While Ahasuerus was entertaining his royal officials (see notes on Esther 1:8), his queen, Vashti, was serving as hostess at a feast for the wives of these men, Separation of men and women at such royal events must have been the normal practice in the Persian court.

When King Ahasuerus ordered Vashti to come to his banquet to show off her beauty to his male guests, she refused (Esther 1:11-12). Did she do so because she had too much self-respect to play the role of a “trophy wife”? Did she think the king was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing? Was she repulsed at the prospect of being stared at by a group of drunken men? Vashti may have felt it was inappropriate for a woman to appear at a  men-only event-even if this meant defying the king.

An inscribed bowl of Artaxerxes, a Persian king from the time of Esther. The inscription on the rim reads: “Artaxerxes, the great king of kings, king of countries, son of Xerxes the king, of Xerxes son of Darius the king, the Achaemenian, in whose house this drinking-cup made of silver was made.”

ESTHER 1:9- 9. Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus. 

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