The request: Vashti’s “such a time as this” (part 3)

If, as we have been discovering, Vashti’s story is critical to Esther’s, the king’s request and Vashti’s refusal represent the climax of her story. But how should we interpret it? Is it a case of insubordination, an example of wilfulness – as has often been implied. Or was her refusal virtuous and providential? First the request. The king’s request, the reason he sent seven men was:

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