Esther heard the rumors, but she paid little attention to such stories. Especially from the palace. She had little patience with politics.
Esther was a beautiful Jewish woman. She was kind, considerate, quiet, and respectful. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai had raised her as his own daughter because her parents had died when she was a small child. She had grown up happy and satisfied with her life.
In time, the rumors were validated. The queen had been banished from the palace. It seems that the king had given a banquet.
During an elaborate banquet he was hosting, King Xerxes ordered Queen Vashti to appear and display her body for his guests. She refused which angered and humiliated the king. As was the custom at the time, King Xerxes called his councilmen together and asked their advice. The men were afraid that all the wives in the kingdom would disobey their husbands like Queen Vashti had. The councilmen, in all their wisdom, suggested that Queen Vashti be stripped of her title and never allowed to see the king again. King Xerxes, full of male ego, agreed and decreed it so.
As we all do, King Xerxes calmed down in a few days and deeply regretted his decision. However, because of the way he had decreed the action, he could not reverse his decision. So like most people who don’t get their way, he pouted. He was in a deep funk and close to depression. The councilmen decided that what he needed to take his mind of Vashti, were more women. So they suggested that they be allowed to gather all the young virgins of the kingdom and bring them before him so he could choose a new queen. Immediately, the king cheerfully agreed.