1:12 chamberlains. The chamberlains were eunuchs, in charge of the king’s harem. Each woman in the harem was actually married to the king; they were more than simply concubines. One—in this case, the beautiful Vashti—was considered the primary wife and recognized as the queen, from whom one son would inherit the kingdom. This son probably was Artaxerxes, who was the emperor under whom Ezra and Nehemiah served. Artaxerxes thus became a stepson of Esther (Xerxes died about thirteen years after Esther became queen). Vashti’s refusal to display herself before a drunken crowd of government officials was an act of both illegal disobedience to her husband, yet it was an act of moral courage before her Creator.