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NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (1984 EDITION) See 2013 revision
1 Now it came about in the days of* A·has·u·e′rus,*+ that is, the A·has·u·e′rus who was ruling as king from In′di·a* to E·thi·o′pi·a,* [over] a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,*+ 2 [that] in those days as King A·has·u·e′rus was sitting upon his royal throne,+ which was in Shu′shan+ the castle,*+ 3 in the third year of his reigning he held a banquet+ for all his princes and his servants, the military force of Persia+ and Me′di·a,+ the nobles+ and the princes of the jurisdictional districts before himself,+ 4 when he showed the riches+ of his glorious kingdom and the honor+ [and] the beauty of his greatness for many days, a hundred and eighty days. 5 And when these days had come to the full, the king held a banquet for seven days for all the people that were found in Shu′shan the castle, for the great as well as the small, in the courtyard of the garden of the king’s palace. 6 There were linen, fine cotton and blue+ held fast in ropes of fine fabric, and wool dyed reddish purple+ in silver rings and pillars of marble, couches+ of gold and silver upon a pavement of porphyry* and marble and pearl and black marble. 7 And there was a passing of wine to drink* in gold vessels;+ and the vessels were different from one another, and the royal wine+ was in great quantity, according to the means of the king. 8 As regards the time of drinking according to the law, there was no one compelling, for that was the way the king had arranged for every great man of his household, to do according to the liking of each and every one. 9 Also, Vash′ti+ the queen herself held a banquet for the women at the royal house that belonged to King A·has·u·e′rus.* 10 On the seventh day, when the king’s heart was in a merry mood with wine,+ he said to Me·hu′man, Biz′tha, Har·bo′na,+ Big′tha and A·bag′tha, Ze′thar and Car′kas, the seven court officials that were ministering*+ to the person of King A·has·u·e′rus, 11 to bring Vash′ti the queen in the royal headdress before the king, to show the peoples and the princes her loveliness; for she was beautiful in appearance.+ 12 But Queen Vash′ti kept refusing+ to come at the king’s word that was [conveyed] by means of the court officials. At this the king grew highly indignant and his very rage flared up within him.+ 13 And the king proceeded to say to the wise+ men having knowledge of the times+ (for in this way the king’s matter [came] before all those versed in law and legal cases, 14 and those closest to him were Car·she′na, She′thar, Ad·ma′tha, Tar′shish, Me′res, Mar·se′na, [and] Me·mu′can, seven+ princes of Persia and Me′di·a, having access to the king,*+ [and] who were sitting first in the kingdom): 15 “According to law what is to be done with Queen Vash′ti because she has not performed the saying of King A·has·u·e′rus by means of the court officials?” 16 To this Me·mu′can+ said before the king and the princes: “It is not against the king alone that Vash′ti the queen has done wrong,+ but against all the princes and against all the peoples that are in all the jurisdictional districts of King A·has·u·e′rus. 17 For the affair of the queen will go out to all the wives so that they will despise+ their owners*+ in their own eyes, when they say, ‘King A·has·u·e′rus himself said to bring in Vash′ti the queen before him, and she did not come in.’ 18 And this day the princesses of Persia and Me′di·a, who have heard the affair of the queen, will talk to all the princes of the king, and there will be plenty of contempt and indignation.+ 19 If to the king it does seem good,+ let a royal word go out from his person, and let it be written among the laws+ of Persia and Me′di·a, that it may not pass away,+ that Vash′ti may not come in before King A·has·u·e′rus; and her royal dignity let the king give to a companion of hers, a woman better than she is. 20 And the decree of the king that he will make must be heard in all his realm (for it is vast), and all the wives themselves will give* honor+ to their owners,+ the great as well as the small.” 21 And the thing was pleasing in the eyes of the king+ and the princes, and the king proceeded to do according to the word of Me·mu′can. 22 So he sent written documents+ to all the king’s jurisdictional districts, to each jurisdictional district+ in its own style of writing and to each people in its own tongue, for every husband to be continually acting as prince in his own house+ and speaking in the tongue of his own people.
^ “Artaxerxes,” LXX. Understood to be Xerxes I, son of Darius the Great (Darius Hystaspis).
^ “From India.” Heb., me·Hod′du; Gr., In·di·kes′, “Indian [country]”; Syr., Hudh; Lat., In′di·a.
^ “Ethiopia,” Vg; MSy, “Cush.”
^ “Provinces,” Lat., pro·vin′ci·as.
^ Or, “fortress.”
^ A very hard rock often having a dark purplish-red groundmass and containing feldspar crystals.
^ “There was a passing of wine to drink.” In Heb. this is taken to be a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.
^ “Artaxerxes,” LXX.
^ Lit., “the ones ministering.” Heb., ham·sha·rethim′; Gr., tois di·a·ko′nois; Lat., mi·ni·stra′bant, “they were ministering.”
^ Lit., “seeing the face of the king.”
^ “Their owners.” Heb., baʽ·leh·hen′.
^ “It . . . and all the wives themselves will give.” Hiʼ Wekhol-Han·na·shim′ Yit·tenu′ (Heb.) appears to be a reverse acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, יהוה (YHWH). Three ancient Heb. mss are known that give the letters of the divine name here in acrostic in majuscule letters, as follows: היא וכל־הנשים יתנו. This is the first of four such acrostics of the name “Jehovah,” and the Masorah in a rubric, or in red letters, calls attention to this.