Esther 1:17, Question 1. What does it mean that the word will “go out,” and why does Memuchan stress it?

יז כִּייֵצֵא דְבַרהַמַּלְכָּה עַלכָּלהַנָּשִׁים לְהַבְזוֹת בַּעְלֵיהֶן בְּעֵינֵיהֶן בְּאָמְרָם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אָמַר לְהָבִיא אֶתוַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה לְפָנָיו וְלֹאבָאָה

“Because the word/matter of the queen will go out to all the women to disrespect their husbands in their eyes saying that the King Achashverosh said to bring Vashti before him, and she did not come.”

In Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam uses this verse to teach that “going out” need not refer to the physical action of moving. Here, even a word can “go out.” This being the case, any mention of H-Shem going out need not be literally physical. According to the Malbim, Memuchan is pointing out that all of the women present during Vashti’s rejection of the chamberlains know that she refused because of the disrespect she felt during the request (see previous blogs on this subject). Achashverosh had little to worry about this affecting their personal, marital lives. However, externally, those women who did not witness the event had only the basic story that Vashti refused the command of the king. Without knowing Vashti’s motivation, this would teach them that they, too, need not listen to their husbands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s