives of the men who worked in the palace to a banquet in another room in the palace.
10 On the last/seventh day of those banquets, when King Xerxes was partially drunk from drinking wine, he summoned seven of his personal servants. They were Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas. 11 He told them to bring Queen Vashti to him, wearing her crown. He wanted his guests to see that she was very beautiful. 12 But when those servants told Vashti what the king wanted, she refused to go to the king because she did not want to display her beauty in front of a group of half-drunk men.
So that caused the king to become very angry. 13-14 Immediately he had a meeting with the seven men who were the most important officials in Persia and Media. They were the men whom he often asked ◄for their advice/what he should do►. And they were men who knew all the customs and laws of Persia. Their names were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. 15 The king said to them, “Queen Vashti has refused to obey me when I sent my servants to tell her to come here. What do our laws say that we should do to someone who acts/behaves like that?”
16 While the other officials were present, Memucan told the king, “Your majesty, Queen Vashti has ◄insulted/done wrong against► you, but she has also insulted all your officials and everyone else ◄in your empire/that you rule over►. 17 All the women throughout the empire will hear what she has done, and they will say, ‘The king commanded Queen Vashti to come to him, and she refused.’ So they will not obey their husbands. Instead, they will begin to despise their husbands. 18 Before this day ends, the wives of all us officials in Persia and Media will hear what the queen did, and they also will refuse to obey their husbands. They will not respect us, and they will cause us to become very angry. 19 So if it pleases you, O king, you should write a law. Like all the other laws of Persia and Media, it will be a law that ◄no one can change/cannot be changed.► Write a law that states that Queen Vashti will never be allowed to see you again and will not continue to be the queen. Then you can choose another woman to be queen, a woman who deserves to be queen more than Vashti does. 20 Then, when everyone in your empire hears what you have commanded, all the women, including those who are important and those who are not important, will respect and obey their husbands.”
21 The king and the other officials liked what Memucan suggested, so he did that. He wrote a law proclaiming that. 22 Then he sent letters to all the provinces, stating that all men should have complete authority over their wives and their children. He wrote the letters in every language and type of writing/alphabet that was used in each province.