Pages - Menu

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

But What About Queen Vashti?

I reread Esther for the 3rd time recently. This time Queen Vashti caught my attention like never before. As a Christian girl I was taught to love and want to be like Esther, to aspire to be just like her. Esther is great, God placed her in a place where she would save her own people. But God also gave queen Vashti her strong will so she would be banished and allow a Jew girl take her place and save his people. I love Queen Vashti, she sets the tone for this whole book, and sadly she's over looked or misunderstood and casts as a "bad wife".

"On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 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. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger."- Esther 1:10-12 

Can you say disobencice? Gasp! But let's take a look why, "For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendour and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa." -Esther 1:4, 5.
180 plus 7 days of banquet = 187 days of King X being drunk, with him asking Queen Vashti to come with her crown. In that time that meant queen Vashti had to come in just her crown, and her birthday suit to parade around the men so that her king could show her off. Queen Vashti did not go she chose to be seen by the king in her timing and to have self respect. She may not have been "submissive" but she was intelligent, and way before her time. She is then disposed off and a law is past that all women should obey their husbands no matter what, in fear that women may react like Queen Vashti. Little did they know that Esther wasn't very different.

"I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” -Esther 4:16 

Queen Esther presented herself to the King when she knew she could have died, but she still presented herself in her own timing, she did not wait for him to call her, something Queen Vashti would have done and did but quite in the opposite matter but they both chose the time in which the King saw them. 

As a women I adore Esther for her strategy and humbleness. But I absolutely love Queen Vashti, for her ability to stand up for herself just like Esther did for her people. Even though these women never met (or so I think), they both impacted many people, they empowered women to believe in something greater than laws. To believe in respect and empowerment. 

What do you think of Queen Vashti's actions? What would you have done in her place?