CLV(i) 1 It was in the days of Xerxes--that Xerxes who was reigning over 127 provinces from India unto Nubia. 2 In those days when king Xerxes sat on his royal throne in the castle of Susa, 3 he gave a banquet in the third year of his reign for all his chief officials and courtiers:the retinue of Persia and Media, the highborn and the chiefs of the provinces who were before him, 4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the esteem and beauty of his greatness, for many days--180 days. 5 And when these days were fulfilled, the king gave a seven-day banquet in the court of the king's garden pavilion for all the people found in the castle of Susa, from the greatest unto the smallest. 6 Awnings of pale cotton and blue wool were held with cord lines of fine linen and purple material on silver ring-bands and marble columns. There were couches of gold and silver on a pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and black marble. 7 Drinks were served in gold vessels, some vessels being diverse from other vessels, and the royal wine was abundant, according to the means of the king. 8 Yet drinking was according to this edict:There was to be no bother, for the king had made this deliberation to every wine steward of his household to serve according to each man's approval. 9 Queen Vashti too gave a banquet for the women at the royal house of king Xerxes. 10 On the seventh day, when the king's heart was cheerful with wine, he ordered Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas (the seven eunuchs ministering in the presence of king Xerxes), 11 to bring queen Vashti before the king, with the royal diadem, to show off her loveliness to the peoples and the chief officials, for she was good-looking in appearance. 12 But queen Vashti refused to come at the king's order that was conveyed by means of the eunuchs. The king was exceedingly wrathful, and his fury blazed up in him. 13 So the king asked the wise men who had knowledge of precedents, for this was the royal practice before all those having knowledge of edicts and adjudication. 14 The ones next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, seven chief officials of Persia and Media, who were seeing the royal presence and were sitting first in the kingdom. 15 He asked:``According to the edict, what should be done to queen Vashti because she did not obey king Xerxes' order by means of the eunuchs?'. 16 Memucan then replied before the king and the chief officials:``It was not the king himself alone whom queen Vashti has depraved, but all chief officials and all peoples in all provinces of king Xerxes. 17 For the affair of the queen shall go forth to all the wives and cause them to despise their spouses in their own eyes when they say, that king Xerxes himself ordered to bring queen Vashti before him, but she did not come. 18 So this very day the chief ladies of Persia and Media, who have heard of the queen's affair, shall cite it to all the king's chief officials, and there will be sufficient contempt and wrath. 19 ``If it seems good to the king, a royal decree may go forth from before him, and it may be written into the edicts of Persia and Media so that it can not be revoked, that Vashti must never again enter into the presence of king Xerxes, and that the king shall bestow her royal position upon a mate of her who is better than she. 20 When the king's rescript, that he must execute, is announced in all his kingdom, vast as it is, then all wives shall render esteem to their spouses from the greatest unto the smallest.'. 21 The proposal was good in the eyes of the king and the chief officials, and the king did according to Memucan's proposal. 22 He sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own provincial writing, and to each people in its own popular tongue, so that every man should be in control of his household and speak the tongue of his own people.