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Bible Study Esther: The Story of Purim Part 2B- Queen Vashti

Carly Mac

Member
Mistake #2- Xerxes follows the advice of his “Think Tank”:

King Xerxes is beyond humiliated because Vashti defies him, so he turns to his princes and nobles for advice. First of all, they were probably disgusted at King Xerxes’ “progressive ways” and it could never be accepted as a good idea to elevate the wife’s position as a confidant and role model. They certainly suspected that Vashti was assisting the king by sharing and comparing conversation between the wives and themselves. Honestly I believe that they could have deescalated the situation by reasoning with Xerxes explaining “how respectful she was towards the king by being so discreet and not sharing herself with the other men”. Sheepishly, he would have dismissed his command as a drunken whim and could have been pacified, even commended for having such a devoted wife! But, they were involved in a power struggle. Vashti was their most dangerous weapon and his most valuable asset. An opportunity to depose her had presented itself and she had to go!

Spinning their story with the angle of “how much women hate their husbands’”, this “Think Tank” provoked King Xerxes' anger. These advisers took advantage of Xerxes emotional melt down and immediately pointed out that his first mistake was to make her “the” leader among the women. Obviously, her vanity prevailed and they were terribly concerned how her example would influence their own wives and alter their own marriage dynamic. Also, the lower classes would no doubt hear how Vashti stood up to her husband the king, thereby giving them the courage to follow her example.

Ranting the sentiment of the time, they weaponized their words to target their prey. What! A woman leading other women? Women thinking for themselves? Women having self respect? A woman defying her husband when they don’t agree? A queen refusing the command of her King? Outrageous! Such disorder cannot exist in the kingdom! The family unit as they knew it would be destroyed forever! This “Think Tank” had decided that Vashti must be punished so severely that no other woman in the kingdom would ever dare defy any of their husband’s orders, no matter how egotistical, disrespectful, or dangerous. Not only will Vashti be deposed, but they twisted her position to be used as an example of what women ought not to do.


Esther 1:19-22

“So if it pleases the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!” The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.

Mistake #3- Banishing Vashti pleases the King… for now:
Offended and inebriated, King Xerxes cared more about the approval of his princes, than he did about his own wife. He especially needed the approval of Memucan, the most dignified and respected of all the Persian princes. He must have felt that if he placated Memucan, the other princes would be satisfied with his judgement. Filled with self righteousness, he followed the guidance of his advisers and wrote a decree that could not be reversed. Vashti was banished from his sight forever, never to be in his presence again. Because of the humiliation she caused the king to suffer, she would suffer double the humiliation by being replaced by someone deemed better than herself. To keep in good standing with the men of his kingdom, King Xerxes sent out dispatches to every province stating in their own distinct dialects that men were the rulers of their households and that any demand that he roared would be instantly obeyed.

The woman, Queen Vashti:
Vashti had won the love and admiration of King Xerxes. He married her and crowned her queen because of her beauty and intelligence. She shared the same philosophy in life that congeniality and wine loosened tongues. His approval of her was demonstrated by her promotion to be the role model for all of the women of the kingdom. Xerxes knew that Vashti was savvy and his most valuable confidant. Unified with the same vision for their kingdom, she would share the information extracted from the wives of his colleagues to prevent the king from being deceived. There was no need for her to curry his favor, she already had it. There was no need to step on others for self promotion, because her throne was at the king’s right hand. King Xerxes’ good standing and preservation was also in her best interest and she faithfully performed her role. In fact, she was so truthful in her response to him, she did not hesitate to refuse his order, indicating that she felt no fear of retaliation, at least up until that point. Vashti must have been absolutely crushed when King Xerxes banished her from his life. This was not the response she expected. She deemed herself as irreplaceable and never dreamed that he would choose the respect of his colleagues over her loyalty to him.
Vashti was a true partner to her husband, used her shrewdness for their benefit, and became the victim of this very flawed man.

Let’s pray:
Father,
I ask for grace never to depend on my own savvy to manipulate circumstances or partner with other people who are manipulative. When others disappoint me, help me forgive them for wrong doing. In Jesus name, Amen.


Watch Video- Esther Part 2- Queen Vashti


REFERENCES:



  1. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2060&t=KJV
  2. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/hitchcocks-bible-names/vashti.html
  3. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3771&t=KJV
  4. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8369&t=KJV
  5. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H133&t=KJV
  6. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8659&t=KJV
  7. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4825&t=KJV
  8. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4826&t=KJV
  9. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4462&t=KJV
 
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