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abundance, according to the state of the king. And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure. Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus. On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him. Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment: And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;) What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains? And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not. Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath. If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small. And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the
Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until I shall give another decree. Take care now that you do not fail to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they hurried to Jerusalem, to the Jews, and made them cease by force and power. Then ceased the work on the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. (K) Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even to them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God helping them. At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side of the river, and Shethar-Bozenai, and their companions, and said thus to them: Who has commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? Then we spoke to them after this manner, What are the names of the men who build this building? But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease, till the matter came to Darius and till the answer be returned to them by letter concerning this matter. The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side of the river, and Shethar-Bozenai, and his companions the Afarsakites, which were on this side of the river, sent to Darius the king; They sent a letter to him, and in it was written thus: To Darius the king, all peace. Be it known to the king, that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones, and timber is being laid in the walls, and this work goes diligently, and prospers in their hands. Then we asked those elders, and said to them thus, Who co
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