Welcome to Esther Bible Study day 1!
Here’s a short summary of ch. 1:
1. We meet King Ahasuerus / Xerxes (depending on your translation) and learn that he is a very wealthy and powerful King. He decided to have an enormous feast in order to show off for his officials and allies. Also, this King really liked his wine, so he stayed drunk most of the time.
2. We also meet Queen Vashti. While her husband entertained all of the men at his feast, she was expected to host a feast for all of the men’s wives and / or escorts. Why 2 different feasts? This was happening in a Persian country where extreme modesty was expected of all women and it would not have been permitted for a woman to be in the presence of a drunk man. So they kept things separate – probably for the best!
3. But, on the last day, when King Ahasuerus was really “merry with wine” he called for the eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti and her crown over to the men’s feast so he could show her off.
4. Queen Vashti wasn’t about it and flat out refused. Some speculate that the actual command was for her to come in nothing but her crown and that’s why she said no. I think it’s more likely that she knew what might happen if she entered a tent full of very drunk men and she decided to pass.
5. The King was enraged and called his wise men to counsel him on what he could legally do to Vashti.
6. Memucan told the King that not only did Vashti disrespect him, but she set an example for all women that was likely to cause every last one of them to look at their husbands with contempt and wrath. He proposed to banish Queen Vashti, choose a new Queen, and make a proclamation that all wives must honor their husbands.
7. King Ahasuerus liked the sound of that and so out the proclamation went.
Chapter 1 sets the stage for the story to come. As we keep studying you will notice that God is never mentioned in the book of Esther. But that doesn’t mean He wasn’t at work. As you journal and study, be looking for God’s activity in the background.
What stood out to you as you studied and journaled? I can not wait to read your responses and see you journaling! Please, please, please post pictures and use #farmgirljournalsesther