The Story of Esther
The story of Esther, occurred in approx 518 BC during the reign of Xerxes.
- The King: King Ahasuerus
- The Kings Original Wife: Vashti
The King had a very large and long party, and while displaying his wealth for 180 days, he ordered Vashti his queen to appear before guests to show her beauty, but she refused, disrespecting the King and the Princes.
The King being furious, asked his princes, what should I do? The princes devised a plan (in fear that women of the city will gossip and disrepect their husbands)-to remove Queen Vashti and replace her with a new Queen.
The King approved, and at that point Queen Vashti was relieved from the Kingdom, and it was announced that maidens may apply to be interviewed to be the new Queen.
Many maidens were espoused, until Esther was chosen (A Benjamite Jew), an orphan exiled from Persia, who was under protection of her cousin, Mordecai.
Mordecai was a Jew carried into captivity by Nebhuchanezzer King of Babylon. Mordecai was cheif minister of King Ahaseurus and lived in the capital Susa.
While Mordecai was sitting at the Kings gate, he heard of a plot by the two eunuchs(Bigthan and Teresh) to kill the King. Mordecai, wanted to inform the King, so he sent word through his cousin Esther, the newly chosen Queen.
The plot was foiled and the King had those two eunuchs executed, and this was Recorded in the Royal Chronicles (this is so the King can review chronicles at a later date, for instance to find good deeds done by servants).
One day, the Kings right hand man (his Vizier), Haman, asked Mordecai to Bow to him. Mordecai refused! (We dont know if he refused for religious reasons).
Haman, being extremely angry at Mordecai, decided to devise an evil plan, not only to kill Mordecai for his disrespect, but he propositioned the King, that he will pay the royal treasury 10000 silver talents, if the King will write a decree to exterminate all Jews and confiscate all the Jewish property within the empire, therefore, exterminate the race from the City.
The King agreed, and sent the decree. Not knowing that his new Queen Esther is a Jew herself (as she kept her true identitiy hidden in fear that she would not be chosen if the King knew she was Jewish, and also, Mordecai suggested she hide details and do not not reveal their relationship as cousins).
Mordecai heard of the decree and tore his robes and put ashes on his head, mourning from the news (being sad because he knew Esther was in danger along with all of his fellow Jews and himself).
Esther was not aware, being busy in the harem (the last set of women were being attended to while she was becoming the Queen), but Mordecai informed her.
Then Esther decided to invite the King to a banquet (even though she is not allowed to approach the King without being called, but, when she approached him he found favor in her) and agreed to the banquet.
She requested the banquet to be the following day.
Between the time of the request of the banquet and the banquet start, Haman (the one who requested the decree of Jewish execution), requested the erection of a gallows on which he intended to hang his hated Mordecai- and his wish was approved by the King, making Haman very happy.
The night before the banquet, the King was sleepless however. He decided to order the chrnonicles of the nation to be read to him, especially for Mordecai.
So, the King realized Mordecai helped him, as Mordecai reported the Eunuchs plot to kill him.
And, the King realized Mordecai was never honored for this act formally.
The next morning, King Ahaseurus asked Haman what should be done for a man who is to be honoured?
Haman, thinking the man was going to be himself, responded with Great luxurious ideas of being honored by horseback receiving an award, personally by one of the Kings princes with the Kings apparel and insgnia.
Then the King ordered this honor to be bestowed on Mordecai for his good deed discovered in the chronicles.
Then Esthers banquet started, where she revealed to the King for the First Time she was Jewish, and accused Haman of the plot to destroy her, her people, and hang Mordecai.
The King ordered that, THIS PLOT SHALL BE REVERSED, and instead, HANG HAMAN on the Gallows Pole Prepared for Mordecai! Confiscate HIS property, and then, as he ordered it done, issue a decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves, and then he promoted Mordecai to be HIS prime minister!