“Heroine or Heathen”
Esther 1: 17, 18: “For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women causing them to look with contempt on their husbands by saying, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in to his presence, but she did not come.’ And this day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s conduct will speak in the same way to all the king’s princes, and there will be plenty of contempt and anger.” These days there is a controversy: was Vashti in the right or in the wrong? If it is just a case of husband and wife, King Ahasuerus comes off as a bit of a male chauvinist. But as the Bible presents it, this is a case of King and subject. To rebel against the king (and in the biblical imagery of this Book, our King is the Lord) is always questionable behavior, so from this perspective, King Ahasuerus was doing what he had to do. No form of rebellion, especially from one in the position of a role model, can be ignored.