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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Queen of Ahasuerus or Xerxes (Esther 1 and Esther 2). Refused to appear at the king's command, to exhibit her beauty before the king's guests at a banquet; was therefore deposed and repudiated lest a precedent should be given for insubordination of wives to husbands. Vashti may answer to Amestris the queen consort throughout Xerxes' reign, and queen mother under his son and successor - Artaxerxes.

But more probably she and Esther were only "secondary wives" with the title "queen." Plutarch (Conjug. Precept. c. 16, in agreement with Herodotus v. 18) says the Persian kings had their legitimate wives to sit at table, but when they chose to drink and revel they sent away their wives and called in the concubines, it was when his "heart was merry with wine" that he sent for Vashti as a concubine; but she, looking on herself as a legitimate wife, would not come. Esther 5:4; Esther 5:8; Esther 5:12, shows that it was no impropriety for wives to be at banquets in front of other men (besides their husbands).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Vashti'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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