Esther 1:16 MEANING

Esther 1:16
(16) Answered before the king.--Memuean, like a true courtier, gives palatable advice to his master, by counsel which is the true echo of the king's angry question.

Done wrong.--Literally, dealt unfairly.

Verse 16. - And Memucan answered. We gather from Memucan's reply that the Persian law had provided no penalty for the case in hand - had, in fact, not contemplated it. He first argues the matter on general grounds of morality (ver. 16) and expediency (vers. 17, 18), and then proposes the enactment of a new law - a privilegium - assigning Vashti a special punishment for her contempt of the king's order. The "decree" (ver. 20) would not have been necessary had there already existed a law on the point. Vashti, the queen, hath not done wrong to the king only. With the servility to be expected in an Oriental and a courtier, Memucan throws himself wholly on the king's side - insinuates no word of blame against his royal master, on whom in justice the whole blame rested; but sets himself to make the worst he can of Vashti's conduct, which (he says) was a wrong not to Ahasuerus only, but to the whole male population of the empire, the princes included, who must expect their wives to throw off all subjection, in imitation of the queen's example, if her conduct were allowed to go unpunished. As such a condition of things would be intolerable, the king is urged to disgrace her publicly.

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.And Memucan answered before the king and the princes,.... Who was the last, and perhaps the least and the youngest of the counsellors; it being appointed by the king, according to the latter Targum that when his counsellors sat, the least should give their counsel first; just as puisne judges, and the youngest peers with us, give their opinion in a case first:

Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus; he means, by setting a bad example to their wives, as after explained; it is an exaggeration of her crime, and made with a design to incense the king the more against her.

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