To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the people and the princes her beauty…
Bad as the conduct of the king was in issuing the order, it does not follow that the queen was right in disobeying it. If the action had been in itself positively immoral, then it would have been her duty to have resisted, whatever the consequences might be. No authority can bind, and no danger should constrain, a woman to do anything which is vicious or essentially immodest. Had Vashti of her own accord gone into the company, had she sought the opportunity, or embraced it joyfully, she would have been convicted of immodesty; but had she complied merely out of respect to authority, and to prevent her husband from being dishonoured by her refusal, in the presence of his subjects, her conduct would have appeared in a very different light in the eyes of all reasonable persons. She was a subject, as well as a wife; and if her royal husband had, when heated with wine, issued an order which reflected on her honour, she, being perfectly sober, might have consulted his. But Vashti was as proud as Ahasuerus was vain, and determined that if he was imperious, she would be haughty and unyielding. She was piqued that such a message should be sent to her in the presence of her maids of honour and the great ladies of Persia, and resolved to show her spirit by setting at nought the request of the king her husband. Instead of making a modest excuse, or sending "a soft answer which turneth away wrath," she gave a flat and peremptory refusal.
Parallel VersesKJV: To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.