A Growing Bible Queen
The book of Esther is about a beautiful Jewish girl who became the wife of Xerxes (Ahasuerus), King of Persia (486-465 BC). Esther saved the lives of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire.
When Esther’s parents died, Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, reared Esther. Esther was lovely in form and features. Esther was one of the virgins taken to King Xerxes palace to be evaluated as Xerxes’ queen. At this time, Mordecai instructed Esther to tell no one that she was a Jew. Esther obeyed him. In these initial scenes, we see Esther becoming Queen of Persia. We see a young girl who was beautiful with an attractive personality; but Esther was more influenced by others, than a source of influence.
In the 12th year of King Xerxes’ reign, his chief counselor, Haman, persuaded King Xerxes to allow him to murder all Jews living in the Persian Empire. Mordecai directed Queen Esther to go to King Xerxes and beg for mercy for her people. When Queen Esther heard Mordecai’s direction, she remined her cousin that if anyone appeared uninvited before the king, the person risked being killed.
Yet, Esther agreed to approach King Xerxes on the Jew’s behalf; however, she demand the Jews throughout the Persian Empire fast from both food and water and pray that Esther find a successful strategy to save their lives.
After three days of fasting and prayer, Queen Esther robed herself in her best finery and went to the King’s throne room. King Xerxes was seated on his royal throne. When he saw Queen Esther he was pleased and held out his golden scepter, indicating she could approach him. Xerxes asked Esther her request. Esther responded by inviting King Xerxes and his chief advisor, Haman, to a banquet.
At the banquet King Xerxes pressed Queen Esther to tell him her request. Again, she demurred; but, promised that if he and Haman would come to a banquet the next day, she would tell him her petition. At the second banquet, Esther told King Xerxes Hamon’s plan to kill all Jews which included herself. She asked King Xerxes to spare her life and the lives of her people.
She pleaded with King Xerxes to stop Haman’s plan to have all Jews murdered. In response, King Xerxes wrote an edict which allowed Jews throughout the Empire to kill any armed forces that might attack them. In the city of Susa alone, the Jews killed 500 men including Haman’s 10 sons.
Esther’s actions after the second banquet demonstrated a new maturity and determination to protect Jews in the Empire. Yet, this reinvented Queen wasn’t finished protecting her people. The day after the Jews struck down their enemies, Esther entered King Xerxes’ throne room. Again, King Xerxes vowed to give her whatever she wanted. Esther asked that the Jews in Susa be allowed an additional day to kill their enemies. The king concurred.
Reflection: Esther grew from a girl. who was influenced by the men in her life into to a queen who worked to the lives of her people.