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The Main Events in the Book of Esther
The Bible Story of Queen Esther
The Main Events in the Book of Esther
Xerxes King of Persia gives a banquet for the all the nobles, officials, and military leaders from throughout his kingdom. At the same time, Queen Vashti, wife of King Xerxes, also gave a banquet for the women of the royal palace. On the seventh day of the feast, King Xerxes summoned Queen Vashti to display her beauty before his guests. Queen Vashti refused to leave her guests to appear before the king. By the advise of his guests, King Xerxes deposed Queen Vashti from her position as queen. By the law of the Medo-Persian empire, King Xerxes royal decree cannot be reversed.
King Xerxes' anger subsides but Queen Vashti cannot be restored because of the king's irrevocable decree. The king's attendants advise him to make a search for a new queen from among the virgins in his vast empire. Mordecai and his cousin Esther both Jews are introduced into the story. Esther is one of themany virgins brought into King Xerxes harem as a potential queen. Esther finds special favor in the eyes of the king's chief eunuch Hegai. Esther also finds favor with King Xerxes and is chosen as queen of Persia in the place of Queen Vashti. King Vashti throws a banquet in Queen Esther's honor. Mordecai uncovered a plot by two officials to assassinate King Xerxes and tells Esther. Esther tells the king and the king has the two officials executed.
King Xerxes honors a man named Haman and grants him a seat higher than all the other nobles. All the royal officials knelt in honor of Haman but Esther's cousin Mordecai, a Jew, would not kneel before him. Haman was enraged by Mordecai's refusal to kneel before him and persuades King Xerxes to issue a decree that all Jews in the kingdom be destroyed. Dispatches were sent throughout all the kingdom of Persia with the order to destroy all the Jews.
Mordecai mourns concerning the king's decree against the Jews. Esther sends an attendant to find out what was troubling her cousin Mordecai. Mordecai asks Esther to go to the king. Esther balks but agrees to go to the king. Esther tells Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Susa to fast and pray for her.
Esther presents herself to King Xerxes. King Xerxes holds out his royal scepter and promises to give her whatever she would ask for. Esther invites King Xerxes and Haman to a banquet. The King and his royal official Haman attend the banquet and Esther asks them to attend a second banquet the following evening. Haman left Esther's house happy but when he sees Mordecai his heart is once again filled with rage. Haman's wife and friends suggest Haman build a gallows to hang Mordecai.
King Xerxes reads of how Mordecai saved his life from a plot to assassinate him. King Xerxes asks Haman what he should do to honor a man the king delights in. Thinking the king would want to honor him (and not knowing that the king wanted to honor Mordecai), Haman tells the king to place a royal robe around the man's shoulders and have the man ride on the king's horse. The king commands Haman to do as he suggested and honor Mordecai the Jew before all the people. Haman went home in grief. The king summoned Haman to go with him to Esther's banquet.
Esther asks the king save her people the Jews from Haman's evil plot. The king gets up in a rage and leaves the room. Haman falls on Queen Esther and pleads for his life. King Xerxes re-enters the room and thinks haman is trying to rape his wife. The King orders that Haman should be hung on the gallows Haman prepared for Mordecai.
King Xerxes gives Haman's whole estate to Queen Esther. Queen esther again pleads for the Jews. The King sends out a second edict giving the Jews permission to defend themselves against attack. Mordecai leaves the king's residence wearing royal garments and the city of Susa holds a joyous celebration.
The Jews defend themselves and triumph over their attackers.
Mordecai is raised to a high position by King Xerxes.