Esther 1:10, 11
On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha…
The king's inconsistent excess betrayed him into an unworthy and foolish act. When heated with wine he summoned Queen Vashti to appear before him, crowned, that she might "show the princes and people her beauty."
I. AN OUTWARD RESPECTFULNESS OF MANNER DOES NOT MAKE AMENDS FOR ANY DISHONOURABLE INTENT. In sending to Vashti the seven chamberlains who waited on himself, the king showed some respect for her dignity. He perhaps hoped by this parade to overcome any objection she might have to obey his strange command. But the quality of evil is not affected by the garnishings with which men clothe and try to conceal it. Sin is often so disguised as to be made attractive to the unwary, but it is still sin; and the "pure in heart" who "see God" are not deceived.
II. WRONG-DOING BREEDS FEAR IN THE MOST RECKLESS MOMENTS OF SELF-CONFIDENCE. The emphatic way in which the number and names of the chamberlains are given seems to indicate that there was some fear of the queen in the king's heart. He knew her character, and was not unconscious of the insult implied in his command. Having, under the excitements of wine and vanity, conceived and expressed the desire that her beauty should be publicly exhibited, he could not draw back, but he thought to convey his will to her with such accompaniments as would either flatter or overawe her into obedience. A dishonest heart has fears that are only known to itself. It is most timid and craven when it assumes the loudest bravery. Its bristling feathers of authority are often the signs of an inward distrust. Conscious rectitude of purpose and action is the true spring of courage. A heart that is pure in its affections and intents is bold and strong in all circumstances. It is an evil conscience that "makes cowards of us all." A good conscience will make heroes of the humblest.
III. WHEN UNJUST TO OURSELVES WE ARE IN GREAT DANGER OF BEING UNJUST TO OTHERS. If the king had been himself true to the law which he had promulgated, he would never have thought of subjecting Vashti to a humiliating exposure. When men recognise their own obligations to righteous law, and submit themselves unto God, they are careful to observe the duties they owe to their friends and neighbours. Indifference to the feelings and rights of others implies a want of self-subordination to holy and honourable rule. It is only the unregulated, whose moral and spiritual nature is not braced by habitual subjection to principle, who are willing to trample on the sensibilities of those over whom natural or social ties give them power.
IV. THE EXCITEMENTS PRODUCED BY UNGOVERNED PASSIONS OR ARTIFICIAL STIMULATION DO NOT EXCUSE THE EVILS OR CRIMES TO WHICH THEY MAY LEAD. An unbridled temper, a blinding lust, or vinous intoxication, has often been pled in mitigation of the gravest offences. But one sin cannot justify or excuse another and consequent sin. If a man allows, his. reason and. conscience to. be unseated, whether by anger, or lust, or strong drink, he is responsible for every evil result that may follow. There is no sin which does not carry within it the seeds of other sins. This is a solemn thought, and one which should put all men on their guard against the first beginnings of sin. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
WEB: On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcass, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,