Vashti, Queen

Queen Vashti was married to King Xerxes, who ruled over much of Persia about 2,500 years ago. She refused the king's request for her to appear before guests at a banquet that he had organized, and the king and she was removed as queen.

Soon after, Ester was chosen to be Xerxes queen. Vashti's story is told in the Old Testament book of Esther, chapters 1 and 2.

During his third year of reign, Xerxes organized an elaborate period of celebration that lasted 6 months, during which time the wealth and splendor of Xerxes' kingdom was on full display. The celebration ended with a 7-day banquet.

On the last day of the banquet, after Xerxes and his guests had consumed a great deal of wine, he ordered his servants "to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at" (Esther 1:11, NIV).

She refused the command. The king consulted with advisors who warned him that her disobedience could encourage women throughout the kingdom to disobey their husbands. The king agreed with the advice and removed Vashti as queen.

Vashti is mentioned by name in 11 verses, in Esther 1:1, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19; Esther 2:1, 4, 17.

The name Vashti means "goodness," "best," or, "beautiful woman."

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