Esther 1:15
What shall we do to the queen Vashti according to law, because she has not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
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1:10-22 Ahasuerus's feast ended in heaviness, by his own folly. Seasons of peculiar festivity often end in vexation. Superiors should be careful not to command what may reasonably be disobeyed. But when wine is in, men's reason departs from them. He that had rule over 127 provinces, had no rule over his own spirit. But whether the passion or the policy of the king was served by this decree, God's providence made way for Esther to the crown, and defeated Haman's wicked project, even before it had entered into his heart, and he arrived at his power. Let us rejoice that the Lord reigns, and will overrule the madness or folly of mankind to promote his own glory, and the safety and happiness of his people.In Marsena we may perhaps recognize the famous Mardonius, and in Admatha, Xerxes' uncle, Artabanus.

The seven princes - There were seven families of the first rank in Persia, from which alone the king could take his wives. Their chiefs were entitled to have free access to the monarch's person. See the margin reference note.

13-19. Then the king said to the wise men—These were probably the magi, without whose advice as to the proper time of doing a thing the Persian kings never did take any step whatever; and the persons named in Es 1:14 were the "seven counsellors" (compare Ezr 7:14) who formed the state ministry. The combined wisdom of all, it seems, was enlisted to consult with the king what course should be taken after so unprecedented an occurrence as Vashti's disobedience of the royal summons. It is scarcely possible for us to imagine the astonishment produced by such a refusal in a country and a court where the will of the sovereign was absolute. The assembled grandees were petrified with horror at the daring affront. Alarm for the consequences that might ensue to each of them in his own household next seized on their minds; and the sounds of bacchanalian revelry were hushed into deep and anxious consultation what punishment to inflict on the refractory queen. But a purpose was to be served by the flattery of the king and the enslavement of all women. The counsellors were too intoxicated or obsequious to oppose the courtly advice of Memucan was unanimously resolved, with a wise regard to the public interests of the nation, that the punishment of Vashti could be nothing short of degradation from her royal dignity. The doom was accordingly pronounced and made known in all parts of the empire. No text from Poole on this verse. What shall we do unto the Queen Vashti, according to law,.... The king desired to know what law was provided in such a case as her's, and what to be done according to it:

because she hath not performed the commandment of the king by the chamberlains? as this was the crime, disobedience to his commands, he would have those who had knowledge of the law consider what punishment was to be inflicted on her for it, according to former laws, usages, and customs, or as reason and justice required; and it being a festival, and they heated with wine, was no objection to a consultation on this head; for it was the manner of the Persians at festivals, and when inflamed with wine, to consult and determine about matters of the greatest moment (w); yea, reckoned their counsels and decrees firmer than when made when they were sober (x); so the ancient Germans (y).

(w) Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 133. (x) Strabo. Geograph. l. 15. p. 505. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 4. c. 11. & l. 5. c. 21. (y) Tacitus de Mor. German. c. 22.

What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
15. What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law] Heb. According to law what is there to do unto the queen Vashti? thus giving the question a slightly more judicial air, as though the king were considering the matter quite dispassionately, and simply in the interests of his kingdom.

done the bidding] a little less heavy form of expression than A.V. ‘performed the commandment.’Verse 15. - What shall we do to queen Vashti according to law? Literally, "According to law, what is there to do to queen Vashti?" Law is given the prominent place, as though the king would say, Let us put aside feeling, and simply consider what the law is. If a queen disobeys the king openly in the face of his court, what, according to law, is to be done to her? Vashti the queen also gave a banquet to the women in the royal house (palace) which belonged to King Ahashverosh, probably in the royal apartments of the palace, which were placed at her disposal for this great feast to be given to the women. The name Vashti may be compared with the Old-Persian vahista, i.e., optimus. In Persian šty, means a beautiful woman. This statement serves as an introduction to the scene which follows. Esther 1:10 and Esther 1:11. On the seventh, i.e., the last day of the banquet, when the king's heart was merry with wine, he commanded his seven chamberlains to bring Vashti the queen before him, with the royal crown, to show here beauty to the people and princes. וגו לב כּטוב, when the heart of the king was merry through wine, i.e., when the wine had made him merry, comp. 2 Samuel 13:28; Judges 16:25. It was the office of the seven eunuchs who served before the king (את־פּני משׁרת like 1 Samuel 2:18) to be the means of communication between him and the women, and to deliver to them messages on the part of the monarch. Their number, seven, was connected with that of the Amshaspands; see rem. on Esther 1:14. The attempts made to explain their several names are without adequate foundation; nor would much be gained thereby, the names being of no significance with respect to the matter in question. In the lxx the names vary to some extent. The queen was to appear with the crown on her head (כּתר, κίδαρις or κίταρις, a high turban terminating in a point), and, as is self-evident, otherwise royally apparelled. The queen was accustomed on ordinary occasions to take her meals at the king's table; comp. Herod. ix. 110. There is, however, an absence of historical proof, that she was present at great banquets. The notice quoted from Lucian in Brissonius, de regio Pers. princ. i. c. 103, is not sufficient for the purpose.
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