Esther 1:12 MEANING

Esther 1:12
Verse 12. - But the queen Vashti refused. Vashti's refusal was morally quite justifiable. Neither a husband's nor a king's authority extends to the wanton requirement of acts that, if done, would disgrace the doer for life. Had Vashti complied, she would have lost the respect not only of the Persian nation, but of the king himself. Therefore was the king very wroth. Had Ahasuerus really loved his wife, or been a man of fair and equitable disposition, be would have excused her refusal, and felt that he had deserved the rebuff. But, not really loving her, and being of a hot and ungovernable temper, he was violently enraged with her, as he always was when anything fell out contrary to his wishes (see Herod., 7:11, 35, 39, etc.).

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.But the queen refused to came at the king's commandment by his chamberlains,.... Even though he sent by them again, as the Targum; and so says Josephus (o); which might not purely arise from pride in her, and contempt of him, but because she might conclude he was drunk, and knew not well what he did; and therefore had she come at his command, when he was himself and sober, he might blame her for coming, nay, use her ill for it, and especially if she was to come naked, as say the Jews (p); and besides, it was contrary to the law of the Persians, as not only Josephus (q), but Plutarch (r) observes, which suffered not women to be seen in public; and particularly did not allow their wives to be with them at feasts, only their concubines and harlots, with whom they could behave with more indecency; as for their wives, they were kept out of sight, at home (s); and therefore Vashti might think it an indignity to be treated as an harlot or concubine:

therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him; which was the more fierce, as he was inflamed with wine.

(o) Antiqu. l. 11. c. 6. sect. 1.((p) Targum in loc. Midrash Esther, fol. 90. 1.((q) Antiqu. l. 11. c. 6. sect. 1.((r) In Themistoele. (s) Macrob. Saturnal. l. 7. c. 1.

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